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Divisional Round Predictions

Posted on: January 11th, 2018 by Rob Popeleski No Comments

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Atlanta @ Philadelphia (Saturday 4;35)

Philadelphia was 7-1 at home and enter the postseason with a 13-3 record and are the number 1 seed, but there are question marks about them. They were 3rd in points scored but are clearly not the same offense with Nick Foles at quarterback. Atlanta knocked out Los Angeles last week while holding the leagues top offense to just 13 points. Matt Ryan has 10 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in his last 4 postseason games. Atlanta is the more playoff tested team with the better quarterback. Atlanta 27-20

Tennessee @ New England (Saturday 8:15)

Tennessee pulled off the biggest upset of the playoffs so far with their 22-21 come from behind win in Kansas City. DeMarco Murray will miss his third straight game but the Tennessee running game didn’t miss a beat with Derrick Henry last week. He rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown. The Tennessee defense sacked Alex Smith 4 times and were ranked 5th in sacks this year. They’ll need to put pressure on Tom Brady this week. New England has won 6 straight home playoff games and have scored 30 or more points in 5 of those games. I’d be shocked if Tennessee pulls off the upset this week against the leagues best team. New England 34-17

Jacksonville @ Pittsburgh (Sunday 1:05)

Jacksonville beat Pittsburgh 30-9 on the road back in week 5 this year behind Leonard Fournette, who rushed for 181 on 28 carries. Blake Bortles threw it just 14 times in that game. On defense they held Le’Veon Bell to just 47 yards rushing. I expect that to change this week. With Bortles struggling last week, look for the Pittsburgh defense to focus on stopping the run while daring Bortles to beat them. Jacksonville was just 4-4 on the road this year. They struggled to beat a Buffalo team with a weak offense last week at home. Not sure if they can keep it close this week. Pittsburgh 30-13

New Orleans @ Minnesota (Sunday 4:40)

Minnesota beat New Orleans 29-19 in week 1 as Sam Bradford threw for 346 yards and 3 touchdowns. Bradford and Dalvin Cook are no longer in the lineup but Case Keenum has stepped up in his place as he’s thrown for 22 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions. Minnesota has rushed for more than 100 yards on the ground in 8 straight games. The strength of this Minnesota team has been their defense though. They are ranked 1st in fewest points allowed, 2nd against the run and 2nd against the pass. In week 1, they held New Orleans to just 60 yards rushing which was the 3rd fewest they’ve had in a game this year. New Orleans has been out gained in three straight games despite winning 2 of those games. Minnesota has a championship defense and I like them at home. Minnesota 23-20

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