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O’Donal’s NFL Divisional Round picks

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks kick off the playoff weekend with a rematch against Atlanta.

Editor’s note: Brien is a well-traveled Houstonian and Army Combat Veteran with an extremely wide range of talents and interests including the NFL (Packers), Irish History, and writing. Follow him on twitter @ODonalsVanguard

By BRIEN O’DONAL

Here we go again! Round 2! I did well last week with my picks but let’s face it: That was easy. I may not have had the scores right but I have yet to read An Introduction to Sports Betting by Fred Faour and A.J. Hoffman, so you can’t blame me. The games this weekend should be a lot more exciting so I would have to be some kind of savant to be able to pick all four winners correctly. I’m going to try anyways so enjoy my opinion and feel free to disagree.

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons, Saturday January 14, 3:35 p.m.

This game is a great way to start the playoff weekend. These teams met earlier in the season in week 6 and the Seahawks squeaked out a win. I don’t think lightning will strike twice. The Falcons have been much better as of late with an offense in full gear and far too many weapons for Seattle to control. I like what the Seahawks did against the Lions and they are a battle-tested playoff team, but sometimes even the best just don’t have what it takes. I like the Falcons to win this one 27-17.

Houston Texans at New England Patriots, Saturday January 14, 7:15 p.m.

So, I know I said the games this weekend should be a lot more exciting but I should have set this one aside. My only interest in this game is seeing how bad it really gets. It’s like watching a car crash. I wouldn’t have picked the Texans to win in the wild-card game had David Carr been playing. Brock Osweiller will have to have the game of his life to simply prevent embarrassment. Bill Belichick is the ultimate game planner and I think he will attack every weakness the Texans have in a blowout. Patriots cruise to a win 38-23.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday January 15, noon

Let’s get ready to rumble!!! I really want to watch this game without blinking. The Chiefs defense has been pretty solid all year and I can’t wait to see Marcus Peters match up against Antonio Brown. I feel like this is going to be a game of defense intermixed with some big, game changing plays. It’s those big plays that make the difference in the game and I think Ben Roethlisberger makes one more than the Chiefs can overcome. Steelers move on to Foxboro with a 27-24 victory.

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys, Sunday January15, 3:40 p.m.

Of course the NFL would put this game in the last spot. I mean, The Ice Bowl, the 1995 NFC Championship, 2014 Divisional Playoff (which I watched a replay of Thursday night). Those great matches set the tone for what should be the best game of the weekend. I am looking forward to the chess match between defensive coaches Dom Capers and Rod Marinelli. Obviously Mike McCarthy can outcoach Jason Garrett but how well do the defenses keep in check these top offenses? As much as I think the Cowboys may be the best team in the NFC regular season, Aaron Rodgers is a man on a mission and I think he does his thing. Packers move on by a score of 41-34.

Enjoy your football weekend everyone! I will be watching the Packers game with my Cowboys’ fan family Sunday so be on the lookout for my next story recapping that experience. As for the recap; I am picking the Falcons, Patriots, Steelers, and Packers. That should set up some high flying games next week with the Steelers at the Patriots and the Packers at the Falcons.

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