NFL divisional playoffs round 2 open thread

Jazz: I’ve clawed my way back to 3-3 after yesterday’s wins, but that’s not getting me any closer to Ed’s record. I will just say, however, that I really enjoyed watching the New England – Baltimore game. The momentum shifted back and forth every quarter and it was a shootout right to the finish. I was pulling for the Ravens (though I picked the Pats here) and it looked like they had enough in the tank to advance, but came up just short at the end. Still, as I said, one of the better playoff games in recent memory. Let’s hope for more of the same today.

Ed: Jazz and I both picked the same winners yesterday, so we are tied for Round Two. Since I’m on vacation this week, I didn’t get a chance to watch yesterday’s games, but I was following the scores for a time on my cell phone. I thought for sure that the Patriots had blown their shot at the Super Bowl, only to discover much later that they had made a stunning comeback. Wish I had caught that one! Today’s games should be even more exciting, but I doubt I’ll have much of a chance to watch them.

Jazz: Here are the games which will close the books and set the stage for the conference championships:

  • Cowboys at Packers (1:05,Fox) – I’ve been on the fence about this one all weekend. The Packers are a six point favorite coming into this battle and they are certainly tough to beat at home. But they haven’t faced a team like the current edition of the Cowboys in a while. The combination of Romo, DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant has been a very effective set of weapons for Dallas and they should be able to deliver a very challenging match to Green Bay. In fact, if the Packers lose even one tool in the box, this could be the end of the road for them. Aaron Rodgers is still questionable since his leg injury and may not be at 100%. I’ll go against the grain here and call for a shocker win by Dallas 31-27.
  • Colts at Broncos (4:40, CBS) – Putting aside the history between Luck and Manning, I just don’t think there’s as much drama here as some of the ESPN analysts are calling for. Particularly with home field advantage, the Broncos just bring too much to the table. The Colts have had a heck of a season and earned a lot of respect, but the road ends for them today. Broncos win this one in a high scoring, fast paced game, 38-31.

Ed:

  • Cowboys at Packers (1:05,Fox) – Chris Christie will make it to Green Bay to cheer on the Cowboys again, but he’ll probably leave disappointed. Green Bay is undefeated at home, and Dallas won all its road games in 2014, but this is Green Bay, not Washington or even Philly. The only potential fly in the ointment is Aaron Rodgers’ calf injury. If Rodgers can’t finish the game, Dallas might escape the frozen tundra with a win. I’ll pick the Pack to prevail, though, in a 35-31 shootout.
  • Colts at Broncos (4:40, CBS) – Andrew Luck faces off against Peyton Manning in the Mile High City. Talk about subplots! Luck supplanted Manning in Indianapolis, and now he gets a chance at knocking Manning out of the playoffs. This year, though, the Broncos are the more complete team, and they should be able to use home-field advantage and the bye week to get past the Colts, setting up the big game against New England. Broncos 42-33 over the Colts.

Also, one more note: My vacation has not allowed me much time to prepare a Sunday reflection, so I’ll take a week off from that and come back next week with the feature.