Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos are a great team, and I predicted that they’ll win the Super Bowl. That said, the Ravens can certainly win this game. They can give Ray Rice 25+ touches, or 10. Their defense has ranged week-to-week from one of the best in the league to one of the worst. I just wouldn’t count on them making the right decisions on both accounts. Denver is one of the most talented and consistent teams in the NFL. Peyton moves on.
Prediction: Broncos 31, Ravens 21
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
My “upset” pick for this week is the Packers. For whatever reason, i just don’t trust the 49ers. Both offenses match up relatively well against good (in San Francisco’s case, great) opposing defenses. But I think the elite Aaron Rodgers-led offense prevails in a close, surprisingly high-scoring game controlled by Green Bay.
Prediction: Packers 30, 49ers 28
Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons
These two teams may have a bigger split between home and road performance than any other clubs in the NFL. Unfortunately for Seattle, both teams prefer to play at home. Rookie Bruce Irvin will have to fill in for Chris Clemons, who tore his ACL last weekend. Look for Matt Ryan and co. to get up early in this one and pick on Irvin in the run game to maintain the lead.
Prediction: Falcons 20, Seattle 13
Houston Texans at New England Patriots
The Patriots have my vote for the best offense in football. As they proved last season, you don’t need a great defense to make a deep playoff run, you just need to score points and force turnovers. They’re the best in the NFL in both categories. Houston’s conservative offense won’t get the job done. They’ll need to make adjustments, or they’ll get behind and be blown out again.