NFL Divisional Preview

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Ravens @ Titans
Evan: Titans, in a close one, just because I dislike them and don’t want to see them advance
Matt: This is the toughest game for me to pick this week. The Titans stumbled a little bit in December while the Ravens played well down the stretch. This is a battle of two great defenses. It was a close game earlier this season and it will be another close one this time around. Can the Ravens really get to the Championship Game with a rookie head coach and rookie QB? I am not so sure. Pick: Titans
Ahad: This is the game that I am most looking forward to. It will be a great defensive matchup. I think the fact that the Titans are rested will help them. The deciding statistic for me will be which qb has more pass attempts. The running games and defenses will decide the outcome. Neither team is particularly strong in the passing game. Pick: Titans
Mike: Two very evenly matched teams. The Ravens are the up and coming favorite while the Titans got the job done all year. I like the team with just a little more rest. Should be a blast. Pick: Titans

Cardinals @ Panthers
Evan: Panthers, in a blow out, just because I dislike them and don’t want to see them advance
Matt: I think the Cardinals will pose a problem for the Carolina secondary (well, they pose a problem for most secondaries). The game will come down to how well or if Arizona can stop the Panthers ground game. They held Michael Turner in check last week, but can they hold Carolina’s two headed monster down? I think Carolina will do a better job of running it than Atlanta did. Carolina was 8-0 at home and Arizona struggled on the East Coast this season. Pick: Panthers
Ahad: I see this as the easiest pick of the week, which means that I will get it wrong. Is Boldin going to play and if so, how effective is he going to be. Arizona is one dimensional on offense and hasn’t played well on the road all season. Pick: Panthers
Mike: I don’t have confidence in this game because I have no idea what to expect from the Cardinals. Everyone was counting them out because of their late season struggles then won handily against the Falcons. I think the Panthers will win this one but it will be closer than most expect. Pick: Panthers

Eagles @ Giants
Evan: Winner of this game wins the super bowl. Pick: Eagles
Matt: I am not so sure about the above prediction. This will be a good, nasty game. Both teams dislike each other (as it is in the NFC East). Like most others have been saying, Brandon Jacobs is a huge key to this game. The Giants are rested, but they should know from last years playoffs that being the #1 seed means squat. The only thing that concerns me is how poorly the Giants played in December. The Eagles have been riding a high, but I think it ends here. Pick: Giants
Ahad: Eagles are riding high and keep the momentum going. Pick: Eagles
Mike: My biggest concern is the number of injuries the Eagles have and the Giants having last week off. I think that is offset by the energy the Eagles D will carry with them from the past few games. It will be the offense that needs to just do their job. An Eli turnover or 2 should seal the deal. Pick: Eagles

Chargers @ Steelers
Evan:No LT? Steelers all the way.
Matt: LT or not, the Chargers are dangerous. He didn’t really contribute much last week, or over the course of this season. The Steelers needed the extra week off badly. Roethlisberger has been beaten up this season. The Steelers should be able to control the game, but the Chargers played them close earlier this season when they weren’t playing well. If the Chargers limit turnovers and get Sproles out in space, I like them in this game. I do think the winner of this game advances to the Super Bowl. Pick: Chargers
Ahad: The Chargers will struggle with the weather and the travel of coming East. The Steelers should be able to control the game, but the Chargers will put up a fight. LT just hasn’t been himself all season and Chargers need the old LT to pull of the upset. The wildcard in this situation is the heath of Big Ben and Parker. If those two guys are down or shells of themselves, the Chargers have a good chance to win. Pick: Steelers
Mike: No LT? Have you heard of DS? I expect this game to look a lot like their regular season matchup. Low scoring, very close. Pick: Steelers

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