PFT’s divisional round picks

AP

MDS notched a perfect 4-0 in the wild-card round, after picking all four road teams to win. I foolishly trusted the Texans to play better than they did against the Chiefs in Week One, and I gave in to the guilt that arose from not believing in Washington late in the year. (Memo to self: Next year, don’t believe in Washington. Ever.)

So he leads by two games with eight postseason games left, and we disagree on a single game this weekend so I’ll either have a chance to catch him as of next weekend or I’ll be cooked.

For this week’s picks, scroll.

Chiefs at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Chiefs are as hot as any team in the NFL right now, riding an 11-game winning streak after an absolute destruction of the Texans. But here’s the thing about that Chiefs winning streak: They’ve beaten a bunch of bad quarterbacks along the way. The Chiefs’ streak started with Landry Jones and the Steelers, featured the day when Peyton Manning looked like he was about to die of old age on the field, and included wins over quarterbacking luminaries like Jimmy Clausen and Johnny Manziel. We haven’t seen the Chiefs tested against a good quarterback like they will be on Saturday against Tom Brady, and I think the result will be that Brady picks apart the Kansas City secondary, and the Patriots move on to the AFC Championship Game.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 28, Chiefs 20.

Florio’s take: The Chiefs sparked last year’s run of excellence by the Patriots with a 41-14 prime-time blowout. This year, the Chiefs get the first postseason crack at ending New England’s quest for a fifth championship, while riding a Pats-style double-digit winning streak. This one could go either way, especially if Tom Brady can’t get rid of the ball quickly. Which makes receiver Julian Edelman critical; he needs to be able to play, and he needs to be able to get open quickly. If he does, the Patriots should be able to earn another berth in the AFC title game.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 27, Chiefs 23.

Packers at Cardinals

MDS’s take: The good news for Green Bay is that this game won’t be as ugly as their December trip to Arizona, when they lost 38-8. The bad news is that it’s really, really hard to see a scenario in which the Packers manage to win this game. The Cardinals do just about everything better than the Packers, and the Cardinals will be well rested and playing at home. Maybe Aaron Rodgers has some magic up his sleeve, but even if he does, that probably means the Cardinals will win a high-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 35, Packers 31.

Florio’s take: At one point, it looked like the Packers were just good enough to lose in the divisional round. Then, after a 30-point loss at Arizona, it appeared they were just good enough to get blown out there. This one should be closer, but let’s not get carried away by a Green Bay win over the none-of-the-above champions of the NFC East. The Cardinals battered Aaron Rodgers the last time around; this time, Rodgers will likely get rid of the ball more quickly, which will give the Arizona defensive backs more opportunities to make interceptions.

Florio’s pick: Cardinals 27, Packers 13.

Seahawks at Panthers

MDS’s take: This is, to me, the hardest game of the weekend to pick. The Seahawks, when they’re at their best, are probably the best team in the league. But it’s hard to have a lot of confidence that they’ll play their best on Sunday at Carolina after a shaky win over the Vikings on Sunday. The Panthers had the best record in the league during the regular season, but they did it against an easy schedule. I’m a little more confident in Russell Wilson having a big game than I am in Cam Newton, but I’m more confident in the Panthers’ defense playing at home than I am in the Seahawks’ defense with their second straight road game. This almost comes down to a coin flip, but I’ll take the Panthers.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 21, Seahawks 20.

Florio’s take: Sometimes (most of the time), you get what you pay for when visiting this site. For weeks, I’ve had a strong gut feeling that the Panthers will earn the No. 1 seed, host the Seahawks in the divisional round, and lose. I’m going with my gut on this one, because there’s otherwise no clear way to discern a winner between a pair of teams that have been squaring off every year — and usually playing close games.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 24, Panthers 23.

Steelers at Broncos

MDS’s take: If the Steelers were at full strength, I’d like their chances of going to Denver and winning. But with Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown both dealing with injuries suffered Saturday in Cincinnati, and DeAngelo Williams still dealing with a foot injury that kept him out last week, the Steelers’ offense will be at less than full strength against a very good Denver defense. I’m not expecting a big game passing from Peyton Manning, but I am expecting Manning to run the offense efficiently and make a few big plays when the Broncos’ offense needs it, and Denver will win a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 17, Steelers 13.

Florio’s take: It’s still too early to know whether receiver Antonio Brown will play. And no one will know until the game starts whether quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be able to make all the throws. Meanwhile, no one knows how Peyton Manning will hold up during his first start since November 15. So picking this one is even more of a crapshoot than the crap I usually shoot. The Steelers’ injuries at this point concern me more than Denver’s.

Florio’s pick: Broncos 24, Steelers 20.

172 responses to “PFT’s divisional round picks

  1. I’m cheering for the Broncos but I want the Steelers to have all of their best players playing for them Sunday night. Unfortunately that doesn’t look like that’s going to be the case.

  2. I’m always nervous when Florio picks my team to win. Pats record when he picked them to go undefeated. 10-0. Record after that bit of precognizance. 2-4.

  3. how is aaron munn going to get rid of the ball quicker? these corners aren’t Washington corners. they actually know how to play. cant wait till smugface is pulled again when the game is out of reach

  4. Get ready to see the Week 1 thru 3 Patriots this week. Then I see teh patriots beating Denver at their home, which I like better than it rather being at Gilette Stadium.

    Superbown- Arizona vs Pats- Pats win.

  5. The only reason the Seahawks Panthers games in Carolina have been close it’s because they started at 10 AM. This one does too & the Panthers will start fast but in the second half the Seahawks will dominate and take the win. If you look at the major offensive and defensive statistics, the Seahawks are better in 9 out of the 11 most important.

