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Football Insiders’ NFL Divisional Round Playoff Picks

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The Wildcard Round of games was pretty easy, as we saw each of the four home teams win in historically decisive fashion.  We should have much more competitive games this weekend and we’ll try to continue our undefeated playoff picking streak.

Seattle vs. Atlanta

Of the three teams that the Atlanta Falcons could have played in this round, Seattle is by far the best matchup for them.  The Falcons are susceptible on defense to big-play passing offenses, and the Seahawks don’t really have one.  Although the Seattle secondary is very good, the Falcons passing offense is one of the best in football (if not the best) and the Seahawks are missing Earl Thomas.  Seattle is a champion and they won’t go down easy, but they will go down.  Falcons 31, Seahawks 24.  

Houston vs. New England

The first impression of this game was that the Houston Texans had no chance to win against the New England Patriots.  All week it seemed as if we were trying to find reasons how the Texans can compete, but in reality New England has every matchup advantage and they should win this one quite easily.  Pats 31, Texans 13. 

Green Bay vs. Dallas

Of all the games taking place this weekend, this one has the most “sex appeal.”  The Cowboys are the No. 1 seed for a reason, and although they have a rookie quarterback, he’s been playing lights out and they’re built to win without a great contribution from that position.  Meanwhile, the Packers have won seven straight games and quarterback Aaron Rodgers is still the best in the world at his position.  Dallas has the better team, but Green Bay has the better quarterback.  The better team will win this one.  Cowboys 24, Packers 20.

Pittsburgh vs. Kansas City

The Pittsburgh Steelers seem to be playing their best football at the right time as the Killer B’s- Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell- are finally healthy at the same time in the playoffs.  The Chiefs have been a somewhat forgotten about team as they do all the little things to win and they have every dimension on offense and defense.  Why do we discount Kansas City?  Because of Alex Smith.  Even though he’s won playoff games and is a solid quarterback he’s always going to be discounted until he becomes a championship caliber QB.  With that, I will take Pittsburgh in a very mild upset.  Steelers 20, Chiefs 17.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.