Brutal. In one word, that is how you would have to sum up Pano’s Wild Card weekend. If there is a silver lining, the Colts jumped from a 2.5 point favorite to a 2.5 point underdog, meaning had you waited until game time to pick, Pano would be 2-2 instead of 1-3. Nevertheless, it was not the start he had hoped for. How many people saw that coming in Cincinnati?!? And to think a new Head Coach in Washington was born from that debacle. So where does that leave us going into this weekends Divisional Round Matchups? Follow the Quarterbacks, it is the elite of the elite remaining. Four great games for our viewing pleasure, and Pano has the game plan to get you back on track. Pick out your favorite chair, stay warm indoors, and enjoy what promises to be great action!
Regular Season Record: 21-13
Playoff Record: 1-3
Season Total To Date: 22-16
By David Panosian
The New Orleans Saints head to Seattle to try and avenge the rout they suffered on a Monday Night earlier this season. New Orleans beat the Philadelphia Eagles in a hard fought effort last week; while impressive, the task is much tougher this week. My hunch is they will be up for it. It is always nice when you have Drew Brees on your side, and the Saints offense remains very explosive. New Orleans is well coached, and you can bet that Sean Payton, Rob Ryan, and company will be making adjustments to give themselves as good a chance as they can to win. The 8 points also represents very nice value. I think Seattle will probably win, but I expect it to be much harder than it was earlier in the season. I think the Saints can keep this within 7, and it would not shock me if they found a way to win. Take the Saints and the 8!
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-7), AFC Divisional 8:15pm CBS:
The Indianapolis Colts head to New England to take on the Patriots in the second game on Saturday. The Colts are coming off of one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history, while the Patriots are well rested for this one. I’ve got to think the Pats are quite pleased they ended up missing the Bengals by virtue of the upset they suffered at the hands of the San Diego Chargers. I expect the Patriots to have a great deal of success moving the ball on Saturday Night; Julian Edelman, and Danny Amendola should be very tough to stop. The Colts will need breakout star T.Y. Hilton to have a huge game to keep up. While I love T.Y’s talent, the Patriots have had a great deal of success stopping the opponent’s #1 weapon (we all remember Jimmy Graham’s donut from earlier this year, don’t we?), so you have to figure that will be New England’s prime objective. This just has the feel of a game to me that the Pats take by at least 10. Lay the points.
San Francisco 49’ers (-1) at Carolina Panthers, NFC Divisional 1:05pm FOX:
The San Francisco 49’ers travel to Carolina in what should be the best game of the weekend. I will say right off the bat this was the toughest game for me call. The 49’ers will be heading East to play a 10:00am Pacific game; I normally get worried for the West coast team in such a scenario. The Panthers were also able to upset the 49’ers at Candlestick earlier this season. A lot of evidence suggests Carolina has a real good shot here. I am going to take San Francisco, because I’ve seen them consistently win big games over the past 2 seasons; I trust them more. The Panthers are an excellent team though, so my endorsement here is lukewarm. The bottom line is this: It will be very fun to watch Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick battle this one out. One final caveat, too: If the 49’ers and Saints both win, we get to see one last game at The “Stick! Enjoy the game!
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (-9.5), AFC Divisional 4:40pm CBS:
The San Diego Chargers head to Denver to face off against the Broncos. The Chargers come into this one with a ton of momentum, having handily beaten a very talented Bengals team that was previously undefeated at home. The Chargers will bring additional confidence to Invesco Field, due to the fact they beat the Broncos here the last time they faced off. So the question of the day is, will it happen again? I’m going to have to say no. The Broncos will be looking for revenge on so many different levels here. Peyton Manning has lost 4 of his last 5 playoff openers. Last year’s loss is most definitely fresh in their minds. I think the Broncos take their frustrations out on San Diego on Sunday, much like they did to Baltimore in the regular season opener. Lay the points and take Denver.