Saturday, January 14, 2012

NFL Playoffs - Second Round Preview

Previewing what's sure to be an interesting Round 2 of the NFL Playoffs.

New Orleans @ San Francisco (Saturday, 4:30 ET, FOX)

Mike:
First playoff game for Alex Smith and the Niners sure to be pressure-filled, as trying to keep up with Drew Brees is a daunting task. San Francisco's talented defense should slow the red-hot Saints offense some, but will come up short. New Orleans over San Francisco, 27-16

Chris:
Lost in all the hoopla over New Orleans' record-breaking offense is the fact San Francisco has one of the best defenses in recent memory. The most points the 49ers surrendered in any game this year is 27 (in Dallas' Week 2 comeback victory and in the Week 17 game when some starters rested). The Saints will just top that mark thanks to their defense. The game will be close until New Orleans gets a big defensive touchdown, likely off an Alex Smith strip-sack fumble. New Orleans over San Francisco, 30-22

Denver @ New England (Saturday, 8 ET, CBS)

Mike:
After watching the Steelers nieve defense get burned in the air while going all in against the run, Belichick and the Patriots surely won't be fooled. As porous as the Pats D has been, it will contain Tebow and the Broncos enough for Brady to carve up the defense and lead New England back to the AFC title game. New England over Denver, 38-20

Chris:
The Patriots have lost three straight postseason games, which probably isn't sitting well with Bill Belichick. Denver is a great story and Tim Tebow played arguably his best NFL game in last week's upset of Pittsburgh. I can see Tebow airing it out again and picking apart New England's secondary, but expect Tom Brady to surgically do the same to Denver's defense. New England over Denver, 31-24

Houston @ Baltimore (Sunday, 1 ET, CBS)

Mike:
Ray Lewis and Co. is well rested after the bye and will no doubt come prepared to face one of the top ground attacks in football. The key for the Ravens will be getting Ray Rice going, and he should pick up a score en route to a Ravens victory.Baltimore over Houston, 20-10
Chris:
For the Texans to win they'll have to control the clock with the ground game. That, unfortunately, requires getting first downs against a well-rested defense. Expect Baltimore to come out fired up on defense with an early defensive touchdown setting the tone. With the Ravens building an early lead, T.J. Yates will be forced to throw early and often. That's a recipe for disaster against Baltimore.Baltimore over Houston, 23-0

New York Giants @ Green Bay (Sunday, 4:30 ET, CBS)

Mike:
As fired up as the Giants may be after their big win over the Falcons last week, the frozen tundra in Green Bay, along with the stellar offensive attack led by Aaron Rodgers, should cool off the Giants a bit. Sure to be a battle to the wire like their earlier meeting, the Packers will be ready and prevail in the end. Green Bay over New York, 34-27
Chris:
As much as some networks, ahem... ESPN, want you to believe this could be 2007 all over again, let's not get over excited because the Giants murdered a Falcons team last week. This team still finished the regular season 9-7 and only won the division by beating a severely overrated Dallas team. Green Bay is one of the best teams in recent memory. Forget the rest, Aaron Rodgers will have a field day with the Giants secondary. With an offense designed to get the ball out quick to avoid the NYG pass rush, Rodgers won't be sacked all game in a blowout. Green Bay over New York, 41-19

2 comments:

  1. For the record: Chris went 175-81* in the regular season while Mike went 169-87.

    Both went 2-2 in the Wild Card Round. Chris picked Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta and Pittsburgh while Mike picked Cincinnati, New Orleans, NY Giants and Pittsburgh.

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  2. Gotta say I'm glad the Packers went down. But I'm not a fan of the New York Football Giants. I did not see this coming! Especially in Green Bay!

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