The Once-Over: Divisional Playoffs Weekend

With attention spans dwindling, we forego full game-by-game previews to give you the essentials you need to know about every contest this glorious NFL weekend. Click here to go back in time.

If you want to see my picks (and I have no reason why you would), click here.

Saturday Games

Baltimore at Tennessee (4:30 PM EST): I think that whole "don't trust your rookie quarterback on the road" stuff is tossed out the window when your defense is scarier than that Texas Chainsaw Massacre guy.

Riddle me this. What makes Joe Flacco, the undisputed question mark for the Ravens, any worse than Kerry Collins, the undisputed question mark for Tennessee? Check the stats.

Flacco -- 2,971 passing yards -- 60.0 completion percentage -- 14 TDs -- 12 INTs -- 80.3 passer rating
Collins -- 2,676 passing yards -- 58.3 completion percentage -- 12 TDs -- 7 INTs -- 80.2 passer rating

The numbers are pretty darn comparable there, and if you had to pick the team surrounding your quarterback, I think you have to go with the Ravens. They can run as well as the Titans, their defense is the best, most aggressive unit in the league, and they were 5-3 on the road this year.

If Ed Reed has two more interceptions in this game, I'm going to email Peyton Manning and see if he wouldn't mind cutting that MVP award in half and mailing the bigger end to Reed. The guy is an anomaly.

Arizona at Carolina (8:15 EST): Here is the moment you bash me. Here is the moment you call me a moron and hit me over the head with things and show up at AOL headquarters with burning torches and my name slobbering out of your mouth.

Just like everyone, I picked the Panthers in this game to start. I was all about Carolina, thought they'd roll the Cards and it wouldn't even be a contest. The problem is, you have a whole week to think about this, and the more I thought about the matchup, the more I started to think that Arizona had a chance.

Sure, it is going to take a lot for you to see my thinking. Like, you have to look past the Cardinals' atrocious record on the East Coast. Or the fact that they can't really run the ball. Oh, and Arizona hasn't really done well on the road this season (3-5).

But you look past all of that, and you get this -- Arizona is going to pass the hell out of the ball, even if Anquan Boldin isn't playing, and the Panthers give up as many passing yards per game as the Bengals and the Texans did this season.

If you talk about experience, the Cards can boast just as much as the Panthers can. Kurt Warner can relax this team. He has been there and knows what it takes to actually win a playoff game. The Cardinals almost took down the Panthers in Week Eight and, if a few things go their way this weekend I could see a win.

An added fun wrinkle -- if the Cards and Eagles both win, the NFC Championship would be at the University of Phoenix Stadium!

Sunday Games

Philadelphia at NY Giants (1:00 PM): The Giants have been arguably the best team all season, but the one thing people continue to look past is the fact that Eli Manning has lost his deep threat. If Steve Smith can pick up the slack and Brandon Jacobs is 100 percent healthy, I think New York rolls.

The good news is the Giants get an Eagles team that kept it close with Tarvaris Jackson last weekend. That has to be exciting for Tom Coughlin.

San Diego at Pittsburgh (4:45 PM): Since I'm obviously a touch of a moron, I urge you, FORCE you, to head over and read J.J. Cooper's analysis of the Steelers-Chargers game. The guy does an unbelievable job of breaking down the Steelers and what they can and can't do when certain situations happen. I always enjoy his analysis and you should as well. That is my Friday advice.

In this game? I think the Chargers pull it out. They are hot right now and have a capable, if not better, running back in Darren Sproles that looks about as easy to tackle as a balloon.

If the Chargers can get some run game going, Philip Rivers and his top quarterback rating might be able to expose a little secondary. It is going to be ugly, it probably won't be high scoring, but I think that the Chargers roll for the second week in games they shouldn't be winning.

Also, since nobody is really talking about Big Ben and his swelling head, I asked our local Steelers fans here at the FanHouse how concerned they were about Roethlisberger's health.

Adam Gretz -- "It's a concern, but, like I told Ryan (Wilson) the other day, I think he plays to the media a bit in regards to his injuries. I think it motivates him, or something. Hines Ward always uses people talking about how "he's too small" or "how he's done." Rodney Harrison uses the "disrespect" card. I think Ben uses this. Just a theory, of course."

J.J. Cooper -- "VERY. I am worried...I see an Aikman/Steve Young-like ending to his career, and I'm worried that by the time he's done, he'll have a noggin the size of John C. Reilly's."

Ryan Wilson -- "Big Ben is something of a drama queen and he seemingly loves attention -- especially as it relates to would-be injuries. He usually plays well in the face of such manufactured doubt ... but he's also not afraid to occasionally crap the bed."

Yeah, not exactly "confident fans."

The Once-Over: Divisional Playoffs Weekend originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Fri, 09 Jan 2009 13:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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