Tandler and Tarik pick the NFC

Tandler and Tarik pick the NFC
January 11, 2013, 12:15 pm
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Tarik and Larry make their Divisional round picks

By Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir

The Redskins were one and done in the playoffs while other teams play on. Redskins reporters Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler pick the divisional round games this weekend. Here are their picks for the NFC games.

Packers at 49ers (Saturday, 8 p.m., FOX)

Tandler: This is a game of contrasting offenses as the 49ers were one of a handful of NFL teams that ran more often that they passed while the Packers take the aerial route with Aaron Rodgers throwing to Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley and company. Usually when you have a game set up like this you look for an unexpected impact player, one from the part of the game that isn’t the team’s emphasis. I don’t think it will be running back Ryan Grant of the Packers. I think Vernon Davis, after a relatively quiet regular season, comes through big again the divisional round. 49ers 31, Packers 24

El-Bashir: This is the game I’m most looking forward to this weekend because I believe it’s going to be the closest. As fun as Colin Kaepernick is to watch, the edge at quarterback belongs to Aaron Rodgers, the unflappable vet. Rodgers is 5-2 as a starter in the postseason; Kaepernick is 0-0. That’s the difference right there, folks. I’m still looking for Kaepernick and Frank Gore to keep the game close until the end. Which, of course, is when Rodgers will do what Rodgers does: calmly and coolly direct the Pack past a stout 49ers 'D' and into the NFC championship game for the second time in three years. Packers 28, 49ers 24

Seahawks at Falcons (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX)

Tandler: I’m usually not big on saying that a team is “due”. Every game is a separate event and the fact that a team has lost in a particular situation time and time again does not mean that there is a greater chance that they will be successful in that situation the next time they encounter it. But I’m going to make an exception here. The Falcons are due to win a playoff game and they will get that particular monkey off of their collective backs against Seattle. Also working in Atlanta’s favor is the fact that Chris Clemons, the Seahawks’ best pass rusher, is out with a knee injury so I like Julio Jones and Roddy White to be able to get open against Seattle corners Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman. Falcons 24, Seahawks 18

El-Bashir: Russell Wilson and the Seahawks showed me something last week. Sure, they were helped out tremendously by a hobbled Robert Griffin III. But they also rallied from 14-0 on the road, and never for a moment looked flustered. Wilson and Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch are on top of their games, and the well-balanced Seahawks have won six in a row at the right time of year. The Falcons are 7-1 at home this season and have weapons aplenty with wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones and tight end Tony Gonzalez. I’m just not sure I trust the guy who’s supposed to be delivering the ball to them. Quarterback Matt Ryan is 0-3 in the postseason--and the last two weren't close. Seahawks 27, Falcons 21