Well that could have gone better, but at least it wasn't a complete dumpster fire either. After dropping 3 predictions right out of the gate this past Saturday, I bounced back with a 2-1 effort Sunday/Monday (thanks much, Alabama). Moving along, however, we head into the NFL Divisional round this week. The stakes are higher, but the predictions, I'm sure, are spot on. Enjoy.
Tennessee at New England
Prediction: New England 31-17
Greg's Take: Tennessee benefitted from a nuclear meltdown of Kansas City last week, and that is sure not to be the case in New England. The Patriots are ready to get their focus back on to the field after their bye week was disrupted by a report of internal tension from owner to coach to QB. Nothing galvanizes New England better than some off-field controversy.
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh
Prediction: Pittsburgh 20-16
Greg's Take: Jacksonville's defense is good enough to keep thim in this one, but I can't see their Blake Bortles-led offense doing enough to pull out the victory. The Steelers will get theirrevenge following a 30-9 defeat at home to the Jags earlier this season and set up an AFC title rematch against New England.
Atlanta at Philadelphia
Prediction: Atlanta 24-13
Greg's Take: Speaking of good defense - the Falcons impressed in shutting down the highest scoring offnese in the NFL last week. That makes this feat against the Eagles and QB Nick Foles look like a cake walk (and I suspect it will be). Philly has looked like a team in disarray after losing QB Carson Wentz to injury and I don't think they've found a magical solution even with last week's bye.
New Orleans at Minnesota
Prediction: Minnesota 24-20
Greg's Take: This should be the most entertaining game of the weekend and there's too much going on the side of the Vikings to pick against them here. 1.) They had a week off vs. a New Orleans team that had to grind out a game against a division rival. 2.) They're at home vs. a Saints team that always looks a lot different when they're on the road. Yes, the Saints have an advantage with Drew Brees, but Minnesota's defense is the difference maker.