The NFL Playoffs continue in dramatic fashion this weekend as we get into the divisional round of the greatest tournament on Earth. Each game's winners will earn the right to play in the AFC and NFC conference championship games for a chance to play in the Super Bowl. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's take a look at what's on the docket.
Two teams that probably couldn't be any different. New Orleans and its extremely high-powered, high-scoring offense and blitzing defense will travel to San Francisco to take on the hard-nosed, stop the run, and punch you in the mouth style 'old-school' style of defense and ball control, wear you out, run out the clock type offense, wielded by the 49ers. There's no telling what this game will end up looking like as two contrasted styles collide, but it's going to be damn fun to watch.
Denver Broncos vs New England Patriots: Saturday at 5:00 p.m. PT, CBS.
In the AFC, the Cinderella-story Denver Broncos look to keep moving on, but will do so against a very tough New England Patriots team. Tim Tebow and the respected Broncos' defense led by Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller managed to knock off the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend, but they'll have to go into this one knowing the Patriots handled them easily, 41-23, just a few weeks ago. I'm sure most people are picking the home team in this one - New England - but I just don't know what to expect when Denver is in the equation. It should be a great game.
Houston Texans vs Baltimore Ravens: Sunday, 10:00 a.m. PT, CBS
This Texans/Ravens game has the makings of an interesting matchup as two teams that both diverge from the 'modern NFL' conversation of gaudy passing numbers and outscoring your opponent in a track meet. The Texans and Ravens ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in total defense this year, respectively, and both lean on their rushing attack and ball-control offense - Houston with Arian Foster and Baltimore with Ray Rice. This should be a classic matchup between two tough football teams and I'm really looking forward to seeing it play out. The Ravens have home field advantage and in their only meeting this year, came away with a 29-14 victory.
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers draw a red-hot Giants team that held Atlanta to a mere two points last week and look pretty unstoppable in their quest to regain the Vince Lombardi Trophy. In the two teams' only matchup this season, Rodgers threw four touchdowns and the Packers narrowly won, 38-35. I don't doubt this one will be close as well.
For in-depth analysis and information leading into this weekend's games check out the following SB Nation NFL blogs: Acme Packing Company (Green Bay Packers), Big Blue View (New York Giants), Canal Street Chronicles (New Orleans Saints), Niners Nation (San Francisco 49ers),Baltimore Beatdown (Baltimore Ravens), Battle Red Blog (Houston Texans), Pats Pulpit (New England Patriots) and Mile High Report (Denver Broncos)