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Cory's Corner: I still love the Divisional Playoffs

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Cory's Corner: I still love the Divisional Playoffs

The Divisional Playoffs have always been my favorite NFL playoff weekend and this weekend should be interesting. This is the last weekend that there will be four time slots in the NFL and most of the games should be pretty good.

Don’t worry, I’m not starting in the AFC because that entire field has been top heavy.

The Eagles have played with arguably the NFL MVP for the majority of the season and now are a home underdog to the Falcons. The Eagles are down four yards per catch with Nick Foles under center and will likely need a defensive or special teams touchdown to win this game.

The Eagles were third in the league in rushing offense and will need Jay Ajayi to get at least 15 carries to win this game. Think about that, a guy that was running into obscurity at the start of the season is now on the precipice of stardom if he can put the Eagles on his back.

Now the Falcons are a case study in inconsistency. Oddly enough, the Falcons got a huge road win last week despite the fact that Matt Ryan attempted only four throws that traveled over 10 yards in the air. Ryan must give the Falcons an early lead and make the Eagles one-dimensional as quick as possible. My pick: Falcons 20, Eagles 13.

Once again in the Saturday night TV window will be the Patriots. With nearly two weeks to prepare, Bill Belichick doesn’t leave anything to chance. He will take away Derrick Henry and force Marcus Mariota to throw the ball downfield.

New England will destroy Tennessee and Tom Brady won’t throw the ball over 20 times while Dion Lewis will continue to strengthen his free agent case. My pick: Patriots 27, Titans 9.

The other AFC game is very interesting. The Jaguars are so fast on defense and will give Ben Roethlisberger fits. Jacksonville’s 30-9 win over Pittsburgh in Week 5 was the script: two interceptions returned for touchdowns; as Roethlisberger threw five total picks.

But with Blake Bortles playing like a JV backup last week with only 87 passing yards, the Jags’ playoff road has come to the end. His rushing yards eclipsed that pedestrian total by one yard. Can the No. 1 passing defense force the 35-year-old Roethlisberger to look elderly? Sure. But I doubt that happens twice in a season. My pick: Steelers 20, Jaguars 6.

The last game I’m the most excited about. You’ve got a future Hall of Famer in Drew Brees, who has started 12 playoff games vs. Case Keenum, who will be starting his first playoff game on Sunday.

Keenum might be one of the most underrated players in the NFL. He has completed 54 percent of his passes when under pressure, yet is sacked only eight percent of the time when pressured. Those are franchise quarterback numbers for a guy that has bounced around the league as a backup.

As good as Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are, the Vikings defensive front is just too good. Drew Brees needs to play like Superman. That isn’t likely to happen with only one bona fide wide receiver in Michael Thomas. My pick: Vikings 23, Saints 16.

 

 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (20) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nick Perry's picture

The Saints are going to beat the Vikings. THROW OUT what happened in week one when they played, Kamara wasn't yet the huge part of the offense he is now, and the defense hadn't found it's grove yet with all those draft picks they hit on. Michael Thomas, Mark Ingram, Kamara, and Brees will score points on these guys. The difference will be Case Keenum who comes back to earth with a THUD!! And it will be louder than the stupid ass horn they blow before each game!! OMG I hate the Vikings!!!!

Coldworld's picture

That would be sweet. I too think the saints are a different team on D too since their last meeting. Should be interesting.

Houndog's picture

I think you're right Nick,
But I gotta admit, not a lot of things would be better than seeing Minnesota go '0 and forever' in a SB in their own stadium.
Priceless!

mrtundra's picture

I don't want them to get that far. The vikings have arranged all their ducks in a row, again. All the hype and everything they have done gives them an advantage. All the football talk shows have a former viking somehow attached to them. The play by play booth will have a pro viking announcer, or two, in it. The replay Official in the booth will be someone from Minnesota. If the vikings keep the game close, I don't want any blown calls by hometown, pro Minnesota refs to decide the game in their favor. Let New Orleans beat them fair and square in tomorrow's game. GO SAINTS, GO!

Nick Perry's picture

Good point about the Ex-Vikings.... I wonder how long before we see Greg Jennings mug on TV talking about HIS Minnesota Vikings again....UGH!!! I HATE Purple!!!!

Nick Perry's picture

I'd much rather see them go ONE & DONE in their own stadium. Sorry friend but I don't want them to even enjoy a little success.

Let them hang a "NFC North Division Champion" banner in that stadium. I think that's HILARIOUS they hang that chicken s*** banner because they have NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING ELSE!!!!!!

0 and forever is good. 0 and forever and the last attempt being in the 70's is AWESOME!! That's approaching some Cleveland Browns stuff right there!!! At least the Browns have won SOME kind of Championship. It was just called something else then.

