Here are TheBoken’s predictions for the first round of NFL Playoff games today:
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans – Saturday January 7, 2012 4:30pm ABC
The first NFL playoff matchup has most of the experts split down the middle. If the Houston Texans still had Matt Schaub at QB this game might not even be close. However, the Texans backed into the playoffs with three consecutive losses. This is not exactly an encouraging sign of momentum. The Texans are at home and WR stud Andre Johnson should be available. Cedric Benson from Cincinnati is a solid runner but Arian Foster at running back is not only a running threat but a receiving option as well. This could help former 3rd string Houston QB TJ Yates bail himself out of the Bengal’s pass rush. AJ Green will catch a good amount of balls and get a touchdown but Houston some solid options at WR and TE in Owen Daniels. This game will be close but I give the edge to Houston due to their running game and defense.
TheBoken.com’s call: Houston prevails 24-21.
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints – Saturday January 7, 2012 8:00pm ABC
The second NFL playoff matchup has most of the experts predicting a Saints win. This team has two of the three 5,000 yard passers that the NFL had in the league this year. Matthew Stafford Detroit QB was the comeback player of the year. He has commend of an explosive Detroit offense spearheaded by the playmaking ability of WR Calvin Johnson aka “Megatron” and the rest of their receiving core. Detroit can score points for sure but Drew Brees shattered Dan Marino’s NFL yardage mark, a mark that stood for over 25 years. There is no hotter quarterback in the league right now including Aaron Rogers and he has a host of options to go to including Marques Colston and explosive tight end Jimmy Graham. The Saints went 8-0 at home in the regular season. In those games, the Saints averaged 41.1 points and 492.6 yards per game. Look for the trend to continue.
Oops, almost forgot about the diminutive Darren Sproles of the Saints. He is a 3rd down back and returner that set a record for all purpose yards in a season. He could make just one play that becomes the margin of victory. If you love scoring and high octane offenses break out the popcorn and enjoy the show. The Saints in the end will outgun the Lions.
TheBoken.com’s call: New Orleans prevails in a shootout 45-38.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below…..
Editor’s Caveat: The picks listed here are for discussion purposes only and represent the instincts of the editor of TheBoken who is a NY Giant fan but a fan of the game overall. Hopefully I do better with my picks than last year. Please don’t relay on anything in this series to actually place a bet. Go to NFL.com or ESPN.com to get real experts predictions for that. Problem is they are often wrong as well. That is exactly why I love the NFL Playoffs.
Check back tomorrow at 12:45pm for the New York Giants vs. Atlanta Falcons Live blog.
This is the link for the live blog: http://theboken.com/nyg-vs-atl-live-blog-1-8-2012/