“NFL Playoffs-Put Your Big Boy Pants On”
Now the real teams, the best teams, get ready to play.
It’s weekend two of the NFL playoffs, and the weaklings from Wildcard Weekend are gone.
The storyline heading into this weekend will be veteran quarterbacks, with lots of playoff experience, facing QB’s who have hardly ever played in postseason. But there are lots of other important number to pay attention to also.
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh
..Ben Roethlisberger has made 20-postaeason starts-Blake Bortels has made just one, and that one was not very impressive…this will be a classic chess match…the multi-talented Steelers offense, averaging (377YPG) vs a Jaguars defense that had 55-sacks and 33-takeaways this year….You can discount the early fall meeting where Jacksonville beat them-this is a different Steelers team now….Can Jacksonville deal with Big Ben…Le’Veon Bell…Antonio Brown-Martavis Bryant-JuJu Smith and ore…..Roethlisberger is (7-3) at home in post season…and in all home games (81-27). The Jags Cinderella season ends.
Tennessee at New England
..Speaking of numbers, those flashing neon lights about Tom Brady’s stats are amazing…(32TD-8 Int) this year….Brady 34-postseason starts….Marcus Mariota just one, last week…Brady (107-18) in home games….(17-3) in playoff games in Foxborough….the Pats offense is averaging (394YPG) this year…How are the Titans going to account for Gronkowski-Cooks-Amendodla-Hogan and the 3-backs who catch passes…Tennessee looks in trouble.
New Orleans at Minnesota..
..Now this is really interesting….Drew Brees, for all his accolades, is just (1-3) on the road in the playoffs….his Saints are (3-13) all time in Minnesotal….Brees has made 12-postseason game starts…Case Keenum-none……Vikings have not won in the playoffs since 2009…….The Saints are averaging (391YPG)….but Minnesota is giving up a league best (275YPG)….Can the Purple defense stop Marc Ingram and Alvin Kamara, and at the same time put a lid on Brees? ….Can these two nameless WRs the Vikings have, Adam Thielen and Stefan Diggs continue to average (14YPC) this weekend?..Picking Brees the made bomber to be the difference.
Atlantan at Philadelphia….The Eagles season is in jeopardy because there is no Carson Wentz at quarterback….Nick Foles has come back down to earth with turnovers and sacks over the last couple of weeks…The Falcons lockdown secondary was superb in their win last weekend in the wildcard game…..All the attention in Atlanta goes towards Matt Ryan, but the Falcons defense is giving up just (318YPG)…..So the big question, can Jay Ajayi and Garret LeBlount pound the ball enough to open up the passing lanes for Nick Foles to find his receivers….Ryan has a Super Bowl start among his 9-postseason games…Foles has played just once in the playoffs…. This will be some battle….No Wentz-no chance for Philadelphia.