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NFL Playoffs Schedule Is Set: Saints-49ers, Broncos-Patriots, Texans-Ravens And Giants-Packers

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Chris dropped the updated 2012 NFL playoffs schedule in here last night but I wanted to follow up with a few of my thoughts on the AFC and NFC Divisional round games. We had three of the four teams on Wild Card weekend win in a blowout and the points spreads for the Divisional round are similar with three of the four games having a line of eight or more points.

A few early thoughts and early predictions on next weekend's games:

New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers: Love this game. I imagine most are saying the Saints should take care of business -- they're early 3.5 point favorites on the road -- but the 49ers have the formula to stick with these guys. They can rush the passer well, which should disrupt Drew Brees, and they have a solid secondary. They can also run the ball well on offense, which means they can control the time of possession. I'm not picking the 49ers to win this game -- in the end, I'm sticking with the Saints -- but I do think this is a very close game.

Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots: Geez, how many story lines can one game have? Tim Tebow was awesome on Sunday night beating the Pittsburgh Steelers but he'll have to do it again against a team with a significantly better offense. The Broncos lost by 18 points to the Patriots earlier this season and I wouldn't be surprise to see a similar score this time around. The Patriots should win by double digits.

Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens: I still have trouble remembering that this Texans team is very good on defense, like top-5-in-the-league good. So this could be a defensive battle. In these hard-to-predict games, I always look to the quarterback for the tiebreaker so my early prediction is the Ravens.

New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers: I'm going all in with this prediction and taking the Giants. I think they have the pieces in place for an upset and I think they'll go to Green Bay and beat the Packers. I wouldn't be that surprised to see Green Bay win in a blowout but my bold pick of the week is the Giants over the Packers.

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