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Andy Capwell’s Divisional Playoff Predictions

Rob Carr, Getty Images

This weekend is the AFC and NFC divisional round of the playoffs. The NFL is down to the final eight teams. There will be two games on Saturday and two games on Sunday. Here’s my predictions on the games.In the NFC:

Saturday: New Orleans at Seattle. The weather looks bad, heavy rain and strong winds. That makes me think a stronger running game will be an advantage. Marshawn Lynch is one of the best running backs in the game. However, a passing game of short passes might be an advantage as well, and Drew Brees is one of the best. Seattle’s home field is a huge advantage as well. Look for a low scoring game with plenty of turnovers. Seattle 20 New Orleans 13.

Sunday: San Francisco at Carolina. Two very similar teams. Athletic quarterbacks in Kaepernick and Newton. Strong defenses and teams that limit mistakes. This should be the best game of the weekend. Carolina won at San Francisco 10-9, but San Francisco has Michael Crabtree back and they have been on a roll. I like the 49ers 23-21.

In the AFC:

Saturday: Indianapolis at New England. Another game with lots of rain and wind. The Patriots should look to run the ball with Blount, Ridley, and Vereen. The short passing game with Brady should be effective in rainy weather. The Patriots defense took another hit with Brandon Spikes out, adding to the loss of Wilfork, Mayo and many more. Andrew Luck is one of the rising stars in the NFL, their running game hasn’t been that good, but the Patriots run defense isn’t that strong.I also have a feeling that the Colts defense will be pressuring Brady with a strong pass rush, that might be negated with the rain. I think this will be a close game and I look for the upset, I think the Patriots defense has lost too many players and I’ll take the Colts 27-24.

Sunday: San Diego at Denver. The weather looks great on Sunday, sunshine and in the 40′s. This is shaping up to be a shootout. San Diego sneaked into the playoffs but did win in Denver this season. I like Ryan Matthews running the ball for the Chargers and Philip Rivers is a solid QB with plenty of weapons. The Broncos have Peyton Manning and he have plenty of good receivers to toss the ball to. The running game is solid with Moreno and Ball. I’ll be rooting for San Diego, but I’ll pick Denver 38-30.

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