Green Bay Packers +3 @ Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan is 20-2 when playing at home in Atlanta. How do you pick against that? I see a few reasons why I believe the Packers can win this game on the road.
1. Aaron Rodgers has played exceptional all season, winning big games and coming up with big plays. Winning in Philly last week against a terrific young Eagles teams was very impressive. Rodgers is efficient, accurate, and head smart. He can control a game and remain poised in all situations. All of his players trust and believe in him, and that is pivotal to any teams success.
2. Mike McCarthy and Dom Capers have come up with terrific game plans all season. Capers has transformed this Green Bay defense and has successfully turned them into a 3-4 D. Utilizing Clay Matthews on every down is crucial to this defense. Woodson coming off the corner on a 3rd down blitz or a run blitz has caused serious issues for opposing teams. And lets take our hats off to BJ Raji on the d-line. The kid has performed.
Fact of the matter is this: If the Falcons run the ball successfully they win the game. Turnovers are crucial for both teams, but the ground game is huge for Atlanta. Green Bay can win being 1-dimensional, Atlanta cannot.
Packers shut down the run of the Falcons and win this game in Atlanta.
PICK: GREEN BAY 27 - Atlanta 23
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers -3
The yellow towels will be going crazy in Steel City. And the players will battle all 60 minutes.
What a great game this will be as two of the best teams in the NFL will battle to reach the AFC-Championship game next weekend.
Advantage goes to the home team. Big Ben is 6-0 since 2007 (reg season and playoffs) against the Ravens. He just flat out plays good football in BIG GAMES.
The defenses will shut the offenses down, which team can make a big play in the fourth quarter to set up a winning drive. I like Big Ben in this situation as the Steelers come from behind in the fourth quarter to win.
PICK: Steelers 20 - Ravens 16
Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears -10
The Cinderella Story for Pete Carroll is over. The Seahawks will not have enough to beat the Chicago Bears on Soldier Field.
Clear edge goes to the rested defensive line of the Chicago Bears. The reason the Seahawks won last week was due to the fact that New Orleans did not put any pressure on Hasselbeck. With Peppers forcing him out of the pocket all game, the Bears sending Briggs on blitz's and Tillman creating havoc in the secondary, this is a no-brainer.
Cutler will have a solid performance and will manage the game very well. Forte having success on the ground, setting up play-action passes will play dividends come the third and fourth quarter for the Bears to put this game away.
I don't see the Seahawks keeping up in this game. Bears win.
PICK: CHICAGO 24 - Seattle 9
New York Jets @ New England Patriots -9
All the talk from Rex Ryan better payoff for him and the Jets because they will be in for a tough game against the Patriots.
New England will be ready to play as this was like a bye week for them. This is exactly the type of matchup I love Tom Brady to have success in. The Jets are talking trash on him all week, meanwhile, the Jets barely escape out of Indianapolis last week.
Talk is cheap from the Jets this week, I don't even like them keeping it close. If the Patriots are able to slow the Jets run game, which I expect them to do, the Jets will be forced to put the game on the shoulders of Mark Sanchez. Now would you rather have Sanchez or Brady? Exactly.
If the Jets had a top 15 quarterback behind center, I would have my money on them to win the Super Bowl. They have a great defense and a great running game, but the lack of talent and experience at quarterback will significantly hurt the Jets once again and this year they will fall one game short of where they were last year.
PICK: Patriots 34 - Jets 17