Last week, I told all of you that my good friend Zito was going to help me with my picks to add more depth to my article. It also helps because it allows the reader to view a second opinion on the matchup for the weekend. Just like the last week, there is only four games this week so we tried our best to write just enough on the games to make them lengthy but not too long. Disclaimer: These games were so tough to choose that I did not look at the email that Zito sent me containing his picks until I finished picking and writing my side. I was worried I would be influenced and not make my picks purely off of my knowledge. Here they are, our Divisional Round picks!
Last week: Scott:3-1
#5 KC @ #2 NE
Scott’s Pick: Kansas City. Houston was embarrassed last week by the Chiefs and my pick was spot on. The Kansas City defense would show up and Alex Smith would do just enough on offense to get the job done. The Patriots have been battling injuries a lot this year and even though they will likely have Edelman and Amendola back, the Chiefs defense is scary. They will constantly be pushing around the Patriots offensive line and pressuring Brady. I will say this again, Alex Smith is not a great but he is good, which means that this game has a lot of potential to be low scoring. The Chiefs will have to rely heavily on the run game if they want to win. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Chiefs can score a touchdown in the first eleven seconds of the game.
Zito’s Pick: Kansas City. Kansas City is the hottest team in the NFL and their defense is scary. They have an efficient offense especially on the ground to compete with any team in the league and dominate on the defensive side of the ball forcing turnovers more often than I can count. The Patriots offense is dominant but who knows how they’ll respond to the Chiefs pass rush and exceptional secondary. I am picking another road win by the Chiefs to top the Patriots and advance to the AFC championship game.
#6 PIT @ #1 DEN
Scott’s Pick: Pittsburgh. One of the tougher games to pick, I’m hoping that Big Ben can work some more magic this week. Denver is an absolute huge question mark, especially with Peyton Manning playing. From what I have seen this year, I can’t put my faith in the hands of Manning. When I picked the Steelers to win earlier this year against the Broncos, I said it would be low scoring and it obviously wasn’t. The Steelers running game will be non-existent this week and the Broncos are good at home so I do expect this game to be close. At the end of the day, Roethlisberger will show up and do what he does, and that is win.
Zito’s Pick: Pittsburgh. This is going to be a very tough matchup. The Steelers are coming off a crazy road win in Cincinnati with the help of an undisciplined Bengals defense. Denver is the top seed in the AFC and playing at home (which by the way, they are pretty good at home) fresh off of that first week bye. The Steelers may be entering this matchup banged up and missing a few key players in Big Ben and Antonio Brown. (I made my pick with consideration that they will both be active) Denver hoists the NFL’s top defense, but were not able to hold off Antonio Brown in their last matchup that Pittsburgh won. With Peyton Manning getting the start for Denver, their offense hold a big question mark as to how they will perform. I am picking the Steelers to get another win on the road to face either the Patriots or the Chiefs.
#5 GB @ #2 ARI
Scott’s Pick: Arizona. I have said it for weeks and I still believe that Arizona is the best team overall in the NFL. This was the matchup they were hoping for, considering they just recently routed the Packers in week 16. The Packers took advantage of a vulnerable Redskins team last week and Aaron Rodgers finally decided to show up. The Cardinals defense is much better than the Redskins and so is their offense. Palmer is experienced and skilled enough to pick apart the Green Bay defense, again. Arizona has even proved that you could put just about anyone in their backfield and they will produce. Green Bay has not looked good enough at all this season to compete with the Cardinals and they will be exposed, again. The Cardinals will win this game quite easily just like the last time and advance to the NFC Championship.
Zito’s Pick: Arizona. We finally caught a glimpse of the early season Packers again. Dominating on defense, and making big plays down the field on offense. For the first time in a while we finally saw Green Bay establish a run game which was key to their win in Washington. They will face off with what I believe to be the most complete team in the NFL. The Cardinals are capable of taking control of any game they are a part of and in their last matchup with the Packers they dominated from the start. I am picking the powerhouse Cardinals top the Packers (again) and advance to the NFC Championship game.
#6 SEA @ #1 CAR
Scott’s Pick: Seattle. Who was that one team no one wanted to face in the playoffs? Oh yeah, it’s the Seattle Seahawks. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that their poor offensive production was caused by the sub-zero temperatures. Playing in Carolina will feel like it’s summer for the Seahawks after playing in Minnesota. Seattle has a good offense when they decide to show up and I think the win on the road last week is enough to fuel this team to win. Carolina does have the one week BYE but I think their flame is finally going to burn out. The Legion of Boom will show up this weekend and shut down Carolina and advance to their third straight NFC Championship. Cam Newton should fair decently well in this game but he will have to wait to capture his first Super Bowl.
Zito’s Pick: Carolina. Seattle lucked out this weekend on a missed chip shot field by Vikings kicker Blair Walsh to walk away with the win. In my opinion, they didn’t deserve the win, nor did they play even remotely well enough to walk in to Carolina with much confidence. If Seattle plays anything like they did last week I don’t see this matchup being very close, but we all know Seattle likes to keep games close. Carolina has Cam Newton who is a very hard man to stop from reaching the end zone. Carolina is fresh off the first week bye ready to make another trip to the to the NFC championship game. With an exceptional defense and a power house offense I think Carolina will top Seattle and punch their ticket into next weeks matchup.
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*Comment down below any opinions or suggestions you may have. Also, comment any picks that you made that you agree or disagree with and why. These picks will continue throughout the playoffs so stay tuned next week as Zito and I continue our run for personal bragging rights as we predict the NFC and AFC Championships.*