PFT’s divisional round picks

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I usually stink more than usual when it comes to picking playoff games, so I was relieved to go 2-2 last week. And then MDS went 4-0.

So with a two-game lead and only seven games left, I’m already screwed.

I can shave the deficit in half this week if the one game on which we disagree goes my way. For all of our picks for the divisional round, keep reading.

Seahawks at Falcons

MDS’s take: The Seahawks’ defense played well in shutting down the Lions last week, but the Falcons’ offense is a different animal. Matt Ryan played at an MVP level all season, and Julio Jones when healthy is the best receiver in the league. I’d like Seattle’s chances better if Earl Thomas were playing, but as it stands I’m having a hard time seeing the Seahawks’ secondary keeping the Falcons’ passing game in check.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 30, Seahawks 20.

Florio’s take: Seattle’s offensive instantly becomes more diversified with a potent Thomas Rawls and a healthy C.J. Prosise. But will that be enough against a Falcons offense that is as good as it’s ever been, with 9.3 average yards per pass and Matt Ryan performing at an MVP level? Ryan has struggled in past postseasons, but he’s never had a season like the one he had in 2016. With a defense that has improved quickly under head coach Dan Quinn, the Falcons can close out the Georgia Dome (unless Green Bay wins on Sunday) with a victory.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 24, Seahawks 21.

Texans at Patriots

MDS’s take: I can’t remember a more lopsided playoff game. The Patriots blew out the Texans during the regular season, and that was with third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett. With Tom Brady now back at the helm, I’ll be shocked if the Texans even keep this game close into the fourth quarter, let alone win.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 38, Texans 16.

Florio’s take: Yes, Houston lost 27-0 in New England against a Patriots team that lacked Tom Brady. Sure, the Texans are favored to lose by 16. Of course, the Patriots are more determined than ever to get back to the Super Bowl and win it. To reverse those dynamics (and to close the dramatic the talent gap), the Texans need to score early, pressure Brady consistently, and avoid mistakes on special teams. They need to. They won’t.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 31, Texans 10.

Steelers at Chiefs

MDS’s take: This is the toughest game to pick this weekend. The Steelers’ offense is rolling right now, and I’m tempted to pick them on the road in a small upset. But the well-rested Chiefs defense should at least be able to slow the Steelers’ offense down, if not stop it. And in what should be a close game, I think a big play from the Chiefs’ great special teams will be the difference.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 28, Steelers 27.

Florio’s take: The Steelers plastered the Chiefs in Week Four, but that game was at home. Meanwhile, the Steelers lost a couple of road games to inferior teams; what happens at Arrowhead Stadium against a Chiefs team that continues to be overlooked as it continues to win far more games than it loses? The determination of running back Le’Veon Bell and receiver Antonio Brown gives the Steelers a championship-caliber team. If quarterback Ben Roethlisberger really is fine after injuring his foot during garbage time of the wild-card round, the Steelers will be fine, too. Barely, but fine.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 27, Chiefs 24.

Packers at Cowboys

MDS’s take: Aaron Rodgers will make some plays with both his arm and his legs, but Green Bay will likely be missing Jordy Nelson, and that’s a huge loss. I like Dak Prescott to put up big numbers against the Packers’ defense and the Cowboys to win a shootout.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 35, Packers 31.

Florio’s take: One of the greatest quarterbacks in history faces the quarterback of the future. It’s a baton that won’t pass easily, not with the way Aaron Rodgers has been playing. But Dallas is good enough that it’s won’t be a duel between signal-callers. It will be a methodical smothering of Green Bay’s defense with an offensive line and a running game that chews the clock and keeps Rodgers in the one spot where he can’t hurt them — on the sideline. Unlike the Giants, the Cowboys will be able to convert any temporary Packers offensive sputtering into significant points, making it even harder for Rodgers to close the gap when he inevitably finds the gas pedal and mashes it.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 30, Packers 22.

98 responses to “PFT’s divisional round picks

  1. .
    The Kansas City forecast calls for a wintery mix throughout the game. The footing could be treacherous.

    Also, Andy Reid gave the team the entire bye week off. How many Chiefs stayed in frigid KC? How many went boating in a warm climate?
    .

