Storylines What started with 12 teams has now gone down to 8. Each team is looking to take that next step in their respective conference finals game on their quest to Superbowl XVLII. For the wild card teams that made it through, the Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, and Seattle Seahawks; the road to the superbowl is tougher as each of them are still healing from their grueling matches last week, or perhaps playing that extra game will work to their advantage. This and many questions will be answered in this weekends divisional playoff matches
Already, many experts have already crowned Payton Mannning and the Denver Broncos as potential Superbowl champions. Riding a winning streak that dates back to week 6 against the San Diego Chargers, they host Ray Lewis and the hungry Baltimore Ravens. In their previous match from week 15, Payton and co. put on a clinic in a convincing 34 – 17 win against the Ravens. For this not to replicate, Joe Flacco is going to need to find a way to use the talents of Anquan Boldin in order to break down a potent Broncos defense that led the league in sacks this year. On defense, the Ravens will have their work cut out for them against receivers Demaryius Thomas and Brandon Stokley. Not too mention, this could also be Ray Lewis’ final game of his career with a loss to the Broncos. With all these factors noted, this without question will be an intense and competitve match
JJ Watt and his Houston Texans team bring their hard-nose style against the finesse of Tom Brady and his New England Patriots. For the Texans defense, the question is whether they will be able to contain the Tight Ends duo of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez; as well as handle one of the most versitile wide receivers in the NFL in Wes Welker. For the Patriots, their unheralded defense will have the task of stopping the Texans potent ground game led by Adrian Foster. This match will be the classic clash of style vs true grit.
The Atlanta Falcons will no doubt have their most difficult test of the year when they face the physical defense of the Seattle Seahawks. For both these teams, the story will no doubt be at quarterback. For the Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will no doubt have the daunting task of finding his favorite target in receiver Julio Jones, amongst the hard-hitting, hard-nosed corners of the Seahawks led by Richard Sherman, Marcus Trufant, and Brandon Browner. For rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, the biggest obstacle will be himself; thus far in the playoffs he is 1-0, but will his lack of experience be a factor in this game or will he rise to the occasion?
In the 1990s, one of the greatest playoff rivalries involved the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers. Long are the day of Brett Favre, Steve Young, Terrell Owens, and LeRoy Butler. In this installation of this great playoff tradition, the characters are now Colin Kaepernick, Aaron Rodgers, Vernon Davis , and Jordy Nelson . This one has the making of a classic of two, upstart teams looking to take the next step to the NFC Conference finals.
NFL Week 2 Playoffs Predictions
Ravens vs. Broncos – The Ravens have several factors going against them; they’re playing in high altitude, they’re playing against Payton Manning, they’re playing against a team that beat them convincingly.
Texans vs. Patriots – I believe the Patriots have too many weapons on offense for JJ Watt to handle. After viewing the performance of the Texans corners last week, I believe they may not have the tools to stop Hernandez, Gronkowski, and Welker at the same time.
Seahawks vs. Falcons – Physicality on defense was key for the Seahawks last week, this same formula will work for them in this game against the Falcons.
Packers vs. 49ers – The inexperience of Colin Kaepernick I believe will work in the 49ers favor. I believe he will put together a performance that will surprise even himself.