The New York Jets are not playing this weekend. Bad teams don’t generally play in the NFL playoffs. But there is plenty of NFL action to go around as the post-season continues today in the Divisional Round.
The Houston Texans are on a roll. They’ve won 8 of their last 11 games, as rookie sensation C.J. Stroud has emerged as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. What he’s doing in his rookie year has only one parallel in NFL history: Dan Marino in his historic rookie season with the Miami Dolphins. Stroud has dismantled defenses lately (other than the Jets defense). Last week Stroud put up a 157 passer rating against the NFL’s #1 defense. He shredded the proud Cleveland Browns defense with ease. Stroud has posted a 102+ passer rating in five of his last six games. Meanwhile, the Ravens fierce defense has been just a bit less fierce lately. The Ravens have given up 375+ yards of offense to three of their last five opponents.
On the other side of the ball, the Ravens love to run the ball, but the Texans excel at stopping the run. The Texans have held five of their last six opponents to under 80 yards on the ground. The Texans have also generated at least one turnover on defense in 11 straight games, while they have been turnover-free on offense in six of their last eight games.
Does this all add up to a shocking Texans upset of the mighty Ravens? Maybe not. The Ravens earned that #1 seed. They are an outstanding football team that won’t go down easily. They’ve been even better than the Texans at generating turnovers on defense. This could easily be a Ravens’ blowout victory, just as the oddsmakers are predicting. But I’m taking the Texans to shock the world on Saturday.
I’ll be predicting the outcome of all of the games throughout the post-season, just as I’ve done each week of the regular season all year. Last week I went 4-2 in the Wild Card Round. Let’s see how I do this weekend.
Embedded below are my picks for all the Divisional Round matchups this week. These picks are just a simple who wins the game deal. Odds do not factor in. DISCLAIMER: This is just for fun. I make no claims to actually being any good at this. Anyone who chooses to bet according to my picks will likely prove the old maxim, a fool and his money are soon parted.