The divisional round is special because not only this is “rematch weekend”, this may very well be “revenge weekend” when it’s all said and done.
With the exception of Atlanta-Seattle, the other games feature rematches of past ass-whoopings during the regular season. Will those losers come back and represent, or will it be more of the same?
Only one way to find out…
Houston Texans at New England Patriots
Well, I’m pretty sure we would all agree that there will be no acts of retribution here. The Texans got their asses kicked earlier in the season in New England WITH J.J. Watt and a healthier crew. Houston is so out-matched here, I’d be surprised if the Texans stay within 20 of the Patriots. Move along folks, nothing more to see here… Patriots 30, Texans 9.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs
The revenge quotient is pretty damn high in this one. I know the Chiefs are steaming from that 43-14 beatdown my Steelers put on them earlier this season – in prime time, no less. Even though KC doesn’t match up all that well with Pittsburgh, you better believe that home crowd at Arrowhead Stadium will be rocking.
My Steelers are rolling, and are FINALLY healthy on offense (though Big Ben is a little dinged, thanks Mike Tomlin), this is a tough spot for my boys. This will be one of the best games of the divisional round, but the Chiefs home crowd will give them the edge over Pittsburgh… Chiefs 20, Steelers 17.
Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons
The revenge probability meter is also high here, though in a more low-key sort of way. The Falcons are not a high-profile team, but man they can score points in a hurry. WR Julio Jones is healthy and ready for Seattle CB Richard Sherman and the “Legion of Boom”.
I think Falcons QB Matt Ryan is eager to get a second crack at the Seahawks’ D, and show fans and the media why he should be the 2016 NFL MVP. In a domed environment in Atlanta, I expect him to do just that… Falcons 27, Seahawks 20.
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys
Forget the revenge quotient for a minute, this game will be the best of the divisional round. Aaron “A-a-Ron” Rodgers vs. Dak Prescott II. The legend vs. the new stud. Very entertaining matchup all the way around.
I will say that a diminished Jordy Nelson will hurt Rodgers and the Packers offense in a big way. For a team to beat the upstart Cowboys on the road, every part of that team has to be healthy and on point. Couple the Nelson injury with the injuries in the secondary, I can’t say that about the Packers. Because of that, I have the Cowboys advancing to the NFC Championship.
That hurt – REALLY hurt… Cowboys 35, Packers 27.
Last week’s record: 2-2 (So I finished wildcard weekend at .500. Meh… )