2018 NFL Playoff Preview: Divisional Round

AFC

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots

You know what, I want to get excited over this “David vs. Goliath” matchup. The new jacks (yes, I’m old for saying that phrase) from Tennessee facing the big, bad defending champion Patriots.

Unfortunately, you, me and the Titans’ mamas and daddies know this is an ass-whooping waiting to happen. Especially after Titans safety Kevin Byard talked that trash… Patriots 34, Titans 13.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers

Speaking of new jacks, this may shape up as a scene reminiscent of “The Wire”. The Jaguars as new cat on the corner (Marlo Stansfield) looking to make his mark vs. the OG Steelers (Avon Barksdale).

The Jags made the mark in a BIG way earlier in the season against Pittsburgh. The Steelers remembered that 30-9 ass-whooping VERY well. Unfortunately for Jacksonville, the temperature is gonna be in single digits at kickoff, and I can’t trust Blake Bortles over Big Ben when the stakes are this high… Steelers 24, Jaguars 19.

NFC

Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles

This may be the biggest one-sided upset of the playoffs.  Sure the Eagles had a great season, but they’ve struggled since the loss of QB Carson Wentz.  And the Falcons have been on a roll as of late, including a convincing win over the Los Angeles Rams (how cool is it to say that city and the word “Rams” again?) in the wild card round.

I know it’s going to be cold as BLEEP in this game, but I think the Falcons are the better team on paper.  They’ve got the edge in playoff experience – and keep in mind that Falcons QB Matt Ryan is from Philly.  They don’t call him “Matty Ice” for nothing (you see what I did there)…  Falcons 23, Eagles 16.

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings

This game has the looks of being the game of the weekend.  It’s a classic strength vs. strength game: the Saints powerful offense vs. the Vikings’ dominating defense.

Both teams are VASTLY different since their opening weekend meeting on Monday night.  The Saints had no idea what to do about the since-traded Adrian Peterson.  They were also trying to figure things out on offense AND defense.  The Vikings are much improved on offense since that meeting as well.  QB Case Keenum should be the MVP of the team since taking over for the oft-injured/porcelain doll Sam Bradford.

I know it would be a cool story for the Vikings to play the Super Bowl in its home stadium.  Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.  The Saints have so drastically improved on defense and its running game (yes, I know that’s odd as hell to say), I just can’t see this train stopping, even if they are playing on the road…  Saints 24, Vikings 20.

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