It's crunch time in the NFL.
Win or go home for professional football teams lucky enough to find themselves still in the playoffs.
In all, eight teams remain alive and eligible to win Super Bowl XLVII in three weeks in New Orleans, Louisiana.
This weekend brings the Divisional Round games, in which the Nos. 1 and 2 teams of each conference have to go to battle to continue to prove their dominance over the rest of the conference.
Let's take a look at all four games, and which team will win each contest to move onto their respective conference championship game:
No. 4 Baltimore Ravens vs. No. 1 Denver Broncos
Before their bye last weekend, the Broncos had run off 11 straight games to finish the regular season 13-3. Denver didn't just win games though, they blew out many of their opponents and won by an average of 12 points per game. One of those victories came over Baltimore in Week 15, when the Broncos completely out-physicaled the Ravens and eventually won 34-17.
This Saturday's game could be different though, with Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs set to play in the postseason rematch, each sat out due to injury four weeks ago. Lewis' Ravens are riding an emotional high following his retirement announcement and they controlled the Colts by disallowing them to score a touchdown, winning the Wildcard game 24-9.
In many ways, Joe Flacco could determine the outcome of the game – if he turns the ball over, it will drastically reduce the Ravens' chances of pulling out a win in the Mile High City. If he can hold onto the ball, Ray Rice will become the focal point, and the all-star running back will look for revenge against a Denver D that held him to a modest 38 yards rushing in Week 15.
At 30.1 points per game, the Broncos offense is ths second-highest scoring in the league, and Peyton Manning loves to pick apart the Ravens. He's got freak of nature Demaryius Thomas, the talented Eric Decker and ageless wonder Brandon Stokley, as well as tight ends Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen to catch his passes and Manning spreads the football out better than anyone.
Denver is 7-1 this season at home and the bye week allowed many banged up players to rest and heal to be ready for this game. Also, Peyton Manning has won his last nine games against the Ravens, including two in the playoffs.
Prediction: Broncos win 31 – 20.
The game kicks off at 4:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on CBS.
Shocking Stat: Only one No. 1 seed (2009 New Orleans Saints) won the Super Bowl since 2004.
Shocking Stat 2: Of the previous eight teams that won 10-plus straight games heading into the playoffs, four made the Super Bowl.
No. 3 Green Bay Packers vs. No. 2 San Francisco 49ers
Ah, the Packers and Niners meet in the playoffs once again. It's a matchup for the ages, and is set for another great game this Saturday night.
San Francisco boasts one of the best defenses in all of football, allowing a second-lowest 17.1 points per game this season. They're a physical bunch, led by a linebacking corps of Navorro Bowman, Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith who have combined for 329 tackles, 22 sacks, six forced fumbles and four interceptions. The 49ers are physical all over that defense too, including corner Carlos Rogers and tackle Justin Smith.
They'll be trying to stop Aaron Rodgers and the pass-first Packers' offense. Rodgers 40 passing touchdowns on the season were second-best in the NFL, and his highly athletic corps of wide receivers is the best group in the NFL. Six players have at least 36 receptions for Green Bay, and while Randall Cobb leads in receptions (80) and yards (954), James Jones' 14 touchdowns lead the team.
When San Francisco has the ball, they'll be relying on the running of Frank Gore and that youngster Colin Kaepernick doesn't make too many mistakes. Kaepernick is a dual-threat quarterback, throwing for 1,800 yards and 10 TDs while running for another 400 yards and five scores in seven games. He could do much damage against a Green Bay defense that's been mediocre all year long, but the Packers pack too much punch and will win a close one late.
Prediction: Packers win 24 - 23.
The game kicks off at 8:00 p.m. ET and will be televised on FOX.
No. 5 Seattle Seahawks vs. No. 1 Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons started the season off as the hottest team in football, winning eight straight, while the Seahawks have won six straight games heading into this Divisional round game.
Seattle is stellar on both sides of the football, beating teams with a hard-hitting defense and power-running offense.
The Seahawks' 15.3 points allowed per game make them the best defense in the game and they excel at taking the ball away. Seattle's +13 turnover margin was fifth-best and 12 defensive players have recovered at least one fumble on the year. Cornerback Richard Sherman has a team-high eight interceptions, while defensive end Chris Clemons leads with 11.5 sacks. That defense was dominant last week in their 24-14 Wildcard win over the Redskins as they held Washington to 203 total yards and forced two turnovers.
Offensively, Seattle's rookie sensation Russell Wilson has been spectacular as a dual-threat QB. He ran for 67 and threw for 187 with a touchdown last week against Washington, playing under control in his first playoff game. The workhorse of their offense is Marshawn Lynch, and when he goes into “Beastmode,” watch out!
Atlanta's fifth-best defense will be trying to stop both Wilson and Lynch, and their biggest weakness is stopping the run. The Falcons allowed 123 yards per game on the ground, which only plays into Seattle's favor.
On offense, the Falcons possess the firepower needed to out-score nearly any team. Matt Ryan is the man that leads that awesome offense and he loves tossing the pigskin to big-time receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones. Each went over 1,100 yards and seven TD s receiving, both love burning cornerbacks deep.
Seattle's too hot, their running game too potent and they'll win this game on the road.
Prediction: Seahawks win 31 – 23.
The game kicks off at 1:00 p.m. ET and will be televised on FOX.
Shocking Stat: Eight of 14 No. 1 seeds have lost since 2005, including the Falcons in 2010
No. 3 Houston Texans vs. No. 2 New England Patriots
When New England and Houston wrap up Divisional weekend, it should be a show of monumental proportions. This could be a good ol' fashioned barn-burner folks, with each team lighting up the scoreboard relentlessly.
The Texans have the ability to score like crazy – with stars Arian Foster and Andre Johnson on their offense – but it hasn't been working for Houston lately. They managed to put up a measly 19 points against the sixth seed Bengals last week to edge out their Wildcard win. Foster was fantastic, running for 140 yards and a score, while quarterback Matt Shaub threw an interception that kept the game close.
The Patriots on the other hand, are hands down the best offense in the NFL today. New England's 34.8 points per game lead the league while they also finished first in total yards, first downs and rushing touchdowns (25). The way Tom Brady runs their offense is amazing; he gets them to the line and set faster than you can take a swig of beer, catching defenses off guard and imposing their will on opponents.
When these two teams met back in Week 14, it was a completely crushing 42-14 win by the Patriots, and something says this game will be close to a repeat performance.
Prediction: Patriots 41 – Texans 24.
The game kicks off at 4:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on CBS.
Shocking stat: Since winning their last Super Bowl, the Pats are only 7-6 in the playoffs.
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Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist and the Denver Broncos Examiner. You can follow Rich on twitter or facebook for all your Denver Broncos news and opinion.