Andy Cash’s Money Playoff Picks 2015 – The Divisional Round
The Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs is a big weekend. These four matchups will separate the men from the boys. These are all Marquee games we're going to see and each one will be great, but of course there can only be one winner in each. I will attempt to give you my money picks for this exciting set of games. After going 2-2 last week, I need to do a little better this go around.
1. The Baltimore Ravens @ The New England Patriots
Saturday, January 10th @ 4:35 p.m. on NBC
If you want to talk about a classic post-season rivalry you have to mention the Ravens and Patriots. These two teams have played each other in the post-season 3 out of the last 5
seasons. In those games, Baltimore has New England's number with a record of 2-1, including a 28-13 victory which led to a Super Bowl appearance and win in 2013. I'll start by saying that Baltimore made a huge statement with the Wildcard win over Pittsburgh. After battling through a division that was highly competitive throughout the regular season, they are the only AFC North team left and they are for real. Of course you can't ignore the outstanding play of Joe Flacco who earned a 6 year contract worth over $126 million after his Super Bowl winning season. He's eager to get back an prove he's indeed worth that money.
Of course the one thing standing in Baltimore's way right now the New England Patriots. The Pats have made it to the AFC Championship game every year since 2010. They win a lot in the playoffs and that's due to the creatively genius coaching style of Bill Belichick. This is going to be one of the most exciting games all weekend and it's hard to say for sure who will come up with a win, but I have to think it's going to be New England. I believe Tom Brady and his team have a lot to prove after so many in the beginning of the season believed that the MVP quarterback didn't have it anymore.
Predicted Score: The Baltimore Ravens 24, The New England Patriots 34.
2. The Carolina Panthers @ The Seattle Seahawks
Saturday, January 10th @ 8:10 p.m. on FOX
This game is a no-brainer. Not only are the Seahawks deadly at home, but the Carolina offense, especially after last week's performance, is no match for the "Legion of Boom." Carolina has had a nice run considering they battled their way into the playoffs and through the Wildcard round, but it's unfortunately going to be all over with come Saturday night. I won't even go into real detail with this game because it's an obvious choice.
Predicted Score: The Carolina Panthers 10, The Seattle Seahawks 31.
3. The Dallas Cowboys @ The Green Bay Packers
Sunday, January 11th @ 1:05 p.m. on FOX
This is a game that I am deathly afraid of. I say that because I am a Green Bay fan and if they lose this game no more football for me in my eyes until next fall! The circumstances behind this game are probably the most interesting of all the games to be played this weekend. On the road this season Dallas has not lost a game. At Lambeau Field this season, The Green Bay Packers have not lost a game. This game is going to be as primetime as it gets (even though they play at 1:05). Tony Romo is having a career season with 34 touchdowns, 3,705 passing yards, and a career best rating of 113.2. Another thing that Romo has overcome well this year is taking care of the football during key moments in games. With Dez Bryant catching the passes and DeMarco Murray running the ball, the Packers defense is going to have their work cut out for them.
A real concern I have in this game, as a Packers fan, is the health of future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He has battling a torn calf and has barely practiced these past two weeks. Packers fans should be very proud of the performance of the "Cheese Heads" this season. All facets of this team have improved drastically and they had a championship caliber regular season. Rodgers alone threw 38 touchdown passes, threw for 4,381 yards, and only had picked 5 times. If there wasn't issues with his calf, I would say the Lombardi trophy would be coming home again, but one wrong move or run out of the pocket gone wrong could end Rodgers season. The fear of that happening alone may effect game play and so I am going to have to go with Dallas in this one, but not by much.
Predicted Score: The Dallas Cowboys 27, The Green Bay Packers 24.
4. The Indianapolis Colts @ The Denver Broncos
Sunday, January 11th @ 4:40 p.m. on CBS
This game is going to be awesome just because of the Luck vs. Manning matchup. Peyton Manning and the Denver offense is always a true threat, but late this regular season some flaws in the overall performance of this Broncos team were revealed. Thought they were putting up some big numbers they had some pretty bad losses including one to Cincinnati in week 16. I feel the pressure of the playoffs will prove to be too much for Peyton and I think I see the upset happening here. Andrew Luck is an incredible talent and already has a pretty impressive post-season resume in his young career.
Predicted Score: The Indianapolis Colts 31, The Denver Broncos 30.