Columnist makes predictions for 2017 NFL Playoffs

The NFL Playoffs are in full swing and I am going to give a brief preview of each divisional playoff game. Here we go:

Houston Texans at New England Patriots, Saturday Jan. 14 at 

7:15 p.m.

Well, I don’t know exactly what to say about this one that is not blatantly obvious. Houston barely squeaked into the playoffs before they torched the abysmal Raiders last week. The Texans are led by the ever-unreliable Brock Osweiler.

On the other side, we have the rock-solid Patriots. Tom Brady is playing as well as ever, Bill Belichick is the greatest coach to ever walk the earth (probably) and the 14-2 Patriots are rolling. Even if the Houston defense plays lights out for all four quarters, their offense is too weak and they cannot stop Brady.

Prediction: Patriots 38 – Texans 14.

 

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons, Saturday, Jan. 14 at 3:45 p.m.

This should be a high scoring matchup with two offenses that have been clicking as of late.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan and his “Dirty Birds” have one of the most explosive offenses in the league, led by the rushing duo of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman; and who could forget about the stellar receiver Julio Jones. The Atlanta defense is soft, though, and I expect Seattle to be able to pass all over them.

As far as the Seahawks offense, they finally got some production out of their running game when Thomas Rawls rushed for 161 yards against the Lions last week. The Seahawks’ passing game is decent, but not as good as it’s been in recent years. If the Falcons can shut down Rawls they should be able to move on to the conference championship.

Prediction: Atlanta 31 – Seattle 21.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday Jan. 15 at 12:05 p.m.

This is the second most exciting matchup of the weekend. The Steelers offense embarrassed the Dolphins last week and the Chiefs are arguably one of the best teams in the NFL.

With the three top dogs of the Steelers offense healthy in Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, they made a mockery out of the Dolphins’ defense. Bell was a true workhorse and rushed for 167 yards while scoring twice. If he can have a repeat performance this week, the Steelers will be happy.

The Chiefs, however, are incredible and well balanced. Alex Smith is no superstar, but he also doesn’t make mistakes. No one on their offense has been unstoppable this year, but who needs offense when you have that Kansas City defense. Eric Berry, Tamba Hali and Marcus Peters are all elite at their positions and lead their team.

Prediction: Chiefs 20 – Steelers 17.

 

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys, Sunday Jan. 15 at 3:40 p.m.

Primetime Sunday night football at its best. This should be the most exciting matchup of the weekend and likely the season.

The Cowboys were incredible this season and were led by two rookies in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot. Both of these young men were incredible this year and have very long, prosperous careers ahead of them. The Cowboys defense is not elite, but they are able to keep games in check and let their offense take care of business.

The Packers offense is not good – they are amazing. Aaron Rodgers said he was going to run the table and I don’t think he was implying just the regular season. His eyes are set on the Super Bowl and I have a hard time doubting him. Jordy Nelson might not play with some fractured ribs, but I don’t think that will slow the Pack down.

Prediction: Packers 28 – Cowboys 24.