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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Only problem with the Denver game is that Manning isn’t used to the cold weather, and it will be bitter there this afternoon. That could help the Ravens a bit.

And don’t worry, Ed. Brent Mouseberger left C-BS years ago.

Del Dolemonte on January 12, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Ahhh. Heeere’s the thread!

Still no love for my Niner’s, eh? You’re going to have to learn the hard way, Ed…

trigon on January 12, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Go Pack!!!

Bmore on January 12, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Let’s go 49ers this is your year, let’s not get discount double checked!!

TampaBayBull on January 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Del Dolemonte on January 12, 2013 at 2:40 PM

I always give Denver a bit of a home altitude edge, but the weather will be a factor, and the passing game should be interesting. It may be more of a running game in those conditions. Denver should win this, but the weather definitely makes it less predictable.

RadClown on January 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Manning has always played well against the Raven’s defense. He’s the best a picking up the blitz and burning a team with it as well as calling the game from the line. I’d be surprised to see Baltimore keep it within 10.

tommyboy on January 12, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Bla bla bal…football bla bla bla… Laws are only for the little people.

SWalker on January 12, 2013 at 3:12 PM

tommyboy on January 12, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Cold weather? Everybody is so impressed with Denver. They are formidable. Maybe awesome.

Even I think that Peyton Manning is going to warm himself up by torching some Ravens.

However, a little bird tells me that the Ravens are going to be ball hawks and running fools so it will be close. We will see.

Both sides will leave with heads (mile) high.

And that is a good thing cause there are great players on both sides today.

IlikedAUH2O on January 12, 2013 at 3:30 PM

I hope the Packers defense is on their game tonight. Passing game needs to step it up as well.

MrX on January 12, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I have a stupid question. The government is saying we should disable Java, is anyone doing that and will it interfere with HotAir?

Cindy Munford on January 12, 2013 at 3:34 PM

SWalker on January 12, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Now, now, we can multitask.

Cindy Munford on January 12, 2013 at 3:34 PM

I can remember two freezing cold Denver games where Manning led the Colts to victory. In one of those games Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt booted a 55 yard FG as the game clock ran out to send it into overtime and less than a minute into the overtime he kicked another 50+ yarder to win the game. I believe it was a Sunday night game.

tommyboy on January 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM

GO BRONCOS!

scalleywag on January 12, 2013 at 3:36 PM

SWalker on January 12, 2013 at 3:12 PM

This is a football post. Why don’t you post your link somewhere more appropriate.

scalleywag on January 12, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Bla bla bal…football bla bla bla… Laws are only for the little people.

SWalker on January 12, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Hint: This is an entertainment thread.

You are upset about Gregory walking free with his 30 round clip.

Now liberals always get confused between screen heroes and real ones, a pretend world with gov’t solving every problem and the real one, and even specific, real solutions to problems (like energy production for unemployment) versus pretend ones (green energy).

You are not a lawyer, prosecutor or law enforcement officer are you?

Those guys deal with real crime. A first offense media figure with an empty magazine is not worth putting a pastry down and leaving the coffee shop.

IlikedAUH2O on January 12, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Go Pack!!!

Bmore on January 12, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Am going to have disagree with you there, B.

John the Libertarian on January 12, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Cindy Munford on January 12, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Hey, yes and no.

My ttech said that the gov’t is right with the warning.

IlikedAUH2O on January 12, 2013 at 3:45 PM

IlikedAUH2O on January 12, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Thanks for tech advice. Would love to see if Gregory could pick a magazine out of group of objects unassisted before the story.

Cindy Munford on January 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Go Niners!

Rovin on January 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Go Broncos!! (and yes it is dam cold out here today)
Tonight – Go Pack!
Then for tomorrow – Go Patriots!

Like to see a Broncos – Patriots AFC Champ game – then Broncos vs Packers in the Suprbowl.
Who knows – on any given Saturday or Sunday….

dentarthurdent on January 12, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Go Packers! I find the story of the two quarterbacks in this game quite interesting.

Rose on January 12, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Football thread:

No gun talk aloud ;-)

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Will be interesting to watch Manning’s adjustment to the glove + the cold + weakened arm. He’s a vet, and so if anyone can do it, he can.

This is Flacco’s latest big chance to advance. I can’t stand him, personally, but begrudgingly admit that he has become a very good veteran quarterback.

Let the best team win!

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 4:31 PM

I’d normally want the Broncos to beat the Ravens, but not this weekend. Like politics, all football is personal. If the Texans win tomorrow, a damn big if, the Ravens have to come here for the AFC championship. Otherwise, we get to enjoy Denver in January.

