There’s no way around it. Last week I got my ass handed to me to the tune of 0-4. And you know what? If I had to redo those picks I wouldn’t change a thing. Okay, I maybe would’ve taken the Falcons but the other three, no way José.
The underdog went a perfect 4-0 which means Vegas avoided the chaotic hit they prepared to take. This week the spreads are a little more modest. Some drek still remains in the field but it’s nothing the GOAT can’t handle. Without further delay let’s get into the Divisional Round Picks.
Falcons (-3) over EAGLES
Looking back at my Rams-Falcons pick all my justifications were for Atlanta yet I rolled with the Rams. Why? Because I’m an idiot with no cojoñes. This week I located my cojoñes and will roll with the Falcons once more and here’s why.
Matt Ryan is more trustworthy than Nick Foles. In virtually every other department you can argue a push. Both teams have dynamic backfields, strong defenses and talented receivers. I could argue Julio Jones tips the scales but the Eagles still have the greater number of weapons. Had Carson Wentz been in this game I likely flip this pick.
The last time we saw Foles he was struggling against a Raiders secondary. The Raiders secondary is like playing Madden on Rookie. The difficulty will be turned all the way up for this contest and I’m not willing to bet Foles is ready.
Prediction: Falcons 24, Eagles 17
PATRIOTS (-13.5) over Titans
This is a petty pick at its finest. The Titans have no reason to be in this game. I love Marcus Mariota, the mentor of future New York Jets legend Tua Tagovaila, but the rest of that team can kick rocks. They were the beneficiaries of the worst officiating of the season. I had never seen forward progress called on a sack-fumble and will never see it again. That small mistake ended up being the deciding factor in the 22-21 collapse. Now to be fair Andy Reid deserves a large chunk of the blame for not involving his best playmaker Kareem Hunt in the second half.
These mistakes will not happen in Foxboro tonight. Tom Brady and the Pats have been off for a week, but as has become playoff tradition, remained in the news. According to ESPN this could be the last ride for Brady and Belichick, the Popovich and Duncan of the NFL. I for one do not believe this story but hey what’s motivation to two alphas like Brady and Belichick. Some may say this spread is too big but may I remind you of last year’s 14-point spread against the Texans that they covered. This Titans team is not better than that team. Call me crazy, petty and stupid, I’m rocking with the Pats.
Prediction: Titans 13, Patriots 34
STEELERS (-7) over Jaguars
The Jaguars really let us down. Check that, Blake Bortles really let us down. All he had to do was be average and his team would’ve covered. Instead he looked like a Pop Warner backup QB. I felt embarrassed watching their game last week. The defense did it’s job but even they let me down a bit. The Bills were moving the ball on them for what it’s worth. You can credit that to them being on the field a lot because Bortles stinks, but they are facing an elite offense this week.
Contentious contract negotiations between Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers could mean this is a last ride for them as well. Big Ben is old and if Bell doesn’t stick around Antonio Brown will look like Will Smith at the end of the Fresh Prince. The defense isn’t the same without Ryan Shazier but it’s decent enough to pack the box and beg Bortles to beat them.
The last time the Jags visited Pitt they stomped them out with Leonard Fournette. As good as Fournette is the Steelers should focus solely on him. I do not see Bortles lighting it up whatsoever. I do see another low point total for the Jaguars only they won’t escape this one. Jalen Ramsey vs. AB will be well worth the watch. As for the rest? Eh.
Prediction: Jaguars 10, Steelers 23
Saints (+5.5) over VIKINGS
Before we go any further, go ahead and throw out the Week 1 meeting between these two teams. Both were completely different teams in September. Alvin Kamara barely played and Case Keenum did not play at all. This is no doubt the game of the week and I like the team that is already warmed up from a big win last week.
The respect factor is definitely there for the Vikings. That defense remains a terror with Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes and Everson Griffen leading the way. The offense remains sneaky good with Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph and Latavius Murray. What this game boils down to for me is the quarterback battle of Keenum vs. Brees. Keenum has had an unforgettable season but he’s still Case Keenum.
Drew Brees is a brand I trust. The two-headed monster of Kamara and Mark Ingram is a brand I trust. Michael Thomas will have tough sledding against Rhodes but he is still someone I believe I can trust. Playing in the NFC South gave them the benefit of playing in tough games for most of the season. The Vikings have certainly stepped up in big games this season (i.e. Rams game) but I still like Brees and the Saints here.
Prediction: Saints 27, Vikings 24
Last Week: 0-4