Friday, January 11, 2013
Friday Forecast: Divisional predictions
By Jamison Hensley
So, I went 1-1 in last week's wild-card games. Guess I shouldn't have been such an AFC North homer. Let's see how I fare in Saturday's AFC divisional playoff game:
Denver Broncos 23, Baltimore Ravens 20: This will be closer than what people think. The Ravens have too much pride to be embarrassed by the Broncos for a second time. I've always been skeptical of Peyton Manning when it comes to the playoffs. He just plays too tight in big games. But the Ravens won't be able to pull this one out because of the Denver defense. This is where the Broncos are really scary. Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil are so disruptive, and the Ravens don't have the offensive tackles to contain them. It's a disappointing finish for the Ravens, but it was an accomplishment to have made it this far considering the injuries and the struggles in December.
Green Bay Packers 27, San Francisco 49ers 20: I'll take Aaron Rodgers over Colin Kaepernick. In his past five games, Rodgers has thrown 11 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Atlanta Falcons 24, Seattle Seahawks 20: It's time for the Falcons and Matt Ryan to take out their frustrations of constantly hearing they're 0-3 in the playoffs. The Seahawks are 4-8 under Pete Carroll in games that start at 1 p.m. on the East Coast.
New England Patriots 31, Houston Texans 16: The Texans haven't looked good for a while, and they weren't impressive in their win over the Bengals in the wild-card round. And it's hard to bet against Bill Belichick when he has two weeks to prepare for a team.
Wild-card record: 1-1. Season record: 32-19 (.627).
Texans 19, Cincinnati Bengals 13 (my prediction: Bengals 20, Texans 13)
Ravens 24, Indianapolis Colts 9 (my prediction: Ravens 34, Colts 20)