Tim Tebow leads the Broncos into the playoffs.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos
The Steelers have been here before. They almost won the Super Bowl last year and are hungry once again.
The Broncos are lucky to be here. They finished the year at 8-8 and lost their last three games. The Tim Tebow magic wore off, and the team could not recover. Will Tebow regain some of his magic to win in the big time?
The Steelers are just too tough. Tim Tebow hasn't faced a defense like the Steelers all season, and he has no idea what kind of physicality Pittsburgh brings to the table. Even though the loss of running back Rashard Mendenhall will hurt eventually, they should get by with backup Isaac Redman.
A gimpy Ben Roethlisberger will still do enough to win.
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans
The Texans are in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Unfortunately, they are without their franchise quarterback, Matt Schaub. They have rookie quarterback, T.J. Yates, but have Andre Johnson back and will be with the best running-back tandem in football.
The Texans defense has been a force to be reckoned with all year under Wade Phillips. The Bengals come in with no momentum and have not beaten a winning team all year. Andy Dalton has done a nice job this year and rookie phenom, A.J. Green, has done a tremendous job. Running back Cedric Benson is also having a good year once again—averaging 3.9 yards per carry. Their defense has also been solid, and the edge goes slightly to the Texans with home-field advantage. They have more offensive weapons with Johnson, Owen Daniels, Arian Foster and Ben Tate.
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints
This is the biggest mismatch in the first round. The Saints have not lost a game at home all year. They are nearly impossible to beat in the dome. Drew Brees is having an MVP year, and he has so many weapons.
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are having great years, but it won't be enough to overcome the Saints in New Orleans. It will be a shootout as both teams can score a lot of points. The Lions rank fourth in the league in points scored and the Saints rank second.
The home-field advantage for the Saints will play a huge factor. The Lions also struggle to run the ball and the Saints can focus on stopping Stafford and their passing attack.
Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants
Both teams are coming into the playoffs with a lot of momentum. The Falcons just destroyed the Tampa Bay Bucs at home and the Giants knocked off their division rival Cowboys.
The only problem is that the Falcons are not as good on the road with a 4-4 road record. The crowd at MetLife Stadium was rocking after the Giants beat Dallas. The Falcons have not won a playoff game with Matt Ryan or coach Mike Smith. Eli Manning is having his best season yet.
Jason Pierre-Paul is having a Defensive Player of the Year-type season. If the Giants get a good pass-rush, then they will be tough to beat. We know Manning will get the ball to Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks and Matt Ryan will try to get it to Roddy White and Julio Jones. Michael Turner should find running room as the Giants struggle against the run.
If the Falcons can control the clock with Turner, they can win this game. This should be an exciting and fun game to watch with a lot of offense. Which defense breaks first?