  6. If Antonio Brown plays after appearing to be knocked unconscious for several minutes, the NFL needs to open a formal investigation.

    I struggle to see more than three possibilities, and two of them are bad for the Steelers.

    1. He healed from a devastating hit much faster than others in the NFL. (this was not a hard hit to the head where a guy got right up, but seemed a touch off. As presented, he was knocked out cold, and remained so for many minutes. If he’s good to go a week later, the league owes it to all players to understand how he avoided serious injury from such a brutal-looking hit.)

    2. The Steelers are somehow snowing the concussion protocol to place an injured player in harm’s way. (They are, after all, the team that created the term “concussion-like symptoms.” It isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that they would seek to circumvent protocols to put their most talented weapon back on the field too soon.)

    3. The possibility must be explored that that Pacman’s outlandish claim of faking it might have merit. (Burfict still committed a penalty, and probably deserves time off for bad behavior, but would the league be justified in a 3 game suspension for a hit a guy bounced right back up from?)

    Players on my team are out weeks after not laying motionless. Players on other teams are out weeks after not laying motionless. If Brown is declared good to go, the league owes it to people to explore why.

  7. So Florio is saying that Edel will be able to get open quickly after not playing for 2 months, a steel plate in his foot, and still probably recovering from the broken foot. OK.

    Not saying the Pats won’t be the favorite, but I really think the difference will be in the trenches, like always. If KC can get to Brady, maybe his ankle injury will flare up, and render him stiff as Maclin and Edel will be. I am concerned about Houston’s knee. But hope the pass rush and interior guys like Poe, Bailey, and Howard will make a huge difference.

  8. I hold out little hope that the Steelers are going to be able to beat the Broncos. Neither Ben nor AB will be 100% and Ben has not looked his best since he threw the late dumb pick in the last Broncos tilt. Ben was Awful against the Ravens, alternately brilliant and ok to bad vs the Browns, and solid, but nothing spectacular vs the Bengals. The Broncos D is a whole other kettle of fish and Ben will have to be remarkable to get through.

    I think the Chiefs have a better chance than people think.

  9. Packers in a close one

    Seahawks in a very close and low scoring game

    Broncos in an absolute blowout

    Patriots by 6

    🙂

  10. I’m fine with all those picks, except that it’s a little surprising to see so much confidence in the Cardinals. Yeah, they blew out the Packers earlier in the season, but that was the regular season. This is the playoffs. These are the Cardinals. That guy is Aaron Rodgers. I have a hard time trusting Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals in a playoff game.

  11. mongobo says:
    Jan 14, 2016 10:27 AM
    If Antonio Brown plays after appearing to be knocked unconscious for several minutes, the NFL needs to open a formal investigation.

    I struggle to see more than three possibilities, and two of them are bad for the Steelers.

    1. He healed from a devastating hit much faster than others in the NFL. (this was not a hard hit to the head where a guy got right up, but seemed a touch off. As presented, he was knocked out cold, and remained so for many minutes. If he’s good to go a week later, the league owes it to all players to understand how he avoided serious injury from such a brutal-looking hit.)

    2. The Steelers are somehow snowing the concussion protocol to place an injured player in harm’s way. (They are, after all, the team that created the term “concussion-like symptoms.” It isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that they would seek to circumvent protocols to put their most talented weapon back on the field too soon.)

    3. The possibility must be explored that that Pacman’s outlandish claim of faking it might have merit. (Burfict still committed a penalty, and probably deserves time off for bad behavior, but would the league be justified in a 3 game suspension for a hit a guy bounced right back up from?)

    Players on my team are out weeks after not laying motionless. Players on other teams are out weeks after not laying motionless. If Brown is declared good to go, the league owes it to people to explore why.

    ———————

    When exactly was Brown unconscious for “several minutes”?

    Do you guys just make this stuff up?

    And once again for the slow people……the WR does not need to be concussed for a penalty to be enacted. The hit was illegal…..it drew a penalty. Brown could have popped up immidialaty and ran back to huddle and it would still be an illegal hit. Why is this hard for you to understand?

  12. The steeler game reminds me of the of the 77 playoff AFC final. Pittsburgh lost Harris and blier thru injury and lost. One healthy running back they would have strung together 5 straight super bowl wins.

  13. Patriots 23 Chiefs 20 This will be a game that will be decided by the matchup of Patriots O vs. Chiefs D and even though I have a lot of respect for the Chiefs defense with guys like Houston, Hali, and Berry I think with Edelman back the Patriots offense will do just enough to win and I don’t trust Alex Smith even though he is a decent qb.
    Cardinals 38 Packers 17 Aaron Rodgers faced a pathetic defense last week and he doesn’t have that luxury again this week the Cardinals defense will sack Rodgers 4 or 5 times if not more.
    Seahawks 20 Panthers 10 This will be a close defensive battle for most of the game until Wilson connects with Baldwin for 2 late tds.
    Broncos 31 Steelers 24 Ben will score early tds but late in the game that Mile High atmosphere will take its toll and the Broncos defense will come up big again as it has done all year.

  14. “headin4seven says:
    Jan 14, 2016 10:45 AM
    Don’t count out the Steelers yet. They could recover from another AFC North “Knock-Out-Drag-Out” and surprise you all!”

