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I meant to make picks last week... but it turns out I would have been 2-2, which isn't exactly what I was hoping for. Now with a little better idea about who has the luck, and the definite skill, it's time for my playoff picks for this weekend.
Here are the matchups:
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Courtney's pick: Baltimore
Besides the fact that the Raven’s are my fall back team to root for when the Colts lose in the playoffs, I actually think they will win. These two teams know each other all too well, and will both put it all on the line. They’ve played twice in the post season each winning a game, but the Ravens are coming off a very strong road win against the Kansas City Chiefs. They’re road tested, and aren’t afraid that to make it to Dallas they will likely play all of their games on the road. Both teams will have to have strong defensive games, but in every category on the defensive side, the Ravens come out on top. They’ll need to keep Big Ben in the pocket, but I think that with the league’s best run-defense in Ray Rice, and Willis McGahee, the Raven’s should be fine.
New York Jets @ New England Patriots
Courtney's pick: New England
As much as I despise the Patriots, and recently Rex Ryan for his comments about Peyton Manning… the Patriots will win this game. They are just too good, and Tom Brady is having his best season yet. The Pats have had extra time to prepare with the off week, and the Jets are going to need to play the perfect game to beat the Pats. With weapons like Woodhead and Gronkowski who have been impact players this season, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pats roll over the Jets like the did in their last game where they won 45-3.
Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears
Courtney's pick: Seattle
After the huge upset against the Saints, Seattle is riding high and feeling confident. They have already beat Chicago once this season in week 6 (23-20), and the Seahawks can definitely do it riding the momentum from beating the reigning champs. Matt Hasselbeck is less banged up than at the end of the regular season, and if he can be as sharp as he was against the Saints, the Hawks have a chance. I’m also all for this just because it’d make a great story.
Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons
Courtney's pick: Atlanta
Besides being a Colts/Cowboys fan, I like to stick with my roots. So I’m going to go with Matt Ryan (who played for BC) and the Falcons. This game should be good as Aaron Rodgers is playing well and the Packers are getting better every week, but I think with the extra week and the Falcons’ 7-1 home record, they should come out on top. The Falcons have been steady all season, but a key factor to the Falcons’ success is scoring early. They’ll need to jump out to a quick lead to keep at a good winning pace.
Best Matchup: Ravens vs. Steelers
The rivalry and hate these two teams have for each other is too good to pass up watching. Not to mention they’re so equally matched in terms of team strengths.
Side note: The Green Bay / Atlanta game is a close second.
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