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ROUND 2 OF THE NFL PLAYOFFS THIS WEEKEND. AND IN THIS CORNER, WEIGHING IN WITH ALL THE MOMENTUM FROM LAST WEEK’S WINNERS…..AND IN THIS CORNER, THE WELL-RESTED, BEST TEAMS IN THE LEAGUE…..LET’S GET READY TO RUUUMBBBBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!!!

Last week went pretty much as planned, except for “Tebow time” extending into the playoffs, which I didn’t see coming. I think we all have gotten used to the 1st round of the playoffs being status quo, and the real matchups starting the following week. What Tebow and the Denver Broncos were able to do against all the odds, and the #1 defense in the league was anything but status quo. But let’s not forget last season’s Seahawks-Saints shocker. Seahawks runningback Marshawn Lynch made that game an instant playoffs CLASSIC in my book, but the Denver victory was almost on the same level.

Forget the past…..on to the present. This week will be interesting, because 3 out of 4 of these matchups have already been played this season. There is one that I don’t think will play out the same, and another that I think will end the same way, but I hope not. Regardless, based on the fight card, we can look forward to some raw football being played.

Here are my Picks for the Divisional Playoffs round:

SAINTS vs 49ERS
My Pick: 49ERS
I’m going out on a limb by picking against the Saints, because their offense has been on fire lately. But they are not the same team on the road. On the other side, you have a 49ers team who is riding just as much momentum, and is “lights out” at home. I think San Fran is going to stick to the running game, and not put too much pressure on QB Alex Smith to save the day. If they can obtain any kind of lead in this game, their defense can do the rest.

BRONCOS vs PATRIOTS
My Pick: PATRIOTS
I still haven’t learned my lesson in picking against Tebow. I like most critics will be the first to say that he isn’t a conventional quarterback, but he is a winner. I would LOOOOVE nothing more than to see “Tebow time” continue this week, but I doubt it. The Patriots have an offense that can easily score 40 points every game. I don’t know if I can rely on the Broncos to be able to do the same. But again, I hope I’m wrong.

TEXANS vs RAVENS
My Pick: RAVENS
Around Week 6 I said that the Ravens are the most complete team in the AFC. Their defense has always been one of the best, and is still playing like it. Their offense has shown a great deal of maturity by finally realizing that quarterback Joe Flacco is not going to make them a Super Bowl contender. More RAY RICE is always better for this offense. Houston is clicking on defense, and has both of its offensive juggernauts completely healthy. (Runningback Arian Foster and wide receiver Andre Johnson) Regardless, I feel that Baltimore’s defense has a better shot at stopping Houston’s offense, than Houston’s defense does at getting the job done. But I wouldn’t be all too surprised if I get proven wrong either.

GIANTS vs PACKERS
My Pick: GIANTS
Everyone is saying that I’m crazy for this pick, and I completely understand. The Packers are the defending Super Bowl Champions, and the best team (record wise) this season. In the last game of their season, the Packers showed that they can score 6 passing touchdowns and 45 offensive points, even with Aaron Rodgers sitting on the bench. Unlike the other teams with future HOF QB’s, New England (Brady) and New Orleans (Brees), whose season would be over if their offensive leader was saddled on the bench. Green Bay could easily score 50 points in this game, and blow the Giants out by 30 points. With all that said, I still have no hesitation in picking the “G-Men” to win this game. Back in Week 13 when I witnessed the way the Giants play against the Packers, I was reminded of their 2007 season. The Giants were highly motivated and played spirited football from that point on. This season feels like déjà vu. I picked Giants to upset the Packers in the playoffs back in Week 13, so now I have to stand by that bold prediction.

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