    Gotta play the games, but I don’t like how Ben has looked since the last Denver games. Not enough TDs and too many interceptions: 4 interceptions (but nearly a few more) and 5 TDs to be exact. Not exactly lighting the world on fire. A banged up Ben, a banged up AB, no D Wil, Bryant who is alternately magnificent and alternately a milk carton model, and a defense that, well, who knows what to say about the Steelers defense.

  15. Admittedly my Packers look to be the weakest of the 4 NFC teams still playing. They have yet to play 4 quarters of great football in one game so far this season. This could be the game where all that changes, and that’s what it will take to win. Special Teams and their defense have been good enough in most games while the offense has been the weakest aspect for much of the year. Its a long shot but that’s why they play the games.

    If somehow the Packers do win and I do believe the Hawks will beat the Panthers, handily, this would set-up a rematch in Green Bay with the Hawks. I’d actually favor the Packers in that game, just on shear emotion and frustration alone.

  16. Pats squeak by on favorable calls
    Carson Palmer finally wins his first playoff game because of the defense
    Manning’s ducks are too much to overcome-steelers win
    Cam worries about his dancing too much and forgets to score more points than Trusty Rusty

  17. “So Florio is saying that Edel will be able to get open quickly after not playing for 2 months, a steel plate in his foot, and still probably recovering from the broken foot. OK.’

    Haven’t heard anything about a plate in that foot and he’s had 9 weeks to heal. Bones typically heal in 6 weeks.

    Keep fantasizing though.

  18. The one take makes no sense. The Chiefs may not have faced an elite QB, but who have the Pats beaten that’s any good? Pittsburgh with half of there offensive weapons on suspension????
    I think a lot of people aren’t showing respect to what KC accomplished this year or how great their defense is.

  19. “lanski5 says:
    Jan 14, 2016 10:55 AM
    Admittedly my Packers look to be the weakest of the 4 NFC teams still playing. They have yet to play 4 quarters of great football in one game so far this season. This could be the game where all that changes, and that’s what it will take to win. Special Teams and their defense have been good enough in most games while the offense has been the weakest aspect for much of the year. Its a long shot but that’s why they play the games.

    If somehow the Packers do win and I do believe the Hawks will beat the Panthers, handily, this would set-up a rematch in Green Bay with the Hawks. I’d actually favor the Packers in that game, just on shear emotion and frustration alone.”

    When you have a legit franchise QB, you ALWAYS have a chance.

  20. 509seahawks
    Jan 14, 2016, 10:29 AM EST
    Where is Tony Romo watching the game at?
    ———
    At home with a broken collarbone x2. What an idiotic statement. Needless to say I’m still rooting for your team.

  21. “The team is excited about getting ready for the game, it’s obviously a big game against a great team who’s playing very well. Everything is pointing toward us being at our best and an optimum performance on Saturday afternoon.
    —- Bill Belichick

    Translation: “We had a great week at practice. We’re going to bring our A game. Good luck Chiefs you’re going to need it.”

    🙂

    #UhOhPatriotHater
    #UhOh

  22. leatherface2012 says:
    Jan 14, 2016 10:20 AM

    they pick Arizona cuz green bay cant bring their own refs this time
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You’re STILL crying? Wash the sand out of it, Francis, and move along already.

  23. @mongobo

    Fascinating. So, where did you get your degree in neurophysiology or neurobiology?

    —————————————————–

    I don’t have one, nor do I pretend to. If you have other information, or possibilities, I’d welcome them. Brain injuries scare the bejesus out of me, and I’d bet they scare others. If Brown is fine after getting knocked out, don’t you think we should know how?

    Brown becomes the 7th Steeler to be diagnosed with a concussion with year, and no Steelers have missed a single game (with the possible fault lying in the Landry Jones concussion. Who knows if he would have missed time.). That makes them something of an outlier in the concussion stats. How? Why? Do they draft ‘tougher’ players? Do they have better medical teams? It deserves a look, doesn’t it?

    Over the last four seasons, 18 (including Brown) Steelers players have been concussed. They cumulatively missed 2 total games… That’s a big outlier… How do they do it?

    I grabbed the stats from a Frontline page. Do a search for “Frontline concussion watch” to find it.

  24. As for Antonio Brown, sorry Bengals fans, but you can’t have it both ways.

    If you want to claim that the Steelers are going to play a guy that is still concussed and are breaking protocol, then you have to admit he wasn’t faking an injury and that the Burfict hit was dirty.

    If they don’t play him because he was concussed, then you have to admit the Burfict hit was dirty.

  25. Don’t forget the Colts will also be taking on the Ravens in the parking lot of an abandoned Arby’s in what analysts have dubbed the Deflation Bowl.

  26. but let’s not get carried away by a Green Bay win over the none-of-the-above champions of the NFC East.
    ______

    Too late. Packer fans are already booking their flights to Santa Clara.

  27. nhpats says:
    Jan 14, 2016 10:36 AM

    When exactly was Brown unconscious for “several minutes”?

    Do you guys just make this stuff up?

    And once again for the slow people……the WR does not need to be concussed for a penalty to be enacted. The hit was illegal…..it drew a penalty. Brown could have popped up immidialaty and ran back to huddle and it would still be an illegal hit. Why is this hard for you to understand?

    ——————————————————

    1. I thought I had read he was motionless throughout most of the TV timeout. If they are wrong, I apologize. I think we can agree he was unconscious for more than a brief second.

    2. I don’t think I’ve said it shouldn’t have been a penalty. I can’t imagine anyone saying it shouldn’t have been one. My wandering mind questioned if Burfict would have received a 3 game suspension had Brown jumped right up. I can see now that was a mistake to type, and that I should have specified Burfict absolutely deserved the flag. I had thought that indisputable, but I should have typed it anyway. I firmly believe Burfict deserved the penalty.

