Originally written on The Hazean  |  Last updated 11/7/14
If you will indulge me, I plan on using this section of my SCORCHING HOT NFL picks against the spread column to work through some issues. I haven’t discussed my thoughts on the Broncos game yet as it has been too painful to speak, so perhaps writing it out will help. If you gave me the situation before the game that Denver was up 7 points and Joe Flacco had to take the Ravens down the entire field in one minute, I would have gladly been in that situation. I’ve seen numerous talk about Peyton Manning, John Fox etc. but the bottom line is the Broncos had a seven point lead at the end of the game everyone had done a good enough job to that point. But then disaster happened. Much has been made of the absolutely terrible play of Rahim Moore on the ball that would eventually be the equalizing score. Don’t get me wrong, that was world-class bad safety play. But here’s the thing: At that point in the game basically only a hail-mary type of play beats you. The ball Flacco threw to Jacoby Jones wasn’t a strike, it was a rain-maker that was exactly like a prayer. As I re-watched the play this week, one thing sticks out to me. Why is Moore the only player back deep? Are you telling me that the design was to have 1-on-1 coverage of deep balls? Offenses pray for those kind of odds in that situation. Adams (the corner) peels back before the ball is in the air. Why? There is no reason everyone isn’t playing deep. While I think Moore deserves much blame, I find fault with the whole approach and haven’t seen much criticism of the scheme. We didn’t bring a blitz but somehow we didn’t have more than 1 person back deep to each side. It still hurts but look on the bright side, we all got one extra hour of Dan Dierdorf because of the overtime. The first playoff weekend every game went UNDER the total. Last weekend every game went OVER the total. Favorites and dogs split at 2-2. With this much on the line, I think both games will get tight and we’ll see lower-scoring affairs so I’m siding with both UNDERS since I don’t think they both lose. I’m also disappointed that we were denied (IMO) better matchups of Seattle/SF and DEN/NE. As I said last week, I love playoff football but this weekend isn’t as exciting as the last two to me. On to the picks! Playoff record (11-5) NFL SAN FRANCISCO -4 vs. Falcons – If you have followed me at all this year, you know I don’t believe in Atlanta. Despite winning last week (and not covering), they were out-played nearly the entire game at home. All that changes this week is the visiting team is even better. I saw a quote from a Falcon defensive player a few days ago talking about how tired they were chasing Russell Wilson around. Good luck with that against this Kaepernick guy buddy. The main difference is that whatever magic spell Michael Turner used to look decent last week will not fly against the Niners defense. I grabbed SF-3 as soon as it came out and thought it might go higher than the -4 it has currently landed at most of the week. Brace yourselves, the Niners in the Superbowl is most definitely happening. SAN FRANCISCO/ATLANTA UNDER 49 – I actually feel pretty good about this UNDER cashing. Neither team will want a shootout and these naturally conservative coaches will go full “clenched butt-cheek” mode with a Super Bowl birth on the line. You saw what Mike Smith tried to do last week when he had a lead. Both teams will want to establish a run. NEW ENGLAND -8 vs. Ravens – I honestly can’t believe what I’m seeing in the world. No one bet on the Ravens when they played the Colts two weeks ago. Even less people wanted to bet on the Ravens last week when they traveled to Denver. Yet somehow, people can’t bet on the Ravens fast enough heading to Foxboro. I don’t care that Gronk is hurt. I don’t care that Flacco looked capable last week. What I care about is the ability of New England to find ways to score and their defense to make stops when it counts. I realize my utter disdain for the Ravens right now may be slanting this selection but I see a decisive Patriots win. NEW ENGLAND/BALTIMORE UNDER 51 vs. Broncos – I don’t think ole Bill B is going to let the Ravens continue their resurgent offensive ways. As I mentioned earlier, the UNDER is unpopular in these situations and I’ll take my chances. The Patriots tried playing a boring, low-scoring game against Houston in the first quarter. I think that lasts for most of the game this week. Let’s root for punts! Good luck!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kentucky remains unbeaten after thrilling win over ND

Alabama DT arrested on domestic violence charges again

John Calipari blasted for postgame interview

WATCH: MJ, Tom Brady play pickup game in Bahamas

WATCH: Wrong national anthem played for El Salvador

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Russell Wilson smashes HR in Rangers BP

John Fox: Jay Cutler will have to earn starting QB job

Report: Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall candidates for Texas

Kurt Warner is helping to turn around Colin Kaepernick

Bizarre call allows Duke to cover spread against Utah

Saints love TE Josh Hill following Jimmy Graham trade

Sam Dekker's hot shooting sends Wisconsin to Final Four

Jim McElwain complains about Florida roster

Mark Few: I put Coach K up there with John Wooden

WATCH: Enes Kanter embraces boos in return to Utah

Mariners prospect dies from boat accident injuries

T.J. Ford sends heartfelt tweet about Rick Barnes

Bruins coach suits up as backup goalie

Tennessee fans show love for Bruce Pearl on campus rock

Louisville guard turned off phone after clutch NC State win

Steve Spurrier hung out with Kenny Chesney before concert

Winnipeg Jets prospect had a rough night on the ice

Did Dean Smith’s gifts to former players violate NCAA rules?

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

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.