Divisional round picks
It’s getting closer to the end of the NFL season….. but with this sad news comes joy as we have some quality football still to watch in the next few weeks. To add to the excitement, the NFL London games fixtures have been announced which has got everybody here in the UK excited. Especially as it features 3 teams that are currently still in the playoffs! I for one will be there and we hope to see a few of you guys there too!! Anyway back to this weekend and some great matchups with so many talking points on display. Jacksonville/Pittsburgh round 2, The surprising Titans facing the juggernaut of the New England Patriots, The Falcons looking to make it back to back NFC championship games and the Vikings looking to see if they can host the Super Bowl party in their own back yard. I for one can’t wait……
Below we move on to our Divisional predictions. Look out for my predictions every weekend during the season to help you make your mind up on those dodgy looking matchups and for a few helpful stats to back it up.
Neil is 168-73 in his season predictions. Follow him @neil_itez for more.
Let’s get on with the rest……..
Falcons 24 @ 20 Eagles
– Everybody has written the Eagles off. A first round home bye in the playoffs and they enter this game as the underdogs!! I mean what!? Does this just show how important Carson Wentz is to this team or what?! Their still the same everywhere else? This is a hard game to call but the Falcons showed me last week that they can beat any team that’s showing surprising form this season. The Rams were the hottest team in the league, but Atlanta shut them down and on the road! I expect the same here unless Nick Foles plays the game of his career, would I be surprised if he did? No….. but I wouldn’t be surprised if Atlanta unlocked this defence and Philly just aren’t the same without their franchise QB.
Titans 17 @ 28 Patriots
– Are the Titans going to go into New England and cause one of he biggest upsets in playoff history? Let me tell you how they could…… It starts with all this controversy surrounding the Patriots. What’s Belichick thinking? Where is Brady at? How has it affected the team? Questions that will be answered after this weekend. Secondly, Derrick Henry. The guy needs to have 100 yards and some in this game. Big Bill will look to take him away as an option whilst keeping a close eye on the legs of Mariota too! Even with this I just can’t see the Titans going in and competing. Tell me, how does a team that we’re 25th in passing defence defend against the GOAT and Gronkowski? Did you know that New England have reached 6 consecutive championship games and Tom Brady is 6-0 against Mike Murlarkey. The Patriots are not the Chiefs and if they go up in the game, there is no way back this time for the Titans.
Jags 20 @ 24 Steelers
– Ohhhhhh boy!! I can’t wait for this one again! As a Steelers fan it was hard to watch Big Ben and the leagues proposed best offence get man handled by the Jags in week 5. Not this time though…… I refuse to accept the fact that the Steelers will lose in the playoffs…… unless they play the Ravens or the Patriots! Number 84 also makes his return which will lift the whole of Pittsburgh! They never win easy though and I’m not for one second saying that it will be. Jacksonville could have the most talented defence in the league and I’ve found this season there has been so much talk about defence. If you look at how the Saints and Patriots defences have changed and how dominant Jacksonville and Minnesota have been this season. Jacksonville will certainly trouble Big Ben again but at this time of year in Heinz field, The Steelers will once again go to New England.
Saints 24 @ 27 Vikings OT
– This just makes Sunday a complete write off for me. Il certainly be sitting in front of he TV for a solid 6+ hours. What a game to finish off the divisional round and such a close one to call. I love what the Saints have done this year on both sides of the ball but the Vikings have proved me wrong time and time again and more importantly, Case Keenum has proved me and so many others wrong too. I mean the guy has just balled to a point where not only do they play solid defence with arguably the best defensive unit in the NFL, but can also score points. Infact the Vikings are 11th in passing offence this season! These two combined give you the formula to their success. This one will be right, if the saints can get Ingram and Kamara going, this may open the Vikings up for Drew Brees. The big one for me is, can the Saints defence also show up and join the party? We will find out come Sunday night!