Mike’s NFL Divisional Round Predictions

Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons

The Seahawks are always tough in the playoffs, and last weekend the emergence of Thomas Rawls could prove to be a huge advantage for Seattle. Rawls has a similar running style to Marshawn Lynch, and Lynch used to jumpstart the Seattle offense. The game is in Atlanta, however the Falcons have not proven yet that they can find success in the playoffs. It all will come down to if the Falcons offense can continue it’s dominance against a tough Seahawks defense. This is an interesting matchup, and a big one for Matt Ryan’s career in Atlanta. He can change his legacy in Atlanta, but I think playing the Seahawks will be too tough of a task. I’ll say Seahawks 27, Falcons 21.

Houston Texans @ New England Patriots

The Texans have gotten absolutely no respect, despite being in the playoffs. Their defense is tough, however the Patriots have a guy named Tom Brady as their quarterback. I don’t think the Texans offense will be able to outscore the Patriots offense, setting up Houston for a long game. While it is the NFL and anything can happen, the Patriots should win this game comfortably. Houston can make a huge statement to the league by winning this game, but I don’t expect them to even make the game close. If the Patriots give the Texans a glimmer of hope, they better watch out. But I don’t think the Patriots will have any problem in this game, especially with the game being played in New England. I’ll say Patriots 31- Texans 14.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are an interesting team. They get no respect, yet they always seem to find a way to get it done. With a tough defense, Alex Smith has been a perfect fit at quarterback for the team. A guy who limits turnovers and also has the ability to make plays, he has been playing very well for Kansas City. The Steelers offense is electric and could very well carry them to the Super Bowl, but this game to me seems like one of those games that the Chiefs just find a way to win. Plus, playing in Kansas City is no easy task. The Chiefs defense against the Steelers offense sets up to be an intriguing matchup. I expect this game to be very close. Another question with Pittsburgh is how healthy Ben Roethlisberger will be, after he injured his foot last week against the Miami Dolphins. The Steelers defense has been playing great football as well of late, but Kansas City is due for a big playoff win. I think the winner of this game may end up giving the Patriots a run for their money and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. I’ll say Chiefs 24, Steelers 21.

Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys

Aaron Rodgers has been playing flawless football since the end of November, and found a way to score 38 against a very tough New York Giants defense last week. This matchup seems to be the most anticipated of all the Divisional Round games. Dak Prescott has had a phenomenal rookie season regardless of what happens in this one. I expect a shootout in this one, but it will be tough for Prescott to outscore Rodgers. Yes the Cowboys beat the Packers during the regular season, but Aaron Rodgers is now playing arguably the best football of his career. I don’t think either of these defenses will hold up in this game, but I expect a very well played game by the offenses. I do think the Cowboys will play well as they have all year, but the Packers offense may be too much for the Cowboys defense. The Cowboys need to make it a ground and pound game with their rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot if they want to win this game. It’s so hard to pick against Aaron Rodgers right now, especially with the confidence he is playing with. I’ll say Packers 41, Cowboys 34.


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