The 49ers and the Saints get us underway today. Being a 49ers fan I obviously hope the team can get me a nice birthday gift and deliver a win. I have to say I am more optimistic today of the 49ers chances then I was all season as everyone began to project the playoff matchups. Take a look at this screen grab from ESPN earlier today.
The Saints are a different team outside of the Superdome. The 49ers have almost no shot getting to 40 points but Alex Smith can get them to the mid 20s. Can the defense and the running game slow down Brees? The 49ers have done a great job protecting the ball all season. They had a +28 turnover ratio compared to a -3 for the Saints. If Gore and Smith can protect the ball I think we are headed for an upset here. The Saints have NEVER won a road playoff game. I am going to take the 49ers +4 to win outright. Nothing against Brees or the Saints, they’ve had an amazing year but this 49ers team will pull off one more surprise today.
I feel dirty rooting for a Patriots win but you have to believe Brady and Belichick got sick and tired of listening to Tebow talk this week. Give it to Tebow though, that throw in OT was impressive despite the terrible defensive play call from the Steelers. A couple of big Tebow plays and this weak Patriots defense does scare me somewhat but I don’t think this run has to end at some point so why not today? I have to give Bill Belichick enough credit as a defensive mind that he won’t let Tebow have his way. Heck, maybe they just got Josh McDaniels to tape a Broncos practice now that he is back on the payroll! The Broncos will cover the 14 point spread but the Patriots will host the AFC Championship game next week.
Hats off to the Texans. Big win for them last week and given all the injuries they’ve had this year it has been one very good season for them on the field. Do they have one more win in them? T. J Yates will try to become just the 3rd QB to win two playoff games as a rookie (Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco are the others). Speaking of Flacco, I didn’t like his media session on Wednesday. He came across as a guy who is far too concerned with what others think about him. I think the game will be close to I’ll take the Texans +9 but Ravens will win a field goal game.
A lot of people have been comparing this Giants team to the one that won a Super Bowl four years ago. A playoff game in Lambeau brought even more of that talk this week. I just don’t see things working out the same for the Giants though. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are just playing at a really high level and as good as the Giants defense has been I don’t think they will be able to slow down the Packers. I’ll take the Packers -9 to win by double digits.
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