Today’s football playoffs at a glance

January 13, 2013 

Dolphins Patriots Football

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick instructs his defense on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)


  • PLAYOFF GLANCE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS Saturday Baltimore 38, Denver 35 (2OT) Green Bay at San Francisco, late Today Seattle at Atlanta, 1 p.m. (FOX) Houston at New England, 4:30 p.m. (CBS) CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS Sunday, Jan. 20 NFC, 3 p.m. (FOX); AFC, 6:30 p.m. (CBS) SUPER BOWL XLVII Sunday, Feb. 3 At New Orleans, 6 p.m. (CBS)

WHO: Seahawks at Falcons

TIME/TV: 1 p.m./FOX

LINE: Falcons by 21/2

BUZZ: The Falcons are 0-3 in the playoffs under QB Matt Ryan and coach Mike Smith. Ryan, nicknamed “Matty Ice,” has been ice cold in the playoffs, including last year’s 24-2 loss to the Giants. Has there ever been a less-heralded, underwhelming, more shaky 13-3 team in NFL history? Seattle has won its past six and eight of its last nine overall Ryan (32 TDs, 4,719 yards this season) is a ridiculous 33-4 all-time at the Georgia Dome. Also, Seattle losing defensive end Chris Clemons (knee) and his 11 sacks will hurt the pass rush and give Ryan more time. Hot-lanta celebrates its first playoff win since Jan. 15, 2005.

THE PICK: Falcons

WHO: Texans at Patriots

TIME/TV: 4:30 p.m./CBS

LINE: Patriots by 91/2

BUZZ: QB Matt Schaub has thrown four TDs and five INTs in his past seven games combined and hasn’t thrown a TD pass since the first quarter against the Colts on Dec. 16. Thank goodness the Texans have RB Arian Foster, who has rushed for 425 yards in his first three playoff games, the most by any player in history. But the brilliance of coach Bill Belichick is taking away the opposing team’s biggest weapon. The Pats have the defensive front seven to do that. New England beat Houston, 42-14, last month, but Belichick says “it’s a bunch of garbage” to expect another blowout. Tom Brady (16-6) is a win away from passing Joe Montana for the most playoff wins by a QB. Brady and Belichick get one step closer to winning a fourth Super Bowl.

THE PICK: Patriots


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