Go Flacco, go Lewis, go RAVENS!!!

TXUS on January 12, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Cindy Munford on January 12, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Hey, yes and no.

My ttech said that the gov’t is right with the warning.

IlikedAUH2O on January 12, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Hey guys, what’s up with the warning? Hadn’t heard about it.

TXUS on January 12, 2013 at 4:37 PM

WOW!!! What a FOOTRACE!!!!

TD Denver!

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 4:40 PM

That is one way to keep Peyton off the field.

CW on January 12, 2013 at 4:41 PM

First Ravens punt returned for a TD!!!!
Broncos rolling already!!!!
Way to go Holliday!!!!

dentarthurdent on January 12, 2013 at 4:42 PM

That is one way to keep Peyton off the field.

CW on January 12, 2013 at 4:41 PM

If we do this every time, I’m ok with Peyton not getting the ball.

dentarthurdent on January 12, 2013 at 4:43 PM

…Go Lions…!
…oh?….wait!
never mind!

KOOLAID2 on January 12, 2013 at 4:46 PM

…T E B O W…!!!
…oh?wait!
….never mind!

KOOLAID2 on January 12, 2013 at 4:48 PM

GO PACKERS!!!!

conservative tarheel on January 12, 2013 at 4:51 PM

whoa!

What was that?

Blink and you’ll miss a touchdown!

novaculus on January 12, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Why are the Vikings purple? If you’d been choking for 50 + years you’d be purple too.

GO PACK GO

Green_Bay_Packers on January 12, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Sorry but between a blatant hold on Flaccos 60 yard bomb and the PI that was not called on the pick 6 the NFL officiating clearly sucks…not that it was not already known.

CW on January 12, 2013 at 4:56 PM

GO PACK!!! GO PEYTON!!! The best QB’s in the league.

abobo on January 12, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Sorry but between a blatant hold on Flaccos 60 yard bomb and the PI that was not called on the pick 6 the NFL officiating clearly sucks…not that it was not already known.

CW on January 12, 2013 at 4:56 PM

…as JugEars would say…Shut-up! (:->)

KOOLAID2 on January 12, 2013 at 5:09 PM

With the teams left, I only have the 49ers to root for. And STRONGLY root AGAINST the Packers and the Broncos.

Jackalope on January 12, 2013 at 5:16 PM

GO PACK !!!!!

Bmore on January 12, 2013 at 5:20 PM

I have noticed, especially this season, that Flacco has gotten pretty good at those high, arching bombs.

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Not that he should have thrown one on 3rd and 2….

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 5:21 PM

I have a stupid question. The government is saying we should disable Java, is anyone doing that and will it interfere with HotAir?

Cindy Munford on January 12, 2013 at 3:34 PM

There is a flaw in Java which makes it vulnerable to attack. You should be safe if you stick to trusted sites but why take a chance.

Just today Oracle announced a patch will be forthcoming soon so keep an eye out for it and go directly to Oracle to install it rather than following pop up prompts. Some of the worst bugs are fake Java update sites.

lexhamfox on January 12, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Go Niners! As Ed has already said, it’s probably going to be a very close game but I think the extra rest will have helped the 49ers and provide key players (Smith) a chance to recover from injuries.

lexhamfox on January 12, 2013 at 5:25 PM

There is a flaw in Java which makes it vulnerable to attack. You should be safe if you stick to trusted sites but why take a chance.

Just today Oracle announced a patch will be forthcoming soon so keep an eye out for it and go directly to Oracle to install it rather than following pop up prompts. Some of the worst bugs are fake Java update sites.

lexhamfox on January 12, 2013 at 5:22 PM

I will make one non-football aside, as a Java problem would potentially affect all of us:

I roam all over the ‘net, reading a wide variety of sites. In the last few months I have noticed a few Java-update prompt screens which have looked very ……primitive. I have hesitated more than once, but I have okayed them. Makes me wonder. I run Kaspersky antivirus, which has been seamless and awesome… destroys Norton and McAfee.

But…. I think I will strip out my Java program and reload directly from the Java website. Seems prudent. I have had a few unexplained billings on my bank accounts from abroad and am in the middle of a fraud claim with my bank.

Thanks for the news.

Now…. back to football!!

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Flacco almost had a TD with that bomb.

Brees would have hit that pass.

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Green_Bay_Packers on January 12, 2013 at 4:56 PM

GG is going to take you off her Christmas card list :D

conservative tarheel on January 12, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Beautiful TD pass from Manning. A work of art.

