2012 NFL Playoffs First Round
Friday January 6, 2012
As my regular season record finished with 164 wins and 92 losses, one thing surfaces again. The playoffs are upon us! Twelve teams remain from 30. Who will be the Super Bowl Champions? Will Green Bay repeat this year, or will there be another team to take the Lombardi Trophy?
We start with the Wild Card rounds for both the AFC and NFC Conferences, which start tomorrow. Check local listings for all games.
#6 Cincinnati Bengals at #3 Houston Texans: both teams are on losing streaks entering this game. The Texans have been injury plagued but did make the playoffs. Everyone seems to be healthy. The Bengals also struggled making the playoffs. However, no significant injuries hurt this young team.
The Bengals have one of the top ranked defenses in the NFL. They need to keep that trend going to beat the Texans. Otherwise, expect the Texans to win their inaugural playoff game.
Prediction: Bengals 17-10
#5 Pittsburgh Steelers at #4 Denver Broncos: both teams are defined by their defenses and running games. Both coaches have been in the Super Bowl. One intangible setting them apart is leadership experience. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger know what it takes to get his team into the promised land, while Broncos QB Tim Tebow gets his feet yet in this postseason.
The Steelers should and need to dominate this game. Their defense is best in the league and still is capable of shutting down this Denver team. The only way the Broncos can win is if Tebow shows up and shocks the world again.
Prediction: Steelers 24-7
#6 Detroit Lions at #3 New Orleans Saints: the last time these two teams battled, the Saints torched the Lions 31-17 at New Orleans. The Lions are determined not to show the world that they are a fluke. This could be the statement game they can make. Can their defense avoid being schooled like they were earlier?
The Saints are currently the best show on turf. They are also viable Super Bowl contenders. They need to remind the world why they could win the Super Bowl.
Prediction: Saints 34-28
#5 Atlanta Falcons at #4 New York Giants: both teams are due for a playoff win. Falcons QB Matt Ryan has not won a playoff game in his career. The Giants have the home field advantage and momentum thanks to the experiences of coach Tom Coughlin and QB Eli Manning. Both know what it takes to win the Lombardi Trophy.
Can Atlanta run the ball against a resurging Giants defensive line? Can the Giants keep their momentum going against Atlanta? Both teams need to control the clock with the run. Both defenses will prove tough, and the quarterbacks will be the deciding factor in this game.
Prediction: Giants 20-16
Good luck with your picks and teams this week. See you next time.
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