Last week could have been one of my best football weekends ever. Not only did I pick all four Wild Card games correctly, bringing my seasonal total to 97-111-7, but I picked my best daily fantasy team ever. While I walked away with no money (thanks DeSean), I still finished very well considering I only had one entry and there were 17,000-plus entries involved in the DraftKings contests.
Let’s see if I can pull off a similarly good weekend for the NFL’s best weekend of the year: the Divisional Round.
Chiefs at Patriots: The Pick: Chiefs +5 I really do like the Chiefs outright and not just because the Eagles for and present head coaches are involved. I think their pass rush causes problems for the Patriots makeshift offensive line and the opportunistic defense makes just one or two big plays. As I type this, it’s murky as to whether or not Gronk is playing. Tom Brady is playing with an ankle that might or might not be injured and has Julian Edelman back for the first time since November. Still, the Pats haven’t looked right and I’m not sure getting several key cogs back is going to make them look like that dominant team that cruised through the season until mid-November.
The Chiefs don’t scare you offensively, and Jeremy Maclin being limited is certainly troublesome. I know it’s stupid to pick against Brady and Belichick. But I don’t care. I’m taking the Chiefs.
Packers at Cardinals The Pick: Cardinals -7.5 I’m still convinced the Cardinals are the league’s best team and I’m not totally convinced Green Bay is back. A win over the lowly Redskins just doesn’t cut it for me. This one will be closer than the Week 16 blowout, though.
Seahawks at Panthers The Pick: Panthers -2.5 I’m sticking with the MVP in this one. The Panthers were listed as underdogs earlier in the week, which surely raised some eyebrows in that locker room. While the weather will be much better for Seattle this week, it’s another cross country trip against a well rested Panthers squad. Missing Bene Benwikere and Charles Tillman, will be a tough hurdle for the Panthers to overcome, but I still think that defense is good enough.
This game should go one of two ways. A high-scoring affair feature big days from two of the best quarterbacks in the league, or a defensive struggle. I’m actually going to opt for the former as Cam shreds the Seattle defense with his arm and legs.
Steelers at Broncos: The Pick: Broncos -7.5 An injured Ben Roethlisberger and no Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams? Sorry, I just don’t see how Pittsburgh scraps enough points together to win this one.