Went 2-2 last weekend, no thanks to the Colts’ coach’s idiotic timeout and the Seahawks proving the us-vs-the-world mentality works even for a 7-9 team.
Ravens @ Steelers
This rubber match should be the best game of this weekend. Those two rivals have decided their games by 3 points in 7 games in the past three years. The steelers’ run defense is absolutely ferocious and should stop RB Ray Rice. That forces QB Flacco to win the game with his arm. Although the Ravens’ D is full of great players, their corners are weak. QB Rothsliberger will exploit them with his targets WR Wallace & Ward. RB Mendenhall has not been dominant in their games, but he’s effective enough to keep the Ravens from making a beeline on Rothsliberger.
Packers @ Falcons
Should be a great game full of great players. The Falcons have been consistent all year and the Packers are peaking at the best time. Falcons’ offense is loaded, but RB Turner should be the wild card. If he can wear down the Packers defense, despite their awesome nose tackle Raji, LB Matthews won’t be able to rattle QB Ryan and be prey to his play-action passes to WR White or TE Gonzalez. QB Rodgers just earned his first playoff win last week, and has an array of weapons at his disposal. But the lack of a ground game (RB Grant is out) will doom the Packers. Falcons are nearly invincible at home in the past 3 years (20-4) and the crowd will be absolutely insane.
Seahawks @ Bears
Hard to call this game when a 7-9 team upsets an 11-5 team, and is about to play a team they already beat this year 23-20. The Seahawks will need to pressure Jay Cutler with their linebackers and defensive front. If they force him to throw off his back foot, that will lead to bad throws and interceptions. However, the Bears have an excellent defense, and DE Peppers is the best in the league. RB Lynch must repeat his magic last week and help QB Hasselbeck, but playoff miracles never repeat themselves. A shaky vote of confidence for the Bears, who haven’t really beat anyone this year.
Jets @ Patriots
It will be a cold and unforgiving weather in Foxboro, and the perfect weather for QB Brady and the Patriots. Since New England is at home the crowd will be quiet enough for the Patriots to read the Jets’ defensive schemes. Thus, Brady will throw the ball quickly and find WRs open on crossing routes all day long. The Jets are a strong comeback team, but they’re playing a disciplined opponent. Pats will seize an early lead and cruise to an easy win.