Welcome to the NFL Picks! Last week was a fun one for the panel, as everyone went 3-1. Amazing. Don’t forget to take a look at the NFL Roundtable from Friday as well, for more discussion.
Chad: My pick would be Atlanta for having the week and the more explosive versus a Seattle team making a long cross country trip without Earl Thomas and with Russell Wilson at QB who hasn’t fared well on the road.
Dan: I have the Falcons winning this game. It’ll be played in Atlanta, which is already a bad travel situation for Seattle since they have to go across the country. Seattle’s defense seems to have been lacking as of late and I think Atlanta, with one of the best offenses in the NFL, will be able to exploit Seattle’s weaknesses. The offense is led by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones along with Tevin Coleman and DeVonta Freeman in the backfield as a two-headed monster. They have Tamme as a tight end, they have Sanu and other solid receiving options. I like Seattle a lot, but I don’t think Russell Wilson and Thomas Rawls can overcome what Atlanta can come out and do on offense. I have Falcons winning by three.
Joe: can the Seahawk defense stop the Falcon offense? I say nope. Atlanta wins big. If, I had to guess… 40-20.
Steve: As well as Seattle is playing, they tend not to play well in domes. Matt Ryan is a top MVP candidate, and while he has struggled in the playoffs. I have a hunch he is due. I think Atlanta wins in a very close game. Possibly coming down to the final play.
David: This one is flying under the radar, but could be very interesting, are the Falcons a team on the rise? Are the Seahawks done? Could be fun to see how the narrative is going to be written. Matt Ryan has had to deal with the Panthers for years, the declining Legion of Boom is not going to scare him. Pete Carroll isn’t the genius everyone else says he is, and we could see a snafu coming from him. The Falcons are going to start the game shaky, then pull away late.
Chad: No contest; Tom Brady leads NE comfortably over the Texans in a game that will be done by halftime.
Dan: I have the Patriots winning. There’s only one way that I can see the Texans winning, and that’s constant and consistent pressure on Tom Brady. They need to make it almost impossible for him to get a solid throw. Get him out of the pocket and moving. They can shut down their offense, then the Texans will need some help from their QB and rest of their offense. But, I don’t see that happening. Tom Brady and New England is too dangerous and they’re at home. It’ll be cold. Conditions heavily favor the Patriots. The match-up on paper heavily favors New England. People are saying this is going to be one of the most lop-sided victories in the playoffs. I think Houston will surprise and keep it within a couple scores, but New England will end up winning by double digits.
Joe: this is gonna be like UConn playing Clemson. Taking the Pats all the way. I don’t see Houston having a snowball’s chance in hell of beating the Pats. In fact, I will be shocked if the Patriots don’t cover the 16-point spread. If, I had to guess… 35-14.
Steve: New England in a route. I can’t see anyone beating Tom Brady in the AFC in New England. Houston is a good team, but not strong enough to beat a power house like New England.
David: Oh, going to be fun here. Houston should have no chance, going on the road and rolling up to Brady and the Hoodie. Just keep in mind, New England’s offensive line isn’t that good, and Houston still has a very good pass rush, if Houston can hold New England to under 20 points . . .then they will still lose by double digits.
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