NFL Division Playoff Saturday open thread

posted at 2:31 pm on January 12, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The NFL playoffs continue today and tomorrow with the divisional round, where eight teams compete to play for the conference championship games next week. Last weekend, all but one of the wildcard teams fell out of the competition, with only Seattle advancing into the divisional round. I went 3-1 in my picks last weekend, but the choices get tougher this weekend:

  • Ravens at Broncos (4:30 pm ET, CBS) - Last week I picked Baltimore while rooting for Indianapolis.  I won’t have that kind of dissonance today.  Baltimore beat Indy but didn’t exactly dominate, and this week they have to play in Denver rather than at home.  The Ravens are an average team on the road, going 4-4, but Denver went 7-1 at home under Peyton Manning.  Baltimore can expect to see its defense improve with Ray Lewis back on the field, but Denver ranked third in the league against both the pass and the rush.  Joe Flacco is simply not going to stack up against Manning, even if the defenses stack up against each other.  Broncos 28, Ravens 17.  (Biggest question mark: will Brent Musberger call this game, and will he spot all the hot QB wives in the stands?)
  • Packers at 49ers (8 pm, FOX) - We have the same kind of matchup between road and home teams in this game, too.  Green Bay went 4-4 on the road, and San Francisco went 6-1-1 at home.  The difference in defenses is similar, too, even to the extent that having Charles Woodson back might mitigate the Packers’ deficit in relation to the 49ers. However, the 49ers still have a QB controversy percolating, and their passing game is only 23rd in the league.  Aaron Rodgers has the 9th-best passing attack in the league, and fresh running backs to help balance the load.  Plus, Rodgers has been here before, whereas Kaepernick is only getting his first taste of the pressure.  I think the Pack finds a way to win this one, 31-28, maybe in OT.

 

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Nailed it.

predator on January 12, 2013 at 8:47 PM

lest there be any question:
Let’s Go Ravens!!!!!

affenhauer on January 12, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Morons prevail over the Idiots!

forest on January 12, 2013 at 8:50 PM

lest there be any question:
Let’s Go Ravens!!!!!

affenhauer on January 12, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Any preference as to who you face next?

predator on January 12, 2013 at 8:50 PM

It was Peyton in the playoffs again.

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 8:50 PM

RAVENS!

*does the Ray Lewis dance*

Laura in Maryland on January 12, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Any preference as to who you face next?

predator on January 12, 2013 at 8:50 PM

it’s a battle either way, and we’re on the road. I’ll go for Houston, since the weather should be better…

affenhauer on January 12, 2013 at 8:53 PM

BaltiMorons prevail over the Idiots!

forest on January 12, 2013 at 8:50 PM

fify

Laura in Maryland on January 12, 2013 at 8:53 PM

You know what would be epic? John vs. Jim

John the Libertarian on January 12, 2013 at 8:54 PM

BaltiMorons prevail over the Idiots!

forest on January 12, 2013 at 8:50 PM

fify

Laura in Maryland on January 12, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Disgruntled Redskins fan..? ;-)

affenhauer on January 12, 2013 at 8:55 PM

it’s a battle either way, and we’re on the road. I’ll go for Houston, since the weather should be better…

affenhauer on January 12, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Don’t blame you there. Plus the Texans don’t seem to be quite as sharp on offense in the last few games as they were earlier.

predator on January 12, 2013 at 8:56 PM

CBS just said that Manning declined a post-game interview. Man up, Manning.

predator on January 12, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Disgruntled Redskins fan..? ;-)

affenhauer on January 12, 2013 at 8:55 PM

No, my friend, just a proud Baltimoron!

*still dancing*

Laura in Maryland on January 12, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Laura in Maryland on January 12, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Just checking: wasn’t sure who was fixing what for whom. Need to find some Natty Boh for next week… ;-)

affenhauer on January 12, 2013 at 9:01 PM

I would Tebow but I have a bad knee.

2Tru2Tru on January 12, 2013 at 9:02 PM

I thought I was going to have a heart attack during the Baltimore game. Our neighborhood was loud tonight!

And the Packers are ahead right now – I’m having a great night now. :)

Anna on January 12, 2013 at 9:02 PM

No, my friend, just a proud Baltimoron!

*still dancing*

Laura in Maryland on January 12, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Congrats. I’m a Colts fan. Broke my heart when they left Baltimore. But I just couldn’t attach myself to the Ravens. Then the Colts go to Indy, keep the same uniforms, and after a rough start do well. All is good. We had a good year, and we will be a force in the future.

predator on January 12, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Unhappy Steelers fan. Congrats to Baltimore and their fans.

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 9:04 PM

So the official picks up a flag on an obvious face mask. Seriously-when to the real officials come back?

CW on January 12, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Unhappy Steelers fan. Congrats to Baltimore and their fans.

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 9:04 PM

From me as well. AFC North is tough.

Flacco is looking dangerous.

CW on January 12, 2013 at 9:05 PM

So the official picks up a flag on an obvious face mask. Seriously-when to the real officials come back?

