We've finally reached the divisional round of the playoffs, so we can stop sitting around thinking of how to occupy our time with the Falcons not playing. Atlanta gets a shot at postseason redemption this weekend. Time to silence the critics. I'm looking at you, Mark Schlereth.
See what I mean?
The majority of the "expert" picks I've seen basically say something like, "Atlanta is 0-3 in the playoffs under Mike Smith, but I think they get it done this time." I can live with that. It truly feels like Sunday's game will be their time. I can't exactly recall how I felt before they faced off against the Giants, Packers and Cardinals, but my confidence level about their chances here is higher than ever.
We added in the entire slate of games for the weekend, so take a look at our playoff picks for Saturday and Sunday. I couldn't get a hold of James or Caleb in time, but I'm sure they give their take on the boards below.
Seattle's coordinators are interviewing for head coaching jobs. Chris Clemons is out. Marshawn Lynch was limited in practice. Russell Wilson is a rookie quarterback playing in the Georgia Dome. Those are just a few reasons I'm taking the Falcons. Matt Ryan is hitting his prime in his fifth year, and his level of maturity and leadership continues to grow. New coordinators, plenty of talent. Atlanta wins a closely contested ballgame (we all hope).
Denver beat Baltimore 34-17 back in Week 15. It was 31-3 heading into the fourth quarter. Basically, what I'm trying to say is I don't believe the Ravens have a chance, at all. I've never been a huge Flacco fan, maybe because of the constant comparison he draws with Matt Ryan. Baltimore finished 4-4 on the road, while Denver hasn't lost since Oct. 7. Yeah, I'll stick with Peyton Manning here.
Same goes for the Patriots. They crushed the Texans earlier this season. Houston doesn't strike me as a team that will walk into Foxborough and claim victory against a team that basically scores at will.
Dave and I only disagreed on the other NFC matchup. Green Bay is 4-4 on the road this year. I have my concerns about Colin Kaerpernick starting in his first playoff game, but I'm leaning towards Harbaugh's squad and the playmakers they have on defense. Could easily see it going either way, though.
Let's hear your take. Who's winning this weekend?