NFL playoff capsules


Baltimore (5) at Pittsburgh (2)

 When: Tomorrow, 4:30

TV: CBS (Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf)

Radio: ESPN, 97.5-FM, 97.3-FM, 950-AM (Dave Sims, James Lofton, Steve Tasker)

Weather: Snowy, 10-plus-mph winds, temps in the mid-20s.

2010 regular season: Baltimore 12-4, Pittsburgh 12-4.

Head-to-head: Pittsburgh is 20-12 against the Ravens, including playoff wins following the 2001 and 2008 seasons. Split their two meetings this year.

Point spread/over-under: Pittsburgh -3. Total is 37.

Fun prop line: The odds of the first score of the game being a safety is 100-1.

About the Ravens: Quarterback Joe Flacco is making his seventh career postseason start. All have been on the road. Flacco, Dan Marino and Bernie Kosar are the only quarterbacks to appear in the playoffs each of their first three seasons . . . A defense that was showing signs of vulnerability earlier in the year is playing its best ball and has allowed just 24 points over the last three games . . . Both teams have a remarkable streak of 14 postseason games without allowing a 100-yard rusher.

About the Steelers: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger overcame an early broken nose in the December game to lead Pittsburgh to a 13-10 win . . . The Steelers led the NFL in rushing defense. In the two games earlier this season, Baltimore had 70 and 43 yards . . . Since 2006, linebacker LaMarr Woodley has an NFL-best eight postseason sacks. Ravens counterpart Terrell Suggs is second with seven.

Pick: Ravens, 17-16.

New York Jets (6) at New England (1)

When: Sunday, 4:30

TV: CBS (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms)

Radio: ESPN, 97.5-FM, 97.3-FM, 950-AM (Kevin Harlan, Randy Cross, Kevin Kiley)

Weather: Dry, light breeze, temperatures in the upper 20s.

2010 regular season: Jets 11-5, New England 14-2.

Head-to-head: Series is tied, 51-51-1. New England has won both postseason meetings (1985, 2006). Split their two meetings this year.

Point spread/over-under: New England -8.5. Total is 45.

Fun prop line: The odds of the first score of the game being a Jets touchdown is about 3:1.

About the Jets: Lost three of their last five regular-season games, starting with a 45-3 drubbing at New England, which nearly cost them a playoff spot . . . Bombastic coach Rex Ryan has stated that this is a personal clash between him and Pats coach Bill Belichick. He said the same thing last week about Colts QB Peyton Manning . . . Average a shade under 150 rushing yards in the four postseason games Ryan has been the head coach. The Pats were 16th against the run during the regular season and gave up 136 and 152 yards in their two games against New York.

About the Patriots: Quarterback Tom Brady threw 36 touchdowns and a ridiculous four interceptions. Brady has thrown an NFL-record 335 passes without a pick. Trivia geeks may note that Baltimore safety Ken Hamlin, on Oct. 17, was the last to intercept a Brady pass . . . Have scored at least 30 points in each of their last eight games, tying an NFL record held by the 2007 Patriots and the 2000 Rams. Neither of those teams reached the Super Bowl.

Pick: Patriots, 28-17.


Green Bay (6) at Atlanta (1)

When: Tomorrow, 8 o'clock

TV: Fox (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Chris Myers, Pam Oliver)

Radio: ESPN, 97.5-FM, 97.3-FM, 950-AM (Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli, Scott Kaplan)

Weather: Dome. Weather better not be a factor.

2010 regular season: Green Bay 10-6, Atlanta 13-3.

Head-to-head: Series is tied, 13-13. The teams split a pair of postseason meetings (Packers won in 1995; Atlanta won in 2002). Atlanta beat visiting Green Bay in Week 12 with a field goal in the waning seconds.

Point spread/over-under: Atlanta -2.5. Total is 44.

Fun prop line: Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 20:1 to score the game's first touchdown.

About the Packers: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers picked up the first postseason win of his career last week, but it's rookie running back James Starks who opened the Falcons' eyes. "He came out of nowhere," said Atlanta linebacker Curtis Lofton. "I'd never heard of Starks. I'd never seen him on film until the past 2 weeks. But he's a talented back" . . . Linebacker Clay Matthews had 13.5 sacks in the regular season to become the first Packer with double-digit sacks in consecutive seasons.

About the Falcons: Quarterback Matt Ryan is 20-2 at the Georgia Dome . . . Only the Patriots (eight) had more players selected to the Pro Bowl than the seven Falcons . . . Roddy White led the NFC with 1,389 receiving yards and led the NFL with 115 catches.

Pick: Packers, 23-21.

Seattle (4) at Chicago (2)

When: Sunday, 1 o'clock

TV: Fox (Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa)

Radio: ESPN, 97.5-FM, 97.3-FM, 950-AM (Kevin Kugler, Mark Malone, Hub Arkush)

Weather: Dry, light wind, temperatures in the teens.

2010 regular season: Seattle 7-9, Chicago 11-5.

Head-to-head: Seattle holds a 9-5 edge, but the Bears won the only postseason meeting (2006). The Seahawks won at Chicago, 23-20, in Week 6.

Point spread/over-under: Chicago -10. Total is 41.

Fun prop line: A $100 bet on Seattle to win the game will net $375.

About the Seahawks: The postseason started with many questioning a system that would allow a 7-9 team into the playoffs. Naturally, the 7-9 Seahawks ousted the defending champion Saints . . . Had the 28th-ranked offense and the 27th-ranked defense . . . Special-teams plays could be interesting. Seattle's Leon Washington is one of the league's best kick returners and Chicago's Devin Hester is the best punt returner.

About the Bears: Quarterback Jay Cutler threw 16 interceptions and lost six fumbles. He also had 3,274 passing yards to become the first Chicago QB ever with 3,000 yards in consecutive seasons. The franchise has been around since 1920 . . . Running back Matt Forte had at least 90 rushing yards in the last three games. In the earlier meeting with Seattle, he had eight carries for 11 yards.

Pick: Bears, 24-20.

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