There are three very intriguing playoff games scheduled for this weekend, and then there's the Texans at the Ravens. Anyone think that game won't be last in viewership for the weekend? The other games all feature big rating winners for the NFL. New York at Green Bay; The #1 N.Y. market vs. the defending champion, 15-1, "new" America's Team. New Orleans at San Francisco; The high octane Saints O vs. the are they really as good as their 13-3 record suggests 49ers. And then there's the Denver at New England game. Has there ever been a bigger good vs. evil match up? The angelic Tim Tebow vs. the evil cheating Bill Belichick.
New Orleans Saints (14-3) at San Francisco 49ers (13-3) Saturday 3:30pm Central
This game is being hyped as the Saints high powered Drew Brees led offense against the stingy San Fran defense. A classic battle of strength vs. strength. Statistically speaking teams were able to throw on the 49ers (16th against the pass), but that stat could be skewed because no one could run on them (#1 against the run, 77.2 yards against). Teams were forced to throw the ball when playing against the handshaking and back slapping Jim Harbaugh's 49ers. My prediction, Saints win in a close one.
I wonder how many of you paid attention last week when fellow WCG writer Steve Ronkowski advised those that gamble to take the Broncos and the 9 points? He's decided to throw out another tip for you to use however you see fit. Ronk ~ "I would put my money on SF to cover as a home field underdog - after the Saints shellacked the "vaunted" Lions, Vegas will push up the line to heights far above what the SF defense will give up at home."
Denver Broncos (9-8) at New England Patriots (13-3) Saturday 7:00pm Central
When last these teams met, the Pats won 41-23 in a week 15 game in Denver. This time Tebow and the Broncos will have to contend with the rabid playoff frenzied fans in Foxboro. To be fair the N.E. defense isn't as good as the Pittsburgh D that the Broncos beat last week, but the N.E. offense is far and above the Steeler O. This game might be closer than some experts are predicting, but I think the pressure will finally get to the Broncos and the Patriots will drop 40+ on them again.
Houston Texans (11-6) at Baltimore Ravens (12-4) Sunday 12:00 Central
Yawn... I would not be surprised if the Texans pulled off the upset, but I'm not confident enough to pick them. Both feature good defenses, but I think the Texans offense is one dimensional and Baltimore will force T.J. Yates to beat them through the air. He'll fail, and the Ravens will win.
New York Giants (10-7) at Green Bay Packers (15-1) Sunday 3:30pm Central
Our buddy Ronk has this bit of advice on the game; "Don't bet against a Manning on a roll", and judging by a lot of the experts out there, the Giants are getting a lot of love. They'll get none from me however. The Packers defense may have some question marks still, but their offense will simply outscore N.Y. The new saying is, Offense wins championships. The only way I'll give the G-Men a chance is if they can get after Aaron Rodgers with out blitzing. If they send more than 4, Rodgers will pick them apart with his 131.4 QB rating vs. the blitz.
Here's how we see the games ending up this weekend.
Editors Note: Last week Ashley based her picks on mascot cuteness, this week however she's going color scheme, except in the case of the Patriots, because she despises Tim Tebow.
|WCG "Expert"||N.O. @ S.F.
||DEN @ N.E.||HOU @ BAL||N.Y. @ G.B.||Record|