  2. “One of the greatest quarterbacks in history faces the quarterback of the future.”
    ———————————————-
    Are we really crowning Prescott “QB of the future” this early in his career?

  3. underestimating the hawks. Seattle is going to give the Falcons a prison beating. Matt Ryan just doesnt have what it takes to get it done in the post season.

  4. Aside from the Patriots/Texans it’s a tossup. It should be a Great weekend for football. (I’m sending my wife to her mother’s for the weekend)

  5. Seahawks Fans : “I wonder if I should wear my HOME, or AWAY 12th Man jersey, when I go grocery shopping during the game this weekend?”

  6. GB 31-26 ATL 31-27
    ATL 24-16
    ———————————————————
    NE 38-10 NE 30-21 NE 33-27
    KC 27-24

    My humble opinion. Not that anyone on here cares who I’m picking 🙂

    (And my picks are all assuming the league doesn’t do what it can to get their desired results & matchups.)

  7. A refreshing and most intriguing outcome would be
    Falcons vs Chiefs in the Super Bowl….
    A chance for a new Super Bowl team rather than the same ole repeats!

  8. I have the Falcons beating the Seahawks, the Cowboys beating the Packers, the Patriots beating the Texans, and the Steelers beating the Chiefs. I’m sure the Chiefs will give the Steelers a better game this time around, but I can’t picture Pittsburgh losing to them unless Kansas City plays their best game ever under Andy Reid.

    As for that game in Arlington, the Cowboys have more weapons (a better running back and TE), they have the better offensive line, they had a lot of time to prepare for the game, and they are number one in the league in rushing defense. If the Cowboys defensive line can get to Rodgers, the Packers won’t have a chance. I just feel like Dallas has more options offensively.

  9. tyelee says:
    Jan 12, 2017 11:46 AM
    A refreshing and most intriguing outcome would be
    Falcons vs Chiefs in the Super Bowl….
    A chance for a new Super Bowl team rather than the same ole repeats!

    ———–

    Sorry to disappoint you but it will be either Pats/Seahawks or Pats/Cowboys

  10. Other than coaching and QB play, I don’t see the big talent gap. The Pats just play better football and have the best QB and coach…ever!

    Still hoping it’s a good game and that Brady doesn’t take too many hits.

  11. Seahawks over Falcons 31-24
    Patriots over Texans 34-13
    Chiefs over Steelers 24-23
    Cowboys over Packers 30-27

  12. Go back through previous picks. Whenever both of you pick against the Seahawks, the Seahawks win.

    ____________________________________

    Beat me to it.

    Go HAWKS

  13. And in what should be a close game, I think a big play from the Chiefs’ great special teams will be the difference.

    MDS’s pick: Chiefs 28, Steelers 27.

    _______________________________________

    Wow, MDS picking the Cheifs to win on a blocked extra point. That is a bold prediction.

  14. Just hand the Lamar Hunt trophy to the Patriots already. The Patriots have no legitimate competition in AFC after Manning’s retirement.

  15. Its cute how Seattle “fans” are so convinced they are going to steam roll the Falcons in Atlanta when their team was barely managing to fend off a Detroit Lions team at home which had zero running game and a quarterback who hasn’t been able to throw the ball since injuring his finger… up until that Lions team imploded anyways. Have fun Seahawks fans… we all know you’ll be Dallas/Green Bay fans after this week anyways.

  16. The Bills will again be paying fans $10 an hour to shovel snow out of the stadium. Because Rex Ryan is still under there somewhere.

  17. Interesting how anyone picking the Steelers says “if Rothlisburger is healthy”. As if KC can’t beat a healty Pittsburgh team. KC played the 4th toughest schedule and came out 12-4, they beat Denver twice, beat a healthy Derek Carr twice, the NFC’s #2 team ATL (on the road) and their only losses were to teams with winning records.

    In other words, no losses to bad teams. Yes they were humiliated by the 11-5 Steelers, but the Steelers were humiliated by the 7-9 Eagles…

    And no ones is saying how Rothlisburger doesn’t play well on the road. His QBR drops almost 20 points. The Steelers do have a 3 headed monster with QB/RB/WR but KC isn’t Miami. I’ll take the team with the least turnovers. KC had a couple fluke fumbles in their 1st game and Rothlisburger can’t turn the ball over like he did against Miami. Arrowhead should be rockin and it should be a great game.

