Originally written on The Pass Rush  |  Last updated 11/19/14
I missed on the picks yesterday. Like I said, this week looks incredibly tough to predict. I was hoping to see a Peyton Manning vs. Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl. I think that’s the dream matchup all of us wanted to see this year. After last night, that’s out of the picture. I should have kept the Broncos (-2.5)/Patriots (-2.5) teaser alive, but the 70-yard bomb with 36 seconds left killed that ticket. How do you give up that play as a defense? I feel bad for Peyton. He wins 11 straight games, puts together a 13-3 season, secures home field advantage, and his defense blows the season in one play. If the Ravens are going to advance, they better win the AFC Championship next week. I do love the Ray Lewis story. Let’s get to Sunday’s picks. Seattle Seahawks (+3) over ATLANTA FALCONS I’m really torn here. I can see this game going either way. The Falcons are at home where Matt Ryan has been outstanding throughout his career, a 33-6 record and 8-0 this season.  The Seahawks have been downright dangerous the last month of the season. The Seahawks could very well have the league’s best defense with a lethal combination of a strong pass rush from their entire front seven and the biggest and most physical secondary in the NFL. However, Chris Clemons, their top pass rusher is out for the season after tearing his ACL last week. The Seahawks still have the edge defensively over the Falcons and have the better running game with BEAST MODE Marshawn “PutDaTeamOnMyBack” Lynch. I have faith in the Seahawks corners to contain Roddy White and Julio Jones while the front seven limits the Falcons run game. In the playoffs, it’s all about defense and the running game and Seattle has the edge in both. Do your thing Marshawn Lynch — get your Skittles ready! To give the Falcons some respect here, their defense has also been strong at home. They held the Giants to 0, Bucs to 17, Saints to 13, Dallas to 13, and Denver to 21. Those are very impressive home performance against strong offenses. However, I’m still feeling the Seahawks. PICK: Seahawks +3 (Confidence: 6/10) PREDICTION: Seahawks 24 – Falcons 20  NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-9.5) over Houston Texans The public is split here 50/50, which is somewhat surprising. I thought about 65% of the public would be going with the Patriots after they shellacked the Texans 42-14 on December 10th. The Patriots offense has been able to impose their will on every team they’ve faced — they’re a machine. The Texans will need to play a near perfect game to even keep this one close. The Texans offense has just been missing the last month including last week against the Bengals. I’m not expecting a beat down like last game, but I’m confident in the Patriots winning by two scores. If you’re not sold on laying the points, I would look to tease the line to Patriots (-2.5)/over 41. The Texans face the same problem they did last game in that they cannot play from behind. In order for them to have a chance in this game, they need to draw first blood with a TD. If the Patriots pull off an early lead, the Texans will have to abandon their running game and that will be disastrous for them. If the Patriots start off this game with a 14-0 lead, the Texans might as well just throw in the towel. If the Texans go up 7-0 to start the game, the pressure will be off their defense, and the Texans can try to control the clock with the running game and keep Brady off the field. That’s the only way I see them having a a chance in this game. This year in the playoffs, the Patriots will benefit from a stronger running game and defense that have been missing over the last few years. Brady is also working with a healthy Gronk and Hernandez. I just don’t think the Texans can stop him with all of the weapons at his disposal. PICK: Patriots -9.5 (Confidence: 6/10) TEASER PICK: Patriots -2.5/Over 41 (Confidence: 8/10) PREDICTION: Patriots 34 – Texans 20
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Lovie Smith denies Bucs tanked to secure #1 pick in 2015 Draft

Report: Jets will fire Rex Ryan, GM John Idzik on Monday

Braxton Miller has 'expressed interest' in Duke transfer?

Jim Harbaugh, 49ers mutually part ways

Mike Wallace benched for disciplinary reasons

Browns owner sends stern message to Johnny Manziel

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ray Allen is leaning toward retirement

Ravens clinch playoff spot

DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant set Cowboys records in win

Report: Browns feel Josh Gordon 'has to go'

Jets contacted Rex Ryan's agent about replacements for him

Justin Gilbert inactive after being late to team meeting

10 takeaways from NFL Week 17

WATCH: Mike Tomlin goes after Reggie Nelson after game

WATCH: Ndamukong Suh steps on Aaron Rodgers

Nation's top recruit says he won't follow Jim Harbaugh

Eric Decker's wife was concerned about hubby's groin

WATCH: Lamar Miller has longest run in Dolphins history

WATCH: Pats fans serenade Pete Frates with 'Happy Birthday'

Harbaugh rumors affecting Mich. basketball ticket prices?

WATCH: Dez Bryant burns Redskins defender for TD

Detroit bar offering free food, booze if Lions beat Packers

Jameis Winston: I would throw in Richard Sherman's direction

WATCH: Nebraska safety pukes on field, keeps playing

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WATCH: Suh steps on Aaron Rodgers

Browns owner sends message to Manziel

Ray Allen leaning toward retirement?

Ravens clinch playoff spot

Murray, Bryant set team records

Pats fans serenade Pete Frates

Browns to part ways with Josh Gordon?

Manziel was late after throwing party?

Amari Cooper not a fan of New Orleans

Harbaugh to Mich. is done deal

WATCH: Jennifer Lawrence supports Louisville with chant

Did Bielema do ‘Horns Down’?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.