• Football Pros NFL Divisional Round Picks

    DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS


    New Orleans at San Francisco 4:30 PM- These teams last faced each other in 2010. Alex Smith threw for more yards than Drew Brees on that day. A 4th quarter Hartley field goal gave the Saints a close 25-22 win. The Niners will try and shorten the game and protect the ball. Their defense gave up the lowest yards per rush in the league (3.5). The Council sees the home team winning. PICK: (SF 6-2)

    Denver at New England 8:00 PM- 316 yards, 31.6 per completion, 31.6 peak rating for the game, 3.16 women offering themselves to Tebow per stadium row. Yeah, that was weird. The Pats gave up 88 pass plays of 20+ yards this season, which was worst in the league. Dare we do it? Heck no. Two (Belichick/Brady) against one (Tebow) is never fair in a spiritual fight between good and evil. Just ask Mace Windu. PICK: (NE 7-1)

    Houston at Baltimore 1:00 PM- This feels like it will be a lot like the 16-6 Ravens win in the Harbaugh Bowl. Houston has a great defense, a fierce pass rush led by a young pick (Watt), and they rely on running the football on offense. The problem for Houston is that the Ravens don’t tackle like Chris Crocker. Of course, it could just feel like the 29-14 win the Ravens already had this year against Houston. PICK: (BAL 8-0)

    New York at Green Bay 4:30 PM- I am sure no sports program or article has made the comparison between this game and the one where a Favre pick led to the demise of the Packers against a hot Giants team in overtime a few years back. Actually, a national letter went out to all sports-related personnel (I saw someone else’s copy) saying that comparison to that game had to be made in every sports communication about this game across the country. Hey, I’m a team player. I’m just doing my part. PICK: (GB 5-3)

    We picked all home winners. History says we will get at least one wrong.

    Football Pros Record Last Week: (3-1)
    Football Pros Record to Through Wild Card Round: (178-82) (68.46Pct)

    Comments 12 Comments
    1. Bunghole's Avatar
      I'm taking all the teams with "New" in their name to win, and also for the Texans to defeat the Purple Browns. The Giants should be able to give the Packers all they can handle the way they've been playing lately. New Orleans looks like an offensive juggernaut (and they can run the ball)...I don't see San Fran's defense stopping them enough nor their offense being able to keep up...I think the Tebow story comes to a sordid end at the hands of the New England Biebers...and finally I believe that the Texans with Foster and Tate will be able to run the ball on the aging Ravens defense, and I don't think that Flacco is great shakes at QB to make up for it either.

      That Texans defense is solid. I look for Johnathon Joseph to get a pick six in this game.
    1. Ragar's Avatar
      SF, NE,Bal, GB

      Drew Brees outside, Brady, TJ Yates, Giants "improvement" a smoke screen from playing teams that played poorly at the end of the year.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Interesting how close the Giants vote is, given GB's dominance this season and that the game is at Lambeau. Could it be that the Giants defense is quite good?
    1. KabaModernFan's Avatar
      I can't find anybody to pick Houston over Baltimore, which worries me terribly. If Houston had Schaub, they'd probably be the favorites in the AFC. However...this really is a game Baltimore should win without much issue.

      The Ravens defense is aging: This is a patent myth, and I'm not entirely sure where it comes from. The Ravens start eight players on defense age 30 or younger, and the players that are older than 30 include two future HOFers in Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Corey Redding is the other one, and he's only 31.

      The Texans can run on the Ravens: It is possible that they could have success on the ground, but keep in mind that Arian Foster only had 15 carries for 49 yards in their meeting earlier this season for 3.3 YPC. On the season, Foster averaged 4.4 YPC. Ben Tate's numbers were better at 9 carries for 41 yards and a 4.6 YPC figure, but again, on the season Tate averaged 5.4 YPC so there was again a significant dropoff. Baltimore ranked 7th in defensive DVOA against the run, 2nd defensively in rushing yards allowed per game, and tied with the 49ers for first in the league in yards allowed per carry. So this appears to be another commonly circulated myth.

      Flacco can't get it done against this defense: Probably the most likely of the three things that are most commonly thrown against the Ravens, but again, I direct you back to the first matchup with the Texans where Flacco posted a DVOA of 37.6% as opposed to his season long average of 6.0%. He also posted a DYAR of 100 in that game, good for making up about 16% of his total DYAR at the end of the season. In the first game the Ravens were also without G Ben Grubbs, who they missed severely during his injury. A big reason of why the Texans can muster up such a ferocious pass rush is because they can get pressure inside with J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith. Baltimore however features one of the best interior line trios in Grubbs-Birk-Yanda, and can effectively neutralize Watt and Smith if they play as they're expected to.

      These three things, combined with other factors such as Baltimore also having Jimmy Smith and Tom Zbikowski back in the secondary, as well as Houston not having Matt Schaub (although they do have Andre Johnson back) all play into the favor of Baltimore. At home, against a 5th round rookie QB, I'll take the Ravens and the points and pray that it doesn't all blow up in my face.
    1. Russell S Baxter's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by KabaModernFan View Post
      I can't find anybody to pick Houston over Baltimore, which worries me terribly. If Houston had Schaub, they'd probably be the favorites in the AFC. However...this really is a game Baltimore should win without much issue.