    The AFC’s top 3 teams are left, and no matter who wins the KC/Pitt game I hope they’re the AFC’s representative in the SB.

  18. Whew mds picked the chiefs florio didn’t now I know they will win. I like Seattle 24-17, pats 31-6, chiefs 28-24, Green Bay 35-24.

  19. tyelee says:

    “A refreshing and most intriguing outcome would be
    Falcons vs Chiefs in the Super Bowl….
    A chance for a new Super Bowl team rather than the same ole repeats!”

    I’d think most football fans would rather see the two best teams in the super bowl. You know, so there is actually a good game.

  20. truetrue85 says:
    Jan 12, 2017 12:09 PM
    Its cute how Seattle “fans” are so convinced they are going to steam roll the Falcons in Atlanta when their team was barely managing to fend off a Detroit Lions team at home which had zero running game and a quarterback who hasn’t been able to throw the ball since injuring his finger… up until that Lions team imploded anyways. Have fun Seahawks fans… we all know you’ll be Dallas/Green Bay fans after this week anyways.

    Hilarious that the one Falcons fan on here calls out the Seattle fan base when everyone knows how “diehard” ,snicker, Atlanta is as a sports town. Also beating a team by twenty isn’t barely managing to win. It’s winning by twenty. You know that Matt Ryans prior playoff failures are keeping you up at night.

  21. tyelee says:
    Jan 12, 2017 11:46 AM
    A refreshing and most intriguing outcome would be
    Falcons vs Chiefs in the Super Bowl….
    A chance for a new Super Bowl team rather than the same ole repeats!

    It would only be new if Atlanta wins. KC won SB 4

  22. heartofsteel36 says:
    Jan 12, 2017 12:23 PM
    As long as it’s not a Cowboys vs Patriots Super Bowl, I’ll be happy…

    ——-

    that would be a nightmare for a lot of fans

  23. I’d be willing to bet there will be more Texans fans than Patsies fans this weekend. I don’t think the country would love anything more than to watch the Pats lose to the Texans… I don’t even hate the Pats, but a majority of their fans are awfully arrogant.

  24. Emmanuel Goldstein says:
    Jan 12, 2017 11:36 AM
    Go back through previous picks. Whenever both of you pick against the Seahawks, the Seahawks win.
    _______

    Until now… You just jinxed it.

  25. that would be a nightmare for a lot of fans

    Not really. There are a lot of reasonable football fans that would like to see the two most deserving teams play for the Lombardi….even if one of them is a serial cheater. Realistic fans know the Boys and Cheaties would be most compelling……and I agree.

  26. The great Aaron Rodgers won’t be able to do anything on the bench. He’s got no running game and no Nelson. Cowboys advance to their first Conference Championship since 95 by beating the Pack 34-21.

  27. Wait, wait…Terripet has Houston over the Pats by a touchdown, so, we’ll all just have to hold our breath for that first.

  28. everyone keeps betting against the Chiefs, and I can understand that, but I believe this is the Chiefs year to make some real noise. I absolutely believe this is a team that can beat the Steelers. I also think they can go to NE and beat them in their house. Wether they do or not is a different matter.

  29. The Patriots may win or loose but they are going to compete hard without making any excuses. That’s more than the injury faker and chest bumper team from the AFC north will ever do. That explains the envy of their trolls.

  30. Florio, based on Rothlesburgers poor play on the road, you’ve probably picked the wrong game to disagree with mds…the Seahawks will have a healthy Wilson, Chancellor,Frank Clark, Bennett, Rawls and possibly Prosise..I like their chances…the game you should have picked.

  31. Seahawks fans are delusional. This Seahawks team isn’t like the teams that went to the Super Bowl…..at all. Those teams wouldn’t have let a weak Cardinals squad punk them on their own field with the number 2 seed on the line nor would they have won 3 games all year on the road.

    The Falcons are going to run the Seahawks out of the building on Saturday.

