Friday January 14, 2010
It’s that time again. It’s time for the NFL Playoffs to continue. Tomorrow begins the second round, which consists of rubber matches and rematches from the season. The NFC games feature rematches of games from this past season, while the AFC games renew rivalries.
#5 Baltimore Ravens at #2 Pittsburgh Steelers: one of the best current rivalries continues tomorrow. The Steelers host the Ravens in the third meeting between these two AFC North teams. The Ravens won the first game at Pittsburgh, but the Steelers did not have QB Ben Roethlisberger at the helm. Roethlisberger, who has won six straight games against Baltimore, led the Steelers to victory in their second meeting at Baltimore. The rubber match will determine who advances to the AFC Championship game. Expect both teams to be heavily motivated; this will arguably be the most physical playoff game in the decade.
Prediction: Steelers 14-10
#6 Green Bay Packers at #1 Atlanta Falcons: this rematch features an unstoppable force (Green Bay) meeting an immovable object (Atlanta). The Packers are playing the best football right now, blowing out the Giants, edging out the Bears and beating Philadelphia on their turf. The Falcons are virtually unbeatable at home. They beat the Packers in a close one, but they have been shaky at best. A loss to the Saints at home showed the Falcons can be beat on their home field. The Packers came close to beating the Falcons, but this time, the story will change.
Prediction: Packers 28-27
#4 Seattle Seahawks at #2 Chicago Bears: this surprising rematch features a losing team in the second round. The Seahawks shocked the world last week when they defeated the defending champion New Orleans Saints at home. They now travel to Chicago, who they beat earlier this season. Yet, they face a different Bears team. Their offensive line made the adjustments to better protect QB Jay Cutler. Yet, Cutler has been shaky all season. Can Jay Cutler lead this team past a resurging Seahawks team?
Prediction: Bears 24-3
#6 New York Jets at #1 New England Patriots: the heavily hyped rivalry will end in a game of epic proportions. The Patriots want to get the Lombardi Trophy back, and they’ll have to go through the trash-talking Jets first. This rubber match is personal; every bit of dirty laundry is becoming a factor. Every matchup is important, but the biggest one will not be Tom Brady against the Jet defense. The biggest one will be the Jets’ running game versus the Patriots’ defense. Can LaDanian Tomlinson and Shonn Green get it together and dictate the pace of this game. Otherwise, expect this game to be business as usual for the Pats.
Prediction: Jets 24-21
Check local listings for all games. Good luck with your picks and teams for this weekend.
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