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NFL picks and predictions for Ravens/Patriots, Panthers/Seahawks

Our staff makes their picks.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The divisional round of the playoffs is here and there are four games on. Lamentably, no game features the Arizona Cardinals. Some of our writing staff gives their picks for the games this weekend. Do you want to show your prediction ability? We have a pick'em for the playoffs going on.

As for right now, here are the predictions from our staff for Saturday's games.

Ravens at Patriots:

Michael Oliver: Pats 20, Ravens 17

I don't like all this Ravens talk about how they will go and upset the Patriots again. They don't have the offensive firepower to beat the Patriots who win basically every matchup on defense. They can stop the run and stop the pass. Gronk will make the difference in this game. Brady's favorite target will find a way to change this game for them.

Seth Cox: Ravens 24 Patriots 21

Nothing here but a guess that will likely be wrong, but the Ravens seem, like they are finding their groove at the right time of the year and Joe Flacco continues to prove his worth. I think the Ravens win a close game... Or the Patriots run them off the field, but since I can't root for the Patriots, let's go with Baltimore in a close one.

Robert Norman:

I don't think Baltimore has the ability to go into New England and win. With a healthy Rob Gronkowski. Sure pundits have touted that two of NE losses came against the Ravens, but past performance doesn't predict future success. If I have to give a score -- NE 31, BAL 21.

BigRedBilly: Patriots 27, Ravens 20

The better team is playing in front of the home crowd for a reason in this one. And never bet against Bill Belichick when he has two weeks to prepare his team for a big game.

Jess Root: Patriots 27, Ravens 21

This Patriots team is as good as it has been over the last few years and with the extra week to prepare, it's hard to pick against least when it isn't Eli Manning on the other sideline. Baltimore will keep it competitive, but i think Pats secondary is good enough to keep Joe Flacco from making too many big throws.

Panthers at Seahawks:

Michael Oliver: Seahawks 24, Panthers 9

This will be a close game for three quarters, but as they always do, the Seahawks will grind you down and eventually prevail in the fourth quarter. The Panthers defense are coming off an all time performance against Ryan Lindley, but that's Ryan Lindley and not the best QB as escaping pressure in the league in Russell Wilson in my opinion. The Panthers without Star Lotulelei cannot stop the Seahawks running game.

Seth Cox: Seahawks 28, Panthers 6

I am just glad the Cardinals do not have Ryan Lindley playing in Seattle. Drew Stanton I could tolerate again, but Lindley... My goodness. Seahawks may be the best team in the NFL at this point. I hate them.

Robert Norman: Seahawks 35, Panthers 14

The Panthers would have lost had the Cards offense been half decent. Against a dominating Seahawks defense, Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. Of all the games this one is most likely to be a blowout.

BigRedBilly: Seahawks 24 - Panthers 13

It's gonna be tough going when it comes to scoring for the Panthers. The Seahawks ground game will control the clock (and the scoreboard) when Carolina isn't dealing with the crowd noise and Seattle's defense.

Jess Root: Seahawks 38, Panthers 10

Carolina, while holding Arizona to 65 yards on offense in the first half and playing at home, still trailed Ryan Lindley at halftime. Now they go on the road to play a team that has looked nearly unbeatable. Carolina's offense isn't that good and, while the defense is, they will be no match for what Seattle brings to the table. Blowout time.