CW on January 12, 2013 at 9:04 PM

I didn’t get that one either. And they need to hold special training camps for officials on just pass interference–and especially offensive pass interference bcuz they have no clue what either one is and isn’t.

stukinIL4now on January 12, 2013 at 9:11 PM

I didn’t get that one either. And they need to hold special training camps for officials on just pass interference–and especially offensive pass interference bcuz they have no clue what either one is and isn’t.

stukinIL4now on January 12, 2013 at 9:11 PM

You know the Broncos fans cannot be too happy about the “tipped” pick 6 . Terrible. The Broncos had their chances,though, and they blew em.

CW on January 12, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Bitter pill for Manning – all that work and late key interception ends it again.

Great season for Denver.

Have to insert that Brees would have tried to do something with that last 30 seconds, Payton or not. That’ll haunt them all year, for sure.

Just me – as Baltimore coach, I would have rather tried the FG on 3rd down – taken two tries from 50, rather than one try from 49.

It ended well for them.

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 9:15 PM

I meant two tries from 50 rather than one try from 47.

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Flacco is looking dangerous.

CW on January 12, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Flacco is a fully matured QB, making great deep throws this year, behind that great defense. Ravens looking good.

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 9:17 PM

Disgruntled Redskins fan..? ;-)

affenhauer on January 12, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Nope. It was just an awful game. Bad decisions by both teams and the officials. The worst was the 53 yard field goal attempt with time on the clock in the 1st half. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. It was the Idiot Bowl.

forest on January 12, 2013 at 9:19 PM

forest on January 12, 2013 at 9:19 PM

so, you’re saying “Yes”..?

affenhauer on January 12, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Looks like goofy game II is going on in San Fran.

stukinIL4now on January 12, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Looks like goofy game II is going on in San Fran.

stukinIL4now on January 12, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Yeah, soon they’ll release the greased pig, at this rate.

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Yeah, soon they’ll release the greased pig, at this rate.

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 9:27 PM

The greased pig is the football every time the Packers have it. And if they keep playing this swiss cheese defense they’re gonna need a few more interceptions.

stukinIL4now on January 12, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Ray Lewis is such an attention whore. I thought it was generally common for these guys to not declare their retirement or post-season plans until after they were finished…like it is common to hear reporters pester the guys for their plans, and they say “I’m focused on the upcoming game and won’t discuss my future until after the season.”

But Ray Lewis is the antithesis of class and declared his retirement so that he could be his clownish self with maximum camera attention. He is soooo self-indulgent and over the top.

Jackalope on January 12, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Whoa, didn’t pick up the flag this time.

stukinIL4now on January 12, 2013 at 9:40 PM

TOUCHDOWN!! Tied!

Now stop turning the ball over GB

watertown on January 12, 2013 at 9:43 PM

TOUCHDOWN!! Tied!

Now stop turning the ball over GB

watertown on January 12, 2013 at 9:43 PM

Is this gonna be a shootout game or a who-didn’t-shoot-themselves-in-the-foot game?

stukinIL4now on January 12, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Jackalope on January 12, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Yeah, cause no player has ever gone on a farewell tour for an entire year. Or gone in and out of retirement. Or threatened retirement only to come back the next year; some to a different team.

A Ray Lewis hater surely wouldn’t understand, but we Ravens fans know what he means to our team and our city. He doesn’t seek the camera- he’s no TO or one of dozens of clowns like him. Year in and year out he’s led by example. Announcing his retirement was his way of galvanizing his team; and so far, it’s worked.

BKeyser on January 12, 2013 at 10:16 PM

BKeyser on January 12, 2013 at 10:16 PM

From both sides now….

I have been cruel to Number 52 myself and that criminal case was serious.

But there comes a time to let it go and appreciate the man’s talents.

If you don’t like tough guys that tend to have certain faults…watch pbs.

IlikedAUH2O on January 12, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Yeah, cause no player has ever gone on a farewell tour for an entire year. Or gone in and out of retirement. Or threatened retirement only to come back the next year; some to a different team.

You’re arguing with a wall…Who the hell said ‘no player has ever…’? Take a deep breath, read my comment again, and see where it says GENERALLY COMMON.

Ray Lewis is a camera-seeking Assclown, no matter how much you worship him. Try not to be so butthurt.

Jackalope on January 12, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Jackalope on January 12, 2013 at 10:28 PM

I don’t worship any man, and my Ravens are moving on the the AFC Championship game. I’m probably not as butthurt as you seem to think.

But you hang on to all that anger, okay? Nite Mary.

BKeyser on January 12, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Niners are f’reals, yo. The Pack got broken in the third.

John the Libertarian on January 12, 2013 at 11:17 PM

0-2, Ed!

John the Libertarian on January 12, 2013 at 11:18 PM

Bitter pill for Manning – all that work and late key interception ends it again.

