Here are my predictions for the second round of the playoffs.
DALLAS (3) VS GREEN BAY (2)
This game won’t necessarily be the Ice Bowl, but it will be cold. This makes me wonder whether or not the Packers, a team used to these elements, has the advantage. Let’s assume Aaron Rodgers’ calf is fine and he’s at his best. The Packers should have a strong chance of winning. But with the weather, it looks like it might come down to the defenses and how they stop the run. Eddie Lacy has turned it on as of late and is now the feature back the Packers know they have to rely heavily on.
The Cowboys can counter with DeMarco Murray. If the injured hand isn’t an issue with the weather, then the Cowboys offensive line will have a great day moving the ball up and down the field. It still will be on Tony Romo and how he can move the Cowboys up and down the field with this arm. Terrence Williams has been huge in helping out the passing attack and he might be a huge factor again if the Pack try to double on Jason Witten or Dez Bryant.
I still think that this slugfest will just come down to which ever team has the ball the longest. Each possession will be key and Green Bay has been playing tremendous lately and I see that carrying over to this game. It will be close but the Pack move on.
PACKERS WIN 21-17
INDIANAPOLIS (4) VS DENVER (2)
All signs point to the Broncos being the better team and Peyton Manning leading the way. But Manning hasn’t looked so great lately. In the last few regular season games, the offense hasn’t been on point mostly and Manning’s throws haven’t had a certain zip to it. He might have been dealing with something and has fully healed up. But I still am not so certain how well the offense is going to run if Manning isn’t on his game. The aerial threat has been great all year and Julius Thomas has benefited tremendously. Keep an eye on him as he’s been quiet down the stretch of the regular season.
Andrew Luck and the Colts passing game made huge plays to get past Cincinnati last week. In order for the Colts to stand a chance, those big plays need to come alive again. T.Y. Hilton has been stretching the field and the Colts need to add Reggie Wayne into that attack as well. Keep an eye on how the Denver secondary handles the passing game.
The running game will also be a factor and even though the Colts haven’t had a defined rushing attack this year, I predict that they will rely heavily on Dan Herron to maintain the pace. With Manning possibly not at his best, that might give the Colts the edge in this one.
COLTS WIN 34-30