The Wild Card Round Was Good, But The Divisional Round Should Be Even Better
Tebow gets a lot of the credit in the 29-23 win because of his ironic 316 passing yards, but WR Demaryius Thomas reeled in some big catches.
He caught four passes for 204 yards and his 80-yard overtime game winning catch lifted the Broncos to the AFC divisional round.
Tebow deserves the credit for consistently avoiding the pressure from the Steelers defense.
He tossed two touchdowns and ran for another without throwing an interception.
He will have a tough matchup on Saturday against Tom Brady and the Patriots.
The Patriots brought in former Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels as a offensive specialist.
McDaniels certainly knows a thing or two about Tim Tebow and the Denver offense.
Can Tebow keep his heroics going against the highly favored Patriots in New England?
The other AFC matchup this past weekend was between the Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans.
Both teams had rookie quarterbacks at the helm and solid defenses on the field, but the Texans were simply the better team.
The Texans led 17-10 at the half, but scored 14 in the final two quarters, while holding the Bengals to zero points.
The good defense bodes well for them because they have a tough test in Baltimore Sunday afternoon.
The Texans fell to the Ravens during the regular season, but if Houston can contain Ray Rice, their pursuit of a win would be that much easier.
Expect a very good game between to solid defenses in Baltimore on Sunday.
NFC Playoffs Review and Prediction:
The Saints put up a whopping 45 points against the Detroit Lions on Saturday, but only 10 points came in the first half.
They will need to get off to a fast start on Saturday against the stingy San Fransisco 49ers defense.
Alex Smith and the 49ers would likely have a tough time if the game turned into a shootout, so if Drew Brees and the high flying Saints offense can get points early they could be on their way to their third NFC Championship in six years.
It won’t be easy considering the Saints are 0-4 all-time on the road in the playoffs, but they seem to be very tough to stop these past couple of games.
The other NFC matchup is a rematch of the 2007 NFC Championship.
The Giants travel to Lambeau Field to take on the 15-1 Packers.
The last playoff game at Lambeau was that NFC Championship where then Packers QB Brett Favre tossed an interception in overtime as the Giants kicked their way to Super Bowl 42.
This time around the teams are very different.
Aaron Rodgers is at the helm for the very impressive Packers offense, while Eli Manning is having one of his best seasons with many weapons around him.
The Packers are the clear favorite and rightfully so, but don’t be shocked if the cocky Giants team find a way to win.
The Giants pass rush has been effective with Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul providing consistent pressure.
The Packers are beaten up on the offensive line, so stopping the Giants defensive linemen will be a key matchup to watch.
What to Expect this weekend:
All four matchups should be very good, but don’t think all the home teams will walk away with victories like they did in the Wild-Card round this past weekend.
Since 2005, the home team has posted 12-12 record in the conference semifinals.
Storylines for all four games:
New Orleans (3) at San Francisco (2), 4:30 p.m. ET- Will Alex Smith and the 49ers offense be able to keep up with the high flying Saints offense?
Denver (4) at New England (1), 8:00 p.m. ET- Can Tom Brady end Tebowmania and help the Patriots pick up their first playoff win since the 2007 Super Bowl run?
Houston (3) at Baltimore (2), 1:00 p.m. ET- Which star running back will shine brighter in Baltimore, Ray Rice or Arian Foster?
New York (4) at Green Bay (1), 4:30 p.m. ET- Can the Giants once again take down the Packers at Lambeau or will Aaron Rodgers pick apart New York’s secondary?
This weekend should be interesting to say the least.
So sit back and enjoy the action NFL fans.
Jake Perper is the owner and head writer for Bearsbacker.com. He is also the Chicago Bears writer for NFLTouchdown.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Bears.