Divisional Round Playoff Picks – Saturday Games

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 14, 2011 – 10:41 am

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for playoff predictions – this time for the Divisional Round. Last week Ryan, CJ and I picked the Wild Card games and Ryan came out on top with a 3-1 record. His reward was an open forum on Monday morning in which he talked about the performance of young QBs in the Wild Card round and the state of the Vikings QB position.

So we’ll have the same deal this weekend. The 3 of us will pick the games and the winner will have an open forum on Monday morning to discuss a topic of their choice.

Let’s get to the games!

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers – Saturday, 3:30 p.m. CT on CBS
The Ravens playoff victory over the Kansas City Chiefs last week went just as I anticipated – I predicted a 24-point victory and they won by 23 points. This week, though, I’m not seeing the Ravens-Steelers game as clearly. These are division rivals playing for the 3rd time this year – they split in the regular season – and this could very well be the best game of the weekend. I’m picking the Steelers for the following reasons: 1) Ravens playing on a short week, 2) Steelers playing at home, 3) Troy Polamalu is healthy and playing and 4) Ben Roethlisberger will play better than Matt Cassel did last week.
Prediction: Steelers 21, Ravens 17

Ryan: In what is almost assuredly going to be the most physical matchup of the upcoming weekend, the Ravens travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in the 3rd meeting of the year between the two teams.  The Steelers dropped the first meeting of the season at home to the Ravens by a 17-14 score back in Week 4, but avenged that loss with a 13-10 win at Baltimore in Week 13.  Like the two prior meetings, this one figures to come down to the wire as the two teams are very similar: young but proven QBs, powerful ground games, some explosiveness at the WR position and sound defenses.  The key to the game could be the Steelers ability to protect Ben Roethlisberger.  Pittsburgh’s offensive line has been banged up all year, and you know the Ravens are going to present a strong pass-rush to try to rattle Big Ben.
Prediction: Ravens 17, Steelers 16

C.J.: Hide your kids, hide your wife, this game has all the makings of a brutal slug fest that may come down to which team’s defense can make bigger plays. The Ravens got off to a shaky start against the Kansas City Chiefs last week in the Wild Card Round, but settled down and forced 5 turnovers in the convincing 30-7 road victory. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t lost to the Ravens since 2006 (he didn’t play in the Steelers loss to Baltimore this year), had an extra week to heal and is playing in front of a home crowd, but I feel that Ray Lewis and the Baltimore defense will ride their momentum from last week in a hard-fought and closely-contested matchup.
Prediction: Ravens 20 Steelers 17


Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons – Saturday, 7:00 p.m. CT on FOX
This game actually reminds me of last year’s Divisional Round playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Vikings. In that contest, the Cowboys were the trendy pick to knock off the Vikings, despite playing on the road, because they were coming off a Wild Card Round win and had momentum. The Vikings had a week off because of a 1st-round bye and many wondered if the offense would come out rusty. In this contest, the Packers are the trendy pick because they have momentum coming off their road Wild Card Round win over Philadelphia last weekend. But I think Atlanta will play the part of the Vikings; they are a sleeping Giant in the NFC and will awake on Saturday night. The Vikings blew away the Cowboys last year by a 34-4 count, but I don’t think Atlanta will have as easy a time. Look for a moderately-high scoring game that will see the Falcons get the last score.
Prediction: Falcons 24, Packers 20

Ryan: The Packers were 1 of 3 road teams to claim a victory on Wild Card Weekend, and they’ll look to do so again this weekend in Atlanta, where they are 0-1 this season thanks to a 20-17 loss in Week 12.  Falcons QB Matt Ryan is 20-2 in his career at the Georgia Dome and the #1 seeds in the NFC (which the Falcons are) have lost just twice in the Divisional Round of the playoffs since 1990.  Atlanta has just 1 loss in their last 10 games as well.  Green Bay was able to take advantage of a beat-up and slumping Eagles team last week and barely won, but their run will come to an end this week as the Falcons will move on to host the NFC Championship game a week from Sunday.
Prediction: Falcons 27, Packers 20

C.J.: It seems to me that everyone is jumping on the Packer bandwagon after their road-victory over the Philadelphia Eagles last week, but I’m not buying in. Sure, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw 3 TDs and no picks against the Eagles, but Green Bay has relied too heavily on the big defensive play to pull out wins – last week it was the game-ending INT by CB Tramon Williams. Also, counting on “fill-ins” RB James Starks and TE Tom Crabtree to create offensive production can only last so long in the playoffs. Falcons QB Matt Ryan has an amazing track record playing at home and the bye week will prepare him and the rest of the team for an exciting shoot-out.
Prediction: Falcons 27 Packers 24

Posted in Mike Wobschall | 39 Comments »

39 Responses to “Divisional Round Playoff Picks – Saturday Games”

  1. By Ham on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    I’m bored.

  2. By Mike Wobschall on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    Don’t be bored. Tell us what you think will happen this weekend.

  3. By PurpleNation on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    Green Bay losing to Atlanta = The Outcome

  4. By CaribooBill on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    Ravens over Steelers
    Packers over Falcons

  5. By Robins on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    I hate the packers and hope they lose. They disgust me. Their coach makes me want to throw up.

  6. By Robins on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    I hope The Falcons and the Ravens win!

  7. By Curly on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    The lovers of Vikings, all of us, maybe even Ham, need to look deep into the outer reaches beyond our grasp and hang our heads, because we are not showing ourselves to be fans of the game, but rather supporters of a brand. If you are bored with the NFL playoffs, then you are probably retiring in a bed made of the latter part of the last sentence: brand-supporter bed sheets as opposed to game-lover comforter. The totem is a powerful image, for sure, and it stares deep into even my soul, Ham, but the aesthetic of the tempo, pace and momentum of the game, its stories, match-ups and weather, that’s where we need to go — not the thin comfort of a helmeted, pig-tailed, moustachio-ed adult, but the EVENT.

