NFL 2016-17 Playoff Bracket Divisional Round
As we approach the divisional round we have an interesting case on our hands. For the first time since 2011 all of the home teams won in the Wildcard round, but since 2011 the home teams in the divisional round are a massive 16-4. So after a weekend that failed to deliver the thrills and spills, will we see any upsets or surprises? I’m not so sure. The four bye teams are all coming in with a point to proof and are relatively injury free.
NFL 2016-17 Playoff Bracket
Houston Texans 27 – 14 Oakland Raiders
Houston won comfortably against rookie quarterback Connor Cook in his first start. Former first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney read an early screen to perfection and made an interception. He continued to dominate the game, shutting down runs and pressuring Cook at every turn. On offense Brock Osweiler looked strong for the first time in a long time, finding DeAndre Hopkins deep down the sideline and then again on a quick slant to the end zone. It was an easy win for the Texans in the end.
Divisional Round: Texans @ Patriots – Jan. 14th 8:15pm ET – CBS
Unfortunately it set the Texans up with another trip to Foxboro and the New England Patriots. They were shutout 27-0 there in Week 3, and while the Texans are much improved since then the Patriots will be starting Tom Brady, not Jacoby Brissett, at quarterback this time.
Seattle Seahawks 26 – 6 Detroit Lions
The Seahawks ran their way to victory in this one, with Thomas Rawls controlling proceedings as he amassed 161 yards on 27 carries. The Seahawks started out passing, but with George Fant unable to control Ziggy Ansah they turned to the ground game and quickly chewed up an overmatched Lions defense. On offense the Lions struggled to get anything going, with Matthew Stafford’s finger injury once again hampering his accuracy.
Divisional Round: Seahawks @ Falcons – Jan. 14th 4:35pm ET – Fox
After basically getting a week off the Seahawks defense now have a massive test as they travel to the Georgia Dome to take on Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the highest scoring offense in the league. The Falcons may struggle to stop the Seahawks run game but can an Earl Thomas-less Seahawks defense really contain the might of Atlanta?
Pittsburgh Steelers 30 – 12 Miami Dolphins
The Steelers came out and demolished the Dolphins within 10 minutes thanks to the talents of Antonio Brown, before handing off to Le’Veon Bell for the rest of the game and controlling proceedings. The Steelers talents on offense have been obvious all season, but their quarterback-crushing defense is what stood out the most in this game. James Harrison and Bud Dupree obliterated Matt Moore on a regular basis, only for the Dolphins backup to dust himself off and get ready for the next onslaught. Still, for all his heart Moore and the Dolphins could get nothing done on offense and this damp, and frozen, squib of a match was over very quickly.
Divisional Round: Steelers @ Chiefs – Jan. 15th 1:05pm ET – NBC
Next up the Steelers will travel to Kansas City for what should be a close encounter. Kansas City’s defense is extremely opportunistic, and Ben Roethlisberger has been prone to two or three extremely ill-advised throws a game recently. The battle of Bell & Brown vs Berry & Peters will be fascinating.
Green Bay Packers 38 – 13 New York Giants
For the early parts of this game it looked like the Giants defense could control Aaron Rodgers and take an upset win, and then Rodgers uncorked a hail mary to the back of the endzone to Randall Cobb and the whole feeling of the game changed. A frozen Lambeau crowd came alive and eventually Rodgers torched the Giants defense for 362 yards and four touchdowns. Eli Manning had a bad day at the office and Odell Beckham Jr gave the tabloids plenty of fodder with three drops following his day-off visit to Miami.
Divisional Round: Packers @ Cowboys – Jan 15th 4:40pm ET – FOX
This is the game of the weekend, as the Packers head to JerryWorld to take on the Cowboys. Can Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott keep up with Rodgers? Or will the Dragon end the rookies Super Bowl dreams?
Who do you think will advance to the Conference Championship round? Let us know in the comments below!