At Pittsburgh -3 Baltimore
You gotta love this matchup. Two brutally physical teams that hate each other and split close games in the regular season get a postseason rubber match to decide who gets to represent the division in the AFC Championship game. Both teams can run and stop the run. Both teams have quality QBs and gam-changing safeties. Linebackers on both sides can wreak havoc on the opposing team’s offense. There’s no trickery here. No hidden surprises. Just 60 smash mouth minutes of entertaining football. Ray Rice will make more plays in the passing game and he’ll have more of an impact than Rashard Mendenhall. Mike Wallace finds the endzone. Big Ben outduels Flacco the road warrior, and the Steelers D makes a couple more impact plays than Baltimore’s defense. No room for kicking errors here. It’ll be a close one, but after Saturday, Tomlin will have a 7-0 record against the Ravens in games started by Big Ben.
PICK: Steelers -3

At Atlanta -2 Green Bay
The Falcons looked kinda vulnerable against the Saints a few weeks back. I’ve been underestimating Atlanta all year, but I just don’t see this Packers run ending in the divisional round. Rodgers is playing confident, mistake-free football, and he now has the semblance of a running game to pair with his top-notch passing skills. Atlanta isn’t without weapons, but the Packers defense is just better. During the regular season, Green Bay allowed fewer points and fewer yards than Atlanta. There will be a good deal of scoring in this game. Matt Ryan will stay composed, Turner will rack up yards, but the Packers win ‘cause they’re a better team that’s peaking at the right time.
PICK: Packers +2

At Chicago -10 Seattle
I’ve hated on the Bears all year, but this team has managed to really get into a groove. The o-line is protecting better, they’re more balanced offensively, the defense has looked sharp and Matt Forte had a great second half. Cutler’s a wildcard, though. When he plays good, he looks damn near elite. When he makes mistakes, he makes them in bunches. I didn’t think Seattle could win the last two weeks, but they took advantage of their home field, moved the ball well and they reduced turnovers. I think the Bears are going to win this game, but the line doesn’t reflect the momentum that Seattle’s accumulated. Forte goes off and the Bears win, but not by more than 10.
PICK: Seahawks +10

At New England -9 NY Jets
So many insults. So many foot references. I can’t wait for this game to be played so that we can end all the talk and just watch some bitter division rivals play angry football. I didn’t think the Jets would get out of Indy, but they did. The Pats look poised as hell, though. They’re the favorites to win the Super Bowl for a reason. They don’t turn the ball over and their defense is quietly gelling. But the Jets are bitter. They’re angry about the regular season beatdown. They’re angry about being second-fiddle to the golden boy QB and the genius head coach. The Jets will be high on emotions, but the Pats will be programmatic with their attack. If Sanchez plays throws passes like he did last week, this game has the potential to turn ugly real fast. The Jets deserve to be where they are, but the Pats will remind them who owns the AFC East.
PICK: Pats -9

Last week: 2-2
Season: 129-122-7

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