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NFL Divisional Round Playoff Picks

Jarrett Bailey, Sports Writer

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Well, after going 4-0 with my Wildcard picks, it’s on to the Divisional Round.

(5) Chiefs: Predicted Winner

(2) Patriots

Yes, I know that the Patriots are coming off a week of rest, but the Chiefs are the hottest team in the NFL right now as winners of 11 straight. Plus, I doubt that they are very tired after their 30-0 dismantling of the Texans almost effortlessly last Saturday. The Patriots may have Brady and company on offense, but the Chiefs defense is on a tear and I think they win it in a close one.

 

(5) Packers

(2) Cardinals: Predicted Winner

The Cardinals have had a dream season; the second best record in the NFL (13-3), an MVP candidate QB in Carson Palmer who should be the runaway winner with most improved player, and an outstanding defense. The Packers have had an up-and-down season, something that they aren’t used to. The Cardinals handled Green Bay 38-8 in their meeting earlier in the year, and I see them winning this one as well.

 

(6) Seahawks

(1) Panthers: Predicted Winner

The Panthers have the NFL’s best rushing offense, an MVP caliber QB, and an extraordinary defense. The Seahawks stumbled their way into the 6th seed and never really got into that rhythm we got accustom to seeing them play at the past few years. Plus, with Marshawn Lynch still questionable, I don’t see the Seahawks being able to get their game going against the strong defense of the Panthers.

 

(6) Steelers: Predicted Winner

(1) Broncos

Okay, before the world calls me a biased picker, let me explain. Peyton Manning has been extremely off with his game this season, maybe the worst of his career. It’s also January, and Peyton and cold weather go together like oil and water. This Steelers defense seems to be coming together as well. Even though both Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams will be out, they still have weapons. Jordan Todman and Fitzgerald Toussaint did really well in the absence of Williams last week against the Bengals, and the Steelers still have Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton at the receiver position, with Darrius Heyward-Bey definitely going to have to play a bigger part in this offense this week. It will be a tight game, but I’m going with the Steelers.

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