The wild card round is over and the NFL Playoffs will now move on to the divisional round, where the top favorites to win Super Bowl 54 await those who passed their tests last weekend. It might feel strange to some that the New England Patriots are not part of the second week of the playoffs, but hey, times are changing in the NFL it seems. All four home teams in the divisional round opened as favorites as expected. Will there be any upsets? Click the banner below to sign up and make your picks, and keep reading.
Picks and Predictions for the NFL Divisional Round Weekend Games for the 2019-20 Season Playoffs
Minnesota Vikings (+6.5) vs San Francisco 49ers (-6.5): Saturday Jan 11 (4:35 PM EST)
The Vikings have pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the first wave of playoff games, as they knocked off Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, thanks in large part to their defense that got the job done in containing Brees. The job isn’t going to be easier for the Vikings, whose defense will have to sustain the form it showed in the wild card round, as they prepare to take on the 49ers. The Niners’ pass rush poses a huge threat to Kirk Cousins, who’s finally notched the playoff win he’s been chasing for a long time, but he’s also being protected well in the pocket this season. Minnesota allowed the seventh-fewest sacks in the regular season.
Prediction: The 49ers win, 27-21.
Tennessee Titans (+9) vs Baltimore Ravens (-9): Saturday Jan 11 (8:15 PM EST)
The Titans’ game plan against the New England Patriots in the wild card round was simple — but incredibly effective: give the rock to running back Derrick Henry until the air runs out of the ball. The Titans’ offense has been on a higher level since Ryan Tannehill took over the starting gig under center, but they can’t just fight fire with fire against Baltimore, which has the most prolific offense in the league. The Ravens know a thing or two about running the ball. After all, they topped the regular season with 206.0 rushing yards per game.
Prediction: The Ravens win, 30-21.
Houston Texans (+9.5) vs Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5): Sunday Jan 12 (3:05 PM EST)
The Texans arrive at Arrowhead Stadium this weekend, knowing they have won there recently. Back in Week 6, they dealt Kansas City a 31-24 loss. Even though Patrick Mahomes was hurt in that game, what’s important for the Texans is that they have succeeded in that environment this season. As for the Chiefs, a healthy Mahomes mean a deadlier passing attack that could take advantage of the Texans’ secondary that has been abused plenty of times this season. The Texans were only 29th against the pass in the regular season.
Prediction: The Chiefs win, 27-22.
Seattle Seahawks (+4) vs Green Bay Packers (-4): Sunday Jan 12 (6:40 PM EST)
The Seahawks and the Packers meet again. These two teams have had memorable games against each other before, and their upcoming meeting could be another one for the book. Russell Wilson is an MVP contender this season, and he just found a new toy downfield in the form of rookie DK Metcalf, who did not show any signs of jitters in his playoff debut when he destroyed the Philadelphia Eagles’ secondary. When it comes to dominating pass defenses, Aaron Rodgers has plenty of stories to tell about that, but he’s not been up to par this season. Nevertheless, the Seahawks can’t make a more crucial mistake than underestimating Rodgers.
Prediction: The Packers win, 24-23.
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