The Baltimore Ravens accomplished what they set out to do this regular season. The Steelers are now feeling their pain of having to go through the wild card weekend. The Steelers will have to fly out to Denver to play a game Sunday then fly back to Pittsburgh and fly to another city to play a game in one week. Its a daunting task that will sure take a toll on the energy and health of this football team. But I think the Steelers are positioned; better than a Baltimore team is because of their QB. They may still see the same fate the Ravens have saw for so many years, getting worn out by the AFCCG or the AFCDG and losing.
I love the Texans in this game. They have the home crowd and they are the better all around football team. Jon Joseph will play and Yates will play. The same QB that beat the Bengals in the regular season matchup at Cincy albeit at the last second. The Texans are a much better home team than they are away and they have a decent home field advantage with their crowd, it will be their first every playoff game so expect the dome to be packed and loud. I don't see Cincy, being a young team, being able to handle the pressure of this playoff road atmosphere. I think they will run a lot, but get stuffed, and pick their spots in the passing game. I think the Texans will have much more success running with the elusive A. Foster; and Owen Daniels and Jacoby Jones catching passes. They get an added bump if Andre Johnson can give them anything in this game, if his hamstring holds up then that will push this game even further into the Texans favor. Dalton has a lot of turnovers on the road this year so expect a defensive score or a turnover giving the texans a short field.
Final Score Texans 31 Bengals 17
I think this one is going to be closer than people expect. It seems the Lions offense figured something out towards the end of the game against the Saints last go around. We'll see if that continues but the Saints are nearly unbeatable in their dome. Brees will once again shred that defense which will have Suh in this game but I doubt it will matter. Suh is a great pass rusher but teams have been keying on him this year. The Lions really need Nick Fairly to come on and have a similar impact to the defense that Suh had to take some focus and pressure off of Suh. Expect a shoot out in this game and a bunch of big plays.
Final Score Saints 41 Lions 38
A lot of people think that this game is a toss up game, I don't. I favor the giants heavily in this game. For one, Atlanta hasn't won a playoff game since Mike Vick was the QB and this years team isn't better than last year's team. The falcons aren't a great road team, they get the majority of their wins inside their dome. They will be outside on the road in the elements and even though they are a good running team I think that is a factor. Lastly, the Giants are a terrible matchup for them. They have a great defensive line that puts pressure on the QB; Atlanta has trouble stopping the pass rush. They have a decent QB who if you give him time can carve up your secondary; atlanta only has one realy pass rusher who you can neutralize by double team and a suspect secondary. If the Giants can stop the run, which they aren't terrible at but not the best at either, then they will win this game going away. What many people don't realize is that Eli almost passed for 5k yards this year also (4933 to be exact). Also the Giants running game should be going also and the Falcons aren't great at stopping the run as we saw last year. Their defense just isn't that good period.
Final Score Giants 31 Falcons 14
Steelers at Broncos Sunday 4:30pm
Many people remember the Saints losing to the Seahawks last year and it seems like every year we have one of these surprises in the playoffs. The Saints were heavily favored last year against a team with a losing record. Well all that talk about how the Seahawks should get dominated only motivated them. But I don't see the same thing happening in this game because the variables are different. Here you don't have a dome team going to play outside on the road against a team that will try to be more physical than them. Here you don't have a team that struggles in stopping the run. If the broncos tries to get physical with the Steelers, the Steelers are more than capable of getting physical back with them. If the Broncos try to run on the steelers, and they will, the steelers are good at stopping the run or at least holding the runner to a low yards per carry. The broncos don't have the QB that will beat the Steelers, those are the elites, the guys who can throw people open, hit tight spots, and utilize the medium to short passing game. If you have watched the broncos passing game, they rely on the big play when the coverage gets broken down. Also the broncos defense has been good at shutting down mediocre offense but not top 10 offenses. The only good offense that they beat was the San Diego Chargers. The steelers game plan will to be to make Tebow matriculate the ball down the field through the passing game. I don't believe he has that ability yet. On offense it will be to go for the big play, look for Wallace to catch a couple of deep passes. I like the Steelers to be the only road team to win this weekend.
Final Score Steelers 24 Broncos 3