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NFL Divisional Round Preview & Picks Nate Solder - Caption:FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 18: Nate Solder #77 of the New England Patriots crosses the goalline for a touchdown in the third quarter against D'Qwell Jackson #52 of the Indianapolis Colts of the 2015 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 18, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Full view

Caption:FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 18: Nate Solder #77 of the New England Patriots crosses the goalline for a touchdown in the third quarter against D'Qwell Jackson #52 of the Indianapolis Colts of the 2015 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 18, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

NFL Divisional Round Preview & Picks

Week 19 of NFL football is here.  Who would of thought it would take 19 weeks before we could actually get a full load of good games to watch (everyone). Before we dive into the picks, here’s a quick look back to my terrible wildcard preview.

I, along with every single person in the country, correctly picked a KC blowout of Houston. It was as raw as it gets.  Brian Hoyer may of possibly broken some sort of qualitative record for the worst playoff performance ever. It was almost like he was playing with a concussion or something.. weird. The Steelers-Bengals game was pretty epic.  A true in-division playoff game where the refs have no control over anything.  They could of had 20 refs on the field and it still wouldn’t be enough to keep things calm.  Couldn’t stop 9’6” BIG Ben from playing though. All of the controversy surrounding the end is a bunch of BS too. Each NFL team has 256 coaches so don’t expect the refs to flag one of them for going on the field all the while the two teams are on the verge of of a parking lot brawl.  Also, boo hoo the Bengals fans threw a water bottle at an injured steeler, you have a problem with that but your fine with players smashing heads together for 4 quarters? Football. My Seahawks “blowout alert” kind of blew up in my face. You can bet that the players are setting water bottles next to them so they don’t have to get out of bed to go to the bathroom this week. For a -6 degree game, it might of been the biggest slugfest of them all.  The Hawks squeak by after only 10 points.  Finally the Packers took care of business. Nothing to impressive but a playoff road win by double digits will give you some confidence moving forward. Statement game for Aaron Rodgers. RELAX Packers fans.

  1. Chiefs at Patriots, Saturday 1/16 4:35PM (NE -4.5)
    • After an impressive win last week, the Chiefs continue their win streak into Foxborough. The best way to describe this matchup is this: Andy Reid vs. Bill Belicheck, Alex Smith vs. Tom Brady.  Sorry Kansas City, your wild ride ends here. The Pats are healthy again and well rested.  Won’t be surprised if Belicheck throws it in cruise control and just let Tom do Tom.  On the other hand, Andy Reid is desperate to win. He is going to over coach the crap out of his team.  I think it will be a game until about half way through the fourth when Andy burns his last time out and goes for it on 4th and 4 at his own 40.  All of this is contingent on Gronk not getting both knees blown out over the middle.. *Knock on wood*
  2. Packers at Cardinals, Saturday 1/16 8:15PM (ARI -7)
    • Sort of the matchup we’ve been waiting for since week 1. Two great coaches, two great quarterbacks, and two completely different defenses. Arizona is potentially on blowout alert.  If you really look at the way things stack up, Arizona runs the table in almost everything except QB.  On one hand we have Patrick Peterson covering James Jones, and on the other we have Casey Hayward covering John Brown. Got a feeling it will be Arizona stepping on Green Bay’s throat in the third quarter.
  3. Seahawks at Panthers, Sunday 1/17 1:05PM (CAR -1.5)
    • Before picking your winner here ask yourself what other quarterback in the NFL could have the Panthers where they are right now. There isn’t one. Cam Newton is your undisputed MVP and he is going to play like it. No disrespect to the Vikings but if Seattle could only throw up 10 points against their D, I don’t see them scoring too much against a well rested Panthers defense playing at home. That being said, we are talking about a team who has been in the super bowl two straight years and know how to win big games (unless its 2nd and goal on the one yard line, they are 1 yard and 24 seconds away from a second straight championship, with the best running back in the playoffs behind the quarterback, and Pete Carroll is the coach). This is a dogfight but I like Super Cam coming out on top.
  4. Steelers at Broncos, Sunday 1/17 4:40PM (DEN -9)
    • This line is a slap in the face.  I just read up on Big Ben’s injury. Basically the only problem is every time he raises his arm up it feels like a someone is taking a sledgehammer to his shoulder blade. I mean come on, his name is Big Ben — the guy eats sledgehammers for breakfast right?  And if he were to play through the pain at least the Broncos defense is only ranked 1 in total defense 1 in pass defense and 3 in rush defense.  All joking aside the Steelers are the 3rd ranked offense in the league and we know Big Ben has a history of preforming well under these conditions. I don’t know if he’ll be able to pull of the win, but I think he can taste that next ring – they’ll cover.

Last week I went 2-2 and 1-1 for best bets bringing my totals to 44-37 and 8-4.  Picks for this week: Pats -4.5, Cards -7, Panthers -1.5, Steelers +9.  Best Bets: Pats, Cards.

Written by Kevin Hudash
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