Non-Texan Take: Divisional Playoffs Preview


New Orleans @ San Francisco: Sat., Jan. 14, 4:30 PM ET FOX

The 49ers have a defense that has been instilling fear in opponents all year, but as a whole the club seems less formidable almost every week. Their most decisive “legit” win against was at home against Pittsburgh with a hobbled Big Ben. The Saints, meanwhile, look stronger every week. While the final score may not get ugly, expect Brees and New Orleans to control this one.

Pick: Saints

Denver @ New England: Sat., Jan. 14, 8:00 PM ET CBS

This game features a near-two touchdown spread, and rightfully so. The Broncos defense managed to give up 23 against a crippled Pittsburgh offense this past week, but Tim Tebow put up 15 yards per attempt. Tom Brady may shred the Broncos’ defense for the second time this season, but don’t expect Tebow to repeat last week’s performance. The Broncos’ QB is the consummate competitor, but this one shouldn’t be close.

Pick: Patriots

Houston @ Baltimore: Sun., Jan. 15, 1:00 PM ET CBS

A battle between two of the top defenses in the league, their stout running games, their inconsistent passing games and the occasional suspect playcalling. This will be one for the true football fans. The battle between Gary Kubiak and Cam Cameron will likely be the deciding factor. If the former can get the ball to Andre Johnson, who will be matched up against Lardarius Webb, a corner that is having an excellent year but is undersized, Houston should be able to fight off their injury luck for at least another week.

Pick: Texans


New York Giants @ Green Bay: Sun., Jan. 15, 4:30 PM ET FOX

This is a game Packers fans are afraid of. They should be. The Giants are red-hot, and are still capable of beating any team in the league when they’re on their game. But you’d have to be crazy to expect the Giants to win this game at Lambeau. Much like in his meeting with the Lions on Thanksgiving, expect Aaron Rodgers to do an adequate job avoiding the Giants’ excellent front four while shredding its weakness: the secondary.

Pick: Packers