You’ve heard from every analyst, expert and Monday morning quarterback with an opinion. How about some insight for the guys who know these Super Bowl contenders the best? We talk with NFL bloggers, who give a key reason why their team will not only win but cover during the Divisional Round games this weekend.
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots (-7, 47.5)
Justin Silberman writes for The Purple Chaos. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @ThePurpleChaos.
WHY BALTIMORE COVERS
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is one of only two quarterbacks in NFL history to start five Super Bowls, winning his first three. But twice in the postseason, the Ravens have blocked his path to the Big Game. During those two losses – a 33-14 Wild Card Round loss in 2009 and a 28-13 defeat during the AFC Championship Game in 2012 – Brady went a combined 52 of 96 for 474 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions. Even in the 2011 AFC Championship Game – the only playoff game Brady has won against the Ravens – he was un-Brady like, completing just 22 of 36 passes for 239 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions for a quarterback rating of 57.5.
Richard Hill is an editor at Pats Pulpit. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @patspulpit.
WHY NEW ENGLAND COVERS
New England is currently favored by a touchdown and since the Week 4 reawakening at the hands of the Chiefs, the Patriots have won 10 games, winning eight by more than seven points. The two exceptions? Both against the divisional rival Jets. The Patriots beat the Broncos by 22, the Colts by 22, the Bengals by 26, the Lions by 25, and the Dolphins by 28. The Ravens benefit from playing the third-weakest schedule since realignment in 2002 and their only victories against teams with winning records were against their divisional rivals, the Steelers. The Patriots are rested, healthy, and have won their past three Divisional Round games off a bye by an average score of 43-20. They should be able to cover against the Ravens.
Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks (-10.5, 39.5)
Bill Voth writes for Black and Blue Review. You can follow them on Facebook and on Twitter @BlackBlueReview.
WHY CAROLINA COVERS
Considering the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks have been separated by a combined 13 points in their last three meetings, a double-digit spread is a bit surprising. Carolina may not win in Seattle – they’ve narrowly dropped all three of those meetings in Charlotte – but the Panthers match up well enough with the Seahawks to at least make it another game that may not be decided until the fourth quarter.
Rob Davies writes for Field Gulls. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @FieldGulls.
WHY SEATTLE COVERS
Carolina’s certainly taking some momentum into Seattle on Saturday, but they face a Seahawks team that’s 24-2 SU with Russell Wilson at quarterback. In addition, Seattle’s defense is playing lights-out and have hit their stride at the perfect point of the season. With kickoff not until the evening, the 12th Man will have had all day to look forward to this and will be rabid come game time – an experience very few on the Panthers squad can relate to. The Seahawks have regained their swagger and won’t relinquish their Super Bowl title this week.
Join the debate in the comment section below. Who covers Saturday: Ravens or Patriots? Panthers or Seahawks?