The Divisional Round of the 2013 NFL Playoffs will get under way this weekend as fans will have two great matchups to watch in the AFC as the Baltimore Ravens take on the Denver Broncos on Saturday while the Houston Texans look to bounce back from their embarrassing loss to the New England Patriots from Week 14 with a rematch in Foxboro.
On paper, all signs point to the No. 1 seeded Broncos cruising by the Ravens considering Peyton Manning has won nine-straight games against Baltimore. On top of that, Denver has a winning streak of 11 games–so there’s no reason why Manning and company shouldn’t come through with the win on Saturday.
With all of the questions surrounding Manning at the beginning of the season, nobody could have predicted the Broncos to have the top seed in the AFC in the playoffs–but it happened. The key factor in this matchup will be whether or not Manning let’s his cold-weather struggles get to him in the playoffs like in the past–or Denver could be in trouble.
As for the other matchup in the AFC, the Texans hope for a better performance this time around as they were slaughtered by the Patriots 42-14 when these two teams met during the regular season. Houston used a solid performance by the defense to hold the Cincinnati Bengals to just 13 points during Wild Card Weekend, but they’ll face a tougher challenge on Sunday against the high-powered offense of New England led by Tom Brady. New England had no problems finding the end zone during the first time these two teams meet and with an extra week of rest–expect them to come out firing on Sunday.