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DAR Sports: NFL Divisional Round Preview



Introduction
Here we are, arriving at the most pivotal week in the playoffs honestly. The NFL and the Divisional Round shapes the match for the Conference battles, and it's really the grind time to see who is the best of the AFC and NFC. There are two big matches in the NFC and two interesting matches in the AFC this week that will determine who the top two teams in each Conference really are. It's one loss and you're out, so there can be no room for errors and mistakes. What will happen this weekend? Let's take a look.

*AFC Divisional Round Games
It looks almost as if the AFC is going through the Patriots yet again, but they have some tough competition. Let's take a look at the AFC Divisional Round games and see what the team thinks will play out this weekend.

Saturday, January 14th 
(1) New England Patriots vs (4) Houston Texans 


-I want the Texans to win this for one reason: I'm sick of the Patriots winning. Brady will likely pull off the victory here, but it would be nice to see the Texans pull off a major upset here and send the Patriots packing. My prediction however is the Patriots with a 24-13 win.


@ShokusApollo
-Not wasting much time on this. Brady and company will wash these dudes and advance to the AFC title--again.
Patriots win 

@Peagle05
Texans over Patriots
-The Texans have the number one defense in the league and it doesn't even feel like it. Get in Tom Brady's face and you can take down the Patriots. Despite the 72 Million Dollar Trash Can playing QB, I'll take that Houston defense in this one.

@TrueBlueLowry21
New England over Houston
-Houston managed to beat an injury riddled Raiders team. I don't see how Houston can manage to get another win in New England against Tom Brady. I think this will be an ugly game for Houston. A key player to watch is Jadeveon Clowney. I feel if he can create pressure just like he did last week then he'll make life hell for the Patriots offense.


@DFkinLopes_
HOU vs NE - NE
-This is easily going to be a blowout in New England's favor.

@IUseCondoms
Patriots > Texans
-Brady is too much for the Texans. Simple.


Sunday, January 15th 
(2) Kansas City Chiefs vs (3) Pittsburgh Steelers 
-This game is very very closely matched. The Chiefs have been damn good the last two years and they could steal this game especially with the homefield advantage. I have the Steelers just barely winning however and pulling out a 30-27 win in a very tough matchup.


@IUseCondoms
Chiefs > Steelers
-Chiefs walk away with the victory against the Steelers in a close game.

@TrueBlueLowry21 
Pittsburgh over Kansas City
-This will be an interesting match up. The Chiefs are a sneaky good team and the fact that they'll be playing at home will give them an edge. I have the Steelers winning this game in a close one seeing that they're playing some good football at just the right time. Big Ben got hurt last week, but when has that stoped him? Key matchup in this game will be Marcus Peters vs Antonio Brown. Peters is a pretty damn good corner, but he'll have his hands full with Brown.


@ShokusApollo
Last time they met, Steelers killed KC by a score of 43-14. I don't see that happening this go round. I think Kansas City might pull it out. Leveon Bell is the best RB in the league and he showed it again last week, so I think he will run the ball dominantly again. KC has a stud in Tyreek Hill and a stout defense but its gonna come down to QBs. I think Pittsburgh makes at least one more mistake than the Chiefs and in the playoffs that means win or go home.
Chiefs win

@DFkinLopes_
PIT vs KC- PIT
-Pittsburgh wins this by 2 touchdowns that happen late in the 4th quarter. Pittsburgh is the only team that can and I believe will take down New England.

@Peagle05
Steelers over Chiefs
-Leveon. Freaking. Bell. He eats against KC, so I expect the same here to keep some pressure off Ben and that foot. Play action is gonna be huge in this game for Pittsburgh. As explosive as this offense is, it could get ugly and hard for Captain Checkdown and Fat Andy to keep up.

*NFC Divisional Round Games
The NFC games are the more competitive ones and they give you more to look forward I would say. It's anybody's guess as to who could win either game, but these matchups are going to be very fun to watch.