  28. Pats may very well beat the Chiefs but 27+ points on that defense? The only teams that did that were GB and Cincy early in the year when they looked unstoppable against a chiefs d with a suspended starting Cb and three key players still getting back to form after major health issues(poe, Johnson,Berry).

  29. Whoever wins the Chiefs-Pats game will make it to the Superbowl. Thats all im going to say. And its going to be close. You can make all the excuses you want for the Chiefs whipping the Steelers and Broncos handily in the regular season but they still beat them by a large margin and get hotter with each win. They can definitely beat the Pats too, but Tom Brady is a different kind of beast when it comes playoff time so they need to be careful because the Patriots are coached to take advantage of even the tinest mistakes. Ill go with Pats on this one in a somewhat high scoring game.

    The Steelers vs Broncos game should be interesting. Epecially if both sides are healthy and either team that advances loses the following week. I still dont fully trust Manning and I believe he will throw a few picks before he is ultimately benched. The Steelers will take advantage and pull a miracle win like they did in Cincy (not with penalties to the other side though) after falling behund early.

    Seahwaks vs Panthers is the hardest to chose. The Panthers feel like the 15-1 one and done packers that lost to the giants back in the day, but at the same time Seattle BARELY beat the Vikings. Ultimately I am going to go with Seattle as they have the recipe to win in the playoffs. They will lose to the Cards in conference though.

    The Packers vs Cardinals is the easiest game to predict. Arizona is the most conplete team in the league. Packers have injuries and won a game against the Redskins which doesn’t mean much as they almost always lose primetime games, won an awful division, and had no wins against winning teams. Cardinals will win handily.

  30. I’ll stop stealing money from my employer (maybe) after this post, but Denver fans, keep in mind how well Denver ran last time against the Steelers: not well.

    Little known fact: Steelers defense is ranked fifth (5th) against the run this year. Sure, Denver has a great chance of winning. But points are going to have to come off Manning’s arm. This ain’t the San Diego front 7 that’s coming to town.

  31. harrisonhits2 says:Jan 14, 2016 10:58 AM

    “So Florio is saying that Edel will be able to get open quickly after not playing for 2 months, a steel plate in his foot, and still probably recovering from the broken foot. OK.’

    Haven’t heard anything about a plate in that foot and he’s had 9 weeks to heal. Bones typically heal in 6 weeks.

    Keep fantasizing though.

    —–

    He’s got a boot that is designed with a plate of some kind in his broken bone foot in order to help keep it stable while cutting. Apparently he’s had to learn how to cut differently because of the limited mobility of that foot. How much that will effect his game is the question.

  32. littlescuppernong says:
    Jan 14, 2016 11:06 AM
    As for Antonio Brown, sorry Bengals fans, but you can’t have it both ways.

    If you want to claim that the Steelers are going to play a guy that is still concussed and are breaking protocol, then you have to admit he wasn’t faking an injury and that the Burfict hit was dirty.

    If they don’t play him because he was concussed, then you have to admit the Burfict hit was dirty.

    ——————————————

    100% agree. If Brown misses that huge Denver game, Burfict deserves at least the 3 game punishment he’s been given (if not more). If he doesn’t miss the game, the league should find out why.

  33. “Any given Sunday”(or Saturday) so I’m not going to be too arrogant but I think the Cardinals can pull off a win. I would also like a rematch with the Seahawks for the NFC Championship! #BeRedSeeRed

  34. lionswinsuperbowl says: Jan 14, 2016 10:16 AM

    Broncos
    Chiefs
    Cards
    Panthers

    with a username like that, it’s very hard to take your picks seriously LOL

    ——
    Lol, fair enough. But it’s going to happen and if it doesn’t, well I can die knowing I got drunk 16 Sunday’s of the year

  35. “mongobo says:
    Jan 14, 2016 11:03 AM
    @mongobo

    Fascinating. So, where did you get your degree in neurophysiology or neurobiology?

    —————————————————–

    I don’t have one, nor do I pretend to. If you have other information, or possibilities, I’d welcome them. Brain injuries scare the bejesus out of me, and I’d bet they scare others. If Brown is fine after getting knocked out, don’t you think we should know how?”

    Brown is in the protocol. Why do you think it is impossible for Brown not to be ok by game time if he did receive some sort of trauma? Especially if you are not an expert in the field? THAT Brown may end up to be deemed ok to go does not require an explanation of how it is that he is ok to go.

    If you want to cry conspiracy, have at it. But that’s basically what you’re doing. I don’t indulge conspiracy theories, not even on the internet.

  36. I wasn’t impressed with the Chiefs offense against the Texans. Hoyer gave them the ball 4 times in the first half and didn’t convert any of them into a TD. The Chiefs didn’t score an offensive TD until late 3rd quarter.

  37. ariani1985 says:
    Jan 14, 2016 10:32 AM

    Yet packer fans still think that they have the number 1 seed!

    ==============================

    Remind me – what time do the Vikes play this weekend?

    2-10-1

    0-2 in playoffs since 2010 w/one of those L’s coming at the hands of the Pack. The REAL one and one Kings!

    Laces out, Dan!

    Packers have played longer into the season since 2010 and have a SB ring.

    Teddy Turnover is a mediocre QB.

    The life of a Vikings fan has to be so depressing. SKOL!

  38. Patriots 24 Chiefs 20
    Cardinals 31 Packers 13
    Panthers 27 Seahawks 17
    Broncos 18 Steelers 9

    All home teams win this weekend. I’m most confident in the Cardinals beating the Packers, and I’m least confident in the Panthers beating the Seahawks.

