I went 3-1 in Wildcard Weekend only missing on the Raiders but now we are at the Divisional Round with a trip to the conference championship on the line. Here are my Divisional Round thoughts and picks:
Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots
This season for Tom Brady has been MVP caliber and rightfully so, but Houston has the unsteady hands of Brock Osweiler in Foxboro, again. The Texans this season have zero points in what will be 2 trips to Foxboro this season so the obvious strategy is to score points for Houston but this is New England in the playoffs at home, you can’t pick against Tom Terrific is this scenario.
My Pick: New England Patriots
Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Seahawks are finding their running game at the right time and made quick work of the Lions but Atlanta is sporting a potent offense themselves and if it wasn’t for a missed pass interference call earlier in the season the Falcons would be looking for their 2nd win over these Seahawks. The Falcons defense is still a concern because of how many points they allow and with Russell Wilson moving around more and Thomas Rawls getting more involved on the ground the Atlanta defense needs to be able to hold off Seattle and let Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and DeVonta Freeman do what they do. Matty Ice needs to improve on his 1-4 record in the playoffs but that one win came against Seattle.
My Pick: Seattle Seahawks
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Steelers are riding an 8 game winning streak and are seemingly unstoppable on offense. Few people know that Kansas City has quite the potent offense themselves. Travis Kelce, Jeremy Maclin, Tyreek Hill and when they give him the ball, Spencer Ware. I think this will be all about defense and who has the better pass rush and while I like the Chiefs pass rush, you have to ride the hot hand and no one is hotter than Pittsburgh.
My Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers
Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Green Bay Packers have been the hot, and in frigid Lambeau against the Giants they torched the Giants. Now comes the long anticipated rematch of Rodgers and the Packers against the rookies in Dallas. Ezekiel Elliott ate up the Packers earlier this season and is poised for another big day BUT these aren’t the same Packers. Rodgers is slinging it all over the yard, Ty Montgomery has been serviceable and Devante Adams has emerged as a top target. Jordy Nelson not playing hurts but Randall Cobb being back gives the Packers a slot presence to be accounted for. For Dallas it will be made out to be exercising the playoff demons of the past, but it should be about how will the unflappable Dak Prescott handle the moment? Again you ride the hot hand until it stops working and I’m all about these Green Bay Packers.
My Pick: Green Bay Packers