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NFL Divisional Round Spread Picks and Breakdown

After a perfect 4-0 last week, I’m back with my picks for the divisional round. This may be the most exciting weekend of the NFL year for many because of the quantity of games, quality of them and how much they mean to so many. It’s the divisional round and it’s time to pick some games.

  • Seahawks at Falcons

Let’s get right to it with Atlanta -5. Seattle is not the same team on the road and the loss of Earl Thomas unfortunately I believe will be the difference maker. The Lions were a good team. The Falcons are even better.

MVP candidate and first-team All-Pro QB Matt Ryan will shred the Seahawks vertically with Julio Jones and their surprise break out WR Taylor Gabriel.

The Seahawks have experience on their side, however the home crowd of Atlanta will be bumping to see their Falcons once more in the playoffs and ready to make a deep run.

Atlanta is the pick, -5. Final score: 29-20

  • Texans at Patriots

The real questions are 1. Will Houston cover? And 2. Will Bill ‘O Brien still remain the head coach after today?

There’s a yes and a no in there. Let’s start with #1.

No.

Simple as that. New England is not the type to get back doored in spread picks. The Patriots will jump out early at home and I anticipate this getting pretty bad.

There’s a slight argument to say that this game will be a little more closer than many think because of the Texans ability to rush the front four on the QB with great success. They executed this to perfection against Connor Cook last week.

Tom Brady is not Connor Cook. This is not at home. In the comfy confines of Foxborough, the Patriots roll.

P.S. Bill ‘O Brien will remain head coach too.

Patriots are the pick, even in the face of -16. Final score: 33-13

  • Packers at Cowboys

This is easily the toughest game to pick this weekend for me. Green Bay was my Super Bowl pick in the preseason and thus, I have to go with them. However I feel strongly that the Cowboys will win this game. Thus so torn, I decided I’d break down why each will win and ultimately going with the Packers at the end.

Why Green Bay wins.

Aaron Rodgers is the hottest thing on planet earth right now. He hasn’t thrown a pick since two weeks before Thanksgiving and has the offense humming. Green Bay shredded what appeared to be a very good secondary in New York last week and now gets a Cowboys defense that quite honestly, wasn’t spectacular in many situations over the year.

Green Bay’s biggest problem here unfortunately is seeing Jordy Nelson and the word “OUT” next to his name on the injury list. Go back to last year and you’ll see how drastically he effects the offensive rhythm, even when he doesn’t catch the ball. He is a safety trusted blanket for Rodgers, much like a TE is to many NFL QB’s that are mortal. . .  Unlike Rodgers.

Why Dallas wins 

The Cowboys have much going for them. Let’s start with the home crowd, the NFL’s biggest break out RB in a long time and a rookie QB who is anything but.

The Cowboys will have much success on the ground and I think that’s huge here. Unlike the G-Men last week, Ezekiel Elliott running against the Packers defensive formations will yield 5-6 yards a pop and put Elliott in the secondary very often. This is bad news bears for the Packers. Cover 2 and lesser talent at LB and CB/S will be a major problem for the Packers. Dallas will score and score often. Assuming rookie Dak Prescott doesn’t completely fold like a tent with turnovers left and right in his first career playoff start, the Cowboys are in good shape.

Give us a damn winner, Ronnie.

Alright, alright, fine. The final answer? I have to go with the Packers. The preseason prediction of Packers-Steelers is still up for grabs and I have to ride it. Also, I’m getting points with Aaron Rodgers? How does one go away from this? One does not simply not take Aaron Rodgers and the points.

The pick is the Packers and those lovely +5 points. Final score: 30-26.

  • Steelers at Chiefs

Ice Bowl 2.0?

The game was moved later into the night, so that the game is in prime time and the crowds get to deal with the disaster afterwards. Convenient eh? In all seriousness, I’m glad the players don’t have to deal with as drastic as conditions as weather forecasters are predicting.

The Steelers have incredible talent at skill positions and while on the road, the Steelers are used to being in the cold. This is very much a story of ‘prove it to me,’ for the Chiefs. Postseason success has been a sore spot for Andy Reid and the Chiefs.

You shouldn’t worry about Big Ben and his boot. The man is tough as nails and will love operating knowing that a slower than usual Justin Houston will be limited due to injury, however he did practice fully today.

Marcus Peters is a key player in this game. He will have the tough task of Antonio Brown and that dictates how effective LeVeon Bell may be. If the Chiefs can trust Peters outside to be on an island against the NFL’s best, it bodes well into the game plan for the Chiefs.

While the Chiefs are a talented team. I simply don’t like Alex Smith over Ben Roethlisburger. Until you can prove it to me, chalk me down to ride Big Ben to the AFC title game against New England.

The pick is Pittsburgh, +1. Final score: 24-20.

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