It's that time of the year. Everything that these 12 teams have worked for during the course of the regular season will all pay off now.
Even though my team isn't participating during these playoffs, it will still be exciting for me as an NFL fan.
Heading into these playoffs, there doesn't seem to be one dominant team, or a team that I would bet all my money on. I believe that any of these 12 teams could make the Super Bowl. And, as we have seen in just the past two years with the Giants and Cardinals, anything can happen.
While that makes it harder for me to pick the games as a B/R writer, it makes it a lot more exciting for me as the football fan.
New York Jets @ Cincinnati Bengals
In one of the three Week 17 rematches, the New York Jets destroyed the Cincinnati Bengals 37-0 in their previous meeting.
But how much can we really take from that game?
Honestly, I don't think that we should all go and pick the Jets because of how they beat the Bengals Week 17. Cedric Benson didn't play, and Carson Palmer didn't play much either.
The Jets "backed" into the playoffs with late seasons wins over both the Bengals and the Colts. Yet both teams had little to gain by playing their starters against the Jets, so Rex Ryan and co. pounded both squads' second teamers for the majority of each game.
I like the Bengals chances in this game because I think that they are going to bounce back well from the loss last week. They are going to rally behind the Chris Henry tragedy and move onto the next round of the playoffs.
My pick: Bengals
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
The Eagles and Cowboys have faced off twice this year, with the Cowboys taking both games. 20-16 in Week 9, and 24-0 last week.
Now, because the Eagles already had a playoff spot rapped up last week, they rested some guys when the game got a little out of reach, and may not have shown everything they have.
But here's why I've got the Cowboys. The Cowboys have won three straight games and have shutout their last two opponents. Their defense is on fire, and it just happens that the Eagles will be starting a backup center on Saturday.
Combine that with the Cowboys playing at home in big D for the second week in a row, who says they can't win three times over the Eagles? The Steelers beat the Ravens three times last year. It can happen.
I just have a feeling that this new decade and new stadium will bring the Dallas Cowboys a playoff win.
My pick: Cowboys
Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots
This game has been very tough for me to pick. I've been going back and forth all week.
Wes Welker is going to miss the game and the rest of the playoffs with a torn MCL and ACL. He has been Brady's go to guy all year.
With Welker out, two guys will need to step up—Randy Moss and Julian Edelman. Ever since Moss was criticized a couple of weeks ago for taking plays off, he seems to have rejuvinated himself.
Then there is Edelman, who didn't even play WR in college. But this is really his chance to prove to Patriot Nation that he belongs, and isn't just a Wes Welker look-a-like with less impressive skills.
Even with Welker out and Brady hurt, I'm going with the Pats.
My pick: Patriots
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals
The Packers and Cardinals are the third rematch from Week 17. I think the Pack could go very deep into the playoffs.
Aaron Rodgers is really developing into one of the top QB's in the league, and he is on fire along with the whole offense.
The only loss the Packers have in the past month-and-a-half was a last second loss to the Steelers in Week 16.
Anquan Boldin will miss the game with an ankle and knee injury.
My pick: Packers
I hope that this is an exciting week of NFL football, and I look forward to the divisional round next week.
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