(Rubera writes for The Spop)
Playoffs: 2-2 / AFC: 0-2 / NFC: 2-0
New Orleans -3.5 @ San Francisco
The 49ers are the popular pick because they get to host the Saints outdoors. I say that an eight of an inch of grass is not enough to slow down the New Orleans offense and their record setting quarterback. Sure, the Saints won’t hit 40 points like they do in the dome, but they’ll hit enough big plays to Graham, wide receivers, and Sproles to keep a safe distance from Alex Smith and the San Francisco slow churning offense. New Orleans 27, San Francisco 20.
Denver +14 @ New England
Yes, the Patriots routed Denver in Denver a month ago. But the Broncos turned the ball over three times and let up four sacks. Those things are unlikely to happen again no matter the venue. In that game Tebow also ran the ball for two touchdowns and close to one hundred yards while throwing for almost two hundred. Well as we all found out last week, he can kind of throw the ball too now that he finally has his owner’s blessing to turn it loose and has nothing to lose but the game he shouldn’t even be in. The Patriots defense is still terrible and will let up chunks on the ground and through the air. Patriots 38, Broncos 27.
Houston @ Baltimore -8
It was a nice story in Houston this year, succeeding with Schaub in the first half of the season and staying the course with Yates for the second half. But the ride will come to a bruising end Sunday afternoon. Baltimore’s defense is just all around too good to let Yates or Foster do much of anything and Flacco, Rice, and Smith will take care of business on the other side of the ball. I like the Texans and I really hope the outcome is less embarrassing than my prediction, but I doubt it. Baltimore 30, Houston 10.
NY Giants +8 @ Green Bay
Game of the week. Maybe even the game of the playoffs, which is why the spread surprises me. Vegas is giving the Packers a lot of credit considering that the Giants already won a playoff game there recently and almost beat the same Packers team this year in New York. I’ve been riding the Giants since they rediscovered their pass rush. Add that to their explosive and balanced offense and it should make for a fun, close game. NY Giants 31, Green Bay 30.
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