In this edition of NFL Upon Further Review for the NFL Wild Card Weekend: JJ Watt’s great hands gets him an interception, Matt Prater kickoffs are on point, Arian Foster runs wild, Drew Brees looked like Drew Brees, Hakeem Nicks leads the Giants to victory and gets dirty, and some Denver Broncos quarterback won a game on the first play in overtime, you may have heard of him? Check out the highlights along with my predictions for this weekend’s Divisional Round action.
Tebow Time Comes in Overtime
You didn’t think that I would start with Tim Tebow did you? The Broncos starting quarterback pulled off another classic comeback that started with a touchdown pass to Eddie Royal as the pass went past two Steelers defenders.
As the game headed to overtime, Tebow’s first pass ended up in the hands of Demaryius Thomas who ran in eighty yards for the game-winning score.
Matt Prater’s Touchback Knows Where To Land
The thin air in Denver, Colorado can do some rather wacky things to footballs being kicked. Matt Prater’s opening kickoff for the Steelers/Broncos bounced off the crossbars at the opposing end of the field and then decided to land near the 20 yard line for a touchback.
JJ Watt’s Sticky Fingers Interception
For the fans in Houston, it was their first taste of playoff football with the Texans and JJ Watt provided fans with an impressive defensive play before halftime.
Foster’s Stiff Arm Seals Win For Texans
Later on, the Texans sealed their first playoff win in franchise history as Arian Foster decided to put the game out of reach with this 42-yard touchdown run. Cincy’s Chris Crocker attempted to make the tackle but Foster used a well-timed stiff arm to push him out-of-the-way.
Brees Sends Henderson To the Endzone
The Saints offense continued to look like one of the best in the NFL as Drew Brees passed for 466 yards and three touchdowns.
Nicks Sticks It To Atlanta with The Dirty Bird
The New York Football Giants might have shocked some with their 24-2 drubbing of the Atlanta Falcons.
Divisional Playoff Previews
Saturday, January 14th
NFC: New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers
Time: 4:30pm ET, Network: CBS
In a match-up between great offense and great defense, the Saints will travel to the city by the bay to face the 49ers. The 49ers defense was one of the big surprises this year as they shut down both the run and the pass. The Saints can put points on the board but they have had issues traveling to the West Coast for the playoffs. (See: Seattle last season) The real question is San Francisco’s Alex Smith going to perform in the playoffs? I expect that the Saints playoff experience will win out here.
Prediction: New Orleans Saints 31 – San Francisco 49ers 18
AFC: Denver Broncos at New England Patriots
Time: 8pm ET, Network: CBS
As Tebow magic vaulted the Broncos past the Steelers, we’ll have another rematch between high-profile quarterbacks Tim Tebow and Tom Brady. The Patriots hold the number one seed in the AFC but their weakness on defense might be enough for Tim Tebow to pull off another playoff miracle. The Broncos will go as far as Tebow can take them however its tough to bet against the playoff toughness and coaching strategy that the Patriots have in their corner. Expect this game to by like their last meeting, Tebow will fire some opening shots but Brady will win the battle.
Prediction: New England Patriots 27 – Denver Broncos 14
Sunday, January 15th
AFC: Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens
Time: 1pm ET, Network: CBS
As the Houston Texans claim their first playoff win in the team’s history, their reward is travel up to Baltimore to face the Ravens. The Texans running game will determine if they can continue their playoff run. The combo of Arian Foster and Ben Tate are difficult to stop for most teams however the Ravens rush defense was ranked second in rushing yards allowed in the regular season. If the Ravens offense can keep pace with their defense, they should be able to pull out the victory. The only thing that I know for sure is that it will be a long day for Texans rookie quarterback T.J. Yates.
Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 17 Houston Texans 6
NFC: New York Giants at Green Bay Packers
Time: 4:30pm ET, Network: FOX
As the New York Giants defense led the team to a victory over the Atlanta Falcons, they will face off against the number one seed, the Green Bay Packers. The last time these teams faced was back in week 13, when the Packers pulled out a late victory in New York. If the Giants defense can live up to their previous performance, they might have a repeat of the 2007 NFC Championship that sent the Giants to the Super Bowl. The Packers offense led by Aaron Rodgers will have to deal with the New York pass rush that handled the Falcons pretty well over the weekend. This is one of those trap games for the Packers but having home-field advantage and a well-rested defense, expect Green Bay to pull it out late.
Prediction: Green Bay Packers 27 – New York Giants 23
LET US KNOW YOUR PREDICTIONS IN THE COMMENTS!