      The Ravens defense is aging: This is a patent myth, and I'm not entirely sure where it comes from. The Ravens start eight players on defense age 30 or younger, and the players that are older than 30 include two future HOFers in Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Corey Redding is the other one, and he's only 31.

      The Texans can run on the Ravens: It is possible that they could have success on the ground, but keep in mind that Arian Foster only had 15 carries for 49 yards in their meeting earlier this season for 3.3 YPC. On the season, Foster averaged 4.4 YPC. Ben Tate's numbers were better at 9 carries for 41 yards and a 4.6 YPC figure, but again, on the season Tate averaged 5.4 YPC so there was again a significant dropoff. Baltimore ranked 7th in defensive DVOA against the run, 2nd defensively in rushing yards allowed per game, and tied with the 49ers for first in the league in yards allowed per carry. So this appears to be another commonly circulated myth.

      Flacco can't get it done against this defense: Probably the most likely of the three things that are most commonly thrown against the Ravens, but again, I direct you back to the first matchup with the Texans where Flacco posted a DVOA of 37.6% as opposed to his season long average of 6.0%. He also posted a DYAR of 100 in that game, good for making up about 16% of his total DYAR at the end of the season. In the first game the Ravens were also without G Ben Grubbs, who they missed severely during his injury. A big reason of why the Texans can muster up such a ferocious pass rush is because they can get pressure inside with J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith. Baltimore however features one of the best interior line trios in Grubbs-Birk-Yanda, and can effectively neutralize Watt and Smith if they play as they're expected to.

      These three things, combined with other factors such as Baltimore also having Jimmy Smith and Tom Zbikowski back in the secondary, as well as Houston not having Matt Schaub (although they do have Andre Johnson back) all play into the favor of Baltimore. At home, against a 5th round rookie QB, I'll take the Ravens and the points and pray that it doesn't all blow up in my face.
      I thought the Texans played with great confidence last week and while the Ravens already beat them once this season, just a hunch that RB Arian Foster has another big day and snaps Baltimore's 10-game home winning streak.

      I also think the 49ers will slow down the Saints, while the Patriots and Packers will hold serve at home against teams that couldn't stop them earlier this season.

      That being said, I got every game wrong last week. Oops!
    1. Ragar's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      Interesting how close the Giants vote is, given GB's dominance this season and that the game is at Lambeau. Could it be that the Giants defense is quite good?
      Let's define good shall we. Last 3 games in this so called good streak...
      Washington: 23 pts, 300 yds (177p/123r) 2 To's, 2-10 last 12 games (btw teh G'men lost this game)
      New York Jets: 14 pts 331 (226p/104r), 3 To's, best offensive output by Jet's in 6 weeks, 0-3 last 3 games
      Dallas: 14pts 300yds (251p/49r), 2 to's, 1 +300 yd game in last 12 weeks (against G'men in Week 14) 1-4 last 5 games
      Atlanta: 2 pts 247 yds(183p/64r), 0 TO's, ATL 2nd worst week passing, 2nd worst week rushing last 2 Weeks of regular season 6-3 last 9 games, 0-3 against playoff teams last 9

      [passing yds includes negative yds for sacks]

      So the regular season "streak" was 2-1 against 3 teams that went 4-11 combined over the last 5 weeks of the season, and beat an Atlanta team that last won a game against a team with a winning record in Week 11, last win vs .a playoff team(@Det) was Week 7.

      This against a Packers offensive line that is playing it's starting 5 offensive linmean together for the first time since Week 2. Byt the way, the sack rate against that grouping was 1/24.7 pass atts, vs 1/12.6 vs teh other offensive line groupings.

      Again, consider me unimpressed by the Giants defensive resurgence.
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      I'll Do It. But I'll Hate Myself In The Morning!

      NO>SF DEN>NE HOU<BAL NYG>GB
    1. SpartaChris's Avatar
      I was one of the council who went after the dash in the NO/SF game. SF's defense is all well and good, but the Saints have one helluva dynamic offense that can both run and pass the ball. Plus I don't believe SF can win in a shoot out. Either way, it's going to be an intriguing matchup!
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Ragar View Post
      Atlanta: 2 pts
      Actually, 0 points.
    1. Ragar's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      Actually, 0 points.
      great catch
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Full disclosure...

      San Francisco over New Orleans. NO is a completely different team on the grass, and SF is a completely different defense than any they've faced this season. 26-17

      Denver over New England. Why not? I'm all in on Denver. They had their chances in the first game, and just need to avoid turnovers. In that regard, they seemed to right the ship last week. The confident nothing-to-lose, no-one-gives-us-a-chance team is always dangerous. 30-28

      Baltimore over Houston. I'd love to go with Houston, but going with a 5th round rookie on the road in a playoff atmosphere against a Baltimore team that is desperate to take advantage of their best opportunity since 2000, with long-time nemesis' Pittsburgh and Indy out of their way? Not happening. 27-10

      New York over Green Bay. I just think GB comes out rusty, and the Giants aren't intimidated. The Giants need an early lead, otherwise it could be lights out. I'll gamble that they get it. 38-31
    1. Swami's Avatar
      I'm impressed we have a consensus-based upset call with the 49ers. I'll be watching the Broncos with great interest - quite the story. And the weekend ends with another tilt the group differs from Vegas - though you've got the Pack, a 5-3 split for 7.5 point chalk suggests more faith in the Giants than the oddsmakers have.

      I like your picks this week.