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NFL Divisional Slate

Metro takes a look at the three other divisional round matchups. Yes, there are other games besides Jets-Pats.

Ravens at Steelers (-3)
4:30 p.m. Saturday, CBS

Breakdown
: Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh — winners of road playoff games in their first three years as QB and head coach in Baltimore — have never beaten Ben Roethlisberger. They will Saturday. The road-tested Ravens found a way with their two main offseason acquisitions — WRs Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh —playing major roles down the stretch.


Player to Watch: Terrence Cody, DT, Ravens: Weighing in at 360 pounds, most teams passed on "Mount Cody" in last April's NFL draft despite an All-American career at Alabama. His tackle and forced fumble against Kansas City last weekend was a game-changer. Look for another big play this weekend.

Wild-card play: The Steelers have found ways to get Antwaan Randle El’s throwing arm involved throughout the season. The Ravens, though, haven’t had utilized speedster Donte Stallworth in many end-around plays. This is the week we see a big run out of No. 18.

The pick: BAL20, PIT 16

Packers at Falcons (-3)
8 p.m. Saturday, FOX

Breakdown: The Falcons got the best of the Packers back in the regular season, but that was prior to the start of the James Starks era. Who’s that? Starks, after spending much of the campaign on the PUP list, provided the necessary ground game — 123 yards on 23 carries — to get past Philly last week. He’ll carry the load in this one, too.


Player to Watch: Erik Walden, LB, Packers: Walden followed up his 16-tackle, 3 sack performance in Week 17 with a 5-tackle day against Philly. All eyes will be on Clay Matthews Jr. rushing the quarterback from one side; look for Walden to do the damage from the other. Again.

The wild card play: The Falcons frustrated Rodgers in their first meeting by opting to rush just three defenders and dropping eight men into coverage on passing downs. Look for at least one quarterback draw out of Rodgers to net big yards on Saturday.

The pick: GB 31, ATL 23

Seahawks at Bears (-10)
1 p.m. Sunday, FOX
Breakdown: Don't read too much into the ’Hawks’ October win over the Bears. Matt Forte had just six carries in that one, Lance Briggs didn’t play, and Julius Peppers had his worst game of the season. Then again, who are we to question Seattle? Oh yeah.

Player to Watch: Brandon Stokley, WR, Seahawks: Brandon Stokley's still in the league?! Oh yes, and he's still paying major dividends. The ageless wide receiver caught 4 balls for 73 yards and scored a touchdown last weekend, and will serve as Matt Hasselbeck's underneath option when the Bears' pass rush comes crashing in.

The wild card Play: Seattle's got an ace up its sleeve and it's the Leon Washington halfback option pass. Jets fans are familiar with the play from Washington's days in green. After Sunday, Bears fans will be too.

The pick: CHI 27, SEA 20

 
 
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