Home teams are in all caps.
Tennessee's comeback victory last week was thrilling, but make no mistake, the Titans will be outmatched in New England. Because that's how the Patriots win (or lose) Super Bowls: by the hairs of the chinny-chin-chins.
The Tennesse Titans had some late-game heroics from QB Marcus Mariota and RB Derrick Henry to propel them to a 22-21 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. They did beat Kansas City on the road. Quarterback Tom Brady finished the regular-season as the third-most valuable quarterback per ESPN's Total Quarterback Rating and was instrumental in the team scoring a league-leading 2.6 points per drive, almost a point per drive more than the league average (1.8), and the 12th best scoring efficiency since 2002, the year the league expanded to 32 teams. The Patriots should take care of the Titans by a score of 27-17. They started 4-4, barely squeaked into the postseason, and then upset the Los Angeles Rams on the road in the wild-card round to move on.
What are the odds ... the Eagles win a playoff game without Carson Wentz? With a healthy Carson Wentz, that implies the Eagles would be favored by more than a touchdown at home against Falcons. Foles is completing just 56.4 percent of his passes and is averaging only 5.3 yards per attempt. These guys maximize mistakes, but will have a much tougher matchup in Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Martavis Bryant.
The key to the Falcons' recent success has come on the defensive side of the ball. The Eagles still have a tremendous defense, but it won't be enough to overcome their quarterback play.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan enters Saturday's game with a passer rating of at least 100 in five consecutive postseason games, tied for the second-longest streak in National Football League history. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones should do just enough against the Eagles in order to send Atlanta back to the NFC Championship.
The Jaguars will face the Steelers this weekend in Pittsburgh. I'll grab the Steelers and the under and assuming a 23-7 kind of game. The Jaguars have the second-ranked defense in the league.
Both teams possess stingy defenses and solid running games, but Brees is much more experienced than Vikings quarterback Case Keenum. This lead to him running for 88 yards and leading the team since Buffalo was selling out to stop running back Leonard Fournette. Minnesota is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games at home. The Eagles also stuffed 28 percent of rushers at or behind the line of scrimmage during the regular season, 10 percentage points better than the Rams (18 percent). This will be a game that will be very close. When the running game stalled up, the defense missed tackles and Carolina quarterback Cam Newton willed his team back into the game, Drew Brees turned up the heat. The matchup between Minnesota and New Orleans will pit strength against strength as the Saints' vaunted offense takes on the Vikings' stingy defense.
The Saints have a Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees. I think they limit the Vikings offense and the Saints go into Minnesota and pull off the upset. The Vikings defense continued to improve all season and ended the year as the best defense in the NFL.
We've never seen home field advantage on a stage like this.
To date, there have been a total of 492 postseason games played during the Super Bowl Era dating back to 1966.
But the Divisional Round of the playoffs is when more immediate issues come into focus, because now there are eight teams two wins away from the Super Bowl. New England likely wins this game, but not by more than three touchdowns. The Steelers offense is too loaded, as well, so I think Pittsburgh will win.