2018 NFL Playoffs – Divisional Round Picks

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Surely Andy Reid will finally win a home playoff game, they said; Of course, the No. 1 offense in the league will flourish against an underachieving Falcons team, they said; There’s no way Cam Newton loses to a division rival for a third time, they said. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

I went 1 – 3 in my picks; only correctly choosing Jacksonville over Buffalo (Really went out on a limb on that one).  Dustin managed to get two of four games (Jacksonville and Tennessee) right. This was a case study in why you should never ever get into the prediction business if you can help it. With that said, it’s a new weekend and there are four new games to incorrectly predict. So let’s get into it and pick the Divisional Round matchups.

 

Falcons at Eagles

Saturday 4:35 pm

Don’t let the #6 seed dissuade you. In dismantling the Rams, the Falcons looked like the team that made it to the Super Bowl last season. Now they face Nick Foles in Philly. The Eagles might not have the same Super Bowl or bust luster they had before Carson Wentz got injured but Foles has played admirably in his absence and the Philly’s defense is still scary.

Brooks
Atlanta – 31
Philadelphia – 27
Dustin
Philadelphia – 31
Atlanta – 24

Titans at Patriots

 

Saturday 8:25 pm

The Pats are favored by two touchdowns. That’s historic for a divisional round match-up. The Titans showed significant resilience in shocking Kansas City at home. If Derrick Henry can get going early and gash the Pat’s suspect run defense, this game could get interesting. But in the end, the Titans don’t have enough offensive fire power to overcome Brady & Co.

 

Brooks
New England – 34
Tennessee – 21
Dustin
New England – 27
Tennessee – 7

Jaguars at Steelers

Sunday 1:05 pm

The Steelers got caught in the jaws of Jacksonville’s defense in Week 5 to the tune of a 30 – 9 drubbing. Ben Roethlisberger threw 5 picks and Leonard Fournette ran amok with 181 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Blake Bortles didn’t crack 100 yards passing in that game. And last week he had more yards on the ground than through the air. Jacksonville doesn’t need him to win. To beat the Steelers again, Fournette, has to be just as good if not better than he was in Week 5.  It’s unlikely Roethlisberger will play so poorly again, but expect a healthy dose of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.

Brooks
Pittsburgh – 28
Jacksonville – 12
Dustin
Jacksonville – 24
Pittsburgh – 21

Saints at Vikings

Sunday 4:40 pm

 

Drew Brees is still really good at football. He took care of Carolina in a dome last week. This week he heads to another dome in Minnesota (likely the first of two visits there postseason for New Orleans). Let’s not forget that the Vikings are also really good at football. Sometimes losing your starting quarterback to injury can spell disaster, but other times it presents an opportunity for a backup to shine. Enter Case Keenum who helped lead the Vikings to a first round bye despite Teddy Bridgewater being out for the year and Sam Bradford going down with an injury. Oh, it also helps when your defense only allows 15 points per game. This matchup is the true unstoppable force meets immovable object game of the weekend. Brees’ hammer versus the Minnesota anvil. Strap in.

Brooks
New Orleans – 37
Minnesota – 33
Dustin
New Orleans – 31
Minnesota – 17

 

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