This week may be my toughest test yet, as each match up features playoff veteran quarterbacks against those who have no playoff experience outside of last week. That being said, each of those inexperienced quarterbacks has a team behind them with a lot going for them. Picking this weeks slate of games may come down to a coin flip.
Last Week’s Record: 2-2
Regular Season Record: 169-89
Playoff Record: 2-2
Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles
If it weren’t for Carson Wentz’s injury, this is an easy win for the Eagles, but instead, we have a match up of Matt Ryan, the reigning MVP, and Nick Foles. The playoff experience factor sides heavily with Atlanta, who’s defense held the high scoring Rams to 13 points last week, a feat I found shocking. Philadelphia had a fantastic season, but they can only go as far as Carson Wentz can take them.
Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots
I’m more convinced Kansas City lost last week’s game, not that Tennessee won it. The Titans shocked the football world with their magical win in Arrowhead, they needed all sorts of luck, including Marcus Mariota throwing a touchdown to himself. Unfortunately, that stuff doesn’t fly in New England for opposing teams. DeMarco Murray is out again, so it’s the Derrick Henry show for Tennessee, and maybe after Alabama’s win on Monday, he’ll be feeling extra motivated, but Tom Brady and company are coming off a bye week in which the power dynamic of the entire organization was called into question, and we all know what happens when New England has something negative reported in the media, they come out the next game and destroy teams.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers appear to be overlooking Jacksonville, which is evidenced by the comments by Mike Mitchell regarding a potential Steelers-Patriots AFC Championship game. I can understand overlooking a team like Jacksonville, they have Blake Bortles under center, and no one expected them to be here, but this same Jacksonville team destroyed Pittsburgh earlier this season, picking off Ben Roethlisberger 5 times in that win. The Jags have proved they can play with the best, and they’ve proven they can beat this team, so you know what, I’ll throw logic aside and take the Jags. That’s right, I am picking Blake Bortles to go to the AFC Championship. Wow.
New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings
The Saints offense has so many weapons that even the Vikings top defense will have trouble keeping Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, Michael Thomas and company in check. That combined with the excellent play of the Saints defense and the advantage in playoff experience under center, give me Drew Brees and the Saints to go marching into Minnesota and come out on top.