The divisional round of the NFL Playoffs kicks off on Saturday afternoon with a match-up between divisional foes from the AFC North and a late game between teams on either side of the Mason-Dixon Line.
The Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers each hope to continue their playoff schedules, but only one can emerge victorious. Both teams finished tied 12-4, but the Steelers took the division (and the No. 2 seed in the AFC) because they had a better record among games in the division (the season series was split at one). While the Steelers enjoyed a bye week a weekend ago, the Ravens easily handled the Kansas City Chiefs, 30-7, in a wild card game.
Can Joe Flacco perform well enough to overcome Pittsburgh's 12th-rated pass defense? SB Nation Pittsburgh has found that the Steelers' defense has kept Flacco quiet for the most part since he entered the league. Both teams have solid running backs in Ray Rice and Rashard Mendenhall, but the Steelers have the No. 1 rush defense and the Ravens No. 5. This game will come down to which quarterback can come out on top. Ben Roethlisberger is my choice.
Prediction: Steelers 24, Ravens 17
The nightcap features the Atlanta Falcons, who are coming off a bye as the No. 1 team in the NFC, and the Green Bay Packers, who defeated the Philadelphia Eagles last weekend. This game, like the AFC one, is a rematch, as the Falcons took a 20-17 victory over the Packers back in November.
This is going to be a close game that sees the Falcons with a slight edge due to home field advantage. If running back Michael Turner is having a good day, the Falcons should be well on their way to victory. While Packers quarterback did throw for 344 yards in the teams' previous game, the Falcons defense should be ready this time around.
Prediction: Falcons 27, Packers 24
SB Nation Atlanta has you covered top-to-bottom on this game.