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The NFL playoffs are upon us, and millions amongst millions of americans will be tuning in to see if their bracket is correct. In this article, Chris Dailey will share with you his Wild Card predictions and give an in depth look on each game. Scroll down for some bold predictions that may make you rethink your original choice.
PATRIOTS VS TITANS
The Tennessee Titans will travel to Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots in what on paper looks like a very one sided game. However, the Titans have been on a hot streak, going 7-3 in the last ten games of the season. This stretch includes a win against the Kansas City Chiefs, where the Titans managed to pull out a 3 point victory. Ever since Ryan Tannehill took over, the Titans have been a different team. Rookie wideout, AJ Brown, has become a star, averaging 20.2 yards a catch, the second best number in the league. Derrick Henry was this year's leading rusher, and he has been playing like an MVP in the final half of the season.
Meanwhile, the Patriots are coming off of a 12-4 season, that could’ve been 13-3 have they not lost to the Dolphins in week 17. Tom Brady has regressed, and their 12-4 title may be misleading. New England has played 10 teams under .500 this year, and they hold a 9-1 record against them. However, the Patriots are only 3-3 against winning teams, all of the wins were decided by one point. New England has also cracked under pressure when the light shined the most on them, losing to Baltimore in week 9, and then losing to Kansas City (who the Titans beat), and Miami, in weeks 14 and 17 respectively. All proving that this season may be the start of the fallback era for Brady and the Patriots.
This is a match that surely has the potential for an upset. Despite New England’s home field advantage, the Titans have the tools to win this game. Titans head coach ,Mike Vrabel, played under Belichick for seven years, where he was an integral part of a Patriots team that won three Super Bowls. Many of Belichick's students and ex players have done well against him. The mastermind behind the Patriots dynasty is 1-4 against former assistants the past two seasons, one of these four losses is from the hands of Vrabel and the Titans last season. In addition to that, Ryan Tannehill has a historically good track record against the Patriots, holding the highest winning percentage amongst AFC East QBs against the Patriots in the Brady/Belichick era.
I have a feeling that the Titans are going to narrowly escape the dungeons of Gillete with an upset win, and advance to the divisional round where they will meet Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.
BILLS VS TEXANS
The Buffalo Bills travel to Houston where they will play the Texans in the second AFC Wild Card game. Buffalo, led by second year QB, Josh Allen, has had quite a turnaround in recent years. This game will for sure be a hard hitting, tough match between two teams looking to make a statement this postseason.
The Bills are a very underrated team. Buffalo has a very strong defense, ranking top 5 in the league in nearly every statistical category, that will make it hard for Deshaun Watson to put up a big game. The Bills have a very well constructed offense that has a great flow between a passing and a gritty running game. It will be interesting to see how Allen does in his first playoff game, which will be the biggest game of his young and bright career. On the flip side of things, NRG Stadium will be loud and rowdy, and the Texans will surely benefit from that.
The Texans will also benefit from the pure connection Deshaun Watson has with Deandre Hopkins and Will Fuller. Watson tends to attack deep down the field, where Hopkins and Fuller make routes that leave many defenders hopeless. The two receivers have combined for 1,835 yards and 21 touchdown receptions. However, when Watson played the Baltimore defense he was a mere shadow of what he truly is. Baltimore has one of, if not the best defense in the league, and Buffalo is right behind them in terms of defensive efficiency.
As the old saying goes, offense wins games, and defense wins championships, and I think Buffalo’s defense will carry them to a Wild Card win and increase their hopes of a Super Bowl victory. Go crazy, Bill Mafia!
Seahawks vs Eagles