Ravens to upset Patriots

By Steve Sell
January 09, 2015

I mentioned last week that the NFL’s wild-card weekend would not produce a Super Bowl finalist.

I looked at those games as a weeding out of the mediocre teams.

But now I’m not so sure.

History has dictated in recent years that a wild-card team can get on a roll and steam through the playoffs for a Super Bowl championship.

That team this year might be the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens are probably the most physical team in the AFC. They also have a quarterback in Joe Flacco who confounds his coaches during the regular season with some head-scratching performances, but seems to rise to the occasion when the bright lights come on.

With that said:

• Baltimore 24, New England 20 — Upset special. The Ravens have had some good success against the Patriots in the past and could make things uncomfortable for Tom Brady, who hasn’t been the Brady of old at times this year. Call this a hunch.

• Seattle 24, Carolina 7 — The Seahawks are looking more and more like a team that could repeat as Super Bowl champion. This is the yawner of the weekend as the Panthers probably won’t put up much of a fight.

• Green Bay 30, Dallas 21 — Aaron Rodgers is playing at about 60 percent, which gives the Cowboys a fighting chance. Dallas is an astounding 8-0 on the road this year as it seems to play relaxed once it’s out of Jerry World. But even a half-healthy Rodgers is better than most.

• Denver 35, Indianapolis 24 — The Colts are a different team on the road. They can’t run the ball at all, which means they’re a one-trick pony. You need more than that to win in the Mile High City.