It is that time of year again. The time for NFL football has come and I for one am very happy about this! This weekend should be filled with great football action even if your team did not make it this far. Here are my predictions for each of the four games that will be played this weekend. Let’s start with the AFC.
The Broncos are favored in this game by 9.5 points. The first time these two teams met in the 2012 season, the Broncos walked away with a 34-17 victory so the line doesn’t surprise me at all. Fresh off of his 13 tackle performance last week, Ray Lewis is certain to be a factor in this game whether he is on the field or not. The Ravens will be playing with a ton of emotion because this could in fact be Rays last game. He has said that he plans to retire after this season which could end Sunday if the Ravens can’t find a way to pull out a win. Although Ray is one of my favorite players and he plays the game with passion, it saddens me to say that I think the Broncos will win this game 35-24. Peyton Manning has played very well despite coming back from neck surgery last year and has looked like the Peyton of old that everyone is used to. I think the game will be close but a costly Joe Flacco turnover late in the game will lead to the Broncos getting a late score that puts this game away.
The Patriots are also favored in this game by 9.5 points. The first time these two teams met in 2012 was a nightmare of a game for the Texans. They were outplayed in every aspect of the game. The Texans went into Foxboro with a record of 12-1
(the best in the league at the time) and many believed they were the team to beat in the NFL. The Patriots ended up routing the Texans 42-14 which seemed to start the downfall of the Texans. Although I do not think that this game will be a blowout, I do think that the Patriots will come out with a victory and move on to the AFC championship game. The Patriots are tough to beat at home and only one teams has beaten them there since 2002(the San Francisco 49ers during the 2012 season) and I don’t see them losing there this Sunday. Final score, Patriots 31, Texans 20. Moving on to the NFC now.
The Falcons are favored in this game by 2.5 points.They did not play in the 2012 season so this will be their first match up since 2011 that saw the Falcons come away with a 30-28 victory. To me, the Falcons played a very weak schedule this year, so their record seems inflated a little. Seattle is a very hot team right now and also a dangerous one. Russell Wilson played a great game last week against the Redskins despite being down 14-0 very early in that game. The Falcons haven’t played a game that matters in nearly three weeks, while the Seahawks have essentially been playing playoff games for nearly over a month. Seattle is riding a six game winning streak while Atlanta is coming off a bye and a loss in their last game against the Detroit Lions. I think this game may turn into a shootout and will come down to who has the ball last. Russell Wilson will have the ball last and lead this team to their seventh straight victory with the final score being Seahawks 41, Falcons 38.
The 49ers are favored in this game by 3 points. The first time these two teams met in 2012 was week 1 of the regular season at Lambeau Field. The 49ers came away with a 30-22 victory although Alex Smith was the starting quarterback for that game. On Saturday, Colin Kaepernick will lead the 49ers to battle in his fist playoff start of his young career. Justin Smith will be back for this game but he will not be at 100% as he will be playing with a partially torn triceps. The Packers avenged a week 17 loss to the Vikings last week in the wild card game that saw Aaron Rodgers looking in great form. The defense for Green Bay also looked to be on top of their game as they held Adrian Peterson under 100 yards rushing, a promise that the defense made before the game. I think this game will come down to the 49ers defense and Aaron Rodgers. The 49ers did a great job of containing Rodgers in the first half of their 2012 match up but slipped up a little in the second half. This should be a close game throughout but I think the 49ers will score late in the 4th to give them the separation needed to get the victory. Final score 49ers 31, Packers 21.
These are just my predictions, I’m sure many of you will not agree with them, so lets hear your predictions in the comment section below! Next week I plan on writing predictions for the NFC and AFC championship games as well. Until next time, stay classy!