ESPN's Bottom Line - Version 2.0

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Games to Watch this Weekend - Divisional Round 14

It's NFL Playoff time but Yale wins the photo race!
I'll be at the hockey game but keeping an eye on the NFL.  With good reason because there is a great game at 4:30 on Saturday.

  • Ravens at Patriots - (NBC)  The Patriots who have seemingly had one foot in the trainer's room all season are coming off of a first round bye here to face a threatening looking Ravens team.  Flacco looks fairly solid when he has more than two seconds to throw the ball which a lackluster Patriots DLine should provide him with unlike last week's game against the Steelers.  The Ravens defense has also looked fantastic and they were all over Big Ben last week but I am not sure if that's Rothlesomething just taking forever in the pocket as he is wont to do or the Ravens really getting after it.  Either way I think the Pats put up a better fight than the Steelers and given a slight revenge factor for what happened the last time these guys met in the Playoffs I have to give the edge to the Pats here as they will win 30-23
  • Panthers at Seahawks - (Fox)  I'll put this clearly at the top.  The Seahawks are going to obliterate the Panthers on Saturday night.  The Panthers did maybe the most backing in to a playoff spot of any team that's ever backed into a playoff spot ant the Seahawks look like a better version of the team that won the Super Bowl last year.  The Panthers are not that good.   Cam Newton hasn't looked good but most of that is because he has a rookie WR who can only outjump CBs and catch the ball a few times a game.  Their most dynamic player might be TE Greg Olsen who is a very good TE but he is not the game changer that Gronkowski is.  Their RB group despite being locked into expensive contracts is so frustrating to watch.  The Defense has looked good and I'm interested to see Kuechly face Russel Wilson.  Seattle wins 32-16
Not actually Kuechly but he was probably just to the left of this photo totally not getting his face jammed in by a QB

  • Cowboys at Packers - (Fox) This game has potential but I think the Cowboys luck will probably run out after last week.  They had a season better than anyone hoped and it seems like right now the fans hopes are ripe for a crushing Romo game losing turnover.  It's finally cold out and it just feels like we're back at that time of year when all Cowboy fans couldn't be more excited and Romo just rips their hearts out.  Classic Cowboys.  Anyway, even with Rodgers hurting they Cowboys aren't particularly good at getting after the QB and that will doom the Cowboys even more than Romo's game losing turnover.  Packers win 38-24
  • Colts at Broncos - (CBS) Perhaps the game with the classic storyline of the weekend and should be a very exciting game to watch.  Keep in mind that this is Andrew Luck's third season in the NFL and his best WR is TY Hilton and they are only a Touchdown underdog on the road against maybe the greatest QB of all time.  Not bad to be a Colts fan huh?  Could be a big day for Denver's Linebackers as those pinching Defensive ends will drive Luck right up the pocket to them where he is just as good scrambling as almost any QB in the league.   I'm really interested to see who wins this game and if the Broncos continue to run the ball as well as they have in the second half of the regular season.  Broncos win as the Colts just can't play mistake free and that will catch up to them against the really good teams.  Broncos 31-Colts 24

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