Sunday Divisional Playoff Preview
And away we go…
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens — 1:05 p.m. EST
When you look at the four NFL divisional playoff games this weekend, this matchup would be the answer to the question — which one of these doesn’t belong? All the other games have tremendous storylines and Hall of Fame quarterbacks. This one has whiny Joe Flacco, who was publicly complaining how he doesn’t get enough credit. Oh, boohoo! Try stringing together some consistent play and then maybe people will start to acknowledge your accomplishments. On the flipside the Texans have one hell of a running game, led by Arian Foster, and not too much of a passing game, led by third-string rookie quarterback T.J. Yates. Defense will undoubtedly be the motif of this contest and the team that is able to put up six to nine points will have a great shot.
I’m sure there are Texans and Ravens fans somewhere on the planet, it’s just that I’ve never seen them with my own eyes and don’t know any personally. I put these people in the same classification as Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the elusive chupacabra.
Does anyone really care about this game? For most of us, it will simply be background noise as we mentally prepare to watch our boys in green and gold pummel a Giants team that has been getting just slightly less press than Tim Tebow.
Ravens 15, Texans 6
New York Giants at Green Bay Packers — 4:30 p.m. EST
Are you as sick and tired of hearing about the New York Giants as I am? I mean, this has been an unbelievable week. Every article seems to talk about the confident Giants or the defensive line and how good they’re playing. And let’s not forget the running game! Did you know the Giants running game has recently gotten on track? No kidding. Tell me more about this.
My favorite one has been the rallying cry from the Giants that they weren’t healthy in week 13, but now they are. Both the Giants and the entire sports media seems to overlook the fact that we were extremely beat up as well. If you think Brandon Jacobs is going to be busting us like he did last time with Desmond Bishop in there, I’ve got news for you.
To beat a dead horse like the media does… the Giants have an imposing defensive line capable of causing all sorts of trouble for the Packers. Ooh, I’m really scared! You mean that same defensive front we completely manhandled last year in week 16 with both teams in must-win situations? Oh and did you know Jason Pierre-Paul is a good player? Yeah, I didn’t know that either.
The bottom line is if the defensive front four of the Giants can’t get steady pressure, then the Packers will win this game comfortably and that’s exactly what’s going to happen. The Packers are going to be so mentally and physically ready for this game that the world is going to take notice. Our defense is going to shut down the run, our secondary will give up plays, but do better than they have most of the year and get turnovers. Our special teams will make a big play somewhere in the game, and Aaron Rodgers is going to remind everyone who “The Man” is in the NFL.
As sick as I am hearing about the Giants, I have to believe the defending Super Bowl champs and No. 1 seed Green Bay Packers are even more sick of it. This is the time for a statement game from the champs and they will deliver.
Packers 41, Giants 23
Andrew Chitko is a Packer fan who enjoys the mental and mathematical side of football just as much as the action and excitement on the field. "Cerebral Football" will focus on key coaching decisions, situational football, and other NFL-related topics deserving deeper analysis.