Rob's Raw NFL Recap – Wild Card Weekend

This week, Rob recaps a hectic, Tebowmanic wild card weekend before looking forward to next week. 

Alright, gang. Not much to say this week so I’m getting right to it. For the playoffs, I’m doing something a bit different: I’ll recap the games that just happened, and then I’ll give you my picks for the games coming up. Since I still feel good about my Super Bowl pick (Green Bay over New England), I guess I’m getting ballsy. Whatever the case…enjoy:

Bengals 10
Texans 31

True to form, Cincinnati failed to bring their A-game against a good team. Great first season for Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, but they’re still a couple of years from really contending. A couple years more seasoning along with the aging Steelers and Ravens coming back to the rest of the AFC North pack, and they will contend.

Houston put on a heckuva show in their first home playoff game in a generation. Ran it up a good defense’s ass and played some solid D of their own. Should be fun to see the Texans try to out Raven the Ravens in Baltimore next week.

Lions 28
Saints 45

It wasn’t quite the shootout we thought it would be, but Detroit at least made it interesting. Sky is the limit moving forward for the Lions…that is, if they can somehow get a defense and a consistent rushing attack.

New Orleans is great in the Superdome, but now they have to take their show on the road. If they can play like this in San Fran, maybe I’ll start to believe the hype. Maybe.

Falcons 2
Giants 24

New York looks a lot like the ’07 team that won the Super Bowl: nothing to write home about in the regular season, yet inexplicably turns it on in the playoffs. If they want to repeat history, they’ll have to do it down to the letter…including a win at Lambeau Field. Considering Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have quite the track record of throwing it to the other team like his predecessor did, the Giants will have their work cut out for them.

Atlanta: I was willing to cut you a break for the first two playoff losses, but now it’s time to show your work. Holding the dubious distinction of being the only team in NFL playoff history to come away with a mere 2 points the whole game is bad enough. Having it come against a defense that couldn’t stop the Redskins twice this season is another. I’ll bet you wish you had all those Julio Jones picks back so you could beef up that run defense…

Steelers 23
Broncos 29 (OT)

Tebowmania lives another week. Goddamn it.

Remember when Warren Sapp said Pittsburgh looked “old, slow, and done”? Well, if he could cut and paste it to this week, he’d actually be right.

Now for what to expect this week:

Saints at 49ers:

Everybody’s on New Orleans nuts because of their high-powered offense. Don’t get carried away, people. If anybody’s built to stop the Saints, it’s the Niners. Strong defense, ball-control offense. I’ll still take New Orleans in this game but don’t think for a minute it’ll be a Brees. *rimshot*

The pick: Saints 24, Niners 17

Broncos at Patriots:

I love listening to people oversimplify matchups like these. “If Tebow can go for 29 against the Steelers, he should be able to put up 35 or 40 on New England’s weak defense.” Horseshit. If it were that simple, then the Skins would be in the playoffs because they hung 27 on the Pats and swept the Giants. Belichick and Brady have lost their last two home playoff games–making them more dangerous than if they still had the Patriot Mystique. Tebowmania ends here.

The pick: Patriots 27, Broncos 20

Texans at Ravens:

Both teams have a strong defense and can pound it on the ground offensively. So it comes down to QB play. While Joe Flacco doesn’t impress me, neither does a third-string rookie who did little more than hand it off to Arian Foster and toss it up to Andre Johnson in the wild card game against a team that hasn’t won a playoff game in 20 years. I think you know where I’m leaning…

The pick: Ravens 17, Texans 13

Giants at Packers:

Like I said…Favre ain’t playin’ in this one. Eli Manning is having a career year, and that Giants pass rush is as ferocious as ever. But I won’t believe an Aaron Rodgers collapse until I’ve seen it.

The pick: Packers 35, Giants 30

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