Posted Sun Jan 10th by Monty
Previewing, breaking down, and picking the winners of this weekend’s playoff action. Your picks and game discussion in the comments.
The Story: Rematches, rematches, rematches. This marks the third game this weekend featuring teams that just played last week. The Packers took it to the Cardinals 33-7, but Arizona took the week off. How will they fare this week as the home underdogs against possibly the hottest team in the NFC, who went 7-1 down the stretch?
The Breakdown: The Packers are perhaps the best blitzing team in the league, and they have a talented secondary highlighted by Defensive Player of the Year candidate CB Charles Woodson. They will get after Kurt Warner, who will be without WR Anquan Boldin and try to throw behind an offensive line that has struggled of late. On offense, Green Bay has been stellar down the stretch, particularly at quarterback, where Aaron Rodgers will make his first playoff start.
The Pick: Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt played the disrespect card all the way to the Super Bowl last year, and nearly won there, too. As home dogs, that card will be available again, and there’s a mentality in Arizona of “now or never” that permeates the players’ interviews and tweets. At home, against a blitz-happy Packers team, I see Warner able to find Larry Fitzgerald in one-on-one coverage. Also, I’ve adopted the Cardinals as my “Team O’ the Playoffs,” so this pick is considerably subjective. I want ARI to win. Cardinals 31, Packers 24.