2021 Divisional Round NFL Picks
Wildcard Weekend didn’t disappoint. There really isn’t anything like playoff football. We saw a few teams beat the brakes off of their opponents, and a few teams screwed it up on their own (looking at you Dallas). But with the Wildcard nonsense over with, we move to another full weekend of playoff football. Minus the stupid Monday Night crap.
The Divisional Round is upon us. Concret3Cowboy, BrendawnoftheDead and I are ready to make our picks. But before we can do that, we have to take a look at how we did on Wildcard Weekend:
Blind Owl: 4-2
Well, seeing how the Cowboy and Brendawn picked the exact same way, a tie between them was obvious. I had the most different picks, and yet all three of us ended up with a 4-2 record. Thankfully, the competition is a little closer than the regular season.
Now, let’s see if we can keep things going in the Divisional Round:
CIN @ TEN: TEN -3.5
Blind Owl: This has the opportunity to be a sneaky close game. I think both of these teams are on the same level. They aren’t the class of the AFC (even though Tennessee is the one seed), but they are definitely up and coming squads. The Bengals let the Raiders, who had no business in the playoffs, hang around the entire game. I was not impressed with anything, other than Jamar Chase. Their defense wasn’t great against the run, and Derek Carr threw for 300+ yards. But the running defense is more worrisome in my opinion. I say that because I just received the news that Derrick Henry will be playing for Tennessee tomorrow. He won’t be in mideason form due to the long layoff, but it isn’t good for a run defense that just struggled with Josh Jacobs to then draw an angry, motivated Derrick Henry. Just for that reason, I’ll take the Titans.
Concret3Cowboy: Unsure about what players will actually be healthy for the Titans. AJ Brown, Julio Jones and even Derrick Henry (who was activated today) are all banged up. It’s interesting about Henry, how much football shape will he be in? NFL players tend to come back with better conditioning after the rehab process but “football shape” is a thing. Give me the Joe Joes in Burrow and Mixon to take the game in Tennessee.
BrendawnoftheDead: Authority is not given to you to deny the Return of the King. King Henry gets his, but Tannehill has been kind of bad this year, marking the end of the Tannaissance. The Bengals are a bad matchup for Titans, who are too one dimensional to go far this year. Bengals win by 3.
SF @ GB: GB -6
Blind Owl: I knew I had faith in my guy John Lynch and the 49ers. They were the hot hand after beating the Rams and rode that momentum. The Niners did their best to ruin my faith in them at the end, but the Cowboy’s ineptitude did the winning for them. Green Bay is coming off of a bye and a losing effort in the final game of the regular season. Aaron Rodgers played more than I expected, but it was quite watered down. All that being said, I think the 49ers luck has run out. They can’t match up against the firepower of the likely MVP. As much as I’d like to pick San Fran here, I just can’t bet against Rodgers and the Packers. Even though the 49ers gave them a run for their money earlier in the year. Go Pack Go.
Concret3Cowboy: I wanted to take San Fran last week but I really thought the Cowboys would pull their head out of their ass. Deebo is a problem for anyone but at the same time the Packers defense has actually become something to fear this latter part of the season. Aaron Rodgers will finally knock the 49ers out of the playoffs and get that monkey off his back.
BrendawnoftheDead: San Fran jumped out to an early lead on Dallas and held on at the end. Dallas masqueraded as the best offense in football at various points of the year but were proven to be front runners by top defenses. Green Bay had two bad weeks this season, the first and last. Everything in between shows they are the best offense in football. San Fran can’t keep up, even with Deebo Magic. GB by two scores.
LAR @ TB: TB -3
Blind Owl: This one is a bit tough. It is against football religion (unless you are Concret3Cowboy) to bet against Tom Brady in the playoffs. So we know the Cowboy will be picking the Rams. If this was the regular season, I’d just pick them with the points to cancel his pick. But this is playoff time. Both the Rams and the Bucs got easy wins last week. The Rams win was against a much tougher opponent though. History tells us that the way to beat Tom Brady is get pressure right in his face without blitzing. Aaron Donald is perfectly capable of doing this against any lineman in the NFL. Now he gets the chance to do it against a beat up Tampa center. Not to mention Von Miller who has had a bit of success against Tom Brady in his time as well. The Rams can easily keep up with the Bucs offense, so it’ll all be on the defenses to win this game. It’s going to be close, so I’ll take the Rams with the points. I guess I’m sacreligious…
Concret3Cowboy: I just hate Brady, so this should be a fun game for me to watch. Von Miller is finally in his true form and the Bucs have a lot of their offensive line banged up. Plus you know #99 on the Rams is pretty good too. Brady has always been good at getting rid of the ball and doing so quickly. But like the 2015 season versus the Broncos and the super bowls against the Giants, when his o-line is getting destroyed even the proclaimed “GOAT” can’t overcome that. I’m assuming the Bucs are favored because they’re home? Or because the Rams haven’t looked like that “super team” we thought they became as of the last month or so.
BrendawnoftheDead: The Rams spanked the Bucs early this year, won’t happen again. The Cardinals kind of rolled over and died for the Rams last week, playoff Tom will not do the same. The Bucs find a way to make one more stop than the Rams and win by 6.
BUF @ KC: KC -2.5
Blind Owl: Think what you want, this is going to be a shootout to end all shootouts. Both teams beat the piss out of their Wildcard opponents. The Bills destroyed the better team, but the Chiefs looked in 2019 form. This could be a matchup we will be seeing for a number of years now. In their early season matchup, the Bills kind of put the beat down upon the Chiefs in Kansas City. Although, that seemed to be against a different Chiefs team. Patrick Mahomes may be the best pure thrower of the ball in the NFL today, but Josh Allen isn’t too far behind him. And Allen has that rare combo of speed and power when he runs the ball. Like I said last week about the Bills, in order to be the man, they had to beat the man. Guess what? They beat old man Bill. Now they have to try and beat the young man in Mahomes and KC. You know something? I’m going with the Bills here. Especially with the points.
Concret3Cowboy: A lot like my hate for Brady, I hate the Chiefs. I hate how Mahomes doesn’t have the team name on the front of his helmet and it’s just a big ole blank white plague above his face mask, It just looks horrible. There’s no doubting Mahomes with his arm talent, but I like Allen’s arm more. #BillsMafia
BrendawnoftheDead: I DO NOT WANT KC TO GO TO ANOTHER SUPERBOWL, but they will. KC had us all deceived mid-year, but they were simply lying dormant. This is a dog fight, but Josh Allen will make more mistakes than Mahomes. KC by 3.