Gridiron Guesses: Division Weekend
Okay, so last weekend I went a disappointing two-for-two (thanks a million, Andy Dalton and Christian Ponder).
Oh, and a fish beat me. That was pretty embarrassing.
With that being said, I'm one bad weekend of picks away from swimming in a 2.5 gallon tank while Plankton Manning is served Beluga caviar and Dom Pérignon at luxury hotels in his native Thailand.
So, without further adieu, here are my Division Weekend picks, based solely on which side of table Ellen DeGeneres danced over first.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons (-1.0)
The Falcons and I have had a love-hate relationship all season.
When I don't pick them to win, they always do (yes, 13 times...). When I do pick them to win, they roll over and lose to the Carolina Panthers.
Get ready to invite me to the Super Bowl, Atlanta fans, because I just can't see the Falcons surviving against the Seattle Seahawks in this game.
The Falcons have one of the best wideout tandems in the league in Roddy White and Julio Jones, but with cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner all over them, this game will come down to who can run the ball more effectively.
Michael Turner's good, but he’s no Marshawn Lynch.
After watching the Seahawks give up 14 early points to the Washington Redskins, I was discouraged.
After seeing how the Seahawks responded to giving up 14 yearly points, I was thrilled.
Seattle should win this game and cover the spread on their way to a defensive battle against Green Bay in the NFC Championship.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos (-9.0)
The Broncos have legend Peyton Manning, a Von Miller-led defence and some of the best receivers in the game in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.
What I'm trying to say is, they're darn good. In fact, the last time they lost a game (Oct. 7), CTV was gearing up for the premieres of "Nashville" and "Arrow," shows that now seem like mainstays.
I believe the Ravens will keep this game interesting (and for Joe Flacco's sake and Ray Lewis' career, I really hope they do).
After watching Baltimore’s defence turn Andrew Luck into Caleb Hanie last weekend, the Ravens, like the Green Bay Packers, demonstrated how good they can be when healthy.
In Week 15, a Ravens team ravaged with injuries lost 34-17 to the Broncos in Jim Caldwell's first game as offensive coordinator.
With notable players (including Ray Lewis) back and stronger cohesion on offence, don't be surprised when the Ravens make a game of it.
Or maybe I'm just Mile-High dreaming? Who knows? (Disclaimer: I probably am.)
The Ravens will cover the spread, but the Broncos should win the game on their way to a battle with the New England Patriots for the AFC Championship.
Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots (-9.5)
I'm still not entirely sure how both of these teams finished with identical records during the regular season. Yes, I think about it every night before bed.
Tom Brady could go and shoot a GQ spread for half of this game and the Patriots would still come away with a victory.
I love J.J. Watt and I have the utmost respect for Matt Schaub, but facing a Patriots team that beat them 42-14 on Dec. 10 without tight end Rob Gronkowski in the lineup is an obstacle I cannot see them overcoming, especially on the road at Gillette Stadium with "Gronk" back in the lineup.
This game will be an offensive battle, but unfortunately for the Texans, it will be Brandon Lloyd and the rest of the Patriots receiving corps dominating the stat sheet.
The Pats should win, cover the spread and face Peyton Manning in the AFC Championship game.
Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers (-3.0)
Be scared, remaining NFL Playoffs teams. Be very, very scared.
After watching the Packers decimate the Minnesota Vikings last week (yes, I realize Joe Webb was their starting quarterback), I’ve got a feeling Aaron Rodgers and co. could be well on their way to another Super Bowl ring.
There were two things I learned about the Packers last weekend:
1. When Randall Cobb, Greg Jennings, James Jones and Jordy Nelson are healthy, this team has an offence that forces opposing defensive backs to leave at least one open on each possession.
2. The Green Bay Packers have a running game. Yes, you read that right. DuJuan Harris is the best thing to run around Lambeau Field since this 15-year-old kid.
The 49ers have had a great season, but this will be the game where Jim Harbaugh is faced with questions regarding his quarterback carousel.
The Packers should win the game on their way to a tough NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks.