Cornerback Walt Harris and linebacker Parys Haralson will go head to head during the playoffs with their picks and reasons for them. They both tied last week at 2-2 after making the same picks last week, as they did again this week, which means next round, we may need to move onto a point spread.
SATURDAY GAMESBaltimore Ravens @ Tennessee Titans
**CB Walt Harris *
These two teams to me are pretty identical to each other offensively. They both run the ball well. You've got Chris Johnson and Lendale White for the Titans, and the Ravens have Willie McGahee and Le'Ron McCain.
The defenses are outstanding on both sides, and they are two very well coached teams.
The Titans are at home and they have had a bye, and you could really go with either team, but I'm going with the Ravens. I'm having a hard time with this one, and I kind of think the Titans may win, but I'm pulling for the Ravens and that's who I'm taking bottom line.
LB Parys HaralsonI'm going to take Baltimore. I think their defense is playing well, and the quarterback Joe Flacco had a great game against Miami last week.
I like Tennessee, they have a strong running game with Lendale White and Chris Johnson, but I'm still going Baltimore. Ed Reed had another pair of picks last week and I just think he's unreal.
The Ravens offense will have to stop Tennessee from getting to the quarterback which is something they do well, but I do think Baltimore will be able to pull this one out.
My prediction will be for the Carolina Panthers basically because they are well rested, and I do believe they have an outstanding running game with DeAngelo Wiliams and rookie Jonathan Stewart. They are a fresh team coming off a bye and playing at home, so it's a great opportunity for them to win.
However, the Panthers are going to have to establish the run game. They've got Steve Smith, but it's easy to double cover a guy like that if you can shut down the run.
We don't know the status of Anquan Boldin for Arizona. It looks very questionable from my understanding, so they are going to have to establish the run game if they want a chance to compete. With Julius Peppers and that Carolina front, Arizona can't afford to let them just tee off on Kurt Warner. So they've got establish the run, and that's something they did well last week with Edgerrin James, and something I believe they should have done a long time ago.
However, Arizona is going from west coast to east coast and those statistics haven't been great this year for teams doing that, plus Carolina is coming off that bye, so I go with them.
HaralsonI'm going to pick Carolina. I thought Atlanta would pull it off, and Arizona surprised me, but I think Julius Peppers is playing well and they've got the running game with DeAngelo Williams and Stewart.
Arizona may or may not have Anquan, they did get Edgerrin James more involved in the offense , but I'm still going with Carolina. I think that offense can run the ball and control the clock, and it's at home. Plus, I think their secondary is playing well with Ken Lucas and Chris Gamble and I feel those guys will do a good job against Arizona's passing game.
Jake Delhomme is a successful quarterback and I don't think that Arizona defense can shake him like they did the rookie last week. They've got a strong defense that can get pressure, but that Carolina oline is a physical bunch.
I take Carolina.
I also think though that the Eagles have a very good chance to win because they might just be the better team right now as well.
They aren't playing at home, but these guys play each other twice every year in the division so I don't think that will play into it as much.
Philly is going to have to stop the run. That's key, especially against the Giants. They've got to stop Brandon Jacobs, that's number one. If they can do that, and then let Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook do their thing, they'll be okay.
I think the Eagles head into this game very confident and they're my pick.
HaralsonI am going to take Philly again this week because Donovan McNabb is playing well, and Westbrook is one of the most complete backs in the NFL.
New York got Brandon Jacobs back and that's a big plus, but I think Philly's defense is playing well right now. They are getting pressure with Trent Cole and Juqua Parker, so I'm definitely taking Philly.
I think Phillip Rivers is going to have a lot of trouble picking up the blitz from the Steelers defense. They do an excellent job pressuring the quarterback.
Both teams will have to establish the run and the weather will play a big difference in that. It sounds doubtful for LaDanian Tomlinson and I really think San Diego would need him to play to get a victory. Darren Sproles showed a lot of heart last week, but I think he'll have a target on his back right now.
All in all, my pick is for the Steelers.
San Diego surprised me last week with that win over Indy.
Phillip Rivers is playing well and their defense did a great job last week against Indy, but I'm still going to take Pittsburgh.
They've got Big Ben back, and everybody knows Pittsburgh has one of the best defenses in the NFL with James Harrison getting chosen as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Troy Polamalu has a bunch of interceptions and they cause turnovers and I think they'll win that battle.
They are at home, and I'm a defensive guy and I'm always going to go with the defense. Sproles ran well last week, but I think he'll have a tough time. I still think LT is the cornerstone of that offense and not having your number one player, I think it will hurt him. I'm taking Pittsburgh.