NFL 2016-2017 Divisional Round Picks & Analysis – FootballSaturday, January 14, 2017 12:00
Picks & analysis for 2016-2017 NFL Divisional Round Games.
NFL Divisional Round
WILD CARD WEEK: 3 – 1 = .750
Overall Tally: 129 – 120 – 11 = .518
Specials 3 – 1 Cumulative Specials: 31 – 38 – 3 = .449
Totals Picks: 2 – 2 Cumulative Totals = 59 – 46 – 1 = .562
GAME OF THE WEEK 11 – 7
LOCK OF THE WEEK 6 – 10 – 2
UPSET SPECIAL 7 – 10 – 1
OVER/UNDER OF THE WEEK 7 – 11
GAME OF THE WEEK 11 – 7
GREEN BAY PACKERS (11-6)- @ DALLAS COWBOYS (13-3) -5 52.5 [O]
I’m probably going to take a big hit this week—going against the public and pundit’s consensus on all four divisional tilts. But, I really tried taking the George Costanza approach—pick directly opposite of who you want–but I felt no urgency to re-verify my incompetence.
I believe the Cowboys, unfortunately for their detractors—are for real. Next year may be different as DCs begin to solve Dak Prescott and minimize Ezekiel Elliot’s impact. The ‘Pokes OL is the best in the business and for right now, that may be enough to get the “W.”
My initial bent was to take the Packers and the points at the opening number—then Jordy Nelson’s ribs precluded him from playing.
The Packers have Rodger’s magic—22 TDs 0 INTs in his last six games—and the eighth best rush defense.
The Cowboys have two supernova rookies and the league’s best OL, playing at home.
Compared to the Meat Men, Dallas hasn’t been a consistent, successful playoff team for two decades. How long will it take Dallas to rev the engine up to playoff RPMS? What if they don’t?
Remember, after a 4-6 start, the Pack had to run the table to secure a playoff spot; they’ve been in the playoffs for well over a month. When a team as talented and experienced as Green Bay enters an arena as a serious underdog, they have the luxury of “having no-thing to lose.” That’s a dangerous proposition for a Dallas squad led by a couple of rookies—and an owner who might insist Tony Romo enter the fray if Dak Prescott seriously falters.
I’m going with my gut, Jordy Nelson not withstanding. Aaron Rodgers has enough magic in his hat; Green Bay will, at least, Cover. That same gut has to accept the fact Dallas is a more complete team and could win a close one—Over the Number…
Cowboys 31 Packers 27
OVER/UNDER OF THE WEEK
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (11-5-1) @ ATLANTA FALCONS (11-5) -6.5 51.5 [O]
All week, pundits have noted Atlanta’s OLB, Vic Beasley’s 15.5 sacks as proof, the Falcon’s defense has turned some kind of benchmark corner. Those same brainless talking heads, use Seattle’s 25th rushing offense as proof, the ‘Hawks aren’t what they once were.
The stats also say the Falcons defense is as lousy as Seattle’s running game, and Seattle’s defense is vastly superior to Atlanta’s.
What else is new?
Matt Ryan deserves MVP consideration for an historic 2016 campaign, but “Matty Ice” has been more like Matty Slush in the post season. Here are his post-season numbers:
- 9 TDs 7 INTS
To be fair, Ryan’s other playoff numbers are good, sometimes great, and, we have to admit, unlike Big Ben, Joe Flacco and Russell Wilson, Ryan has never had a great defense and/or running game to fall back on.
A deeper look into his four playoff losses reveals an elite quarterback, who could never elevate a team by himself when it counted most. He’s always ended up trying to do too much, forcing the ball into impossibly tight windows, and throwing the untimely pick late in then game.
Seattle’s defense is good enough to create that same frustration in this game.
Russell Wilson is 8-3 in playoff competition with 18 TDs and 9 picks. He is proof how far a talented quarterback can take a team playing great defense and running the ball consistently well.
Wilson has been able to pick up his game after Marshawn Lynch retired.
Even without key performers like Earl Thomas, Seattle still fields a superb defense. I’m thinking the pundits and computers are way off on this game.
We’re going with the ‘Hawks to Cover and win outright. Take the Over.
Seahawks 33 Falcons 31
PITTSBURGH STEELERSS (12-5) @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS(12-4) -1.5 44 [O]
I am aware of my biases. I’m a Steelers fanatic and have never hidden that condition.
But, if I were a real gambler, I’d put big cash on the result of this game looking very similar to the Week Four contest in which the Steelers shoved a 43 burger down KC’s throat.
Thank God I’m not a real gambler.
The glaring difference from that Week Four thrashing and the present is the almost meteoric rise in the Steelers defense from the 28th “”best” in the league to a very respectable 12th. Pittsburgh has, for more than five weeks, been able to show more defenses and execute more effectively.
Couple that with the B-3 Bombers—Ben, Bell, and Brown—and KC fans have to be worried.
Even scarier for Pittsburgh faithful is Tyreek Hill—a bonafide return specialist on kickoffs and punts who can alter the course of a game all by his lonesome. When you add that to very ordinary Steelers special teams and Andy Reid’s near incredible record after a bye, (19-2), Pittsburgh fanatics have no rational basis for over confidence.
The forecast for bitterly cold weather will stifle kick-off and punt distances, but the field should be a fast track because the nexus of heating cables under the turf.
Even with the return of Justin Houston from injury, the Pittsburgh O-Line can protect Big Ben. His 17 sacks in 2016 are the fewest of his career
The Steelers are the better team with the better quarterback and defense, if they take care of the ball, Pittsburgh will travel to New England for a for a chance to play in Super Bowl LI. The Over is a smart play here.
Steelers 33 Chiefs 19
HOUSTON TEXANS (10-7) @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (14-2) -16.5 36.5 [O]
Listening to the talk jocks and phone freaks who call their shows and you would think the Texans were a Hawaiian high school team going up against, well, the New England Patriots.
Not one expert, host, or listener on any talk show I heard this week gave the Texans an ice cubes chance in a brick oven of winning this game.
I’m not exaggerating; every such discussion ended up with the analyst snickering derisively about the Shit Kickers chances against the almighty, the blessed, Saint in waiting, Tom Brady—led by his Satanic, dark lord Vadar, Bill Belichick.
By Friday, it smacked of overkill, and every arrogant, delusional, and blind Patriots fan made me hate their cheating hearts even more—I didn’t think it was possible.
Knowing the Gairzo as you do, your conclusion must be that I’m picking the Texans to win outright.
Yeah right—they don’t have a ice cube’s chance in a brick oven !!!
But, I’ll take 16.5 points and believe Houston can cover—but, to tell the truth, I will be less surprised if I start to melt. Play the Over.
Patriots 30 Texans 14
Per usual, here are my picks in bold italics:
NFL Lines Divisional Playoffs – 1/14 – 1/15, 2017
|Date & Time||Favorite||Line||Underdog||Total|
|1/14 4:35 ET||At Atlanta O/U||-5 [O]||Seattle||51.5|
|1/14 8:15 ET||At New England||-16 [O]||Houston||44.5|
|1/15 1:05 ET||At Kansas City US||-1.5 [O]||Pittsburgh||44|
|1/15 4:40 ET||At Dallas GW||-4.5 [O]||Green Bay||52.5|
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