11 January 2017

2017 NFL Divisional Playoffs Predictions

The 2017 NFL Playoffs roll on after a frankly mediocre slate of games this past weekend. Now, we get those teams that had bye weeks in action as they host the winners from Wild Card weekend.

Who will advance to their respective conference championship games? Here are my Divisional Playoffs predictions.

Last Week: 4-0
2016: 168-92

Saturday, January 14th
Seahawks (10-5-1) vs. Falcons (11-5) - Fox, 4:35
Seattle Seahawks (1976 - 2001)Atlanta Falcons (1966 - 1989)
Seattle has found much success with the "next man up" philosophy under Pete Carroll but it's going to be tough for them to live up to it being without the great Earl Thomas at free safety. Without him playing center-field against one of the top passing attacks in the NFL, Seattle is going to be in for a long afternoon in the Georgia Dome. I don't think Russell Wilson has the weapons to keep up here with Matt Ryan.
Falcons 28 Seahawks 20

Texans (9-7) vs. Patriots (14-2) - CBS, 8:15
Houston Texans (2002 - Pres)Boston Patriots (1965 - 1970)
Considering that the Patriots pounded the Texans by 27 points when they met earlier this season, with Jacoby Brissett starting under center nonetheless, I don't have much expectation for the road team here. Not only that, Brock Osweiler is still starting for the Texans and while he did play well against the Raiders, he's still Brock Osweiler and going against a pretty good New England defense. There will be a lot of pressure on the Houston defense to keep them in this game.
Patriots 31 Texans 14

Sunday, January 15th
Packers (10-6) vs. Cowboys (13-3) - Fox, 4:40
Green Bay Packers (1968 - 1979)Dallas Cowboys (1964 - Pres)
It may be safe to say that nobody wants to face the Packers right now after they ran the New York Giants out Lambeau Field behind another tremendous performance from Aaron Rodgers. But they did suffer a price of their performance as Jordy Nelson fractured his ribs and may not be able to play. Against a team as good offensively as the Cowboys are, particularly at running the ball and thus keeping it away from the Packers, that may end up being a big blow. I think that'll turn this contest Dallas' way.
Cowboys 30 Packers 27

Steelers (11-5) vs. Chiefs (12-4) - NBC, 8:20
Pittsburgh Steelers (1969 - 2001)Kansas City Chiefs (1972 - Pres)
Le'Veon Bell was brilliant yet again for the Steelers in their Wild Card victory against the Dolphins and I fully expect him to carry a heavy workload here against the league's 26th-ranked run defense and especially so if Ben Roethlisberger isn't fully healthy. Kansas City rushes the passer pretty well and gobbles up turnovers but I do think if Pittsburgh sticks to a more conservative, run-oriented approach here on the road, they'll crank out the win.
Steelers 21 Chiefs 16


  1. Hi Ben
    Truly the Wild-Card games were poor - that said the Raiders were dealt a crappy hand and couldn't overcome their injury slate. If there was a LOTW it would be the Pats to win comfortably. Pittsburgh looked tough against a Dolphins team, who were happy to be there, and I think they are the stronger team in KC. I don't like Seattle's chances in Atlanta but the Falcons have thrown away home-field advantage before at this stage. The problem is Seattle just aren't the same team away from their fans...
    The toughie is picking Dallas or Green Bay. A good case can be made for both and both are quality teams. Much as I would prefer the Pack to advance I have a feeling the Dallas D may come up with something in GB's final drive so the Cowboys hang on.

  2. The Packers/Cowboys' game in Arlington, TX might be the best of the Divisional Playoff games this weekend. As much as the Cowboys have been one of the great stories of this NFL season with rookie QB Dak Prescott & rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott, the Packers' Aaron Rodgers won his only Super Bowl title on that same AT&T Stadium field where this game takes place Sunday. I wouldn't be shocked if Rodgers & the Packers leave the Metroplex with a road win. As for Seahawks/Falcons, I'm tempted to take Russell Wilson & Seattle for this reason. Atlanta's offense may have been the NFL's most productive & potent in the regular season, but I've seen this Falcons' movie before. I wouldn't be shocked if Seahawks/Packers ends up being the NFC Championship. I'm also tempted to take the Steelers in the AFC Divisional Playoff game in Kansas City Sunday, too.

  3. I agree with all your picks, for the divisional playoff. Next week slate of games are going to be awesome. My prediction for Super Bowl 51 Steelers-Cowboys.

  4. I'm picking Falcons over Seahawks 34-28 Patriots over Texans 38-14 Chiefs over Steelers 23-20 & Cowboys over Packers 31-28