Past years we have seen Wildcard weekend games play close while the divisional round games are won by a wider margin. Not this year, all games finished within a touchdown with three games decided in the final minute. Here’s what we learned…
New England 27 Kansas City 20
The Patriots covered, barely. After dominating most of the game they really let the Chiefs back in this one and can thank Andy Reid and his poor clock management for not making this scary. Tom Brady is in top form and with Rob Gronkowski back is a dangerous combo. It’s hard not to like the Patriots as the favorite to represent the AFC, again.
Looking ahead…Patriots should be favored, but not a lock
Arizona 26 Green Bay 20
The score was pretty much what I expected, but how we got there was not. Carson Palmer did not look great and I can’t help but think about what it’s going to be like for him at Carolina…not pretty. Any daily fantasy players waiting for Jeff Janis to pan out were finally blessed with his first 100+ yardage and touchdown game. Arizona played a good game against a banged up Green Bay team. They didn’t cover and needed overtime to get it done.
Looking ahead…The Cardinals will need to make adjustments against Carolina
Carolina 31 Seattle 24
A tale of two quarters, but not really. Seattle made this one a bit scary in the end, but Carolina dominated so much in the first half they could afford to play a half of prevent defense. Cam Newton has shown all year he is ready to play on the big stage, just one more game left.
Looking ahead…Clear favorite to advance to Super Bowl for NFC, right now I like them as a 7 point favorite.
Denver 23 Pittsburgh 16
Not sure what to make of this game. Pittsburgh really had this game and blew it with a late fumble. Peyton Manning does not look like Peyton Manning, but the Broncos defense is still very good.
Looking ahead…Denver will need their defense to score against New England if they want to pull off an upset and go back to the Super Bowl
Check back later in the week for my conference championship picks and more!