Found January 11, 2013 on
Football Extra Points:
The Ravens are not the same defense they were a few years ago, the Broncos are going to roll.
The Wildcard games disappointed for one reason, quarterback play. That will not be a problem this weekend. The marquee quarterbacks are off their bye weeks and are ready to lead their teams onto the field.
Here is a look at the games and my selection of the winners.
Baltimore vs Denver - To put it bluntly, the Ravens defense is old. They are experienced but they're old. Yes Ray Lewis is back and yes he's going to the HOF as soon as he's eligible but, that doesn't mean he's the same player now. The Ravens beat a rookie QB at home last week, they're not getting that match-up this week. The Ravens offense continues to struggle with Flacco at the helm. Yes he put up some yards last week but 12-23 is not impressive. Ray Rice was also a non factor last week which is an even bigger issue.
The Broncos offense is clicking right now and Manning is happy to have a solid running game, good offensive line and WR that can make plays. He'll have things under control from an offensive standpoint. I like where the Broncos defense is right now and I think if they can stop the Ravens running game and force Flacco to throw the ball they will have no problem winning this game.
Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are on a collision course for another AFC Championship, Broncos win.
Green Bay vs San Fran - This is a very interesting match-up. The Packers have an elite QB in Rodgers and the 49ers have one of the best defenses in the NFL. When these two units are on the field it's must see TV. However, this game will be won or lost on the Packers defenses ability to stop Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is a mobile QB that can run the ball and make the throws he needs to when he has the time. The Packers defense did not play well in the middle part of the season when they were dealing with injuries.
I think that the 49ers running game will wear down the Packers and Kaepernick will make just enough plays with his legs and arm to win this one.
Seattle vs Atlanta - The Falcons have been disrespected all season by everyone. They had a great start and finish to the season but no one will give them credit. All the talk has been about how well they will play in the postseason. Well, now's their chance to prove everyone wrong. The Falcons offense is going up against an elite defense in Seattle and will have their hands full on offense. The Seahawks offense is built on running the ball and making smart decisions in the passing game.
I think Matt Ryan will have all those previous bad playoffs games in his head and when he struggles early, he's going to start believe what we've all been saying. The Seahawks continue their ride and win this one.
Texans vs Patriots - If I told you mid season that these two teams were facing off in the playoffs most would have expected them to be playing in the AFC Championship game. Unfortunately for the Texans their season fell apart and they were blown out on national TV by the Patriots. The Texans are struggling on both sides of the ball and need to get back to what made them successful, running the ball with Foster. The Texans have to get Arian Foster going early and establish themselves against the Patriots defense. They need to be able to set-up play action but, more importantly, they need to keep Tom Brady off the field.
The Patriots game plan is to get their running game established enough to slow the Texans pass rush and then let Brady shred the Texans in the passing game. The Patriots have just enough defense to slow down Schaub and Foster.
Tom Brady will be facing off with Peyton Manning in Denver next week, Patriots win.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Courtesy of USA Today Sports (via Lindsay Jones), we present the Broncos‘ dashing John Fox from his high school days:
(Courtesy of USA Today Sports)
The hair! Brady Quinn’s number! In all seriousness, Fox hasn’t changed a bit. Excluding the hair. That hair!
With Tebow nowhere in sight, it was Ravens defensive captain Ray Lewis this time preaching to viewers that “nothing is impossible with God.”
Joe Flacco stripped the annoying monkey off his back (again) and orchestrated his offense (near-flawlessly) versus a defense that ranked 3rd against the pass (199.6 ypg). Without fear, he catapulted touchdowns, to Jacoby Jones (1) and Torrey...
File this one under creepy. A man in the Denver area is selling panties on Craigslist. According to his listing, they once belonged to his girlfriend, and she had Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas sign them. The listing also refers to them as “stripper panties,” which begs the question is if Thomas signed them while she was wearing them? Pretty impressive if he did...
For those of you trying to track down the first touchdown of the Denver Broncos/Baltimore Ravens AFC Divisional playoff game, it came courtesy of Denver returner Trindon Holliday.
One of the shortest players in the NFL (at only 5'5) took a punt by Baltimore's Sam Koch the distance of 90 yards for a NFL playoff record:
(Courtesy of Bleacher Report)
With less than one minute to play in the AFC Divisonal playoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos, it appeared that the one-seeded Broncos were getting ready to host the New England Patriots up by the score of 35-27.
All that soon changed after Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco found Jacoby Jones for a 70-yard touchdown reception that ultimately sent the game...
For the Ravens:
Out: G Jah Reid (toe). Reid was placed on injured reserve and the team activated cornerback Asa Jackson from suspension.
Probable: WR Anquan Boldin (shoulder), WR Tandon Doss (ankle), LB Dannell Ellerbe (ankle), LB Adrian Hamilton (illness), FB Vonta Leach (knee/ankle), LB Ray Lewis (triceps), LB Albert McClellan (shoulder), DE Pernell McPhee (thigh), DT Haloti Ngata...
That was quick.
On their third offensive play of the game, Denver quarterback Peyton Manning threw a pick-six to cornerback Corey Graham.
Graham’s interception gave the Ravens a 14-7 lead with less than 10 minutes left in the first quarter. The interception was set up by a Chykie Brown tipped pass.
Who will you be rooting for on Saturday? Baltimore or Denver?
Raj: I got a lot of criticism for fellow Patriots fans on twitter for my decision to root for the Ravens last Sunday and that isn't changing. One reason is because Ray Rice carried Rutgers to glory and I am a Jersey guy. Pride apart, I also rooted for the Ravens because let's be honest, who is a much tougher...
The Ravens and Broncos will feature a bit of a chess match between Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis, two of the biggest names in the game. The night game, Green Bay at San Francisco, features quarterbacks with two very different levels of experience.
For the Ravens: DB Omar Brown, DT Bryan Hall, LB Adrian Hamilton, G Ramon Harewood, DB Chris Johnson, WR David Reed and WR Deonte Thompson
For the Broncos: WR Andre Caldwell, G C.J. Davis, RB Chris Gronkowski, QB Caleb Hanie, CB Tracy Porter, DT Sealver Siliga and TE Julius Thomas