Saturday, January 16, 2016

TransGriot 2015 NFL Picks - Divisional Round

As you TransGriot readers probably guessed, I was not happy with the piss poor playoff performance of my hometown NFL ballers, but picked that game correctly.

Note to Texans GM Rick Smith:  Please get the Texans an NFL quality franchise starting quarterback
Went 2-2 thanks to Blair Walsh missing a chip shot field goal and the Bengals melting down in the fourth quarter to snatch playoff defeat from the jaws of a streak snapping playoff victory.

It's now the 2016 NFL playoffs Divisional Round.  The stakes are higher in these four games this weekend, with the winners going to the conference championship games and the losers ending their season lamenting about what might have been.

And  now, my picks for this weekend's NFL playoff games.

NFL Divisional Round    Saturday, January 16, 2016

#5 Kansas City Chiefs (12-5) at #2 New England Patriots (12-4)

Interestingly enough, this is the first ever meeting of both teams in the playoffs

The Chiefs go into this game as the league's hottest team after the number 2 ranked defense in the league forced five turnovers in their 30-0 shutout of the Texans to win their eleventh straight game and snap their eight game playoff losing streak.  

Meanwhile the defending NFL champion Patriots needed that bye week off. After starting 10-0, they limped down the stretch with a 2-4 record after suffering a series of injuries that has crippled their offense and left them with an offense line that has struggled to protect Tom Brady this year..  

But you can't bet against a team that has gone 32-5 at home in the playoff, and the Chiefs are due to lose a game.  Patriots to win this game,

#5 Green Bay Packers (11-6) at #2 Arizona Cardinals (13-3)

After spotting Washington an 11-0 lead, the Packers offense finally woke up from their several week long slumber and looked like their number three NFL ranked selves by scoring on five consecutive possessions ti get control of the game and cruise to their 35-18 wild card round win

But this week they are playing a Cardinals squad that demolished them 38-8 back on December 27 in Glendale, and is itching to prove they are the best team complete team in the league,

They say it's hard to beat the same team twice in the same season. but Arizona will handle their business in the desert once again and move on to the NFC title game.

NFL Divisional Round   Sunday January 17, 2016

#6 Seattle Seahawks (11-6) at #1 Carolina Panthers (15-1)

Sunday starts off with a heavyweight matchup between the fortunate to be here Seahawks and a Panthers team that is on a mission to get to Santa Clara for Super Bowl 50.

The Seahawks are probably happy it won't be -6 degrees like it was for last week's game, but don't let that sixth seed fool you.  The Seahawks are not quite the Legion of Boom, but are still the number one ranked defense in the NFL.  The two time defending NFC champs offense also woke up down the stretch and gets Marshawn Lynch back..

Carolina has their MVP candidate QB Cam Newton rested and ready for this battle between two teams that are basically mirror images of each other.

It will be a tight game, but Seattle will pull off the upset to get to their third straight NFC title game.

#6 Pittsburgh Steelers (11-6) at #1 Denver Broncos (12-4) 

The last time these teams played during the regular season, Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown were enjoying their Heinz Field home cooking.  They stormed back from a 27-13 deficit to force two turnovers and scored 20 unanswered second half points to get a 34-27 comeback victory over a Bronco team being quarterbacked by Brock Osweiler.

But this time the game is in Denver, and Peyton Manning will be the Broncos starter.  Antonio Brown still hasn't cleared concussion protocol after suffering a concussion in the wildcard game against Cincinnati they were fortunate to win 18-16 thanks to the Bengals fourth quarter meltdown, they have a running back by committee situation due to injuries and Roethlisberger is banged up.

You'll also have a Peyton Manning determined to shake off his failed playoff performances of the past and give the fans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High some to cheer about.

Advantage and game to the Broncos.  

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