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Go 49ers!

gophergirl on January 12, 2013 at 5:52 PM

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 5:28 PM

It’s really bad. A friend of mine got caught with a fake update and it essentially wrecked her laptop. Complete reinstall of Windows required and that was with a decent anti-virus suite. Kaspersky is a solid product but like most security systems ..it still relies on the user’s judgement as the first line of defense.

Again… DO NOT rely on the automatic prompts for updates. Go directly to the source for your updates to Java and other apps. until these security issues are ironed out.

lexhamfox on January 12, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Beautiful TD pass from Manning. A work of art.

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Better one from Flacco — go Ravens!

affenhauer on January 12, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Bla bla bal…football bla bla bla… Laws are only for the little people.

SWalker on January 12, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Did you see the puppy post?

Fallon on January 12, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Broncos might lose because of that idiotic decision to try a 53 yard field goal with 1:17 left. When are head coaches going to stop making that mistake?

forest on January 12, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Hey Ed, that’s a gutsy prediction on the Packers-49ers game. You allow for the possibility that the Pack could win on a Mason Crosby field goal in OT in Candlestick Park at night? Low wind is forecast for tonight’s game, but are you not aware of Crosby’s ongoing field goal nightmares?

stukinIL4now on January 12, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Wow. This is a shootout.

John the Libertarian on January 12, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Come on Broncos, let’s keep this lead.

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 6:27 PM

I have a stupid question. The government is saying we should disable Java, is anyone doing that and will it interfere with HotAir?

Cindy Munford on January 12, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Not a stupid question. I use Firefox browser and they automatically blocked the Java add-on at the end of October 2012 for their versions 17 and above. I’m on v18 and have experienced no surfing issues–outside of the usual. And while I experience certain interferences on HotAir at times (if you catch my drift), it hasn’t interfered with HotAir access or posting comments.

stukinIL4now on January 12, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Grrr. Dumb penalties!

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 6:32 PM

And they get redeemed by recovering a Ravens fumble!

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 6:34 PM

So I wonder if any of these NFL refs concealed-carry?

/

There you go SWalker… saved you from the bus ;D

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Nothing good comes form letting a punt hit the ground at the 17 yard line. It’s hard to watch these morons sometimes.

forest on January 12, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Not a stupid question. I use Firefox browser and they automatically blocked the Java add-on at the end of October 2012 for their versions 17 and above. I’m on v18 and have experienced no surfing issues–outside of the usual. And while I experience certain interferences on HotAir at times (if you catch my drift), it hasn’t interfered with HotAir access or posting comments.

stukinIL4now on January 12, 2013 at 6:28 PM

OT:

Hmmmmmmm.

I just uninstalled Java, after having religiously kept it up to date in Firefox per automatic updates, and was on Java version 6.x…

??????

Have not been able to book any flights online for nearly 6 months due to website anomalies & buttons not appearing etc. Dealing with bank on recurrent unauthorized charges from Germany.

Hmmmmmmm.

Will reload from Java site.

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Nothing good comes form letting a punt hit the ground at the 17 yard line. It’s hard to watch these morons sometimes.

forest on January 12, 2013 at 6:47 PM

But we watch them anyway because they’re rich!

Wonder how the NFL players feel about the new taxes and gun-control?

cane_loader on January 12, 2013 at 6:52 PM

Denver!

KCB on January 12, 2013 at 6:53 PM

If either GreenBay or the Packers win I’ll be happy. I like both teams equally.

SparkPlug on January 12, 2013 at 6:59 PM

This game has been interesting since the opening gun.

So it is a gun thread also.

SparkPlug on January 12, 2013 at 7:01 PM

This game is too long.

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 7:02 PM

The officiating is awful.

RadClown on January 12, 2013 at 7:05 PM

The food here is awful and the portions are way too small.

John the Libertarian on January 12, 2013 at 7:17 PM

I just uninstalled Java, after having religiously kept it up to date in Firefox per automatic updates, and was on Java version 6.x…

??????

Have not been able to book any flights online for nearly 6 months due to website anomalies & buttons not appearing etc. Dealing with bank on recurrent unauthorized charges from Germany.

That’s not Java – that’s TSA…

affenhauer on January 12, 2013 at 7:21 PM

I’d normally want the Broncos to beat the Ravens, but not this weekend. Like politics, all football is personal. If the Texans win tomorrow, a damn big if, the Ravens have to come here for the AFC championship. Otherwise, we get to enjoy Denver in January.

Go Flacco, go Lewis, go RAVENS!!!