    Conference Championships
    Panthers 31 Cardinals 27
    Broncos 24 Patriots 23

    Super Bowl 50
    Panthers 33 Broncos 30 (OT)

  39. As a Packers fan I have no faith in which Packers team will show up. Cardinals win but it will be much closer and low scoring.

    No way I pick against NE at home they win

    Broncos over Steelers

    Seahawks over Panthers

  40. “He’s got a boot that is designed with a plate of some kind in his broken bone foot in order to help keep it stable while cutting. Apparently he’s had to learn how to cut differently because of the limited mobility of that foot. How much that will effect his game is the question.”

    You are correct in that he has a specially reinforced shoe that will support the area so he can’t reinjure it. There is no steel plate in his foot though. I keep the Boston sports drone on all day working from a home office and noone anywhere has mentioned he had a plate inserted in his foot. And even if he had the Pats and Edelman wouldn’t be saying so.

  41. “For weeks, I’ve had a strong gut feeling that the Panthers will earn the No. 1 seed, host the Seahawks in the divisional round, and lose.”
    _____
    that’s not your gut, Mike. It’s your idiotic co-worker Rodney Harrison who thinks the Panthers are worse than the Browns and Titans and have managed to win 15 games on 0% talent and 100% luck. I still can’t figure out why he hates the Panthers more than any team in any sport on Earth, but he does, and you really shouldn’t listen to him.

    Josh Norman will do his normal shut-down job on Baldwin, there’s no Jimmy Graham to burn our linebackers, the Panthers have more players returning from injury (Ginn, Stewart, Coleman vs Lynch), and we have the confidence of having already beaten Seattle in their place.

    Panthers 21
    Seahawks 17

  42. “…but they did it against an easy schedule.”
    AFC south – check
    NFC east – check
    Wait a minute, didn’t the patsies play those divisions too…

  43. minson15
    Jan 14, 2016, 7:20 AM PST
    BRONCOS
    CHIEFS
    CARDS
    SEAHAWKS
    ———–
    CHIEFS
    SEAHAWKS
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Here’s someone that knows what’s up.

  44. Small Ben in Big Games will score his usual 3 points in the first 50 minutes of a Big Game.

    If the Steeler defense does not hold the Broncos to under 20 points AND hand Big Ben 3 or 4 turnovers there is 0.000% chance the Steelers win.

    That’s just how good Small Ben in Big Games is.

  45. Right he’s going to wear it in his shoe. But still, can’t imagine he’ll be 80 percent at best.

    And there’s no fantasizing here. If we, KC, wants to win, we have to beat these teams. And yes, we’re clearly an underdog. But, with relentless pressure, there’s a chance.

  46. Ever notice it’s only the Steeler fans picking the Steelers to win?

    😀

    #BiggestHomerFanbaseInSports

  47. “The Chiefs’ streak started with Landry Jones and the Steelers, featured the day when Peyton Manning looked like he was about to die of old age on the field, and included wins over quarterbacking luminaries like Jimmy Clausen and Johnny Manziel.”

    So how good is the Chief’s D really? I believe the Pats win by at least two TD’s. Brady will not “give” them the ball 5 times.

  48. God, I hope Kansas City beats Belicheat and the Pats. I’m so sick of seeing Brady and his cheating organization in the playoffs. Besides, Andy Reid has been too good a coach for too long and he deserves to go to the Super Bowl. Go Chiefs! You can do this.

  49. realdealsteel says:
    Jan 14, 2016 10:32 AM

    Chiefs will win.

    —————

    Brady is 17-3 at home in the playoffs. He can be beat there, but it isn’t easy. The Chiefs are rolling, but they truly have been beating bum teams for the most part. They will bring in a bit of confidence from that game last year, and at the same time the Patriots will be looking for revenge and should not come out flat.

    As a Patriots fan, I think it really depends on if the Patriots have their act together. If their offense looks like it did in the last 4 weeks of the season it will be a very difficult game, and if they look good then KC could have their hands full.

    Very hard one to call based on how the Patriots have looked recently.

  50. “citizenstrange says:
    Jan 14, 2016 11:38 AM
    Small Ben in Big Games will score his usual 3 points in the first 50 minutes of a Big Game.

    If the Steeler defense does not hold the Broncos to under 20 points AND hand Big Ben 3 or 4 turnovers there is 0.000% chance the Steelers win.

    That’s just how good Small Ben in Big Games is.”

    And your team and QB plays at what time this weekend?

  51. Here are my picks. I was 2-2 last week. Should have been 4-0 if not for stupidity and the shank.

    Patriots 27 – Chiefs 23. Brady wins in the post season. It is what he does

    Packers 31 – Cardinals 23 . Overconfident Cardinals look ahead a week early. Packers Defense comes up big.

    Carolina 35 – Seahawks 14. The Panthers stop Wilson and the running game. Newton torches the Seahawks on the frond and through the air.

    Denver 28 – Steelers 20. If Rothlis-whatever plays or not, the offense is in trouble.

  52. “TeeHeeLOLatPatsHaters says:
    Jan 14, 2016 11:42 AM
    Ever notice it’s only the Steeler fans picking the Steelers to win?
    😀

    #BiggestHomerFanbaseInSports”

    And?

  53. I wasn’t impressed with the Chiefs offense against the Texans. Hoyer gave them the ball 4 times in the first half and didn’t convert any of them into a TD. The Chiefs didn’t score an offensive TD until late 3rd quarter.
    —————————————————————–
    Agreed, then again, the Pats don’t have a Top-5 defense like Houston.

