ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 1: Wide receiver Michael Crabtree #15 and quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrate Crabtree's touchdown in the first half of the game on January 1, 2012 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. The 49ers defeated the Rams 34-27. (Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)
The NFL Playoffs roll on this Saturday and Sunday as we get to the divisional round of the greatest tournament on Earth. Here is a quick preview and schedule for this weekend's games.
The NFL Playoffs roll on this Saturday and Sunday as we get to the divisional round of the greatest tournament on Earth. Of course, each game's winners will play in next weekend's conference championship games for a chance to play in the Super Bowl. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's take a look at what's on tap.
The 'old school' meets 'new school' in this matchup. New Orleans and its 'modern' passing offense, extremely high-powered and high-scoring, will travel to San Francisco to take on the hard-nosed, stop the run, and punch you in the mouth style 'old-school' style of defense wielded by the 49ers. I have no idea what this game will look like - whether it will be a grind it out low scoring affair or a race to score more points, but it's going to be damn fun to watch.
Denver Broncos vs New England Patriots: Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET, CBS.
In the AFC, the Denver Broncos look to keep the Cinderella story alive but will have to do so against a very tough New England Patriots team. Tim Tebow and the respected Broncos' defense managed to defeat Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend, but they'll have to go into this one knowing the Patriots handled them easily, 41-23, just a few weeks ago. The Pats have the home-field advantage and a vastly superior offense, but at this point I just don't know what to expect when Denver is in the equation. It should be a great game.
Houston Texans vs Baltimore Ravens: Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS
Defense. Smashmouth football. This Texans/Ravens game has the makings of an interesting matchup, and one that diverges from the 'modern NFL' conversation of gaudy passing numbers and outscoring your opponent in a track meet. The Texans and Ravens ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in total defense this year, respectively, and both lean on their rushing attack and ball-control offense. This should be a classic matchup between two tough football teams and I'm really looking forward to seeing it play out. The Ravens have home field advantage and in their only meeting this year, came away with a 29-14 victory.
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers host a very tough Giants team that held Atlanta to a mere two points last week and are heating up on both sides of the ball. In the teams' matchup from this season, Rodgers threw four touchdowns and the Packers narrowly won, 38-35. I imagine that this one will be similarly down to the wire.
For in-depth analysis and information leading into this weekend's games check out the following SB Nation NFL blogs: Acme Packing Company (Green Bay Packers), Big Blue View (New York Giants), Canal Street Chronicles (New Orleans Saints), Niners Nation (San Francisco 49ers),Baltimore Beatdown (Baltimore Ravens), Battle Red Blog (Houston Texans), Pats Pulpit (New England Patriots) and Mile High Report (Denver Broncos)