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Ravens vs Steelers:
This game, ultimately is going to come down to who can score touchdowns in the redzone and not have to settle for field goals. Both of these teams have stingy defenses led by stud line-backers Ray Lewis (in my opinion the best lb’er to ever play the game) and the cheap shot James Harrison. These teams are so much alike it is crazy. Both offenses aren’t really “spectacular”, but they make plays when they need to. I think Pittsburgh has the edge on the passing game, and Baltimore has the edge in the running game. Come playoff time, clock-management is huge. Baltimore’s run game is going to tire down the Steelers D. I am taking the Ravens, 20-17.
Packers vs Falcons:
I am not drinking the Atlanta style kool-aid. Yes, they have put together an impressive record in the regular-season. But I just don’t think Matt Ryan is ready to lead this team to the Super Bowl. On the other side, I think Aaron Rodgers is. I have been his biggest critic, mainly because Rodgers has been deemed a top 5 qb and hadn’t even won a playoff game up until last weekend. Green Bay’s rushing attack is starting to mature in the nick of time and I think if they can play the smash-mouth type of game Packer fans have come to love, Atlanta will be lying flat on their backs watching the NFC Championship game at home in a couple weeks. I got GB, 34-24.
Seattle vs Chicago:
Seattle won this match-up back in Week 6 by 3 points. They sacked Jay Cutler 6 times and held him to only 17 completions. Drew Brees was 6-for-6 on his first six play-action attempts on Sunday, throwing for 56 yards, a touchdown and five first downs. On his next eight attempts though, Brees went 5-for-8, picking up just 20 yards and one first down. All three incompletions were broken up by Seahawk defenders. The Seahawks finally started pressuring him and forcing him to make bad passes. Granted he didn’t throw an int, but Jay Cutler will. Here is another interesting fact. Matt Hasselbeck had a passer rating of 55.9 on play-action passes during the regular season, worst among postseason starting quarterbacks and third-worst overall (min. 50 attempts). Hasselbeck was 6-6 for 48 yards and two touchdowns when using the play-fake against the Saints on Saturday (139.6 rating). What does this all mean? A major upset in Chicago. I haven’t been sipping the Windy City kool-aid either, and from what I have heard from The Eric Pedigo Show host Eric Pedigo, neither are Chicago fans. Seattle wins this one and they are one step closer to trying on that glass slipper. Cinderella and Pete Carroll will sleep well Sunday night, as dreams of the NFC Championship game have become a reality. Seattle wins 24-20.
NY Jets vs New England Patriots:
This game has gotten ugly, and its still 4 days away. With all the trash talk, its time to shut up and play. The Jets have the demeanor of a high school team. Talking crap about the other teams plays is only putting up poster board material in New England. And Rex and his foot fettish are in for a rude awakening. I am not real excited for this game because in games like this Tom Brady is at his best. I look for the Pats to deflate the Jets, 40-24.