Kaz’s Fearless Forecast


NFL Divisional Playoff Games This Weekend

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-4) over INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (12-5) 7:15 p.m. Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. (CBS)—This was the season the Pats were going to slip back to mediocrity, but here they are hosting a divisional playoff game. The big question is can the magic that got the Colts past the wild card round continue? I believe Bill Belichick’s defense will see to it that the 7 ½-point underdog Colts and quarterback Andrew Luck’s luck ends in Foxborough Saturday night in a 38-34 shootout.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (13-3) over NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12-5) 3:35 p.m. Saturday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, WA. (Fox)—The Seahawks play very well at home and usually are very unruly hosts. The Saints won their first-ever playoff game on the road last weekend at Philadelphia on a Shayne Graham field goal as time expired and will have to overcome being 8 ½-point underdogs at Seattle. It’s a sure-bet Orange’s Earl Thomas III has been inspiring his teammates all week and will be ready to stop whatever Drew Brees has up his sleeve. Hopefully the Seahawks’ offense also will be up to the challenge. I like the 8 ½-point favored Seahawks, 31-24.

DENVER BRONCOS (13-3) over SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (10-7) 3:40 p.m

Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver (CBS)—The Broncos have an axe to grind with the Chargers, who upset them 27-20 in Denver last month and are a 10-point underdog Sunday. Actually the Chargers have been traveling on borrowed time and wouldn’t even be in the playoffs if Kansas City kicker Ryan Succop made the 41-yard field goal as time expired in the regular-season finale two weeks ago. San Diego may be Destiny’s darlings, but Peyton Manning will help bring all that glory to a screeching halt, 38-21.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (13-4) over CAROLINA PANTHERS (12-4) 12:05 p.m. Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.  (Fox)—The 49ers are a slim one-point favorite over the stingy Panthers defense and will have to play better than they did to nip the Packers at frozen Green Bay Sunday. This should be a low-scoring game that could very well be decided on the final play of the game. Carolina won the last meeting 10-9 at San Francisco earlier this year, but the 49ers have won their last seven games in a row and will make it eight straight 13-10.