Hawk’s NFL Picks: Divisional Saturday Edition

By Brent “The Hawk” Walker
A great start to the NFL playoffs last week as we had two of four games have insane finishes. For the first time in history all four road teams won on wildcard weekend, which makes sense considering all the away teams were starting quarterbacks with playoff experience and all the home teams had quarterbacks starting in their first playoff games.
As is so often the case it was veteran leadership that won out. 7 quarterbacks left have played in and won a playoff game (Carson Palmer is the exception) and 5 of the 8 starting  quarterbacks left  have won a Super Bowl, so expect a dramatic finish to the season.  
It will be Tom Brady vs Alex Smith, Ben Roethilsberger vs Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson vs Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers vs Palmer. Talk about madness.
A last second change from the Packers to the Redskins prevented me from a clean sweep of picks, but 3-1 ain’t so bad. let’s keep it going.


AFC Game 1
Saturday, January 16, 1:35 PM, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
5) Kansas City Chiefs (12-5) at 2) New England Cheaters (12-4) (-5.0)
( 42.5 O/U)
This is a bad draw if you are a Cheaters fan. Last time these two teams met was on Monday Night last year and the Chiefs absolutely destroyed them 41-14.
One of Kansas City’s biggest strength is their ability to get to the quarterback, and New England’s offensive line has looked like garbage the last several games. Expect Tom “cry baby” Brady to get hit a lot and yell at everyone the whole game.
Kansas City embarrassed the Houston Texans in their wildcard game with a 30-0 beat down to win their 11th straight. Whether the Chiefs defense was that dominant or Texans QB Brian Hoyer is just that bad is up for debate, as he threw 4 picks and lost a fumble, but shutouts are very hard to come by in the NFL, especially in the playoffs so I give credit to them for pulling it off.
New England lost 4 of their last 6 regular season games, mainly because of a barrage of injuries, and just has not looked like a team capable of a deep playoff run recently. But they have made it to the AFC championship the last 4 years and having a bye will help them tremendously, considering how banged up they are. Still the Chiefs right now as a team are more complete than the the Cheaters and are more than capable of winning this game as long as they have extra security at practice to make sure that Bill Bellicheat isn’t sending someone to film them. They should also  keep their playbooks locked up so a Cheaters coach doesn’t steal or photocopy them. I might regret this next week but I loathe New England so much I am rolling the dice.

Kansas City Chiefs  27
New England Cheaters  24
NFC Game 1
Saturday, January 16, 5:15 PM, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
5) Green Bay Packers (11-6) at 2) Arizona Cardinals  (12-4) (-7.0)
(50.0 O/U)
Expect a much better game than the last time these two teams met in week 16, a 38-8 Cardinals win, but don’t let the Packers 35-18 win over the Redskins fool you into thinking they are Super Bowl 50 bound. They are still not that good.
I think it was hilarious watching Aaron Rodgers get so stoked about that win. Really dude? You threw for 210 yards and 2 Td’s against against a 25th ranked Redskins passing defense that gave up 435 yards and 3 Td’s to Kellen Moore the previous week. I’m not impressed. Oh yeah, and your defense gave up 329 passing yards to a guy playing in his first playoff game. Not taking away anything from Kirk Cousins because he was one of the hottest Qb’s in the league coming into this game but still, it’s his first playoff start!
Arizona sat comfortably last weekend and watched these games, thanks to a regular season that ended with a first round bye. The pressure is on Carson Palmer for this game. As good as he has been all regular season he lacks postseason experience, and is currently 0-2 in his career.
If he loses this game you have to start wondering about his clutchness in the big games. It will be interesting to see how this Cardinals team responds to their debacle of a regular season finish, when they were throttled by the Seahawks. a loss like that will either humble them and make them play better here or rattle their confidence. Personally I think it will make them play better. That combined with the fact that they are a much more balanced and stronger team right now leads one to think they will win this game, possibly in a shootout.
Arizona Cardinals 34
 Green Bay Packers 24

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