  54. Where are the Broncos going to muster all of the offense it is going to take to “blow out” the Steelers?

    Last time I checked, Manning was still going to be the quarterback.

  55. Patriots by 3
    Cardinals by 11
    Panthers by 6
    Steelers by 1

    Patriots crush Steelers in AFCCCG
    Cardinals slip by Panthers in NFCCCG

    Patriots beat Cardinals in OT thriller in SB!

  56. Chiefs over the Patriots. Brady is missing some of his weapons. Time for the New England string to come to an end.

    Cardinals over the Packers. GB hasn’t been good this year. The Cards are rested and hungry.

    Steelers over the Broncos. Peyton Manning’s arm just will not get it done anymore. Roethlisberger and Brown will play. They may not be the best team in the NFL but they are better than any team that must start the aging Manning.

    Seahawks over Carolina. The Seahawks are healthier than they have been all season. Russell Wilson is on fire. Carolina has a depleted secondary and little pass rush. I smell a blowout.

  57. The #3 scoring offense (Pats) against the 3rd ranked stingiest defense (Chiefs)
    The #9 scoring offense (Chiefs) against the 10th ranked stingiest defense (Pats)

    I would not put money either way on this one. I have a feeling it is going to come down to which team makes a mistake.

  58. jjackwagon says:
    Jan 14, 2016 11:48 AM

    I wasn’t impressed with the Chiefs offense against the Texans. Hoyer gave them the ball 4 times in the first half and didn’t convert any of them into a TD. The Chiefs didn’t score an offensive TD until late 3rd quarter.
    —————————————————————–
    Agreed, then again, the Pats don’t have a Top-5 defense like Houston.

    —-
    Houston’s defense was #9 in scoring, Patriots were #10. 🙂

    Patriots D was actually better than the Texans D at sacking the QB and getting turnovers.

    Pats D was very underrated this year. Dare I say that if healthy they are a better defensive team than last year’s champs were. 🙂

  59. gbatap says:
    Jan 14, 2016 11:13 AM

    Pats may very well beat the Chiefs but 27+ points on that defense? The only teams that did that were GB and Cincy early in the year when they looked unstoppable against a chiefs d with a suspended starting Cb and three key players still getting back to form after major health issues(poe, Johnson,Berry).

    —————

    Brady put up 28 against Seattle in last year’s Super Bowl. He will move the ball against any defense eventually. He always has. How long can KC hold him off is the question. In all but one of The Patriots playoff losses in the Brady era the Patriots have scored 21 points or less, but even in those games, by the end Brady was beginning to march the ball.

    The other way to beat the Patriots is if they just lay an egg. Special teams turn overs, ints and fumbles, bad tackling. That’s really how KC beat them last year and I can think of 3 other playoff games where that happened. 2005 season against Denver, 2009 season against Baltimore and 2010 season against the Jets.

    It almost happened last year against Baltimore too, but they rallied.

  60. Never count out the Packers until you see what gifts they are given by the refs. Beware Arizona, you must beat both the team and the zebras.

  61. lionswinsuperbowl says: Jan 14, 2016 11:18 AM

    lionswinsuperbowl says: Jan 14, 2016 10:16 AM

    Broncos
    Chiefs
    Cards
    Panthers

    with a username like that, it’s very hard to take your picks seriously LOL

    ——
    Lol, fair enough. But it’s going to happen and if it doesn’t, well I can die knowing I got drunk 16 Sunday’s of the year
    ————————-
    wowww not so fast buddy we have a lot of drunken sundays left in us!

  62. steeltroll says:
    Jan 14, 2016 11:13 AM

    I’ll stop stealing money from my employer (maybe) after this post,
    ——–

    see you after lunch break

  63. One of the guys who used to get concussed a lot, I believe Troy, started lining his helmet with kevlar. Others Steelers followed and at least from anecdotal evidence it made a difference. If people really care about brain injuries, they need to get the league to force all players to use the safest helmets, there is currently a lot of choice about what players can choose.

  64. “So he leads by two games with eight postseason games left”

    Is that counting the pro bowl or something? I’m counting only seven games: 4 divisional, 2 conf championships, plus Superbowl.

    My picks (fwiw):
    KC
    Carolina
    Denver
    AZ

    ——————
    Denver
    Carolina

    ——————
    Denver

    (as a Bronco fan, it’s against my personal code to pick – or wager – against them, so even if I think it’ll be a rough road, I have to stick with them).

  65. Patriots will blow out the Chiefs

    They will take Kelce out of the game and Smith has no one else to throw the ball to. Maclin is out

    Brady will throw for at least 350yds and 5 TD’s

  66. I’m not one for predictions…you always end up eating crow later if you’re wrong. However, I will say this. If the Hawks play their best game and Carolina plays their best game, the Hawks will win hands down. Here are my GUESSES:

    Chiefs
    Cards
    Broncos
    Seahawks

  67. “And there’s no fantasizing here. If we, KC, wants to win, we have to beat these teams. And yes, we’re clearly an underdog. But, with relentless pressure, there’s a chance.”

    KC is an excellent team and of course you have a chance. If the Chiefs win I’ll be on here saying great game and wishing you luck to go to the SB.

    I think Edelman will be good to go though.

