NFL playoffs: Divisional matchups breakdown

Peyton Manning plays in the playoffs for the first time as a Bronco.

Baltimore (4) at Denver (1)
WHEN: Saturday, 4:30 p.m., CBS
LINE: Broncos -10, O/U 46.5
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Baltimore is riding the wave of Ray Lewis’ retirement announcement, hoping for a magical run through the postseason before he steps away from the game. Meanwhile, Peyton Manning makes his Broncos playoff debut as a big-time favorite.
WHO TO WATCH FOR: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver — The Broncos’
6-foot-3 speedster didn’t get much play in the Tim Tebow-led Denver passing game, but he’s been a big time target for Manning. He had 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns in the regular season.
WHO WINS: It’s tough to pick against a Denver team that has won 11 straight, including a 34-17 win at Baltimore in Week 15.

Green Bay (3) at San Francisco (2)
WHEN: Saturday, 8 p.m., FOX
LINE: 49ers -3, O/U 45
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The Packers bring a playoff-tested team into San Francisco on the heels of an easy win against the Vikings and Adrian Peterson. They’ll have to shut down another top back, Frank Gore, if they want to advance to the NFC title game. The Niners are putting all their eggs in the Colin Kaepernick basket, even though Alex Smith got them to the title game last season. There’s no question Kaepernick is more impressive physically, but he’s never been on a stage nearly this big.
WHO TO WATCH FOR: Randy Moss, WR, San Francisco — It’s easy to forget Moss, the future Hall of Famer, is still on the Niners. He’s been remarkably quiet this season, both on-field and off. If Kaepernick is going to lead his team to a win, he might need a big play from Moss.
WHO WINS: Experience should trump youth in the postseason, which means good things for Aaron Rodgers and the Pack.

Seattle (5) at Atlanta (1)
WHEN: Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX
LINE: Falcons -3, O/U 46
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: It’s hard to believe Matt Ryan has yet to win a game in the postseason (0-3). He has a tremendous chance to break that streak against an outgunned Seahawks team. But you’ll notice a surprisingly tight spread thanks to the Russell Wilson hype machine. The rookie QB has been magnificent, including a six-game winning streak where he’s thrown 10 TDs and two INTs.
WHO TO WATCH FOR: Akeem Dent, LB, Falcons — Dent is important for two reasons. He’ll be the spy on Wilson to keep him from taking off, and he’ll be crucial in tackling hard-charging back Marshawn Lynch.
WHO WINS: It’s hard to believe Ryan can go to 0-4 in playoff games, especially with this one at home.

Houston (3)­ at New England (2)
WHEN: Sunday, 4:30 p.m., CBS
LINE: Patriots -10, O/U 48
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: It’s been seven years since Tom Brady hoisted the Lombardi Trophy, and yet they are still heavy favorites against a Texans squad that started the season 11-1. Since then they’ve gone 3-2, including a narrow win against the Bengals last week.
WHO TO WATCH FOR: J.J. Watt, DE, Texans — You may know Watt as a pass swatter extraordinaire, but he’s also got one heck of a pass rush. From the last two Patriots Super Bowl losses, we know the best way to beat Brady is to pressure him repeatedly.
WHO WINS: Not many think Houston can win after losing 42-17 at Foxboro Week 14 — us included.


Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter
@MetroNYSports.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.