Picking right back from where we left yesterday, talking about the predictions for Saturday, now we look at Sunday’s NFL Divisional Round. The last day of the Divisional Playoffs brings in some serious spicy ingredients into the post season. Let’s begin with the early match.
Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers: 1:05 p.m. ET on FOX
Last Week: 6 / Record: 11-6
Seattle’s solid defense could have been their best weapon all season. The Seahawks have won 7 of their last 8 games and allowed an average of 13 points or less in 6 of their 7 victories. However, quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked twice on Sunday against the Vikings, showing some openings on the defense line.
Wilson also arrives with a good air-striking statistic, throwing 24 touchdown passes and just one interception in his previous seven games, before the wild card match, against Minnesota.
On the other hand, we can’t forget that the Seahawks lost their home game against Panthers in week 6. Sometimes the rematch factor will add some revenge vibes to the environment. Sometimes, it just blocks the player’s mind, becoming an impossible task to achieve.
Last Week: 1 / Record: 15-1
The Panthers arrive with a motivated and effective offense. The team won its first 14 games and set a franchise record with 15 victories, stumbling just once this season. Quarterback has proven one more season what he is worth with 35 touchdown passes and 10 more scores on the ground. His performance helped the team score a league-high 500 points.
The defense also had an important role getting 44 sacks this season, ranking sixth in the NFL. However, it is expected that regardless of the two-week rest, neither Bene Benwikere nor Charles Tillman will recover from their injuries.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos: 4:40 p.m. ET on CBS
This is a pretty interesting match up, facing Ben Roethlisberger vs. Peyton Manning. Two future Hall of Famers with a combined five Super Bowls on their resumes. Nonetheless, neither of them is 100% ready. Roethlisberger injured his shoulder in Saturday’s wild-card victory over Cincinnati and Manning is coming back from a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot.
Last week: 6 / Record: 11-6
Regardless of Big Ben’s condition, he could lean on All-Pro wideout Antonio Brown, who tied for the league lead with 136 catches this season, totaling 1,834 yards and 10 scores. Just against Cincinnati, he caught seven passes for 119 yards in Saturday’s 18-16 win. However, Vontaze Burfict hit Brown, late in the 4th quarter, and his condition is still uncertain.
If the Steelers want to defeat the Broncos, they need to improve their defense. Pittsburgh allowed 35 offensive touchdowns—29 through the air and totaled 48 sacks this season.
Last week 1: / Record 12-4
Just four weeks ago, these two teams faced each other with Pittsburgh staging a huge comeback to win 34-27 at home. But, that was against Brock Osweiler. Veteran quarterback Peyton Manning, should be a tougher test for the Steelers. In addition, the Broncos have only lost four home games, since 2012.
Denver’s defense is a one tough line. This season, the Broncos allowed just 18.5 points per game and surrendered only 29 offensive touchdowns while totaling an NFL-high 52 sacks. Nonetheless, their best weapon lies on their offense and star quarterback.
No one can complain of Broncos’ air strike, but their ground game however, has consistently tripped up this team through the season. Probably the key to success here is: “how healthy and accurate is Manning going to be?
So, this is the outlook of NFL Divisional Round games and what each team has to offer in their quest to make a spot in Super Bowl 50. Don’t forget to follow close Booking Per Head’s posts in order to get the latest information and handy tips to enjoy and make the most profit, during this NFL post season. Enjoy the games!