The Divisional playoffs begin this week in the second round of games. Freezing temperatures expected for all except Minnesota, it will be interesting to see who manages to play through the cold. Teams like Jacksonville and Tennessee are going to need to adapt to the cold weather quickly if they expect to continue their post season drives.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles – Nick Foles is largely considered the worst quarterback in the NFL, but the Eagles defense might be able hold off the Falcons’ offense. If Matt Ryan plays another dud of a night than Philadelphia could make it through. However, if those Gatorade commercials are to be believed, then the Falcons will come away with a win in this Divisional game. With weather in the thirties and a high wind expected, this game will come down to the run.
Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots – Mariota pulled the Titans through for a shocking win last week which included a touchdown pass to himself. While Tennessee will forever go down in history for that play, their playoff run will most likely end in this Divisional game. There may be consistent rumors of dysfunction within the Patriots locker room but Brady and Belichick will get the job done. Foxborough is expected to have strong winds and freezing temperatures that is sure to be a shock to the Titans.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – One of the more interesting matchups in these Divisional games, the Jaguars are a team on fire this season. If Bortles can pull himself together, then they have a real shot at overturning the Steelers. However, Pittsburgh has been heavily favored as the only AFC team that can take down the Patriots, and they don’t look like they’re ready to leave the playoffs quite yet. Freezing weather will catch Jacksonville by surprise but it’s weather that Pittsburgh actually thrives in.
New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings – The Divisional game everyone has been waiting for: The New Orleans Saints versus Case Keenum. An underdog story if there ever was one, third string quarterback to beloved starter, Keenum will be looking to cement his job with the Vikings by leading the team to a playoff win. With Adam Thielen stepping up as a wide receiver this season, the two should be able to overtake a New Orleans secondary which has struggled. On the other side, the Saints will need to rely on their passing game because Minnesota has a notoriously strong defense against the run.