  32. Packer have no running game? Just maybe we’ll have second thoughts about that after the game. Even if that turns out to be the case, the zone Rodgers is in right now, has slowed the game down to a snails pace, he’s seeing the entire field and anticipating which guy is going to come open, and the ball will be there the moment he is, if only for a nanosecond. A big IF I know, but if the Packers can hold Dallas to 27 or less, the Packers win this.

  33. Of these teams, New England (4), Pittsburgh (2), Green Bay (1), and Seattle (1) have won Super Bowls with their current quarterbacks. Experience matters in the playoffs. January football is a different game than September-December football.
    Home field advantage counts, but it doesn’t really matter much, not when winning is everything.
    That said, Houston doesn’t stand a chance in New England. Pittsburgh will face a fierce opponent in Kansas City, in a game that really could go either way, but the Chiefs are on a roll. Seattle will find Atlanta not so welcoming. And Dallas will face a resurgent Green Bay team at home, where Jerry World is not so much of an advantage.
    So, I’ll pick the Patriots, the Chiefs, the Falcons, and the Packers. In the conference championships, I’ll pick the Patriots and the Packers. And in the Super Bowl, I’ll pick the Patriots. This is their revenge year.

  34. Five years ago the “experts” were drooling over the latest Flavor of the Month, Colin Kraponhisneck and the 49ers impending “dynasty” just like they are now with Dak and the Girls. Someone please remind me how that’s played out for Colin and the 49ers and whatever happened to that other SF QB?

    Chiefs 24 Steelers 22
    Packers 31 Girls 21

    Next week, these same “experts” will be talking about who Pinocchio and the Cheaters will play in the SB (because no WAY Alex SMITH beats him in Foxboro!!) and whether or not the Girls should be so quick to trade away Romo…LOL!

  35. MDS’s pick: Chiefs 28, Steelers 27.
    Wow, MDS picking the Cheifs to win on a blocked extra point. That is a bold prediction.

    No, 3 Td’s and two field Goals is probably what he means!

  36. “Go back through previous picks. Whenever both of you pick against the Seahawks, the Seahawks win.”

    With the Seahawks weak schedule, how many times could that have possibly happened? Once?

    The Seahawks were only underdogs twice this season, but somehow managed to lose 5 games and tie one.

    Why? Because they aren’t that good.

  37. Packers, Steelers, Pats, Falcons – the Cowboys have the 26th-ranked pass defense. Hammer, meet nail. I expect the Packer run D to fare better than anyone expects.

  38. The NFL is littered with QBs of the future. Recently, Kapernick, RGIII, Teddy B all come to mind.

    In many ways, it’s a curse.

  39. Be careful with putting too much money on the Steelers. The “Chefs” are the silent assassin. That early season beating the took has been brewing for the last two weeks.

  40. Can’t wait for this week. Exciting football all around. The funnest part will be watching the Steelers lose to KC. Little do they seem to get that we fear the Chiefs much more than their silly squealers that we beat annually at this rate.

  41. The only way Seattle has a chance to beat Atlanta is if Wilson plays his best game of the season and puts up points. Wilson starts slow, especially on road games. Putting the defense on the field with 3 and outs is a recipe for going home.

    Still, to make it to the final 8 for 5 years in a row isn’t so bad. Only Seattle and NE have been in the final 8 for 5 straight years. I can’t even recall the last teams to do that.

    Atlanta, or Seattle, may the best team win.
    I pick GB to beat Dallas. Pittsburgh or KC.

  42. bigfaketdsinmyface says:
    Jan 12, 2017 12:47 PM
    I’d be willing to bet there will be more Texans fans than Patsies fans this weekend. I don’t think the country would love anything more than to watch the Pats lose to the Texans… I don’t even hate the Pats, but a majority of their fans are awfully arrogant.
    ——
    Other than being the only 14-2 team and vegas creating the betting lines I suppose you could blame the fans.

    Every fan base has complete morons, and most of them post to this site, so don’t let a bunch of bad apples sour your outlook on any team.

  43. “Quarterback of the future”

    They once said Kaepernick was the QB of the future. They once said Jamarcus Russel was the QB of the future. They once said Robert Griffin III was the QB of the future. They once said Colt McCoy was the QB of…….. well ok, maybe they didn’t say that about Coot McCoy, but you get my point.

