When a best bet involves one quarterback making his ninth playoff start, including the preceding Super Bowl, against a backup quarterback whose only previous playoff start came four years ago, it would seem obvious which side gets the nod.
There's no question in my mind that New England gets this W. Tennessee's win last week was more about Kansas City's ineptitude rather than the Titans' good play.
Like the Bills last weekend, there's a strong chance the Titans could slip into the "just glad to be here" mindset and lose by a touchdown or more. They did beat Kansas City on the road. Their reward? Facing Tom Brady and the Patriots at home - well, it was nice while it lasted.
The Atlanta Falcons traveled across the country to Los Angeles last week where they pulled off a road upset of the NFC West champions to advance to the Divisional Round with a 26-13 win. Because of the ACL injury to Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, the Atlanta Falcons are slight favourites to win at Lincoln Financial Field. Foles is completing just 56.4 percent of his passes and is averaging only 5.3 yards per attempt.
The other two wild card games I was pretty much on the nose.
Jason: It is tough to pick against a legend like Drew Brees, especially now that he has a legitimate defense behind him, but coach Mike Zimmer really has Minnesota playing this year. The Falcons did what a veteran playoff team should do: Get back to their strengths and force mistakes.
That's why Brady's Patriots and Roethlisberger's Steelers are heavy favorites to oust Mariota and Bortles in their AFC divisional matchups this weekend.
Bing's National Football League predictions use team and player statistics and web activity to build a statistical model that takes into account historical data and real-time information (like injuries, suspensions, and lineup changes). Bell will be the Steelers' X-factor, and guide them to a huge postseason victory. I think they can in their second crack at the Jags defense.
"Defense wins championships and that's why the Vikings were No. 2 in the NFC". They didn't achieve the NFL's best record simply because of Wentz, and they still won the first two games after his injury. The Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars reached the second round last week after previously combining for three playoff victories this millennium. The Jaguars quarterback finished with just 87 passing yards and avoided being a total dud by rumbling his way to 88 rushing yards. Minnesota has surrendered 300 or more yards of offense only five times this season, and only twice since Week 4.
Thanks to two outright upsets and no favorite winning by more than seven points, wildcard weekend was a teaser's dream. This will be a game that will be very close. He's a game maker and back breaker.
"But Drew Brees showed us last week how special of a quarterback he is". Minnesota has the NFL's No.1 ranked defense and an offense that's 10th in points scored, while New Orleans has the No.2 offense with a defense that's 10th in points allowed.
It would be no surprise to see the Steelers emerge victorious, but in this setting it should also be no surprise to see the NFL's best defense keep its team within a touchdown. Home field advantage is very important during the National Football League playoffs but it is not uncommon for a team home team to lose off a first-round bye. That's fine, the Saints will just put the game in the hands of their 11-time Pro Bowl and Super Bowl MVP quarterback.
New Orleans @ Minnesota Sun.