National Football League picks vs. spread, divisional playoffs: Quarterback mismatches define weekend

Ruben Hill
January 13, 2018

They were down 21-3 at halftime, but never gave up and went on to score 19 unanswered points. It's that same defense that allowed Jacksonville to win in Pittsburgh 30-9 in Week 5.

Falcons -2.5 over EAGLES It's pretty unbelievable that the Falcons, as the sixth seed, may have stumbled into a Super Bowl path in which they just need to get through Jared Goff, Nick Foles, and Keenum. Everybody knows this is not the same team without MVP candidate Carson Wentz under center, and it has shown.

Wentz's backup, Nick Foles, has struggled and was downright abysmal in a 6-0 loss to the Cowboys in Week 17.

I also have to think the extra time has allowed the Eagles to adjust the offense to something that suits the current personnel. Falcons win 20-10.

If offense vs. defense isn't pronounced enough in New England on Saturday night, just wait until Sunday in Pittsburgh. Bing was two of four in wild-card predictions, also missing the Tennessee Titans' upset win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Instead of hosting a Kansas City team that dismantled them in Week 1, they instead get a Titans team that has been up-and-down all year. This, in turn, will place the workload on running back Derrick Henry. Mariota was consistently on the big stage in college, and he looked prepared for the intensity that came with postseason play. Tom Brady is as dynamic as ever and Dion Lewis is a game changer for Bill Belichick. Will the Patriots get to the AFC title game for the millionth time? His 500 yards against the Ravens salvaged a win and his heroics almost knocked off the Patriots despite a lapse of judgement on their last play of the game.

What are the odds ... the Jaguars can force enough turnovers to beat the Steelers? The Patriots must be very happy the way this has played out for them. Quarterback Blake Bortles was awful, throwing for just 87 yards, and missed easy passes that I myself probably could have completed. Sure, Atlanta could easily keep things going with another win, but with no sense of how well the Eagles can perform, I want to grab as many points as possible. The Steelers offense is out for revenge, and with all the talent on that side of the ball they will score at least 20 points. I say this is with good reason! Keenum will be making his playoff debut, while Brees will be playing in his 13 postseason game.

Bing's National Football League predictions use team and player statistics and web activity to build a statistical model that takes into account historical data and real-time information (like injuries, suspensions, and lineup changes).

New Orleans @ Minnesota Sun. Since 1999, only one other tight end has more than four in the postseason (Vernon Davis, seven).

As for what's ahead, Brady explained how even though the Patriots have made a habit of advancing to this point, their urgency remains high. That game was dominated by the Vikings but a lot has changed for both teams. Many experts will take the Saints and the points, largely because New Orleans starts Drew Brees at quarterback and Minnesota has Case Keenum. But I think this is a game where the Jacksonville offense will open it up and play a lot looser. The Panthers committed to stopping the run and taking Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram out of the game, but Drew Brees still is a top five quarterback in the league, and he proved that he is capable of winning the game on his own. Sean Davis has played a little better as of late, and Mike Mitchell is going to have to improve his ability to help others in two high and one high safety looks.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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