Arizona (11-6) @ New Orleans (13-3)
Saturday, January 16 @ 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX
Nickname this the fireworks game because there will be more bombs in the air than were over Libya back in the day. Neither defense is special, but both have shown the ability to show up when it counts. Brees and the Saints looks special for two-thirds of the season before faltering down the stretch. Arizona has only improved this year and getting into shootouts is nothing new to them. It'll be wild and close, but the Cards have the stuff to reach a second NFC Championship in as many years.
Prediction: Arizona 34, New Orleans 31
Baltimore (10-7) @ Indianapolis (14-2)
Saturday, January 16 @ 8:15 p.m. ET, CBS
Baltimore dismantled the Patriots last week with a stingy defense and a solid running game. The Colts did what they always do – won a bunch of games in the regular season but go into the postseason with a lot of questions. The fact is the Colts starters are good, but the guys backing them up are very pedestrian and that doesn't bode well when facing a team that puts the hurt on opponents the way the Ravens do. In the end though, Manning with a week of rest and preparation is too much to overcome.
Prediction: Indianapolis 24, Baltimore 14
Dallas (12-5) @ Minnesota (12-4)
Sunday, January 17 @ 1:00 p.m., FOX
The Cowboys made a statement with their first playoff win in over a decade last week and now take the show on the road to face Brett Favre's latest last ride in the Vikings. Much attention will be given to the offenses in this game, but the defenses are a good match for each others opposition as well. I expect this one to go down to the wire and Tony Romo to be the gunslinger still standing when the clocks hits 00:00.
Prediction: Dallas 26, Minnesota 24
NY Jets (10-7) @ San Diego (13-3)
Sunday, January 17 @ 4:40 p.m. ET, CBS
The Jets ride the best defense in the league into this one hoping to keep their playoff run alive against a very solid Chargers squad. Though the stats don't show it, San Diego can move the ball through the air against the Jets defense and if they get enough out of the running game, they should be able to survive the Rex Ryan buzz saw. The pressure will be on Phillip Rivers because he has to have a big game for his team to win. He's more than capable of that.
Prediction: San Diego 23, NY Jets 17