NFL Divisional Round Predictions (Part One of Two)

Jeremy PikeCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 16:  Kelvin Hayden #26 of the Indianapolis Colts strips the ball from Todd Heap #86 of the Baltimore Ravens after Heap makes a fourth quarter catch in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Lucas Oli Stadium on January 16, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Been a little while since I offered up my predictions, but here are my divisional round predictions.

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints

The Cardinals are coming off a great shootout with the Green Bay Packers in their wildcard game. The Saints are coming off a week of rest after limping their way to the end of the regular season. Obviously, the Cardinals have momentum, but they’re also banged up and tired after such an emotional game.

The Saints have had a chance to rest and to work on their weaknesses. The game is in New Orleans, and the crowd will definitely be a factor. Hard to go against the rested home team in this one. Saints should win with fresh legs and on the arm of star quarterback Drew Brees. Make no mistake, though. This will be a shootout.


Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts

The Ravens are coming off one of the biggest games they’ve played in a long time, dominating the New England Patriots in Foxboro in the playoffs. Not many teams have done that in a long time.

The Colts were well on their way to an undefeated season before rookie head coach Jim Caldwell and the front office decided to pull their starters in the second half of Week 16. Peyton Manning, the Colts’ quarterback and league MVP, was not pleased with that.

The Colts did lose their last two games of the season, but have yet to lose this year when Manning plays all four quarters. Yes, the Ravens dominated the Patriots. However, the Patriots of this year and years past are not the same. Manning and the Colts offense is about as good as they’ve ever been.

It’s going to be very hard for the Ravens to duplicate last week’s success this game. Colts will win.