2012 NFL Playoff Picks: Expert Picks For the Divisional Round
Welcome to the most entertaining NFL weekend of the year. After this weekend, we have just two football Sundays and three total games left. So, soak it in this weekend and we hope you are a baseball fan and can count the days to pitchers and catchers.
As for our little NFL picks contest between myself and our own Michael Cellars, the post-season hasn’t slowed Michael down one bit. He rolled to a 3-1 record last weekend, and I managed just a 2-2 mark, leaving myself a full five games behind Michael and running out of time. Michael has a 59-25 record; while I sit at 54-30.
It’s time to put your money where your mouth is, if you’re an NFL team in these NFL Playoffs. If you’re me, you have to pick against your head in at least two games and hope for the wacky best. But in what figures to be a pretty unpredictable Division Round, anything really could happen.
With that, let’s dive into the second round of the 2012 NFL Playoffs with picks and analysis:
Michael Cellars: Though I’d love to see Ray Lewis ride off into the sunset with another Super Bowl title, Peyton Manning is going to be too much for the Ravens defense to handle. Plus, another Manning vs. Brady AFC Championship Game is something to get excited for. BRONCOS, 27-17.
Tom McFeeley: I don’t think the Ravens ever lead this game. Peyton Manning has been yearning for this spot for months. The Broncos roll. But I need the win, so RAVENS, 24-23.
Michael: This Packers team is much different than the squad that faced the 49ers in Week 1 at Lambeau Field, especially with key players getting healthy. As a Packers fan, I’m rolling with my team because I believe they’ll establish enough of a running game against Patrick Willis and the 49ers defense to give Aaron Rodgers and his receiving corps big-play capabilities. PACKERS, 30-20.
Tom: My friend Dave loves “the moment” – those few seconds when time expires in a game, yet the ball is in the air, with the very outcome at stake. I predict that “moment” in this game, an incomplete pass intended for Greg Jennings. 49ers, 28-24.
Michael: The Seahawks are hot and boasting confidence after finishing strong in last week’s victory over the Redskins. As much as I like the Seahawks (and would love to see a Seahawks-Packers rematch) I’m picking the Falcons in this one. They know what’s at stake with trying to avoid going one-and-done for a third straight year, and I believe Matt Ryan, with Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez, will be too much for the Seahawks defense to handle. FALCONS, 34-26.
Tom: I tend to root for the worst in sports. When a guy hasn’t had a hit in 30 at-bats, I root for his struggles to continue. When a quarterback has trouble winning in the playoffs, that’s a more compelling storyline than one who succeeds. I’m rooting for Matty Ice to continue his January struggles. SEAHAWKS, 24-17.
Michael: A lot of comparisons are being made that the Texans could be like the Jets from a few seasons ago, where they lost big to the Patriots at home then upset them in the playoffs. This time around, however, Tom Brady and the Patriots offense together are just too good for the Texans to contain. It’s going to get to the point where the Texans have to throw, effectively taking their best player, Arian Foster, out of the game. PATRIOTS, 38-23.
Tom: I like Michael’s comparison. As a Jets fan, that playoff game was one of my very few highs. For the first half of the season this year, I thought the Texans were the best team in the NFL. Then the Patriots have looked like the best team in the NFL. I think I speak for all non-Patriots fans when I say it’s time for a changing of the guard. Let the Brady-Belichick era begin to fade away. Pats miss a very late field goal and it serves them right. TEXANS, 23-21.