Atlanta Falcons vs Philadelphia Eagles
What a way to kick off the weekend! The Falcons head into Philadelphia for the first time since 2005. The last time these two met in the postseason, the Eagles won 27-10 and the crazy part about this game is that the Falcons are the favorites. The Falcons, the favorites in Philadelphia? A stadium that is going to be packed to the brim with 65,000 plus people, a place where the Eagles are 7-1 this season.
Wow, the betting gods must really have ZERO faith in Nick Foles. Which we cannot blame them, Foles for the three games he has started has been pretty grotesque. The Falcons story of “this team has the tools, all they need to do get going is a little bit of confidence”, awesome Atlanta you played a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in twelve years, and had an inexperienced quarterback and head coach in the playoffs. I cannot stand the Falcons headlines, where “Oh this team is good, watch out. They needed that loss last year to really test them.” Yeah no, no one wants to lose in the Super Bowl, no one needs that to wake up.
The Eagles have to rely heavily on their defense, which the Eagles defense is 4th in total yards(306.5), 1st in rushing yards(79.2) and 3rd in third-down coverage(32.2). The defense I think will hold its own, but the Eagles will need Nick Foles to be somewhat serviceable, a Blake Bortles like performance is something many Eagles would be ok with. The Falcons will try to expose the Eagles fragile secondary with Julio Jones and Mohammad Sanu. Matt Ryan will try to lead the Falcons to another Conference Championship, just this time they hope for a different result.
The Eagles coming in as the underdog, I think gives this team a major boost, they will play with a chip on their shoulder and come out hungry, may sound crazy but it makes sense. How do we think this game turns out, low scoring first half, overall low scoring game. Falcons and Eagles exchange chances, a ton of three and outs during the first portion of this game. Second half the jitters start to calm down, the teams take more chances and I truly believe the Eagles can win this game.
Tennesse Titans vs New England Patriots
The Patriots welcome the Tennesse Titans to Foxboro for a playoff game that no one ever imagined. The Titans Marcus Mariota starts in his second playoff game vs Tom Brady a QB that has started in 34 playoff games, going to be his 35th on Saturday. Good luck Tennesse.
All the news behind the Patriots between Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, and Tom Brady, I really truly believe this is all the media trying to stir the pot in the Patriots locker room and distract them. Because if anyone thinks the Patriots are going to be distracted by all this news is probably a 10-year-old, or thinks like one. Tom Brady really going to lose to Marcus Mariota and the Titans, please. Maybe not win by 13.5 points but the Patriots are almost a guarantee to win this game.
The Titans, I’m sorry Tennesse but you guys have really no shot, I hate to sound like a Patriots supporter because I really just think highly and respect the Patriots and it’s their game to lose here. Yeah they lost to the Jets in 2011, and the last time they lost in the second round was Denver in 2016 but Peyton Manning was the QB, Mariota is no Manning and the Broncos also did win the Super Bowl that year. Tennesse just hope for Mariota to get his way on the ground because he had trouble against Buffalo through the air, it may get easier vs a less skilled defense but it won’t be much easier.
How do we think this game turns out? Well, the Patriots will win probably, I’m not sure by how much, I don’t know if they cover the spread of 13.5. Brady comes in a chip on his shoulder and all. I think it’s going to be interesting to see how Belichick and Brady interact on the sidelines and during play calls. Patriots, Steelers Conference championship?
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Blake Bortles to the promise land! I honestly hope so, I understand the James Harrison vs Steelers thing but, how awesome would it be if the Jaguars just came running through the playoffs. The Giants did it the first time they won the Super Bowl, they came in the Wild Card game beat Tampa Bay and didn’t look back. Why can’t Bortles and the Jaguars unreal defense do the same thing? I am all aboard the Bortles train. Sign me up Jacksonville.
The Steelers get back Antonio Brown, coupled with LeVonn Bell, well crap there goes the Jaguars chances. The Jaguars did beat the Steelers Week 5 this season though and held them to only 9 points. Still, the best wide receiver in the league and best running back in the league, how can you even contain that. Jalen Ramsey will have his hands full with Brown and this will be his time to see if he can really be the best corner in the league. Big Ben and his double chin, come hobbling in and probably hobbling out to lead the Steelers to yet another Conference game. Big Ben is so immobile, I really don’t understand how he is a QB, but he does what he needs to do and has been doing it for years now.
How do we think this game turns out? Well, the Jaguars are going to need to hold the Steelers offense to a very minimal amount of points and yards, it would have to be like in the 10-17 range for the Jaguars to have a chance. They struggled to score more than 10 points vs Buffalo, the Steelers defense is no cake walk. Do we seriously believe the Jaguars can win 17-10? 21-17? Probably not. Have to run with the Steelers but let’s go Jaguars, bring me the checker games at the tailgate and teal burgers.
New Orleans Saints vs Minnesota Vikings
Hands down the best game of the playoffs, the Viking defense vs the Saints offense. Another storyline here is the MVP candidate Case Keenum vs Drew Brees what!, Yeah Case Keenum played like an absolute MVP caliber player. Won’t happen but you cannot discredit Keenum’s stats this year. 3547 yards, 22 TD and 7 INT and 98.3 PAT. Brees started in 16 games(Keenum 14), had a 103.9 PAT, 4,334 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Don’t sleep on Keenum people.
The Saints have such a powerful backfield paired with Alvin Komara and Mark Ingram, coupled with Drew Brees arm, the Vikings defense will have their hands full. But the Vikings are ranked 1st and or 2nd in every defensive category this season. This is going to be one hell of a game, Christ. I really do not even know what to say about this game, it really comes down to Vikings defense vs Saints offense while the Vikings offense tries to just be serviceable and put up points
What do we think happens with this game? This is going to be by far the most competitive and exciting game of the divisional round. The Vikings are going to be extremely tough to beat at home but it’s nothing the Saints can’t do. Although they have lost five times on the road over the last 18 years, and in 2000 playoffs during the divisional games they lost to the Vikings in Minnesota. I truly believe in the Vikings defense and I think Minnesota comes out with this one.