2011 NFC Divisional Round Predictions
#6 Packers @ #1 Falcons
The Falcons escaped with a narrow 3-point win at home against the Packers in their regular season showdown, and I see the playoff matchup between these teams will pretty much follow suit. Aaron Rodgers earned his first playoff game last week on the road in hostile Philly against the Eagles. He’s carried the Packers for the entire season, especially during the last few weeks, but I see that all coming to an end against the Matt Ryan led Atlanta Falcons. “Matty Ice” has only lost twice at home in his entire career and although I think this will be another grind-it-out game that comes down to the last second, I’ll give the slight edge to Ryan and the Falcons. The Falcons have had a knack for coming away with the “W” in close games as they have an impressive 6-2 record in games decided by 6 points or less this season.
Falcons win 26 – 24
#4 Seahawks @ #2 Bears
The Seahawks come into this game with absolutely no pressure on them yet again as nobody thought they would even make the playoffs, let alone beat the defending champs and play in the NFC Divisional Round. Seattle actually beat the Bears in their week 6 matchup, but I don’t see the same result this time around. The Seahawks will face a much tougher defense in the Bears then they did last week when they beat the Saints. I think it’s safe to say that Marshawn Lynch will not break 8 tackles en route to a 60-plus yard td run and Matt Hasselbeck will not throw 4 td passes against a very stout Bears defense. The only concern I have about the Bears is with quarterback Jay Cutler, who’s the epitome of recklessness and inconsistency. This will be Cutler’s first ever playoff game and while I do think he will make mistakes, in the form of a pick or two, I don’t think the Seahawks will be able to capitalize on them against the Bears’ strong defense.
Bears win 23 – 14