Here are my Second Round Picks. I don’t have time to write much analysis today, so I’m just going to put them out there.
Baltimore Ravens (11-6) at Denver Broncos (13-3)
Denver is a -9 1/2 favorite
This could be high scoring battle, but I expect the Broncos to prevail at home.
Peyton Manning was a legit MVP candidate this year and the beating the Broncos in Denver is a very tall order.
Broncos win by 10.
Green Bay Packers (11-5) at San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1)
San Francisco is a -3 favorite.
I think Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will pull off the upset. Rodgers is the best QB in the league and I think Green Bay will score just enough to win this game. The 49er defense won’t give up points easily. It is the 49er offense that I have my doubts about because I’m not convinced that 2nd year QB Colin Kaepernick who was 5-2 during the regular season will be as successful in the playoffs.
Packers win by 3
Seattle Seahawks (11-5) at Atlanta Falcons (13-3)
I think this a very tough game to call. Seattle is one the very the few teams in the league that as a chance to beat Atlanta at home and I am going to pick to the Seahawks to upset here. Seattle was one of the best teams in the league during the second half of the season. Seattle has big, physical cornerbacks that can slow down the Falcons dangerous passing attack and I think that will be a key to victory. The Seahawks also have a very potent offensive weapons in star rookie QB Russell Wilson and RB Marshawn Lynch.
Seahawks win by 3.
Houston Texans at New England Patriots
Patriots are -9 1/2 favorites
The Texans have had a great year, but I don’t think I would pick any team in the league to beat the Patriots at home right now. The Texans are a good team on both sides of the ball, but I just don’t think they will be able to keep up with the Patriots, who have a lot of weapons for Tom Brady to choose from now that All-Pro TE Rob Gronkowski is back.
The Patriots win by 10
POST 2ND ROUND COMMENTS:
Hmmm, gotta rethink a few things before making my picks for next week. I went 1-3 in the second round, although 2-2 versus the spread.
I was right about Denver and Baltimore scoring a lot points, I just got the outcome wrong. Baltimore’s defense is not nearly as good as it was a few years back, but now that the Ravens have a real offense the defense does not have to totally shut down the opposition in order for them to win. If Ravens QB Joe Flacco is playing well Baltimore can compete with any team in the league.
I was clearly wrong for doubting the capabilities of SF QB Colin Kaepernick. Count me a believer in that guy now. I was well aware that Kaepernick has a lot of raw talent, but I thought his relative lack of experience would catch up with in the playoffs. Wrong. If Kaepernick plays as well next week against the Falcons the 49ers will be going to the Superbowl for sure. The Falcons should be very concerned about Kaepernick’s running ability, which shredded the Packer’s D. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, who is also a very dangerous runner, was able to run for 60 yards and a TD against the Falcons, in addition for passing for over 300 yards. Kaepernick revealed in an interview with Terry Bradshaw after the game he can run a 4.43 in the 40 yard dash. That is almost as fast as RG3. I knew he was fast. but I didn’t know he had that kind of blazing speed.
The Seahawks mounted a very impressive 2nd half rally in Atlanta and nearly stole the game from the Atlanta Falcons, who were up 20-0 at half time.
The Patriots vs Texans game was the only game that went pretty much played out as I expected it to, with the Patriots easily winning by 13. NE will very tough to beat at home next week, but the Ravens will be a very formidable opponent, one that fully capable of pulling off an upset.