With the first round of the NFL playoffs over the next stop is the divisional round where interesting match ups await. The Falcons head over to Philly to face the high flying Eagles. Marcus Mariota and the Titans go to Foxborough to take on last year’s champs. The mighty defense of Jacksonville will play the dynamic offense of the Steelers and the Saints have a tough match up against the Vikings in Minnesota.
The Falcons vs the Eagles will be a close one. The Falcons who haven’t played like the team they were last year showed that they still be dominant. Matt Ryan and company looked strong against the Rams last week and show that they still have what it takes. I would favor the Eagles if Carson Wentz was still starting but with Nick Foles at the quarterback position and the Falcons showing that they can stop the run, I’ll have to give the edge to Atlanta.
Whoever thinks Tennessee is capable of taking down the Patriots is crazy. The Titans barely weaseled there way into the playoffs and beat the chiefs by one point. Mariota will have trouble against Patricia’s defense while Tom Brady and crew will wreak havoc against the Titan’s defense. This game will be handled by the Patriots.
The Steelers against the Jags will be more interesting than the Patriots game. In order for the Jaguars to win, their defense has to be stellar as usual and Blake Bortles has to at least be decent (a tougher task than one may think). But unless Blake Bortles truly has a good game then the Steelers should come away with this win. Their offense might struggle against Jalen Ramsey and company but their defense will clearly overpower the Jags offense. At the end of the game, the Steelers will come out with the victory.
The last game will be the Saints going to Minnesota to face off against the Vikings. This will easily be the best game of the four. The Saints offense has looked incredible all year. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara have made this a run first team. But Drew Brees showed the Panthers that he can still beat them in the air. This offense will be a tough one to stop and it helps that they have a better defense this year with the rookie Marshon Lattimore leading the charge.
On the other hand, the Vikings have looked like the best team in the league. They have a dynamic offense with Case Keenum having a breakout season. It helps that he has great receivers in Diggs, Thielen and Rudolph. Their run game has looked strong since Dalvin Cook went down early in the season. Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon have stepped up and looked great in the backfield. Everson Griffen and the rest of the Vikings D has looked unstoppable and they might have what it takes to stop the great Saints offense.
When it is all said and done, I believe the Vikings will advance to the next round because of their great defense and dynamic offense. They will be joined by last year’s MVP and the still capable Falcons, the Steelers with their killer offense and great defense. As well as the five time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady and the dynasty of the New England Patriots.