The question of who will win the Super Bowl is something that a lot of people ask themselves all throughout the year. The key will be the play of Marcus Mariota. The Titans will ride their momentum from Kansas City to a strong first half in New England, and this game will be closer than the spread indicates, but Brady and the Patriots will be too much to handle as the game progresses. I keep hearing that the Eagles will shutdown the run and make them one dimensional.
Unfortunately for the Titans, they get the reward of traveling to New England and taking on quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots.
The NFL playoffs have reached the divisional stage, and there are four interesting matchups to break down this weekend. This is perhaps the best game of the week, but the Saints are so dynamic that it may not matter how good the Vikings are on defense.
What more can be said of New England's offense?
If you look at this Patriots team, how it overcame a 2-2 start, including two home losses (in fact, they were lucky to beat the Texans in Game 3 at Gillette Stadium), you respect their position even more. They play tough, they have talent, and I'd argue that quarterback Matt Ryan is having a better season than he did in 2016. The Jaguars dominated the first meeting in Week 5, beating the Steelers 30-9 as the defense picked off Ben Roethlisberger five times. And for good measure, the low total of 41 increases the relative value of each point. The team's good, but not great, defense held the Rams to just 13 points after LA averaged almost 30 points in the regular season.
The Patriots come into this weekend with the best odds of a Super Bowl victory, according to ESPN. The No. 1-seeded Eagles are the underdog at home against the sixth-seeded Falcons. And with this being a best bet, there's more to it than that.
A lot went into this game and the Falcons looked great in several specific categories, but they were all vibrantly apparent for the same reason: The Falcons were clearly the playoff weathered team. The defending conference champs are not your usual 6 seed and look like they are starting to play their best football of the season.
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As has been the case with Steelers teams over the last few seasons, this team goes as the offense goes.
Now we are down to the NFL's Elite Eight in the Divisional Round. Meanwhile Philadelphia enters this game with a sizeable chip on its shoulder eager to show this team is still a threat even without injured quarterback Carson Wentz. Betting lines and trends are courtesy of OddsShark. I don't like the Falcons. Foles does not have the accuracy, mobility, or the wow factor that Wentz possesses. Drew Brees wins out every single time.
Last Saturday, the Falcons marched their way to a somewhat surprising 26-13 victory on the road over the Los Angeles Rams.
Prediction : New England Patriots win by 17+. Philadelphia has generated just 13 points of offense in their last two games, and an extra week of preparation won't turn backup quarterback Nick Foles into the MVP candidate Wentz was this season. For reference, 10 points is on the high end of the gap Las Vegas pegged between Aaron Rodgers and Brett Hundley when Rodgers broke his collarbone earlier this season.
Ryan has recorded a passer rating of at least 100 or more in five consecutive games, the second longest streak in National Football League history.
This brings the theme of the week full circle. The Saints are more balanced this season, ranking fourth in scoring offense and 10th in scoring defense. That seems to be the case Saturday in Philadelphia, which makes it time to strike.