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NFL Divisional Round Playoff Predictions: Beard and Stache Edition

By Beardandstache @BeardAndStache

NFL Divisional Round Playoff Predictions: Beard and Stache Edition


- Adam Parker
What a crazy Wild Card Round that was last weekend!
I went (3-1) in my picks, but I had no idea the Giants would win so dominantly over the Falcons. Clearly that Julio Jones deal has come back to haunt the Dirty Birds.
The Lions' lack of offensive balance thanks to injuries to long-term injuries to running backs Jahvid Best and Mikel LeShoure were the main contributing factors to the Lions' loss.
The non-existent Detroit running game forced Matthew Stafford to shoulder the entire offense. This proved costly for the Lions, as Stafford threw two costly interceptions to Saints cornerback Jabari Greer. In the end, Drew Brees was still Drew Brees for the Saints, but it was their power running attack that ultimately gave them the edge.
The Bengals and Texans had another close matchup in the playoffs, with the Texans' tenacious defense carrying them to a win in their first ever playoff appearance as a franchise. Highlight and turning point in the game was rookie defensive end J.J. Watt's pick-six. But even though Cincinnati lost, we can expect to see them competing for a playoff spot for the foreseeable future.
My Regular Season Pick 'Em Record: 61-31
My Playoff Pick 'Em Record: 3-1
Now, onto my picks for the divisional playoff round!
Saints (13-3) at 49ers (13-3) - FOX
I talked a little above about the importance of the the Saints keeping the balance on offense. Drew Brees may hold the keys to one of if not the most pass-heavy offense in the NFL, but what many people don't realize is how many of the Saints' big pass plays come from play action and the respect opposing teams pay to the Saints' running game.
That being said, the Saints are 0-4 in their last four road playoff games and the 49ers are boasting the best rush defense in the league. My key matchup for this game? 49ers rookie linebacker Aldon Smith against the Saints' offensive tackles. If New Orleans can keep Smith at bay, which I believe they can, then I see the Saints marching on to the NFC Championship.
Prediction - Saints win, 35-21.
Broncos (8-8) at Patriots (13-3) - CBS
Even though my Pittsburgh Steelers were riddled with injuries throughout their team, it was still surprising to see Tim Tebow and the Broncos come out on top in the end. However, despite how everyone might want to crown Tebow as the second coming, credit must be given to John Fox and the coaching staff for putting Tebow and the offense in favorable situations to utilize the tools they have. Oh, and the defense has been lights out too.
However, Tom Brady and the Pats will be out for blood in round two of this series, and the 'TebowMania' magic was absent against New England, thereby allowing Brady and company to run away with the game and leave the Broncos' offense in the dust. Tebow fans may not like this, but I expect more of the same this time around, especially because Brady isn't about to let the Pats lose in the playoffs to a team they beat so comfortably in the regular season.
Prediction - Patriots win, 42-24.
Texans (10-6) at Ravens (12-4) - CBS
The Texans come in to Baltimore after knocking off the Bengals to get their first playoff win in franchise history. Great defense, A beast running back in Arian Foster and All-Pro talent Andre Johnson are the key offensive cogs in the Texans' attack. Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, and the rest of the Ravens' 'D' have been foaming at the mouths to get back on the field though, and like always you can expect a strong performance for Baltimore on that side of the ball.
I've said this countless times before with Baltimore and I'll say it once again. The Ravens will go as far as Joe Flacco and that offense can take them. As long as Flacco isn't forced to come out of his 'game manager' role and can just stick to handing the ball off to Ray Rice, I see the Ravens advancing to the AFC Championship.
Prediction - Ravens win, 23-20.
Giants (9-7) at Packers (15-1) - FOX
The Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul has guaranteed a win over the Packers in this one, and to be honest, the G-Men's chances of helping J.P.P. to pull a 'Joe Namath' are fairly good. Their pass rush has turned back the clock and is playing like they were during their 2007 Super Bowl run.
If they can get Aaron Rodgers' jersey dirtied up a bit and Eli Manning and the Giants can sustain long scoring drives with a balanced offensive gameplan, you have to think the Blue Crush have a pretty good chance in this one, right? Remember, the Packers only won the regular season matchup 38-35 on a field goal at the end of regulation. I'm going against the grain here and taking the G-Men in a huge upset.
Prediction - Giants win, 34-28.
Be sure to follow Beard And Stache on Twitter @BeardAndStacheand also Adam @Adam_Parker43, Like our Facebook page HERE!

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