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Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
The Atlanta Falcons come into this game with their defense playing as well as it has all year against Nick Foles, a QB who is a statue in the pocket. So how does Philly win this game? The simple answer is play field position and force turnovers with their dominant defense. Even against the Rams the Falcons offense was a shadow of what it once was, to be fair it will never be that good again, and it can still be exposed by a good defense. That being said the Falcons have an offense capable of winning of a Super Bowl. I’m not counting anyone out of this divisional weekend. It would not shock me if the Eagles won. Which is crazy to say because they should be the favorite in this game, I really buy into home field advantage and the fact the Falcons play better in better weather. I’m not expecting for the Falcons to come out like world beaters, but I am expecting them to win this game. A Philly running game will only get you so far and unless Nick Foles goes off, which he’s been known to do, I don’t like the Eagles chances.
Falcons 20 Eagles 13
Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots
Ok football world you got your wish, the Titans made the playoffs and got a big upset in the first round what a great story. Welcome back to the real-world buster the New England Patriots are a much better team. How did the Chiefs kill the Titans d in the first half? Travis Kelce, hey wait doesn’t New England have a decent tight end? Why yes, they do and I can’t see how the Titans slow down Rob Gronkowski. The guy is a well-documented unstoppable freak of nature. Brandin Cooks won’t drop passes like Tyreek Hill in the passing game and if Belichick can run on you he won’t give up on that in the second half as the Chiefs did. The only thing that should concern the Patriots is Derrick Henry, the Patriots haven’t stopped the run well this year. In fact they rank in the middle of the league in rushing yardage allowed. Derrick Henry could have another big day but I don’t see Marcus Mariota succeeding in Foxborough. This game won’t be a massive blowout, but the Patriots win by two scores.
Patriots 41 Titans 23
Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Jaguars defense could shut down this offense. The Jaguars defense embarrassed this team early this year. The Jaguars picked of Ben Roethlisberger 5 times, will that happen again? No. As heavily documented by the football media, it is hard to beat a team twice. Antonio Brown will come into this game 100 percent healthy and rested, how are you going to stop that? Shutting down the Bills is one thing closing out the Steelers is a whole different animal. You shouldn’t trust the Jacksonville offense at all. How is Blake Bortles, a man who makes bad screen passes, going to win you a playoff game? The only way I see the Jaguars winning this game is if in the second quarter they’re still hanging around down by 3 or less. However, I think the Steelers will punch this Jags defense early and Doug Marrones team is not meant to win from behind.
Steelers 30 Jaguars 10
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
The last game of the week, and the best game. This game is so hard for me to pick so let’s go through position by position.
QB: Advantage Saints, I’m not going to sit here and tell you Case Keenum is better than Drew Brees. I will tell you I expect him to play a great game.
RB: Advantage Vikings, listen if the Panthers could hold down the Saints running game to under 100 yards I have no doubt the Vikings can do the same. The Vikings backfield isn’t to shabby itself, Latavius Murray is one of the most underrated backs in the league. Murray ran for 842 yards and 8 touchdowns this year. Pair that with a speed back in Jerrick Mckinnon who can hurt you on second down and you have a scary looking rushing attack.
WR: Advantage Saints, Michael Thomas had his “pay attention to me because I’m a top 5 wide out” game Sunday and that carries over as it has all year. Pair that with Ted Ginn Junior and Brandon Coleman along with red zone threat Josh Hill and you have a very dangerous passing attack.
Defense: Advantage Vikings, they lead the league in every major defensive category. Not to overshadow a Saints defense that terrorized Cam Newton and paralyzed the Panthers in the red zone.
So where does all of this leave us? The Saints are playing out of their minds right now but the Vikings are just as good. This game will come down to the final play, I see the Vikings and Saints defenses dominating early and the offenses showing up in the second half. Minnesota is my Super Bowl pick, this is their most major road block and whoever wins this game will win the Super Bowl, I’m taking Minnesota.
Minnesota 33 New Orleans 29