  68. THE ONLY TEAM IS THIS PLAYOFFS THAT I DON’T DISLIKE IS THE CARDINALS, SO GO CARDINALS, AND WIN IT ALL!

  69. v2787 says:
    Jan 14, 2016 11:43 AM
    God, I hope Kansas City beats Belicheat and the Pats. I’m so sick of seeing Brady and his cheating organization in the playoffs. Besides, Andy Reid has been too good a coach for too long and he deserves to go to the Super Bowl. Go Chiefs! You can do this.

    ————-

    Andy Reid did go to the SB…..and the Pats beat him. Expect the same ending on Saturday.

    And for the record, can you enumerate all of the “cheating” you believe the Pats have been doing?

  70. AFC Championship: New England v. Denver

    NFC Championship: Carolina v. Arizona

    SB 50: New England v. Carolina

    I’ll take New England for the win by 3 or less points….

  71. Does anyone know what time the NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings are playing this weekend?

    Anyone?

    Anyone?

    All I hear are crickets.

    But hey, congrats on that divisional title guys! I hope it was worth it.

  72. From highest confidence to lowest

    Cards over Pack. Pack have a lot of flaws and got past a much weaker Redskins team. Cards are strong in all aspects of the game. Don’t expect this to be close.

    Broncos over Steelers. Just too many injuries for Pittsburgh. The last we saw of Roethlisberger he couldn’t throw the ball more than 10 yards downfield. If that’s the case on Sunday, the Broncos’ D will shut them down completely. Steelers’ only hope is their defense can get turnovers from ol’ noodle.

    Panthers over Seahawks: hate picking against Seahawks in playoff games (well, only because they prove me wrong so often) but the Panthers’ defense is excellent and Cam isn’t intimidated by the Hawks’ D at all. The Panthers won in Seattle and they’ll win this one.

    Pats over Chiefs. Pats’ O vs. Chiefs’ D is a tough matchup, but I see them making enough points there. The Chiefs’ O is short on threats and will have problems with a Pats’ D that continues to be underrated. Game will probably go to team that wins turnover battle. Rooting for Pats but the sheer number of injuries is disconcerting.

    Super Bowl pick: NFC over AFC. This is an easy pick. The AFC is a complete mess as all the teams are dealing with injuries. The only NFC team that doesn’t look like it would win easily is Green Bay, and they won’t be around for very long.

  73. Funny how people use the last meeting between GB and AZ to justify their predictions for an Arizona blowout. Well, half the comments are from frustrated Vikings fans who havent yet resigned themselves to the fact that their season has in fact ended, and quite pathetically at that. In the last meeting, the Packers had a guard at left tackle and then lost their right tackle in the second quarter. I challenge any team to win with that kind of offensive line.

    Either way, we’ll see on Saturday. Its great to be a fan of a team where a 10 and 6 record and a solid first round wild card win is part of what many felt was a disappointing injury riddled season. Win or lose – its great to be a fan of the Green Bay Packers!

  74. I love Seattle’s renewed confidence after scraping the grime off the bottom of the NFL and padding their stats and then going to MIN and squeaking one out after a missed FG.

    Panthers win in a blowout.

  75. I don’t see how you just dismiss the fact that not only are the Chiefs on an 11 game win streak but the Patriots lost 4 of their last 6 and their last two against non playoff teams when they needed to win for home field advantage! These are teams going in opposite directions, Chiefs D too much for the out-manned Patriots. If Miami can beat the Patriots and make Brady look like, well, Tannehill then the Chiefs should be good to go.

  76. I don’t see how you just dismiss the fact that not only are the Chiefs on an 11 game win streak but the Patriots lost 4 of their last 6 and their last two against non playoff teams when they needed to win for home field advantage! These are teams going in opposite directions, Chiefs D too much for the out-manned Patriots. If Miami can beat the Patriots and make Brady look like, well, Tannehill then the Chiefs should be good to go.

  77. As a Ravens fan I was surprised to find myself actually pulling for the Steelers against those low life miscreants from Cincy. Fortunately my temporary insanity has passed.

    Go Denver!!

  78. I would very much like to see KC representing the AFC in the Super Bowl, but beating the Pats at home is an incredibly tall order. Belichick is the best coach in the game today, and possibly ever… and that includes my boyhood hero, Vince Lombardi.

    I think the Broncos will beat the Steelers and then lose to the winner of the Pats vs Chiefs game.

    I believe the Seahawks will beat the Panthers but I don’t believe it with great conviction. Seattle just refuses to lose sometimes.

    I won’t go so far as to say that it will take a miracle for my Packers to beat AZ, but they’ll have to be hitting on all cylinders in all 3 phases of the game to have a shot at it. There is NO room for error against an incredibly complete AZ team. If the Pack does pull it off, look out!

  79. No chance.

    Let me describe “no chance.”

    Back in 2008 a team limped into the postseason as a wildcard with a 9-7 record. Two of their last three regular season games were losses with a combined score of 82-21.

    Dismal, backdoor.

    They barely beat a higher seed in the wildcard round, but they stepped up at the right time. They unexpectedly beat the #2 seed in the divisional round. And they won the NFC Championship by the skin of their teeth.

    They eventually lost the Super Bowl, and they shouldn’t have. They had control of that game. They had more than a chance.

    Arizona Cardinals.

    If any team KNOWS the Packers have a chance, it’s the Cardinals.

  80. Yes, the Chiefs haven’t seen a QB near TB’s stature since week 3, the game they lost Charles… The pats haven’t seen a QB of Smiths caliber since week 1.

  81. Yes, the Chiefs haven’t seen a QB near TB’s stature since week 3, the game they lost Charles… The pats haven’t seen a QB of Smiths caliber since week 1.

