If you’re looking for a cream puff, stop by C& K Donut because you won’t find any cupcakes left as we enter the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.
Teams wearing big-boy pants are all that’s left.
In the AFC, our beloved Tennessee Titans face the explosive Cincinnati Bengals in what’s already been declared a sold-out game in Nashville. Kickoff is set for Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
The Bengals are good because their draft picks have developed. QB Joe Burrow was the No. 1 pick two years ago and he’s playing like a seasoned pro. WR Ja’Marr Chase was the No. 4 pick this past NFL draft and he has lived up to expectations catching the ball and now running on jet sweeps.
The Bengals haven’t had a turnover on offense in five straight games and also feature durable RB Joe Mixon, who is physical between the tackles.
All that being said, the Bengals still needed a fourthdown stop from the 9 to hold on and defeat the Raiders in the wildcard round, 26-19. Cincinnati had several things go its way in that game, including a Burrow TD pass to Tyler Boyd when a whistle sounded before the play was over but officials allowed the TD to stand.
The Bengals also had to settle for a FG after recovering a fumble at the Raider 15-yard line so the Cincy offense isn’t off-the-rails unstoppable.
The Titans are going to enjoy a productive day offensively, no doubt about it. With a healthy OL, a healthy Julio Jones (hopefully), and what appears to be a healthy and rested Derrick Henry, the Titans are going to score points.
To win, Tennessee is going to have to play better pass defense than what we saw in the second half against Houston when Texan WR Danny Amendola caught 7 passes for 113 yards and 2 TDs.
The pick: Titans 28,
BILLS AT CHIEFS SUNDAY, 5:30 P.M.
It’s not possible to have a better offensive performance than the Bills did Saturday in beating the Patriots 47-17 in the wildcard round.
The Bills scored TDs on their first seven drives. On the eighth drive, they kneeled down three times to end the game.
Buffalo did not punt, turn the ball over, or attempt a FG. According to NFL Research, it’s the first time that’s happened in NFL history.
QB Josh Allen has been the Incredible Hulk for the Bills. And Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes looks like he has a few new weapons at his disposal during the 42-21 thumping of the Steelers on Sunday.
Chiefs RB Jerick McKinnon had 142 scrimmage yards and a TD, while WR Byron Pringle caught 2 TDs. As if guarding Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce isn’t enough.
Some NFL analysts have already said this game is really the matchup of the best two teams in the AFC. Fortunately the Titans, if they should win, will only have to play one of them.
The pick: Chiefs 34, Bills 31
49ERS AT PACKERS SATURDAY, 7:15 P.M.
How much of a difference can 49ers WR Deebo Samuel make? San Francisco should consider playing Samuel on offense, defense and special teams if the 49ers are going to have a chance in this one.
San Fran QB Jimmy Garoppolo is now dealing with a shoulder injury after a thumb injury forced him to miss Week 17.
The Packers are by no means an invincible force that will shred any team in their path, but they should have enough to win this one.
The pick: Packers 27, 49ers 13
RAMS AT TAMPA BAY SUNDAY, 2 P.M.
The Titans were the last team to beat Tom Brady in the playoffs. That was way back when he was a Patriot.
The Bucs appear to have all sorts of problems with two of their top three WRs gone and top RB Leonard Fournette missing the wildcard win over Philly with a lingering hamstring injury.
Tampa coach BruceArians said it doesn’t matter who the Bucs have at the skill positions. As long as Brady is playing behind a healthy OL, Arians says the Tampa offense is going to score plenty of points. Unfortunately for the Bucs, two of their five OL starters may be out.
The Rams have bet all their chips on this season, trading for QB Matthew Stafford before the year and then acquiring WR Odell Beckham Jr. and LB Von Miller during the season.
If the Rams don’t win now, when will they win?
The pick: Rams 23, Bucs 20