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Divisional Round Provides Bigger Challenges

I have been basking in the glory of a 4-0 week for long enough.  It's time to dig in and take a look at the Divisional Round.  No doubt, this week will be a bit tougher, with all 8 divisional champions in action this weekend.  Let's take a look at how it breaks down.


Indianapolis +4 @ Baltimore -- Younger fans may not really care, but plenty of mature Baltimore fans still feel the team with the horseshoe on their helmet still belongs to Baltimore.  Even a Super Bowl Title has done little to change that.  On the field, it is a clash of the titans, the immovable force against the inpenetratable object.  The Ravens D against the Colts O.  Usually I take the defense in those matchups, especially in January playoff games.  It's a bit different this year, with temperatures expected to hit 60 degrees.  That favors the better offense.  Sure, the Colts D is nothing to be proud of, but the Ravens Offense isn't stellar either.  There is just something about this flawed Colt team that I like, and with the Ravens giving 4 I'm looking at some easy money. Colts 23 - 20

Philadelphia @ New Orleans -5.5 -- Last week I made the statement that the Jeff Garcia bubble was about to burst.  I picked the Eagles to beat the Giants, in a close game, and they did.  This week, the bubble bursts.  I like the Saints, a lot.  Drew Brees is as solid a starting quarterback that there is in the league.  McAlister and Bush provide a lethal 1-2 punch and the Eagles, now without Lito Sheppard, just don't have the horses to keep up.  On offense, Westbrook is a stud, but the Saints will be ready for former flop Dante Stalworth.  The Saints beat the Eagles, with Donovan McNabb, by 7 earlier in the season they'll do it again this weekend.  Give the points.  Saints 30 - 21


Seattle +8 @ Chicago -- This is a Sybil game.  You know, both teams have multiple personalities.  The Bears look unbeatable for 8 weeks, then can't beat the Dolphins.  The Seahawks lose twice to San Francisco, yet blow up the Ginats by 20 early in the year.  Add a bit of history, the past two time the Bears had a bye before playing a home playoff game, they lost both, and some projected nasty weather, and we have all the makings for....well, I have no idea.  Rex Grossman is the key.  The 'Hawks secondary is bagned up, but they are going to stack the line and force Rex to beat them.  Luckily for the Bears it isn't a major holiday so Rex probably studied this week.  For Seattle, Shaun Alexander needs to play like the MVP he was last season.  This defense can wear down, and if the 'Hawks can keep it close, and force Rex to have to make some plays in the 2nd half it could get real interesting.  The number is way too big, but I give the slight edge to the Bears, becuase I think Devin Hestor is going to make something happen.  Bears 20 - Hawks 14

New England @ San Diego -4.5 -- Here is my bookie special of the week.  Everyone is jumping on the Patriots, saying that there is no way the Chargers can beat Belichick and Brady.  Well, let's take a look at the last two times the Chargers and Patriots faced each other.  Last year, the Chargers went to New England and slipped by the Pats 41-17.  Tomlinson had a huge day.  In 2002, the Patriots at 3-0 went to 3-0 San Diego, and behind 217 yards from Tomlinson beat the Pats 21-14.  See a pattern here?  The Chargers run a 3-4, just like the Patriots.  And here's a news flash, the Chargers have better players, period.  They have the best player in football.  And most importantly, the Charger defense is better than the Patriots defense.  To beat the Chargers you had better out score them, and Brady just doesn't have the weapons.  Give the 4.5, the Chargers are going to win comfortably.  Chargers 34 - Patriots 24

As always, give me your opinion!!!