NFL Playoff Picks 2012: Patriots and Favorites Who Will Dominate

T.J. McaloonContributorJanuary 12, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 17:  Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots gains yards as he is chased by Haruki Nakamura #43 of the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on October 17, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Being at home in the playoffs last week proved to be beneficial, as all of the favorites advanced to the divisional round. However, this week those winners are now on the road heading toward four teams that all have had a week off to prepare for this week’s game. However, unlike last week, only three of the four home teams are favored. 

These three teams will advance and move onto their respected championship game. 


Baltimore Ravens (-7.5 favorite) 

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 16:  Running back  Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens carries the ball against the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium on October 16, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens won 29-14.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Ravens were perfect at home this year, going 8-0 winning by a combined score of 201-119. In fact, in Week 6, Houston came into Baltimore and was blown out 29-14. 

In their Week 6 matchup, the Texans couldn’t run the ball and could barely move the ball through the air. While the offense struggled, the defense couldn’t stop Ravens running back Ray Rice. Rice didn’t make it into the end zone, though he had a total of 161 yards, with 101 coming from rushing the ball. 

Rice’s 101 rushing yards was more than the entire Texans running game (93 yards). 

This week, Rice will run all over the Texans defense again leading Baltimore to the AFC Championship Game. 


New England Patriots (-13.5 favorite)

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 18:  Quarterback Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos is tackled by strong safety James Ihedigbo #44 of the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Ge
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Patriots have the task of taking down the Denver Broncos and the phenomenon that is known as Tim Tebow.  

However, the Patriots have already proved they can take down the Broncos, as they defeated them in Week 15 41-23. In that game, the Patriots shut down Tebow’s passing attack, which is something the Pittsburgh Steelers could not do in the Wild Card Round. 

Tebow was only able to throw for 194 yards with no touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 80.5. 

While Tebow was ineffective, Patriots QB Tom Brady shredded the Broncos’ secondary for 320 yards, two touchdowns and a rating of 117.3. 

In the divisional round at home, where Brady is 7-1 on the season with 16 touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 100.5, he will dominate the Broncos defense, again helping the Pats move onto the AFC Championship Game. 


Green Bay Packers (-7.5 favorite)

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 04:  (L-R) Donald Driver #80 and John Kuhn #30 of the Green Bay Packers celebrate after Driver caught a 13-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on December 4, 2011 in
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Last week the Giants held a good Atlanta Falcons offense to no points in the Wild Card Round. However, the Falcons are nowhere near the same talent level as the Packers led by Aaron Rodgers

When these two teams met earlier this year in Week 13, Green Bay was able to do whatever it wanted against the Giants defense. Rodgers went off on the Giants secondary, throwing for 369 yards, four touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 106.2.

In that game, Rodgers led the Packers to a touchdown and a field goal with less than five minutes left in the game when the Packers were down in two different situations. 

This week, Rodgers will be able to find his speedy receivers, as the Packers survive against the Giants moving onto the NFC Championship Game. 


These three favorites will move on to their respected championship game the following week. This will make for two straight weeks of home teams surviving and advancing in the playoffs. It will be interesting to see if the trend of home teams winning will continue in the following week.