  82. “I don’t see how you just dismiss the fact that not only are the Chiefs on an 11 game win streak but the Patriots lost 4 of their last 6 and their last two against non playoff teams”

    You’re dismissing the facts that the Pats are getting several key injured players back and that the last couple games the Pats were largely playing to avoid injuries so they would be good to go in the playoffs.

    Chiefs are an excellent team, should be a close game no matter who wins.

  83. Even as a Packers fan it’s difficult to pick them to win, but with their O-line much healthier than the last played, I can’t see the Cardinals forcing two fumbles resulting in defensive TDs. And without that, there’s no way the Cardinals score 35 this week.

  84. codythao35 says:
    Jan 14, 2016 11:35 AM

    As a Packers fan, I say Packers by 100 bc they are very dangerous, especially to themselves this week.

    Pack go pack. Lol
    —————

    Who and when are your mighty Vikings playing this weekend? Your idiotic posts aren’t the least bit humorous let alone the fact you double post them all of the time. Grow up. You, Miss Ariani, and Leatherhead aren’t being funny or amusing to anyone. You’re just annoying like a bunch of three year olds sitting at the kiddie table trying to get attention from the adults in the room.

  85. I’m not a Cheif fan at all but I think they win the afc. The pats have injury problems and didn’t finish the season well at all. They are playing the best football in the afc right now and will be the better team this weekend.

  86. Let’s not forget that Florio also picked Washington to win last week. What he fails to mention here, as others have stated, is that the o-line was really banged up the last time the teams met, and that porous sponge Don Barclay accounted for four sacks that game. And with Adams out, that will give Jared Abbrederis a chance to see how he can stretch the field. For those who don’t know, the kid is a hell of a route runner and can shake some of the best. Of course that’s based on limited playing time and a video shown on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website of him shaking one of Green Bay’s top corners.

  87. Nobody is giving GB a chance against Arizona on Saturday.
    As I recall nobody gave them a chance against Washington last week.
    Now everyone is saying that Washington is a very weak team, and that’s why they beat them.
    Well what is it people? Is GB a better team than what people are saying or is Washington that much worst? Or is Arizona so much superior than GB, that maybe they should just stay home?

    I just emailed the Packers and told them that everyone thinks you guys stink, and that you shouldnt show up.
    They replied back and said “we’re not from Minnesota”…

    Sorry everyone, GB is going to show up and play a good game…

  88. As a Steelers’ fan, I’m really pulling for my team. If they win, it’s a miracle, if they lose, everyone expected it anyway, what with how banged up they are.

    If we do lose, I’m rooting for Denver all the way. I’d like to see Peyton win another Superbowl.

    I’d like to see Arizona in the NFC, because I like Arians.

    No animosity to the other teams in the hunt. Just saying.

  89. My picks: Steelers will beat Broncos because Manning will get crushed and throw ints. Osweiler will come in and may save the game for Denver. Panthers will beat everybody and go to the Super Bowl. Packers overs the Cardinals because of Lacy. New England beats KC big maybe!
    And as I said Panthers beat everybody for the big win February 7th!

  90. Cardinals are coming off a blowout loss at home and rusty from the week off. Packers will beat them 48-7.

  91. Nobody anywhere said the Packers had “no shot” in Washington.

    Packers beat a team that didn’t belong in the playoffs. Another year like this and the NFC East teams should be forced to relocate to cities in Mexico and Canada.

    The only pick I would make is Arizona winning big in a very boring game. Every other game is too evenly matched to pick a clear favorite, without defaulting to homefield advantage and past experience.

    Forced to make a “finger bet” (pick wrong, lose a finger), I would pick NE, SEA and DEN. I am a SEA fan but that isn’t involved when making finger bets. I honestly think they will make it happen this weekend, they have had an unreal streak of luck in winning games in odd ways (Success Mary, last year’s NFCCG, Detroit batted ball, miracle catch preceding Butler interception in SB, poor Blair Walsh, and every game Russ Wilson has eked out in Carolina, et al). Even if they lose I think it will be a fun game to watch. KC at NE should be very entertaining too. PIT at DEN may be close but I think it will pretty boring due to QBs not 100%.

  92. LoL @ all the salty vikings fans trolling, even without a squad playing. Haters gonna hate.

    As a fan, GB realistically does have a shot, but I would be quite surprised if they win. I think Arizona is overall the better team this year. They are more balanced across the board.

    In the playoffs, anything can happen but I would pick Arizona to win this year.

  93. Packers got this!

    The signs are all there!

    2010: Goes 10-6

    2015: Goes 10-6

    2010: At the time, the offense went through Finley, and he went out, I believe, in Week 3.

    2015: Jordy is the playmaker and he goes out in the preseason.

    2010: Key injuries throughout year, mostly on defense

    2015: Key injuries throughout the year, but on the O-line and secondary

    2010: Takes out NFC East leader (Eagles)

    2015: Takes out NFC East leader (Redskins)

    2010: 2nd round dismantling of supposed superior team of birds (Falcons)

    2015: 2nd round taking on another apparent superior team of birds (Cardinals)

    .
    .
    .
    .

    But yeah, this is gonna be a tough game. I’m actually not sure that they can pull it off, but with Rodgers, there’s always a chance, so I’ll always believe! Go Pack Go!

  94. JJFootball said (no need for reading glasses folks, jj means business!)

    THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO WANT THE PATRIOTS IN THE PLAYOFFS ARE THE PEOPLE IN NEW ENGLAND!

    You are correct JJ! That’s because people outside of New England want their team to have a chance in the playoffs.

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