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NFL Divisional Round

Garrett Mallon and Jake Pereira

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Going into the divisional round off the playoffs, the top eight teams in the league will battle it out to go to either the NFC or AFC championship. The wildcard round provided a great amount of excitement in three of the four games. A surprising playoff berth for the Buffalo Bills ended quickly, and the Tennessee Titans stunned Kansas City with a huge comeback. Our Atlanta Falcons beat the Rams in Los Angeles, and finally, in an NFC East matchup, the Saints topped the Panthers.

Although it may not have been the most entertaining game, Buffalo was certainly excited to be in the playoffs for their first time since 1999. However, the Jaguar’s defense was too much for Tyrod Taylor’s offense. Now Jacksonville is moving on to the divisional round where they will play against the Steelers. The Jacksonville Jaguars defense is certainly capable of hanging with any team in the league, but Blake Bortles seemed inconsistent on wildcard weekend. Although the Steelers are projected to beat the Jaguars, they were upset by Jacksonville in week five. If Jacksonville’s defense can perform like it did in their previous match up, then there might just be another upset. On the other side of the AFC, the Titans conducted a nineteen point comeback and Kansas City continued their poor streak of playoff performances. Tennessee will face the New England Patriots as a pretty heavy underdog.

In the NFC, the Atlanta Falcons had another impressive defensive game in their win over the Rams. Heading into the divisional round, the sixth seed Falcons are favored over the first seems Eagles. This rare situation is due to Philadelphia’s list of injured players, including Carson Wentz and Darren Sproles. Not only are the Eagles hurt, but the Falcons defense is red hot. The Falcons defense has held other teams to about fourteen points a game in the last half of the season. Hopefully, Matt Ryan and the Falcons can beat the Eagles and move on to the NFC championship, where they would face either the Saints or the Vikings. The Saints defeated the Carolina Panthers in the wildcard round as Drew Brees proved just how good New Orlean’s offense is. While the Saints are a powerful team, they will go into the divisional round as the underdog against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings beat the Saints early this season, but both teams have changed for the better. Overall, the NFC will most likely provide some great excitement during the divisional round.

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NFL Divisional Round