  44. I just don’t think the Cowboys are as good as their record. In the long run, they are playing a rookie at QB and RB. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both good but it’s playoff time and it’s a whole new level. Dallas is also facing the hottest team in the league…not good.

    Dallas just can’t keep up…
    GB 38
    DAL 24

  45. Can’t wait for this week. Exciting football all around. The funnest part will be watching the Steelers lose to KC. Little do they seem to get that we fear the Chiefs much more than their silly squealers that we beat annually at this rate.

    ———————————————————

    Yeah man, you beat us real good earlier in the season!

  46. I was 3 for 4 last week so let’s see if my luck can keep going. Seahawks 24 Falcons 14 I would like to see the Falcons win this game, but unfortunately I think Matt Ryan will lay another playoff egg instead of handing the football off to Freeman like he should plus the Seahawks will probably capitalize off of a few turnovers. Patriots 31 Texans 20 this game will be closer than what everyone is saying. However, with some good hard runs up the middle and some quick passing to Edelman, Mitchell, and Bennett the Patriots will pull away in the 4th plus Osweiler will probably throw a pick or two to secure the victory. Steelers 28 Chiefs 21 Levon Bell will have a big day in the crappy weather and the Steelers defense will make sure Hill and Kelce are kept in check as they’ve been improving a lot over the past 4 weeks. Finally, Packers 38 Cowboys 30 Aaron Rodgers will play lights out as will Prescott however I think Rodgers is playing with a lot to prove so look for him to get the ball last and capitalize on it, but this will be a shootout no doubt about it.

  47. The Atlanta Falcons are the most overrated team in the playoffs.
    They haven’t played a team with a winning record in six weeks and just one team with a winning record in the last eleven weeks – which they lost at home.
    The Falcons haven’t beat a team with a winning record since before Halloween.
    The Seahawks have played three playoff teams in the last eight weeks and have beaten two of them (NE, Detroit).
    The last time these two teams met…Chancellor didn’t play, Bennett came out injured, and most importantly Russell Wilson was in the midst of two injuries wearing a knee and ankle braces.
    Atlanta – smoke and mirrors.
    Seattle – tested and true.

    Seattle wins this game by at least a touchdown.

  48. uschawk

    Hilarious that the one Falcons fan on here calls out the Seattle fan base when everyone knows how “diehard” ,snicker, Atlanta is as a sports town. Also beating a team by twenty isn’t barely managing to win. It’s winning by twenty. You know that Matt Ryans prior playoff failures are keeping you up at night.

    Every time I hear mention of that tired argument about ‘Ryan’s playoff failures,’ I think about the SB interception with M. Lynch in the backfield and not getting the ball. It won’t be close Saturday when Atlanta wins.

  49. peyton42 says:
    Jan 12, 2017 1:43 PM

    Seahawks fans are delusional. This Seahawks team isn’t like the teams that went to the Super Bowl…..at all. Those teams wouldn’t have let a weak Cardinals squad punk them on their own field with the number 2 seed on the line nor would they have won 3 games all year on the road.

    The Falcons are going to run the Seahawks out of the building on Saturday.
    ——-
    Only team in well over a decade with 2 SB berths. 1 of only 2 teams, NE the other, appearing in at least 5 straight NFL final 8 teams.

    Success…deal with it!

  50. The Seahawks fan is ragging on the Falcons schedule over the last 11 games, but he conveniently leaves out the fact that stretch of games includes all 5 teams that beat the Seahawks.

    Atlanta’s record in those games – 5-0.

    Stat of the day.

  51. ariani1985 says:
    Jan 12, 2017 12:53 PM
    The green Bay Packer trolls must be in schock knowing that they have no chance! Your still offseason champions in my book!

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

    Well, we were once sitting at 4-6, so I am in shock we won the NFC North. I am not shocked how the team rallied around A-Rod, as it has happened before. Packers are dangerous right now whether you want to admit it or not.

    Ariani, which of the 8 teams left is your team that you root for every year?

  52. The Packers were fine without Nelson last week. Also, no way will a rookie QB and RB hold steady in the playoffs. Packers 42 Cowboys 10

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