Saturday, January 10, 2015
AFC: 10-6 (6) Baltimore Ravens @ 12-4 (1) New England Patriots, 4:35 EST, NBC
The Patriots have one of their best defenses in recent years. In the second half of the regular season, quarterback Tom Brady was also dominant. However, Brady has struggled against the Ravens in the playoffs. Two of Brady’s three career home playoff losses have been to the Ravens.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco is remarkable come playoff time. In the playoffs, Flacco is 12-4 and has thrown 21 touchdowns to eight interceptions.
Prediction: Ravens, 24, Patriots, 21
NFC: 7-8-1 (4) Carolina Panthers @ 12-4 (1) Seattle Seahawks, 8:15 EST, FOX
The 2014 Seahawks are different from the 2013 Super Bowl Champion team, but make no mistake: the Seahawks have what it takes to advance to another Super Bowl.
The Panthers will need to be flawless to defeat the Seahawks. They will need to constant pressure on Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and will have to create takeaways.
Prediction: Seahawks, 27, Panthers, 13
NFC: 12-4 (3) Dallas Cowboys @ 12-4 (2) Green Bay Packers, 1:05 EST, FOX
Coming off a game with controversial officiating, the Cowboys skidded by the dangerous Detroit Lions. A steady dose of running back DeMarco Murray and play action will carry the Cowboys far.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has a slight tear and sprain in his calf, but even if he can’t move out of the pocket, he is still on of the best signal callers in the league.
Prediction: Packers, 27, Cowboys, 24
AFC: 11-5 (4) Indianapolis Colts @ 12-4 (2) Denver Broncos, 4:40 EST, CBS
The Broncos’ bye week will almost certainly pay dividends. Key players like linebacker Brandon Marshall, who missed multiple weeks with an injury, could return to action against the Colts.
The Colts have not had a 100-yard rusher all season, and to beat the Broncos, the Colts will need to win the time of possession battle.
Prediction: Broncos, 31, Colts, 21