TXUS on January 12, 2013 at 4:31 PM

I like looking at the Texans’ cheerleaders :)

http://www.houstontexans.com/cheerleaders/2012.html

I don’t believe they have much of a chance against NE, but the game should be a lot closer than the one from a few weeks ago. FTR, I also picked Denver, GB, and Atlanta.

Anti-Control on January 12, 2013 at 7:29 PM

This wasn’t The Drive II, but not too bad.

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Go 49ers!

gophergirl on January 12, 2013 at 5:52 PM

I cannot believe you aren’t rooting for GB! :)

Did you happen to catch the Gophers’ BB game?

Anti-Control on January 12, 2013 at 7:36 PM

I cannot believe you aren’t rooting for GB! :)

Did you happen to catch the Gophers’ BB game?

Anti-Control on January 12, 2013 at 7:36 PM

I’d rather vote democrat than root for GB!

I didn’t catch it but I heard it was quite the 2nd half charge. We need to beat Michigan at home on Thursday. If we can get out of this three game hell stretch – 2-1 I’ll be thrilled.

gophergirl on January 12, 2013 at 7:43 PM

2 minutes left. Ravens might have one final shot…

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Denver – what happened? You fall asleep or something?

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 8:00 PM

I’m watching the Idiot Bowl.

forest on January 12, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Heh-heh-heh…

affenhauer on January 12, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Both sides will leave with heads (mile) high.

And that is a good thing cause there are great players on both sides today.

IlikedAUH2O on January 12, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Dumb and dumber

What is dumber than a arch conservative and a former athlete?

I don’t know why my buddy who bench presses Escalades and I thought the Baltimore/Denver game would be close.

Boy did we get ridiculed! Girls on Facebook laughed at us!

Why Denver just ran off with it…wait…

IlikedAUH2O on January 12, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Hahahaha. Denver citizens collectively crapping their pants.

Jackalope on January 12, 2013 at 8:13 PM

I am being punished for not watching bad football last Monday, by watching it tonight.

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 8:15 PM

who the hell are these announcers, anyway? Someone check their ID’s for CO residency…

affenhauer on January 12, 2013 at 8:17 PM

The officiating is awful.

RadClown on January 12, 2013 at 7:05 PM

It’s OT and the officiating is still awful.

stukinIL4now on January 12, 2013 at 8:20 PM

dammit….

affenhauer on January 12, 2013 at 8:21 PM

It’s OT and the officiating is still awful.

stukinIL4now on January 12, 2013 at 8:20 PM

I agree. Sometime during the broadcast the announcer commented that the crew was a “best-of” crew, instead of one referee and his regular crew. That’s not a good way to go, in my opinion.

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 8:23 PM

I agree. Sometime during the broadcast the announcer commented that the crew was a “best-of” crew, instead of one referee and his regular crew. That’s not a good way to go, in my opinion.

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 8:23 PM

That is how they do it, and I don’t know why. Go with crews that are used to working together.

predator on January 12, 2013 at 8:25 PM

It’s OT and the officiating is still awful.

stukinIL4now on January 12, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Say when to the regular officials come back?

CW on January 12, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Don’t like him but Flacco has a cannon.

CW on January 12, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Sam Shields interception. Touchdown Packers!

stukinIL4now on January 12, 2013 at 8:29 PM

It’s OT and the officiating is still awful.

stukinIL4now on January 12, 2013 at 8:20 PM

It’s crazy. The booth buzzed down before the snap? Then why did you let them snap it? Is the guy in the booth even watching the game?

RadClown on January 12, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Big play.

predator on January 12, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Whoever wins better get themselves a defense.

RadClown on January 12, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Neither team wants to win!

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 8:35 PM

I’m still wondering why Denver didn’t try to get in field goal range with 30 seconds left and two time outs in the 4th.

RadClown on January 12, 2013 at 8:40 PM

Baltimore, if you screw up this opportunity, you don’t deserve to win.

predator on January 12, 2013 at 8:42 PM

I’m still wondering why Denver didn’t try to get in field goal range with 30 seconds left and two time outs in the 4th.

RadClown on January 12, 2013 at 8:40 PM

That was boneheaded.

CW on January 12, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Did Baltimore run out of timeouts again? I thought they would try a FG on the final play…

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Never mind, the game picks up as it ended…

22044 on January 12, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Baltimore, if you screw up this opportunity, you don’t deserve to win.

predator on January 12, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Muuhuuhuuhuuhhaahaahaahaaa….

affenhauer on January 12, 2013 at 8:47 PM

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