The best weekend of the NFL season is upon us: the Divisional Playoffs. I am ready for an upset or three. I am prepared to go 4-0 or 0-4 on my game picks, which is exactly why this weekend rules. I spent a ton of time writing the history of it last year (Part 1 and Part 2), now this week I spent time summing up stats and anxiously looking forward to these four matchups.
This Week’s Articles
Captain Comeback Wild Card: Seattle’s Russell Wilson Last Rookie QB Standing – Cold, Hard Football Facts
We had three close games on Wild Card weekend, one real crapper in Green Bay, but it took the Seahawks in the last game to get a game-winning drive. Russell Wilson led it, and led-blocked on it for Marshawn Lynch. Otherwise we watched the Bengals go 0/9 on third down, and the Colts dropped the ball in Baltimore. Andrew Luck set several rookie playoff records, but with the loss and Robert Griffin III tearing his ACL, Wilson emerges as the last rookie standing in the playoffs.
Ignore the Raw Numbers, Andrew Luck Had a Great Rookie Season – Bleacher Report
Consider this my season review of Andrew Luck’s rookie year. A look at the type of offense he ran and why the Colts were successful despite having little to surround Luck with, and his generally below-average traditional stats.
Following a Legend: Andrew Luck Wild Card at Baltimore Ravens – Colts Authority
Luck’s rookie season came to a quick end in the postseason in a 24-9 loss. His 288 passing yards were the most by a rookie QB since Sammy Baugh way back in 1937. His 54 attempts and 28 completions were rookie playoff records, but it wasn’t enough for the Colts. They became the first offense in playoff history to compile over 400 yards of offense (419) and score single-digit points. Too many dropped passes doomed the Colts, as we came up with 8 drops in this one.
The Thinking Man’s Guide: NFL Divisional Weekend Predictions – Bleacher Report
Find out about Baltimore’s fatigue, the wild card that is Colin Kaepernick, Seattle’s early start time in Atlanta, and Houston being the latest rematch for New England in the playoffs.
Being the No. 1 Seed Often Means One and Done – NBC Sports
Expect the Broncos and Falcons to have a Super Bowl rematch? Don’t count on it. Just 3 of the last 22 Super Bowls have been between No. 1 seeds. A look at the decline in their postseason performances, along with what Atlanta and Denver can do to make it to the big game.
NFL Playoffs: What Seeding History Really Says About Your Team’s Chances – Cold, Hard Football Facts
Here I get even more seedy. Want a quick reference for every playoff seed since 1990? Want to know how often a No. 2 beats a No. 3 in the Divisional round, or what a No. 1 does vs. a No. 2 seed? We have all that here, and much more as I looked into the playoff seeds in the 12-team format (since 1990). A lot of interesting finds, but nothing better than this table that sums up the gap closing between the top and bottom seeds, resulting in a more exciting, unpredictable postseason.
NFL Divisional Predictions
I set the bar too high last week. Sure, only 3-1 with the Colts loss, but did nail the correct point total for the three winners while coming very close to the loser’s score. That probably means I’ll be way off this week, which is expected with tougher games. All the favorites won last week. That won’t happen again this week.
- Broncos over Ravens, 23-13
- 49ers over Packers, 31-27
- Falcons over Seahawks, 27-17
- Texans over Patriots, 24-21
Like I said, you can easily go 4-0 or 0-4 this week. That’s why I love this week.