Saturday, January 14, 2012

NFL Divisional Round Weekend Predictions

Broncos vs. Patriots
8pm, Saturday

Key Stats: The Broncos have the number 1 rushing offense in the league but they're 31st at passing yards and 25th at putting points on the board in the league. In last week's win vs. the Steelers, they caused Big Ben to throw an interception when blitzing 5 or more defenders according to ESPN Stats and Info. 
The Patriots offense has been on a roll this season. They are number 2 in the league in terms of total offense averaging 428 yards per game but on defense it's another story. No other team, besides the 2-14 1981 Baltimore Colts has allowed  5,800 or more yards in their first 14 games of the season until the Patriots did this year according to The Pats are also 26th in the league in yards per carry allowed.

Who Has The Edge? I can honestly say it's a tossup. If Tebow can put up the same performance he did last week when he threw for over 316 yards, against one of the worst pass defenses in the league together with a balanced running attack and if they can blitz Tom Brady and pressure him to throw erratic passes, you can make a case that the Broncos could win this game which is why I think this is going to be Denver's lucky weekend. In the first quarter of the game they played earlier this season, the Pats allowed 167 rushing yards in the FIRST QUARTER. I don't like all the coverage Tebow has been getting but as bad as his mechanics are, if he can beat the #1 defense in the league he should be able to beat this horrendous D.
FINAL SCORE: Patriots 17 Broncos 23

UPDATE: Patriots 45 Broncos 10 So I'm now 0-2 LOL, oh well.....My keys to the game were 1. "if Tebow can put the same performance as he did last week" NOPE (9/26, 138 yds.) 2. Balanced running attack CHECK (threw 26 times, ran 40 times for 144 yards) 3. blitz and pressure Tom Brady HELL NO (Brady was 26/34 w/ 363 yards and 6 TD's, 10.7 yards per pass) <<<------ #3 is why they lost and I am now 0-2 with my predictions, lol oh well, as long as my Ravens win at the end of the day

Saints vs. 49ers
4pm, Saturday

Key Stats: The Saints offense is explosive! They put up the most points per game and the most pass yards per game in the whole league. Drew Brees has completed 71.2 percent of his throws for over 5,476 yards, which is the single season pass record passing Dolphins veteran and CBS analyst Dan Marino. On defense, the Saints have caused their opponents to only convert 33% of their 3rd downs but they are last place in the league in stopping running back carries 10 or more yards beyond the scrimmage line.
The 49ers offense is number 1 in turnovers which is not a good sign for them, but they do have a decent rushing attack led by Frank Gore which ranks 8th in the league. The 49ers defense is 17th in the league in defending short passes which believe it or not account for 83% of the Saints offense.

Who Has The Edge? I believe the Saints have the edge in this game because they have playoff experience and  know how it feels to be eliminated from the playoffs earlier than they should (i.e. Seahawks Wild Card loss). The Saints haven't proven themselves away from home, so this is the perfect opportunity for them to show the league that they are still a threat. If they can keep Frank Gore's yards per carry short, which they've proven that they can as they held the Lions last week to only 32 yards rushing, then there should be no problems.
FINAL SCORE: 49ers 17 Saints 35

UPDATE: 49ers 36 Saints 32 So far I'm 0-1, but I'm happy for the 49ers....looking at the box score the Saints dominated every stat except for the key one: Rushing. My key to the game was for the Saints to hold Frank Gore to short yardage but they didn't do that at all, letting Gore rush for 6.5 yards per carry which opens up the field for Alex Smith who threw 3 TD's for 299 yds. The 49ers also kept the turnovers low, with only one fumble.....congrats San Francisco 49ers.....I really hope we face them in the Super Bowl, lol.

Giants vs. Packers
4pm, Sunday

Key Stats: If you thought the Patriots had a terrible defense, "you ain't seen nothin' yet" until you look at the Packers who have the worst defense in the league and the worst pass defense in the league allowing opponents to exceed over 400 yards a game. So how do they win so many games? All credit definitely has to go to their exciting offense who keeps up with teams averaging 35 points a game, the best in the league. The offense's success is attributed to starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has become a very careful and smart quarterback only throwing 6 picks the whole season. The Giants were superb on defense last week holding the Falcons to only 247 yards in the whole game, which says something about the Falcons considering Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford and even TIM TEBOW threw for more yards than the Falcons were able to accumulate. But can the Giants do that again vs. the Packers' high-flying offense after allowing opponents at least 259 yards a game during the regular season?

Who Has the Edge? The Packers are mourning the loss of their offensive coordinator's son, so I believe that the team has been a little distracted this week. But at the same time I think the Packers are sick and tired of hearing the league and fans talk about everyone else but them despite almost going unbeaten this season. If they can keep up with the Giants offense whose two-headed rushing attack averages 1,000 yards then they are going to make this an interesting game. With all that said, I still think the Giants are going to win the game, and I can't really prove why using stats but watching them play on Sunday, I could see the same type of swag and that unexplainable "it" factor that won them their rings in 2007.
FINAL SCORE Packers 38 Giants 42


Texans vs. Ravens
1pm, Sunday

Key Stats: When Ray Rice rushes for 100 yards or more, the Ravens are unbeaten at 6-0
The Texans are 0-5 against the Ravens all-time
In each of the Ravens four losses, they threw the ball at least 32 times while only rushing the ball 12-17 times

Who Has The Edge? It's anyone's game in my opinion, the Texans and Ravens are similar, identical teams except the Ravens are older. Use the experience and the home crowd to your advantage and no matter what Joe Flacco says: RUN THE DAMN BALL!! Keep Joe Flacco in his game-manager role where he utilizes different pieces around the field to gain yardage and make short passes. He doesn't need to make big plays as long as Ray Rice is the captain of the ship.
FINAL SCORE: I'm too emotionally indebted to the Ravens and superstitious to come up with a final score, I just need a win on Sunday so we can inch one step closer to the Super Bowl!


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