Here are our picks for this week. Looks like the three of us will maintain a two game lead over Mom and Joshua no matter what transpires tonight and tomorrow.
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots
Abby Kate: Pats
It seems like Joe Flacco and the Ravens always do this. Despite how they play in the regular season, they seem to find another gear in the postseason, particularly on the road. Joe Flacco brings a five-game playoff streak with a passer rating over 100 and his seven road playoff wins is the most all-time. The Ravens pass rush dominated the Steelers last week, so this pick makes me uneasy. But I can’t pick against Brady and Belichick in Foxboro in January. Quick passes to Gronk will negate the Ravens pass rush, as will RBs that can catch the ball out of the backfield. Darelle Revis and Brandon Browner will keep Flacco from feeding the ball to the Smiths. Pats win in a tight one.
Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks
Abby Kate: Seahawks
My gut says this is the game with the greatest potential for a blowout. I know both teams are hot right now. Carolina scuffled midseason — going 60+ days in between victories — before finding the groove in December. Cam Newton is a dynamic player and one day he’ll get a ring. But not now. Not against this Seattle squad that has given up an average of 66 rush yards per game since Thanksgiving. Expect a raucous environment at CenturyLink with Seattle covering the 11-point spread.
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos
Abby Kate: Broncos
I think this is the possible upset in this week’s matchups. Peyton’s just not right. In the final weeks of the regular season, Denver morphed into a running game. Andrew Luck will not be fazed and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Colts come away with a victory. But Denver is the more talented squad. And they’re at home. I hate to go chalk on all my picks, but I really don’t want to pick against Peyton. I’m hedging, I know, but I’ll stick with Denver.
Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers
Abby Kate: Packers
This game is going to be epic. I just have a feeling. The real X factor here is Aaron Rodgers’ calf. If he’s healthy (and a week of rest should have him ready to go), I see the Pack winning late. If not, the Cowboys are good enough to dominate in their running game. I’m sticking with the Packers to win in a close one, somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-27.