Saturday, January 14th
(2) Atlanta Falcons vs (3) Seattle Seahawks 


-The Falcons and Seahawks have been in this position before. Some years ago, the Falcons beat the Seahawks to advance to the NFC Conference Championship while being the second seed. I think history repeats itself here and we see the Falcons offensively go on a run that would not allow Seattle to keep up. It won't be pretty, but I have the Falcons winning 27-20 here in a really solid and aggressive game.

@Peagle05
Seahawks over Falcons
-Unlike a lot of people, I refuse to fall for yet another year of the "Atlanta Okey-Doke". Matt Ryan will have one of those Matty Lite games. It'll be ugly either way, but the Seahawks take a close one.


@ShokusApollo
Seattle dropped one at Atlanta earlier this year and I think they will lose again. Atlanta isn't the better team but they are playing incredible offense. Without Earl Thomas, I think Julio and the receivers will make it a long day for the LOB and the running game will keep Russell off the field. Oh, not to mention, Atlanta will be playing Future all game so its gonna be in Russell's head.
Atlanta wins

@IUseCondoms
Seahawks > Falcons 
-The Falcons just can't get beyond that Seattle defense. I'll go with Pete Carroll and the Hawks.


@TrueBlueLowry21 
Seattle over Atlanta
-True and I spoke about this on Let's Talk By The Cooler. I think Seattle wins this game. This one will be tricky given the game is in Atlanta, however that Seattle secondary will have eyes on Julio Jones. Sherman will have that task to cover him. The player to watch in this game will be Matt Ryan. Will he rise up to the occasion and perform in the playoffs like he did 4 years ago?

@DFkinLopes_
SEA vs ATL- ATL
-This is going to be a good ass game. ATL is going to win a close one I think.


Sunday, January 15th
(1) Dallas Cowboys vs (4) Green Bay Packers 
-This is the game we all want to see. Dak and Zeke against the on fire run of Aaron Rodgers. This will be a tough game and probably the best of them all this weekend, but for some reason, I feel like the Cowboys will pull out a close victory with that O-Line leading the charge. Zeke is likely going to be the player to watch for the Cowboys and Aaron Rodgers will likely go off and allow the Packers to run up and down the field. Still, I'll take the Cowboys in a close game 33-30.


@Peagle05
Packers over Cowboys
Dallas has the best O-Line in the league but playoff pressure is different. I expect the rookies to look like rookies trying to keep up in a shootout with Aaron Rodgers. That Dallas secondary is soft as baby shit and even without Jordy Nelson, Aaron still has Randall Cobb, Davonte Adams and Ty Montgomery. Weapons no other QB would turn their nose up at.


@IUseCondoms
Packers > Cowboys 
This will likely be a good game, but I'm not betting against Aaron Rodgers after his showing against the Giants.

@ShokusApollo
That bad man, Aaron Rodgers, is still scorching hot. He's actually hot to the point where the Packers can win out and make the Super Bowl. However, Jordy won't play and we have seen how that offense looks without him. So a lot will hinge on those GB wideouts catching passes and stepping up. The Cowboys defense is still weak, but they have a winning formula---run the ball and don't make mistakes. I believe Ezekiel Elliot will tear up the Packers LBs cause their line is the best. That also keeps Rodgers off the field. With Zeke opening up the field, it will make things easier for Dak. This should be a really good game.
Cowboys win

@DFkinLopes_
GB vs DAL- DAL
-This game is going to go one of two ways. Either Dallas runs all over them again or Dallas wins a close one, either way this is the game of the week and when Dallas gets their full revenge from the 2014 playoffs, I'll be happy.


@TrueBlueLowry21
Green Bay over Dallas
-I think this will also be a close one. Dallas is for real with Dak Prescott and Elliott in the backfield. The thing about Dallas however is their defense. Will it be enough to contain Rodgers and give them the win over the Packers? I don't think it will and ultimately I think it'll cost them down the stretch. The player to watch in this game will be Dez Bryant. Remember last time he played Green Bay in the playoffs he had a controversial play that cost them. You can bet that he'll be looking to perform in this game.

Who will win this weekend? Who will get to the Conference Championship games? We shall soon find out.

-DAR  

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