It’s been a drama-filled season both on and off the field for the NFL. Did we expect less? We had the Ray Rice elevator video, the Adrian Peterson scandal, multiple suspensions and at the seasons’ end we had several coaches fired. One thing’s for sure, the off field drama never overshadowed the on-field showdowns. There were multiple teams battling till week 17 for a playoff berth and the Wild Card weekend fell nothing short of amazing.
The Divisional games are set for this coming weekend and it should be another wild showdown in the National Football League (NFL). Here’s a breakdown of the four games:
AFC: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots – Jan. 10 – 4:35 p.m.
This past Saturday Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco proved once again that he is underrated. The veteran has the most road playoff wins by any quarterback in NFL history, Saturday being his seventh. He’s 10-4 all-time in the playoffs, and come this weekend he’ll have to do it again on the road against Tom Brady and the Patriots. One would think the Patriots dynasty has to come to an end sooner than later, and this match up may just be the final straw. Flacco and the Ravens have something to prove, while Brady and the Patriots have been there and done that. Patriots finished the season 7-1 at home, so it won’t be easy for the Ravens. The Ravens and Patriots’ offensive numbers are very similar to the regular season, so it’ll come down to which defence comes up big.
AFC: Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos – Jan. 11 – 4:40 p.m.
If there was a ever a player that had potential for the perfect story book ending to his career, it would be Peyton Manning. If he can get by his former team in the Colts and finally get by Brady and the Patriots, the future Hall-of-famer would have a chance to walkout on top. It’s a story that would have to play out perfectly for Manning. Both teams have relied on their offenses for the majority of the season, and I expect much of the same come Sunday. It would be amazing to see Andrew Luck outshine Manning, however, who doesn’t want to see the veteran quarterback finish in style.
AFC Pick: Broncos over Patriots
NFC: Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks – Jan. 10 – 8:15 p.m.
This is the most underrated match up of the four games. Carolina comes into the divisional weekend as the only team who finished with a record under .500, and Seattle came away with their division in the final week. The Panthers have a lot of weapons offensively to try and disturb the Seahawks’ defence, but the weight will be put on the Panthers to stop the Seahawks offensively. You’d think this would be the end of the Panthers run as the Seahawks, winners of last year’s Super Bowl are ready to prove that it is possible to win in back-to-back years, which no team has done so since the 2004-2005 season.
NFC: Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers – Jan. 11 – 1:05 p.m.
Tony Romo and the Cowboys have proven everybody wrong. From trailing Philadelphia all season in the NFC East, to winning the division and then getting past the Detroit Lions in the Wild Card. The Cowboys have been known to choke in December, but proved everyone wrong as their running game with DeMarco Murray has been the most effective in the league. It has helped Romo’s passing game as well. However, as good as the Cowboys offense has been, the Packers have been the best all season. Aaron Rodgers is likely the MVP and his offense was the storyline throughout the season. The Cowboys defence struggled early on against the Lions and if that is the case come Sunday, Rodgers and the Packers won’t let them back into the game.
NFC Pick: Packers over Seahawks
SUPER BOWL: Packers over Broncos