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NFL Divisional Round Preview

The upset filled wildcard weekend has wrapped up, and everyone’s attention is now on the Divisional Round. Last weekend, we witnessed perhaps the end of the Patriots dynasty, a Texans win over a better Bills team, a Kirk Cousins prime time win, a heartbreaking finish for the Saints (again), and another Beast Mode touchdown run that helped fuel the Seahawks over a depleted Eagles team.

Here are my predictions for this weeks Divisional Round. 

Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 49ers – Sat 4:35 PM ET NBC

Kirk Cousins is coming off the best game of his career in New Orleans, and now has to face the NFC’s juggernaut San Francisco 49ers. These are the type of matchups that make the NFL playoffs so much fun to watch. The 49ers are going to be rested coming into this game and should be much healthier than Minnesota.

The only way I see Minnesota winning this game is if Dalvin Cook exploits the 49ers 17th ranked rushing defense. Cook has to rush for a monster game to help open up the passing game for Kirk Cousins. 

Although I think Cook does rush for over a hundred yards in this game, I still like the rested 49ers with the cast of George Kittle, Nick Bosa, and Jimmy Garoppolo getting it done at home.

Prediction: 49ers over the Vikings / 33 – 18

Tennessee Titans @ Baltimore Ravens – Sat 8:15 PM ET CBS

The Titans just perhaps ended Tom Brady’s career in New England last week in the wildcard, but now have to face the MVP on the road. I see this game as a no-brainer pick.

For the Titans to have a chance, they will have to play even better than they did last week, which I don’t see happening, saying they played as well as I think they could in New England.

Henry will have to rush for over one hundred yards and their defense will have to limit Lamar Jackson’s total yards to under 300 for them to have a chance, and I just don’t see that happening. 

Prediction: Baltimore over the Titans / 42 – 21

Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs – Sun 3:05 PM ET CBS

This game is the prediction I feel most confident about coming into this week. The Chiefs will be mostly rested for this one, and the Texans have been very off and on each week. They escaped the Bills in the wildcard at home and now have to travel to ice cold Kansas City to play outdoors in the snow. 

Kansas City is playing red hot right now sneaking over the Patriots for the first-round bye as well as a home field playoff divisional game.

For me, this is Kansas City’s year. Andy Reid doesn’t have to deal with his kryptonite, Bill Belichick, this year in the playoffs,. They also have a really good young quarterback in Patrick Mahomes, who has more playoff experience than Lamar Jackson, and they will be fully rested.

I’ll take the Chiefs at home against the Texans any day.

Prediction: Chiefs over the Texans / 35 – 14

Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers – Sun 6:40 PM ET FOX

This will be the closest game of the divisional round this year. The Seahawks are coming off of another wildcard playoff win over the Eagles. Russell Wilson always keeps the Seahawks in games, and he will need to, because the Seahawks run game looked absolutely horrible against the Eagles. 

Aaron Rodgers, in my opinion, is one of the most overrated quarterbacks in the National Football League. He looked completely unprepared against the Lions in the last game of the season, and will also have to play at a level he has done in recent seasons if he wants to have success against this Seahawks defense.

Don’t forget that the Seahawks have made the playoffs three times since their Super Bowl loss in 2015 and have failed to get past the divisional round all three times with each playoff loss coming on the road.

I see this game coming down to a last-minute Russell Wilson drive to push the Seahawks into the NFC Championship to face the 49ers.

Prediction: Seahawks over the Packers / 26 – 24

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