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NFL Divisional Playoffs Picks Party

January 14, 2012

Do you realize a mere seven games remain in the 2011 NFL season?

Color me sad.

Nonetheless, we’ve arrived to arguably the best weekend of football remaining.

It features five Super Bowl MVPs (Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ray Lewis, Eli Manning, and Aaron Rodgers), two graduates of the Trent Dilfer School of Quarterback Game-Managing (Joe Flacco and Alex Smith), and Charles Barkley’s least-favorite quarterback, Tim Tebow.

Here are your divisional round picks:

New Orleans at San Francisco – The most intriguing game of the week. San Francisco’s D led them to a 13-3 record but this isn’t 1985 or 2000. Defense alone isn’t enough in today’s NFL. They’ll need big plays from Frank Gore and company in the running game and mistake-free football from Alex Smith to keep Drew Brees off the field. A positive for San Fran is having this game on grass to slow down the Saints. All three Saint losses came on the road with two on grass (TB, GB) and one in St. Louis, which is ultimately why this game will be in San Francisco. The only chance San Fran has to win is to play this game on their terms – low-scoring, defense, running attack – and force Saints turnovers. I don’t see all of those things happening. If the Niners, can’t pressure Brees, you know the drill.

FINAL: New Orleans 24, San Francisco 21

Denver at New England – Remember the tale of Cinderella? She was hated and perceived as a commoner by her wicked stepsisters. All of this changed when Cinderella went to the ball looking like Gisele and became a beauty. Of course, time waits for no one. Cinderella ended up rocking homely clothes again and became a commoner once more (this may be an inaccurate portrayal but its how I remember it). This is also the story of Tim Tebow. Sorry Tim. Those slippers don’t fit anymore. Time to put the heels and evening gown in a box and ship it to Goodwill. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have not won a playoff game since the ’07 AFC title game. That streak ends on Saturday…unless NE’s troubled defense can’t get enough stops.

FINAL: New England 34, Denver 20

Houston at Baltimore – If Baltimore wins, I’m not giving Joe Flacco any credit.

FINAL: Baltimore 24, Houston 10

New York at Green Bay – I really to go with the Giants. Their passing attack and defensive line pose significant threats to two of Green Bay’s greatest weaknesses – their secondary and battered offensive line. One stat prevents me from jumping on the Giant bandwagon. Over the last two games versus New York, Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 773 yards with eight touchdown passes and one interception. I don’t think the Giants can fix that without a lot of Green Bay mistakes.

FINAL: Green Bay 35, New York 31

Last Week: 3-1

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