Pigskin Preview: Divisional Round

The big guns come out to play this weekend

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Pigskin Preview: Divisional Round


Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers; 4:30 pm CBS

This game will easily be the most brutal game of the weekend as these two divisional rivals face off for the third time this season. Each team took a game on the road and would like nothing more than to send their hated rival home with a loss. If there is an edge for either team in this game, it’s in the Steelers favor thanks to the experience and clutch play of their two time SuperBowl winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger has owned the Ravens in recent years and has owned the postseason as well, putting up an impressive 8-2 record in the games that matter most.

Prediction: Steelers defy the close game stigma and win by 10. Steelers over Ravens 27-17

Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons: 8 pm FOX

Let’s face facts here, the Green Bay Packers are the one team nobody wants to face in these playoffs. They have an explosive offense combined with a defense that can flat out get the job done. Atlanta is going to need to control the clock with a steady dose of Michael Turner if they are going to pull this win off. If this game devolves into a gunslinger contest, then the Pack is going to be playing for a shot to head to Dallas.

Prediction: Atlanta edges Green Bay 24-21


Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears: 1 pm FOX

Unless you are fans of these two teams, you may find it hard to get geeked up for this one. But guess what, I am, and the reason is that I can see the Seahawks pulling off yet another playoff upset this Sunday. When you get to the playoffs, it’s a entirely different game. It’s faster, harder and the hits are more brutal than ever. It doesn’t always comes down to the most talented team but the most experienced and Seattle has that edge in spades. Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler has never played in a playoff game in his life while Matt Hasselbeck is a seasoned vet who has led his team to the SuperBowl.

Prediction: I smell upset. Seahawks over sloppy Bears 31-24

New York Jets at New England Patriots: 4:30 pm CBS

The Jets are doing something this week that you should never do in sports; they are flapping their jaws and making a ton of bulletin board material, thus giving perhaps the greatest coach/quarterback duo in the game that extra little bit of motivation. The thing is, I think the Jets can back it up with a possible upset this Sunday. I say this because I can’t let go of this nagging thought that as good as the Patriots have been this season, they are fielding a ton of inexperienced players and in the playoffs, inexperience can be the end of your season pretty fast.

Prediction: Jets shock the world 24-17