I'm very intrigued with this Saints-49ers matchup. The Saints obviously play much better at home in the Superdome, but they are so hot right now that I don't know if that matters. The 49ers' defense is excellent, so this will be a true battle of strength against strength. I know this isn't a direct comparison, but I can see it in a similar light to the way the Saints went to Nashville earlier this year and gutted one out against the Titans with a late score. I can see a similar score in this one, maybe 21-19, but I'm picking the Saints simply because of Drew Brees. While I don't necessarily trust their defense, I also am not totally sold on the 49ers offense despite what they proved in the regular season. When David Akers is kicking field goals at an astounding rate and the offense continuously stalls out in the red zone, it will eventually come back to bite you. And this is the week where it will. You need to score touchdowns to keep up with Brees and company, and a field goal fest will not get the job done. I look for Marques Colston to have a big game as San Fran tries to limit Sproles and Graham.
Patriots-Broncos game Saturday night: Will probably receive the highest ratings of all the games because of one man-Mr. Tebow. His impact this season has been remarkable, but I think his run in the playoffs will come to a crashing halt. With a low of nine degrees expected in Foxsboro Saturday night, conventional wisdom may favor the Broncos because of their strong running game and ability to grind it out. But I simply cannot doubt what Tom Brady can do in any elements or conditions. I admire just how masterful he is at his craft, and I also think the Pats' offensive line will hold up against the pressure of Dumervil and company. I know the Patriots defense does stink, but I see that as not mattering too much. Tebow and company could pull off another miracle here and prove me wrong, but I simply don't see that happening. 34-10 Patriots is my pick. If the Broncos win, I don't want to hear the "I told you so" comments because you are lying if you truly think/thought the Broncos would actually win this one. I pick Brady here to methodically pick apart this "great" Broncos defense that I still don't view as great and having some injury problems of their own.