It is time once again to look into the crystal ball and make my NFL playoff predictions for this weekend's Divisional Round. I went 2-2 in the wild-card round. New York Jets fans would, I'm sure, like to give me the business for picking against Gang Green last weekend against Indianapolis, but that's to be expected. I'm not apologizing for that, or for taking the New Orleans Saints last week against the Seattle Seahawks -- a game that turned out to be an upset of seismic proportions.
Let's see how I fare this week. Picks after the jump.
New York Jets at New England Patriots (-9): Yes, the Jets got hammered 45-3 the last time they visited Foxboro. Yes, Jets coach Rex Ryan needs a pacifier to shut him up. Yes, Bill Belichick is a better coach than Ryan, Tom Brady is a better quarterback than Mark Sanchez and the Patriots are a better team than the Jets. Gang Green, though, has everything to gain and nothing to lose this this Sunday. I don't think the Jets win this one, but I do think they will make New England work for the victory. Pick: Jets
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5): This is an incredibly difficult game to pick. Both teams finished the regular season 12-4, and they split two meetings by a combined score of 27-27. Umm, yes, they are evenly matched. For me, this one comes down to two things. First, Pittsburgh is home. Second, I trust Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger more in a big spot than I do Baltimore's Joe Flacco. Pick: Steelers
Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears (-9.5): Chicago went 11-5 on the regular season and won the NFC North. Seattle went just 7-9, but we know all about the huge upset they pulled last week against the New Orleans Saints. This is a different animal for the Seahawks, though, as they have to go on the road to face the Bears. This is an awful lot of points, and giving them makes me a little queasy, but I am going to do it, anyway. Pick: Bears
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons (-1): For much of the season the Falcons (13-3) have looked like the best team in the NFC. Right now, though, the Packers look like the hottest team. Since Aaron Rodgers returned from his concussion and the Packers routed the New York Giants in Week 16, Green Bay has been hitting on all cylinders. In fact, they look a little bit like the 2007 Super Bowl champion Giants right now. I have to go with the hot hand. Pick: Packers
-- NFL odds
Last Week: 2-2
Post-Season Record: 2-2