I don’t know. I can’t blame Manning for this one. When your team scores 35 points in regulation, you should win the game. I don’t know what the hell happened to the Broncos defense. How the hello does a receiver get behind you in the waning seconds? The secondary looked like the Giants secondary.

Mitoch55 on January 12, 2013 at 11:21 PM

hello = hell

Mitoch55 on January 12, 2013 at 11:21 PM

Niners are f’reals, yo. The Pack got broken in the third.

John the Libertarian on January 12, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Nah. Defense wasn’t there. Same problem as last year at this point. They weren’t there in the second and lucky to be tied. Offense was crap in protecting Rodgers. But really, two mistakes by GB handing 14 points to the other team, though GB did get 7 at the beginning.

MrX on January 12, 2013 at 11:22 PM

Oh well, Broncos gear goes to the back of the closet…..
Doesn’t look good for the Packers either.
Hope the Patriots do better tomorrow so I have someone to cheer for in the playoffs.

dentarthurdent on January 12, 2013 at 11:25 PM

I don’t know. I can’t blame Manning for this one. When your team scores 35 points in regulation, you should win the game. I don’t know what the hell happened to the Broncos defense. How the hello does a receiver get behind you in the waning seconds? The secondary looked like the Giants secondary.

Mitoch55 on January 12, 2013 at 11:21 PM

Manning had a bad night for sure, but Champ Bailey blew it on defense – couldn’t keep up with Tory Smith. Maybe time for Champ to retire.

dentarthurdent on January 12, 2013 at 11:27 PM

Joe Flacco is simply not going to stack up against Manning, even if the defenses stack up against each other. Broncos 28, Ravens 17. (Biggest question mark: will Brent Musberger call this game, and will he spot all the hot QB wives in the stands?)

Ed you are a disgruntled Steelers fan. You should do something more suited to your expertise…football isn’t one of them!

wepeople on January 12, 2013 at 11:37 PM

Defense wasn’t there.

MrX on January 12, 2013 at 11:22 PM

Kind of tough to defend against a QB that rushes for 263 yards.

John the Libertarian on January 12, 2013 at 11:39 PM

I was wrong. It wasn’t even close. Go Niners!!!

lexhamfox on January 12, 2013 at 11:49 PM

NINERS!!!!

El_Terrible on January 13, 2013 at 12:32 AM

Two weeks ago, every one said no one wants to play the Seahawks right now……tonight, no one could beat the Niners. Period

Rovin on January 13, 2013 at 12:38 AM

Did I miss anything?

Brady Bunch Nation are NOT happy tonight. Flacco had his career game today.

But he’s never been able to do that in back-to-back playoff games.

We might have a chance, assuming we get the chance.

Del Dolemonte on January 13, 2013 at 1:11 AM

Kind of tough to defend against a QB that rushes for 263 yards.

John the Libertarian on January 12, 2013 at 11:39 PM

He had 181 yards rushing. It was the 263 in passing that didn’t hurt either. BTW, check more than one source. You may not believe this but our media messes up the reporting of stats. (Media Matters’ guy check your Wa Po buddies).

Two weeks ago, every one said no one wants to play the Seahawks right now……tonight, no one could beat the Niners. Period

Rovin on January 13, 2013 at 12:38 AM

You are never as good as you look when you are winning and never as bad as you look in a loss. I hope that QB has a good, fast pay contract with strong disability coverage terms.

IlikedAUH2O on January 13, 2013 at 1:56 AM

Rovin on January 13, 2013 at 12:38 AM

OMG — Somebody in New England said the local radio had Green Bay winning over SF tonight. They had the scores reversed.

IlikedAUH2O on January 13, 2013 at 1:58 AM

Bitter pill for Manning – all that work and late key interception ends it again.

I don’t know. I can’t blame Manning for this one. When your team scores 35 points in regulation, you should win the game. I don’t know what the hell happened to the Broncos defense. How the hello does a receiver get behind you in the waning seconds? The secondary looked like the Giants secondary.

Mitoch55 on January 12, 2013 at 11:21 PM

….WORSE!…the Lions secondary.

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 2:43 AM

Weird watching Denver gag at home. Great watching the Packers get their asses kicked in SF. Eff the fudge Packers.

Jaibones on January 13, 2013 at 9:57 AM

The secondary looked like the Giants secondary.

Mitoch55 on January 12, 2013 at 11:21 PM

…WORSE!…the Lions secondary.

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 2:43 AM

Worse … the Packers secondary.

Jaibones on January 13, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Ray Lewis is a camera-seeking Assclown, no matter how much you worship him. Try not to be so butthurt.

Jackalope on January 12, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Some comments just beg to repeated. And this is one of them.

Jaibones on January 13, 2013 at 10:04 AM

(Biggest question mark: will Brent Musberger call this game, and will he spot all the hot QB wives in the stands?)

No…the biggest question is why any sports channel would employ Brent Mushmouth to lead their broadcast. Anyone…name a sport that Musburger understands in any visible way? It obviously isn’t football and never was. What a schmuck this guy is.

Jaibones on January 13, 2013 at 10:09 AM

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