I am taking the Eagles +3. The Vikings are not going to be able to come off that emotional rollercoaster from last week and perform this week. They are playing on the road and that Eagles defense held the Falcons to 10 points, they should be able to hold Keenum to as little. My picks have been terrible the last two weeks, so maybe pick opposite.
Brady is going to win this game going away. The Jaguars are not some great team they went 10-6 and played a great game last week, that they won’t repeat. Take Brady and the points -7.5 to win.
Steelers vs. Jaguars
To me this is simple. Blake Bortles is terrible. Roethlisberger is really good. I am taking the Steelerrs to win and to cover the 7 point spread.
Saints Vs. Vikings
Last week this was a no brainer, taking the Saints was easy. I haven’t watched many Vikings games and have felt they were overrated playing as easy schedule. This week though, I have heard a lot about how good their defense is and it has made me scared. The reminder of how different the Saints play on the road makes me hesitant, but I keep coming back to Brees vs. Keenum.
In this era of offensive football, I am sticking with Brees. The Saints defense isn’t terrible, but good enough. I trust Brees offense against a good defense more than Keenum against a decent defense. Saints cover the five points and win outright.
Falcons vs. Eagles
The line on this game is Falcons -2 1/2. I’m picking the Falcons to cover. I am taking the superior quarterback over the well-rounded Eagles. The Falcons topped the Rams last week and I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t beat the Wentzless Eagles. Their defense is solid and they have a lot of offensive talent. The Eagles have a top 5 defense and the 7th overall offense. They are tough with an extra week of rest. I will take Dan Quinn over Doug Pederson and that is the main reason why I have the Falcons winning. They do have the better quarterback, but the Eagles have played well without Wentz. Foles is one of the better backups in the league and he will play fine.
Patriots vs. Titans
The Patriots are favored by -13.5. They are going to win this game by a lot. They are playing at home with a week of rest and will be very well prepared. The Patriots not only are the better team, but the Titans have no business being here. They had an unbelievable comeback win last week and there is 0% chance they win this week. I am betting $60 to win $7 on the money line, which means if the Patriots win, I get $7 (technically $6.98).
Buffalo Bills Vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars will win this game. Their defense is too tough and the Bills are too weak on offense. The Bills are playing on the road and their “happy to be there” attitude defined by their celebration last Sunday tells me all I need to know about them. There season was a success and it is over. They aren’t a very good team and there best player isn’t at 100%. Their only chance is if Blake Bortles gives them defensive points and the Jaguars fall behind. The Jaguars have the 2nd best defense in the league and beating Buffalo’s 29th ranked offense is a no brainer. But, then again, Mariota throwing himself a TD and the Chiefs ability to squander an 18 point lead at home reminds me that nothing is absolute.
New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers
This matchup is the hardest for me to pick. My inclination is that the Saints will win. They have a better running back, a better and more consistent quarterback, and a better coach. Their defenses are almost identical in terms of points per game, Carolina allows fewer yards, but both teams could win this game. The main question I have is how well will Cam Newton play?
Cam Newton at his best takes over games and is sensational; bad Cam is irrelevant and ineffective and I expect bad Cam. The Saints have played him plenty of times and can prevent Cam from taking over and winning. Sean Payton will scheme Cam into a bad game and will stifle him. Without an elite Cam the Panthers will lose this game.
Also, the 2013 postseason was a long time ago and Brees isn’t about to waste a home playoff game losing to a team he has beaten already 2x’s this year. Bree’s now has a balanced offense, and though he doesn’t have the gaudy total yard numbers like previous years, he is in the playoffs. Bree’s wait is over and I expect the Saints to make it to the NFC Championship game at least. I’ll take the Saints. I a not willing to lay money on this game, which tells you my confidence in a Saints cover, but I think you should.
Kansas City Chiefs vs Tennessee Titans
Tennessee is a terrible team. There defense is average and their offense is 23rd in the league. They have lost 3 out of their last 4 games and have no momentum. While the Chiefs, have won their last 4 games and are on a tear. Kansas City’s experience and their talent in key positions is why I am picking them. Alex Smith will do enough and Andy Reid will have a great game plan. The Chiefs have the 5th ranked offense and which will make up for their poor defense, which is why Kansas City will end the Titans season.
Atlanta Falcons vs. LA Rams
I feel like the public is overzealous on the Rams. They moved to LA, have the new coach who turned Jared Goff into a viable QB and have been putting up a ton of points in games, yet their return to the playoffs will be spoiled by the Falcons. The Falcons have playoff experience and will win this game on the road. The Falcons have a better QB and Julio Jones is the best player on the field. The Falcons offense’s problem has been scoring points, not getting yards and I think that will give this weekend. Their defense is significantly better than the Rams, which will help deal with Gurley. Ultimately, I trust Matt Ryan in this game more than I do Goff and that offense. and pick the Falcons to win outright.
The Patriots will invite the Steelers into Foxboro on Sunday and send them home packing up and they can Facebook live their way home on a cold long flight back to where they come from. That is what happens to teams in the playoffs at Foxboro and this year will be no different. Here’s why.
Lock Bell Up
Lock him up! Belichick has had the Patriots do this for years. He takes your best asset and locks them up and makes them effectively useless. That is what happened when the Patriots played the Steelers earlier in the year. Le’veon Bell had 21 carries for only 81 yards. If Bell has a similar performance the Patriots will win this game and be headed to their 7th Super Bowl.
Dion Lewis is another reason that the Patriots will win Sunday. He is 15-0 in games that he has played in. He has always been a duel threat and after returning a kickoff for a touchdown last Sunday, he is now a triple threat. Lewis’s explosiveness will help them recover from what they lost when Gronkowski was hurt. The Patriots haven’t used him a ton and I feel like they have been waiting for the right time and not show their hand too early. Last week was his coming out party and this week watch Pittsburgh try and contain him.
Pittsburgh’s first match this week was the flu, which won’t help them on Sunday. Add this ontop of having to go on the road, Antonio Brown’s Facebook live distraction, going up against Bill Belichick, who has had more time to prepare than you, and facing the greatest Quarterback of all time. This is too much for an undisciplined Steelers team. They had a good run and a good season after a mediocre start.
This weekend we finally had some exciting playoff football games. They didn’t come until Sunday, but both games came down to the end. The above comics were my playoff predictions heading into the weekend, along, with Brady’s beat down of the Texans, which was far from Nostradamic. So I picked 2 out of the 3 games correctly.
It is time to admit that Earl Thomas was key to Seattle’s defense. The Seattle defense showed signs of decay after his injury and showed up against good offenses. They gave up too many points against elite offenses and 20 points wasn’t going to beat the Falcons.
I have been stubborn to relegate the Seahawks from a great team to a good team, but not being able to flip the switch in the post season, consider them relegated. Their offense can’t score enough and their defense now doesn’t keep them in games when the offense struggles.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers look unbeatable. The last throw to put them in field goal range was incredible. The story goes that he drew that play up on the spot and just told each receiver what to do, grade school style. All-time quarterbacks need all time stories. Rodgers recent success with Hail Mary’s and making up a game saving plays on the spot are all time stories. If he finishes this year off with a Super Bowl ring, he wil be added to the top tier of all-time quarterbacks.
Kansas City tastes playoff disappointment again. A different season and we have the same story. Holding the Steelers to just 18 points going against Roethlisberger, Brown, and Bell, is quite an accomplishment, only to have your offense muster 16 points. The Chiefs are consistently good, but never great as they exit the playoffs again. Alex Smith is good, but not quite good enough.