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NFL Picks: Home rules

Published 2:23pm Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In the first week of the playoffs, all of the home teams won and only one of them had any trouble pulling out their win. Now all four of those teams must go on the road.

Are the Texans, Giants, Broncos and Saints just that good or did homefield advantage just help them out?

We’ll find out his weekend.

Here are the picks:

New Orleans at San Francisco

The 49ers are that one team that can off-set a high scoring offense. They play lights out defense and they run the ball well.

However, if you spread that defense out, there are sure to be some weak spots and if anyone will find those weak spots, it’ll be Drew Brees.

I don’t see the Saints lighting up the scoreboard, but I think they’ll score enough to force the 49ers to throw with Alex Smith more than they want to.

SAINTS 27, 49ERS 17

Denver at New England

Tim Tebow played a great game last week, the best he’s played in the NFL so far. But let’s not forget that the Steelers defense was missing four starters and Ben Roethlisberger had little to no mobility.

Now, for just the second time this season, Denver is taking on a team that is good and doesn’t have any key players injured.

The last time that happened, the Patriots manhandled the Broncos in Denver. I don’t see a different result this time around, even if Tebow plays as good as he did against the Steelers.

PATRIOTS 41, BRONCOS 24

Houston at Baltimore

How did the Ravens luck out this much? They get a first-time playoff team playing with a third string quarterback coming to their house.

Since the Ravens specialize on making bad quarterbacks look terrible, this could be over quick

RAVENS 35, TEXANS 10

N.Y. Giants at Green Bay

All I’ve heard so far is that the Giants are just like the 2007 team that got hot and won the Super Bowl. Their running game has become unstoppable (despite being one of the worst during the regular season) and they have the best front four of all-time.

I’m exaggerating a little, but you get the point.

So as the Giants are being hyped up as the contenders who supposedly felt very good about losing to the Packers just a few weeks ago, Green Bay is sitting back and waiting to pounce.

Packers receiver Greg Jennings said he remembers very well how the Giants came to Green Bay and won the NFC title game in 2007 the Packers know how feisty road teams can be in the playoffs because they won three road contests last season.

I think Green Bay coasted a bit down the stretch once homefield was locked up and I think we’ll see the real Packers this Sunday – especially on the defensive side of the ball.

Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers has had two weeks to come up with a defensive game plan and we’ll definitely see some new wrinkles.

I do think the Giants are a threat, but if the Packers play like they can, this one won’t be near as close as the first meeting between these two teams.

PACKERS 38, GIANTS 28

Playoffs: 3-1; overall: 164-94


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