Just like the Packers. The Packers are 13 Time NFL Champions, many won in the 60's. At the end of the day is that any less impressive than 4 SB Championships in the 70's by the Steelers? HELL NO!! Matter of fact the Packers 5 Championships in 7 years is one of the more impressive stats in NFL History IMO.

mrtundra's picture

Why did Cory post a picture of a viking on this thread? I read an article earlier that Bradford will be suited up for the viking/ Saints game. Creating a QB controversy in The Stapler before the biggest game of the year for the vikings? Just what the Doctor ordered! Keep Keenum looking over his shoulder--not at the Saints pass rush, but at the vikings bench to see if Bradford is coming in to play!

Bearmeat's picture

No Kidding!

Cory, NEVER post that UGLY ASS PURPLE COLOR ON THIS BEAUTIFUL BLOG AGAIN! :D

Hematite's picture

It will be gratifying to see the Vikings lose in their pigeon shit covered glass palace.

egbertsouse's picture

Vikings, Falcons, Steelers, Patriots.

Since '61's picture

Saints, Falcons, Steelers and the Cheatalots. 4 best QBs advance. Thanks, Since '61

Bearmeat's picture

I was gonna wait until Sunday, but this is too good to wait. :D

Us Packer fans are all rooting for the Saints on Sunday – and through the rest of the playoffs. Send Brees out on top. But mostly, we can’t handle much more of the purple and their Napolean-complex fans. They’ve won NOTHING. EVER. And yet… they talk. Redheaded, jealous stepchild that their franchise is. They don’t know football… and yet they talk.

Did you know that Minniesoda holds the record (along with Buffalo) for most losses in the Super Bowl at 0-4 without winning one? Did you know that they lead the league in player arrests since 1997?

Did you also know that Minniesoda holds the record in the NFL for one-and-dones? Did you know that the Great Vince Lombardi himself HATED Bud Grant because he told his players to injure Packers in the 60’s? Well, they couldn’t beat GB straight up, so why not I guess… And yes, considering the coming matchup, I see the irony of old Minnesota teams trying to injure opposing players.

Bears fans are obnoxious, but at least they've won the big game once. And they are a historic franchise in the history of NFL. Lions fans know their place. Pats fans are obnoxious, but they've really been better than everyone else since 2001. So they can talk. Cowboys fans suck, but their team does make the most money (which is annoying). Steelers fans are annoying, but their team does have more Super Bowls than any other team. But Vikings fans? No sir. Talkative and haven't won a thing. 13 titles for their big brother to East. Compared to 1 for them, and even in that "1" year, they LOST in the Superbowl.... so it doesn't really count. And they just can't handle the fact that they are in the eternal shadow of The Great Green Bay Packers. So they annoy everyone else over the interwebz. When you think about it, it's kind of sad. They should get counseling. The bottom line is that Vikings fans are a combination of jealousy, teenage rage, hubris and shame wrapped in one stinky purple ball.

Speaking of purple, the color purple is trash on a football uniform. Horns should never be put on a helmet. Brunhilda was fat and ugly. Eric the Red was a murderer. Leif Erickson was even worse. Their last stadium was a tent that couldn't hold up under a little snow. Their current stadium murders birds. And why do grown men wear fake shoulder-length blond braids at a football game?

Anyway rant/ramble over. GEAUX. SAINTS!

Nick Perry's picture

Great Ramble BM!!! Must have a Vikings fan trolling again for all the "Dislikes" given out on the comments.

That wasn't a Championship BM, NO WAY! I know what a Book says but it also has an asterisk next to it. They DIDN'T win the LAST game they played in so NO CHAMPIONSHIP!!!! Just another 2nd place finish!!

Bearmeat's picture

And all that to say, this is my favorite football weekend of the year too. 8 best teams left.

I seriously think the Vikings will choke tomorrow. It'll come down to QB rating differential. The teams are otherwise evenly matched. Vikings with a better defense, but NO with a better running game, and not a bad defense themselves.

NO - 24
MIN - 17

The other games, I agree with 61. Better QBs win. Unfortunately. I'd love to see Titans and Jags advance, as well as the Eagles. But it won't happen.

Since '61's picture

Bearmeat - I’d like the Jags to advance as well, just don’t think that it will happen. Thanks, Since ‘61

dobber's picture

If Antonio Brown doesn't play, they've got a shot. Pittsburgh still has a lot of weapons, though.

Samson's picture

The winner of the Vikings/Saints game will play the Pats in the SB. --- Brady will end up with another Lombardi.

4thand1's picture

I want Harold landry with pick 14. This kid is a beast.

4thand10's picture

Bearmeat....that was THE best effing rant I have read. When their stadium collapsed I always said "real Football is not played in a tent" . I just could not stop laughing when the snow caved that baby right in. When you said that you can't understand why grown men would wear Goldilocks I just had coffee run out my nose I was laughing so hard. Awesome stuff. I can't ever by default root for the queens....so I say Go Saints.

Bearmeat's picture

Heheheh. Good line. I updated it. Thanks!

That rant is a keeper that I will re-use next year. It took me half an hour to write it on my lunch break on Friday, but it was worth it. Talking $#!T about team purple is ALWAYS worth it. My personal favorite line is: "The bottom line is that Vikings fans are a combination of jealousy, teenage rage, hubris and shame wrapped in one stinky purple ball."

That one had me crying!

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