I went 3 for 4 on Wild Card Weekend, in one of the most lopsided Wild Card Weekends ever. All the home teams won, and outscored their opponents by a total of 76 points. Of course I got my bold Lions over Seahawks pick wrong. Today I will be sharing my Wild Card Weekend thoughts and Divisional Round picks.
Oakland Raiders @ Houston Texans
Texans, 27, Raiders, 14
You can’t expect Oakland to do well with Connor Cook starting at QB. Their entire offense got messed up, and with Houston having the home field advantage, it made things even harder. The Texans defense was all over the Raiders offense. I also don’t know why people thought that the Texans would lose because of their own hole at QB. I understand the Raiders have a good defense, but Brock Osweiler can pass as QB when you’re facing Connor Cook. It was stupid to even bench Osweiler. However, they will have a very slim chance this week.
Detroit Lions @ Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks, 26, Lions, 6
I knew if the Lions won, it wouldn’t be by this much, but what happened is just about the opposite of what I wanted. At least the Giants are done after goofing off in Miami. The Seahawks proved to still be a good team, unless the Lions are just really bad and Matthew Stafford lost his momentum after his injury. But I don’t think so. The offense had not looked terrible, especially in Week 17, and the defense has made big improvements. I think Seattle is just too tough an opponent at Century Link Field, where the Seahawks went 7-1 in 2016. They went 3-4-1 on the road. The defense did very well and the offense found good momentum as Thomas Rawls ran wild and Paul Richardson took on a bigger role.
Miami Dolphins @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers, 30, Dolphins, 12
As I expected, the Steelers held off and dominated the Dolphins. Big Ben did get hurt, ruining the healthy Big 3, but he’ll be back most likely against the Chiefs. However, whether he anbd other injured players play this week or not, I think injuries could really affect how the Divisional Round ends. The Steelers offense did well as expected though, and Miami’s rhythm was ruined when they couldn’t find their run game. Jay Ajayi is typically a big contributor, but didn’t even get 50 yards or a TD in this game.
New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers
Packers, 38, Giants, 13
The Giants seemed to have something going at The Frozen Tundra, but lost their momentum. Early last week, four Giants receivers went boating in Miami on a day off. Some of them, including OBJ, were affected by it, and were dropping passes in this game. Brady actually defended OBJ, but I honestly think what OBJ did is wrong, when he had a NFL playoff game in 6 days, his first ever. Despite an injury to Jordy Nelson which could affect Green Bay this weekend, the Packers offense thrived, and eventually got onto a big lead.
Okay, now that those games are over, it’s time to focus on the Divisional Round. Who will win in your opinion? Read my picks below, then comment your own thoughts and predictions.
Lock Of The Week
Patriots, 30, Texans, 23
I’m going to make the same case that I did in my original NFL preview when I had this as the AFC Championship game. The Texans offense is pretty good, but do you think that the Texans, despite their good defense, can outscore a dominant Tom Brady led Patriots offense? The Pats have good defense as well, and Bill Belichick had coached them to 4 Super Bowl wins. I think he’ll lead his 2016 14-2 team to a 5th. I don’t think there’s any way that the Texans offense could possibly outscore the Patriots.
Upset Of The Week
Seahawks, 23, Falcons, 19
I know the Seahawks have struggled on the road, but I don’t think the Falcons are legitimate Super Bowl candidates, and I don’t want to doubt the Seahawks again. They looked really good last week, better than they have all season. if they play the same way in this game, Matt Ryan and the Falcons will be severely overwhelmed, and will choke, ending their playoff run quickly.
Chiefs, 27, Steelers, 19
Big Ben may not be at 100%, and the Steelers have a flaw that may cause them to drop this game, besides the fact that it’s in Kansas City. The Steelers defense isn’t the greatest. It’s imbalanced, which will work against them. The Chiefs went from a decent team in previous seasons to a good all-around team this season. The Chiefs’ backfield has gained a lot more depth, and they’ve developed a nice group of receivers. The Chiefs have a couple of advantages in this game, and although the Chiefs and Steelers will be on each other’s tails and beat each other up, the Chiefs will grab the win in the end due to those small advantages.
Cowboys, 27, Packers, 23
With Jordy Nelson hurt, the Packers offense is still good, but this is a battle of two great offenses. The Cowboys offense is superior without Jordy Nelson playing. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have really shined this season, and they will lead the Cowboys onto the NFC Championship. I think whoever wins this game is capable to beat Seattle or Atlanta to go the Super Bowl, so this game means a lot.
Things are looking good for this week! Who’ve you got in the games?