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Outrageous Predictions for NFL Divisional Playoff Games

Author:
Tyreek Hill

Tyreek Hill

The NFL's Wild Card Weekend games were not exactly the most competitive we've seen recently. Not only did all four home teams win, but they all did so fairly convincingly. A couple of this weekend's divisional round games look like they could be hotly contested matchups that could go down to the wire. But, as so often is the case, when we are expecting one thing, something outrageous happens.

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Outrageous Predictions for NFL Divisional Playoff Games

Matt Ryan tops 400 passing yards against Seattle

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Ryan has thrown for nearly 900 yards and eight touchdowns in his last three games. That was without Julio Jones in one game and a less-than-100 percent Jones in the other two. Now, the best receiver in the game is healthy and Seattle is without the top safety in the league. That's a recipe for disaster for the Seahawks, who now need to figure out how to simultaneously contain Ryan and the Falcon passing attack while remaining cognizant of the damage Atlanta can do on the ground. Expect Ryan to force the issue early and challenge the Seattle secondary with several deep balls to Jones and Mohamed Sanu right out of the gate. Falcons should win this one easily on the back of Ryan's MVP-like performance.

New England beats Houston without Tom Brady throwing a single touchdown pass

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Despite being suspended for the first four games of the season, Brady has been the story of the year — playing at an MVP level. And that right there tells you that Bill Belichick plans to dissect the Houston Texans with Brady playing a minimal role (at least in terms of actual scoring). The Texans' pass rush is one of the best in the game. To counter that, look for Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to install a game plan full of screen passes and off-tackle runs between the 20s. In the red zone, look for a heavy dose of LeGarrette Blount in a repeat of his performance against Houston in Week 3. In that game, Blount ran for 105 yards and two touchdowns. As good as Houston's defense has been this season, they are in the bottom half of the league in terms of rushing touchdowns allowed.

The Chiefs defeat the Steelers by double digits

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Forget the earlier matchup between these teams. Two key factors will decide this one: the Arrowhead crowd and Ben Roethlisberger's hindered mobility. Look for the Chiefs to feed off of the crowd in one of the NFL's loudest stadiums early. Big plays by Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce — both matchup problems for the Steelers — will give Kansas City an early lead. After that, look for Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Todd Haley to all but abandon the run game altogether in an effort to play catch up through the air. Though the Steelers are saying Roethlisberger's foot injury will not hinder him, common sense says you are not going to be 100 percent one week after wearing a walking boot. Look for the Chiefs' defense to bring heavy pressure every time the Steelers pass, leaving the more-than-capable Marcus Peters to take Antonio Brown away as an option. This game could get ugly in a hurry.

Green Bay and Dallas combine for more than 75 points

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The over/under for this contest is set at around 52.5. That seems ridiculously low, considering the high-powered nature of both of these offenses and the fact that the game will be in the very offense-friendly AT&T Stadium. Jordy Nelson's injury should not be a factor in terms of the points these two teams hang on the scoreboard. The Packers have group of receivers who are up to the task and the hottest quarterback on the planet tossing the football their way. When Dallas has the ball, I have a hard time seeing the Packers slowing down the Cowboys — especially on the ground. If you like points, this is the game for you.

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— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.