Last Saturday’s AFC wildcard match-ups were really fun and worth the watch! The Houston Texans’ second half surge was epic and deserved overtime. The Titans went punch for punch with the Patriots, frustrating Bill Belichick. One wonders what would’ve happened if Tom Brady didn’t throw that interception at the one yard line, as that sealed the deal for the Titans (hmm, where have we heard this before?).
This week looks even better, so without further ado, here are my AFC Divisional round picks.
#6 Tennessee Titans v. #1 Baltimore Ravens
This game just feels like an upset waiting to happen. The Titans were in the top five against the run, and while they didn’t play the Ravens this season, Mike Vrabel and his coaching staff are probably still bitter about last year’s shutout to Baltimore at home. Ryan Tannehill is not inconsistent like Marcus Mariota. Baltimore’s pass rush is different especially with Terrell Suggs gone. Tennessee’s offense should not disappoint this week.
Many people will look past this, but a quarterback like Lamar Jackson hasn’t gone far in the playoffs for a very long time. Don’t misunderstand, he will win the Most Valuable Player award for this season, and will continually prove people wrong for passing over him and his skills. Unfortunately, he proved last year in the playoffs that compared to another veteran quarterback, that he can struggle, especially if the other team stays one step ahead. Tennessee was built to get physical, run the ball and gut out games, and in the playoffs, this is what gets teams to the championship final.
JD’s Upset Pick of the Week: Tennessee wins 24-16
#4 Houston Texans v. #2 Kansas City Chiefs
The first matchup between these two teams was exhilarating and gave us a boat-load of unexpected results. DeShaun Watson proved he can come up clutch and win big games on the road early in the regular season. Yes, Patrick Mahomes can do the same, and showed us how, but a lot of people knew when these two were drafted, it’s Watson who stands out and plays the best when pressure arises.
Kansas City’s defense has yet to play a quality offense in over a month and a half. They have shown improvement, but after having a bye week, Houston’s offense is the right test for Steve Spagnuolo’s crew. A key note here: these are basically the rosters that played in week six. This game could probably be closer than the last game; again coming down to the last possession.
JD’s Pick: Houston wins 27-24
JD’s Picks from Wildcard Weekend: 3-1