  8. By Sue G Vikes 4 Ever on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    I’m hoping for a Falcons win….and I hate to say it…..but I think “da bears” will win….GO FALCONS!!!!!

  9. By Titus on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    Here, here– enjoy the games! I agree. I am really enjoying the playoffs.
    Packers and Steelers are my predictions.
    Then Patriots and Bears.
    Pack and Bears in championship!!!

  10. By Sue G Vikes 4 Ever on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    Titus…I am totally surprised by your picks. The pack and “da bears” for the NFC championship game? That would really hurt. Once again GO FALCONS!!

  11. By Titus on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    Sue, I am not rooting for the Packers. I am making my predictions. You wait and see.

  12. By Sue G Vikes 4 Ever on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    Titus…I understand the “Pack” is on a roll and if it was in GB I would understand…but Atalnta is pretty much unbeatable at home…. and in the playoffs? Hey, how do you feel about the QB situation next yeart???????

  13. By Titus on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    Packers nearly beat Atlanta at the Georgia Dome. Their team is very physical, their coach is excellent and their defense is going to be aggressive.
    I stay with my pick.
    Bears and Patriots in the Superbowl.
    QB– I think the coaches will make the best decision.

  14. By Sue G Vikes 4 Ever on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    This is the playoffs and they are ar home. My pick is NE vs. ATL in the Super bowl. My AFC team is the Ravens, but I think they will lose at NE.

  15. By Titus on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    Ravens are good, but Steelers will handle them just fine and win.
    Steelers and Patriots in AFC champ game
    Pack and Bears in NFC
    Bears and Patriots in Superbowl.

  16. By Old School on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry everybody, but the Pack are going to the Bowl! Like it or not! The vikes have some real problems within the Division! We have all three teams that have a QB…..a YOUNG QB……(if Stafford can stay healthy)! The Vikes are bottom dwelling for the next 3 to 5 years…….WE HAVE MISSED THAT NFL WINDOW! WE NEED TO SUCK IT UP AND REBUILD AND DRAFT THE BEST POSSIBLE QB WE CAN! THEN O-LINE TO PROTECT! THEN A SECONDARY THAT CAN COVER SOMEBODY FOR A CHANGE!!!!!!

  17. By Justin on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    For the LOL, GO PACKERS!!!!!

  18. By Dave on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    My guess.. Pats and gb in superbowl Brady handling the pack.. Pats superbowl champs is my FINAL pick :-)

  19. By Dave on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    I really don’t want it any other way lol

  20. By Titus on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    Old School must agree with me then that the Packers will beat Atlanta. But I see the Bears winning in the Championship over the cheeseheads.

  21. By Titus on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    But Old School is wrong about our future. Vikings will be in the NFC championship withing three years. Period.

  22. By Titus on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply


  23. By NovaScotiaVike on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply


  24. By mr smiff on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    Watching the Falcons-P3ckers game now. That Aaron Rodgers is too d@mn spoiled with weapons for the P3ckers to lose. I’m still rooting for the Falcons, though.

  25. By Titus on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    Well, I am doing great on my picks– I picked the Pack. Now, I am actually starting to root for them. Go Packers!!

  26. By mr smiff on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    You going rogue on us, Titus?

  27. By Titus on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    No, I just like being right about my picks. I do hope I am right that the Bears will beat the Pack at the championship. Trust me—- I will never, NEVER, EVER be a cheesehead.

  28. By Canadian Vikes Fan on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    Shoulda known the way this year has gone that the Bears and Packers would be playing in the NFC championship. If the Pats win then my 4 least favourite teams in the league will be left. Everything’s gone totally wrong since that Brett pick last year

  29. By Aaron Rodgers on Jan 16, 2011 | Reply

    It was good to see we could win without production from Crabtree and Starks tonight!

  30. By mr smiff on Jan 16, 2011 | Reply

    This really sucks. I could almost hear those gloating cheeseheads all the way here in Trinidad. This is officially the worst season I have ever seen.

  31. By mo on Jan 16, 2011 | Reply

    Crying in your milk VIQUEEN FANS?????

  32. By Old School on Jan 16, 2011 | Reply

    Like I said Vike Fans……………….Get use to last night…….Pack, Bears, Lions……..OH MY!




  33. By Dennis on Jan 16, 2011 | Reply

    The packers are the best team in the N.F.C. If they don’t win the Superbowl, I will be surprised.Their Offense reminds me of the 98 vikings, unstoppable! I credit almost all of their success to their scouting staff. They can find talent in a grave yard. Every one on that Offense is a play maker and it seems like any one that they plug in because of injury, makes plays like they have played for years. I think the best thing the vikings can do to help their team is to steal the packers scouting staff. Ours can’t seem to find much talent.

  34. By Stephanie on Jan 16, 2011 | Reply

    well, at least it will be an exciting game next weekend. Bears/Packers! it should be a great game.

  35. By Titus on Jan 16, 2011 | Reply

    Old School– so what? Enjoy the playoffs. Vikings will be there next season.

  36. By 12timeworld champs on Jan 16, 2011 | Reply

    you were wrong in your predictions.

  37. By Queeneater on Jan 16, 2011 | Reply

    (Viking fans) go find something useful to do besides whining about your shortcomings and how jealous you are of the Bears and Packers. You could always watch the Timberwolves and Wild lose or even talk about how the Twins are going to choke again next year.

  38. By winnebago on Jan 16, 2011 | Reply

    Again I would personally like to thank ex-Viking coach MIKE TICE for passing on Arron Rogers not once but twice in the 1st round of the 2005 draft.

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