Divisional-round playoff picks

January, 12, 2013
1/12/13
12:00
PM ET
Eight of the NFL's best will be in action this weekend, as the divisional round of the playoffs begins Saturday with a pair of games that feature rematches from earlier in the season.

It starts when the Ravens visit the Broncos. The Broncos are the top seed in the conference, meaning that a win would result in them hosting the AFC Championship next Sunday. A victory for the Ravens would mean that the winner of the Patriots and Texans would host the AFC Championship, so while both New England and Houston are laser-focused on their own game, they'll both be rooting for Baltimore this afternoon.

Here's a look at the entire slate of games, with predictions included.

SATURDAY
Denver (1) vs. Baltimore (4), 4:30 p.m. EST, CBS
Prediction: Broncos 30, Ravens 16. The Broncos walloped the Ravens earlier this season, and look primed to cruise to their 12th straight win. Baltimore will need a nearly perfect day from quarterback Joe Flacco to pull off the upset.

San Francisco (2) vs. Green Bay (3), 8 p.m. EST, FOX
Prediction: Packers 28, 49ers 26. This game looks to be one of the best of the weekend, and it's tough to pick against a 49ers team that was so impressive against the Patriots last month. Ultimately, however, the NFL is a quarterback's league, and Aaron Rodgers will best Colin Kaepernick and the Niners.

SUNDAY
Atlanta (1) vs. Seattle (5), 1 p.m. EST, FOX
Prediction: Falcons 24, Seahawks 19. Seattle is soaring, while the Falcons have yet to prove they can win under head coach Mike Smith in the playoffs. That all changes this weekend, as quarterback Matt Ryan gets it done for his team.

New England (2) vs. Houston (3), 4:30 p.m. EST, CBS
Prediction: Patriots 31, Texans 17. Check out all the ESPN picks for this game (link here).

Mike Reiss' picks
Broncos 27, Ravens 21
49ers 24, Packers 23
Falcons 24, Seahawks 21
Patriots 30, Texans 24
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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