Another week, another chance to predict some stuff. I was wrong about Detroit-Seattle (thankfully) and Oakland-Houston (surprisingly) but I was pretty close on the other two. It also doesn’t drastically reverse how I feel about the overall outcome. Let’s unpack division weekend:
Seattle at Atlanta
So much to my pleasant surprise, Detroit just couldn’t hold it together against a rushing offense that put up a team-record 177 yards, including a Thomas Rawls performance that eclipsed even Marshawn Lynch’s best postseason performance. Given their rollercoaster rushing statistics all season, Seattle may not repeat itself on Saturday afternoon in Atlanta. The Falcons found themselves squeaking by the Seahawks back on October 16th in the Emerald City, but down in ATL, I think the 12th man’s team will find a way to keep the steam trail rolling. Seattle 30-20.
Green Bay at Dallas
Given that I was only wrong about one match-up last week, this pushed Green Bay down to a much tougher face-off themselves. Also on hold for them is Jordy Nelson, who fractured two ribs in the win over New York. Given that Nelson was the game’s leading receiver in touchdown passes this season, that’s a huge blow to a 7th-ranked passing offense. Dallas isn’t much of a challenge in that role, but given their penchant for winning over any team not in the Empire State (including a win over Green Bay on the same day Seattle lost to Atlanta), we’ll have to guess Dallas brings the NFC championship home for the first time since they slaughtered the Packers there in 1995. Dallas 35-23.
Pittsburgh at Kansas City
Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown clicked at the right time, and when that happened this season? They dominated. Ask my fantasy league, I had the pair anchoring my lineup. Unfortunately, I came up against Le’Veon Bell in my own championship, so I have to say there’s something more that Pittsburgh has. Perhaps my initial assumption that Kansas City would bring home the Lombardi was a little too rushed, and I’ll have to hesitate to say they’ll own Pittsburgh. Alex Smith wants this just as much, though, and has the same amount of weapons at his disposal. I think this is the match-up of the weekend. Kansas City-Pittsburgh 28-14.
Houston at New England
As I stated in last week’s article, I’m not expecting much of anything from
Oakland Houston. However, the game against the Raiders was much more exciting than I could have anticipated, and I believe they’ll give the Patriots a run for their money. They have the best defense in the league, but nearly the worst offense. That makes for a team that has no inkling of reaching the Super Bowl. It’s an easy choice to go with the dominating Tom Brady and company. New England 22-18.
My new Championships?
Seeing as how I only have one real difference in my NFC and AFC championships, I’ll have to go with the same results out of the AFC – Kansas City over New England 38-32, and Dallas over…wait, I’m going to have to hope my Seattle Seahawks will crush the Cowboys like they did in the preseason 27-17. That’ll line up a Seahawks-Chiefs Super Bowl in Houston, which I’ll maintain the Kansas City victory just to be a good sport.