NFL Playoff Predictions: Divisional Round

NFL Playoff Predictions: Divisional Round

Just a reminder these playoff articles are made a week in advance, so I might not get the matchups right.
Phil He
Phil He
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The NFL Playoffs are officially underway as teams continue their fight for the coveted Lombardi Trophy. Now that the Wild Card round is over, the teams that were on a bye will play their first game of the playoffs while the teams that advanced from the Wild Card round will look to keep momentum on their side to continue their playoff push. The match ups will be the Oakland Raiders visiting Foxboro as they face the AFC's number one seed, the New England Patriots. The Pittsburgh Steelers will head to Kansas City to play the Chiefs, the Green Bay Packers will go to Dallas to play the Cowboys, and the Seattle Seahawks will travel down south to play the Atlanta Falcons. Let's start this article with the AFC and then move to the NFC.

AFC

Oakland Raiders (Fifth Seed) at New England Patriots (First Seed)


Many people predicted this to be the AFC Championship match up, but due to the injury to Derek Carr, making him unavailable for the rest of the year, they ended up playing in the Divisional round instead. The Raiders will be a very different team without Derek Carr and the Patriots will look to make another playoff run without star tight end, Rob Gronkowski. The Raiders will need to have a good game from rookie quarterback Connor Cook, the running game, and also the defense. The Patriots will need to have their offensive live show up to protect Brady from Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. The defensive line would need to have a good game to force the rookie to make some rookie mistakes. I see the Raiders struggling on offense with Carr out and the Patriots with one of the best defenses in the league will take advantage of that. I have the Patriots advancing to another AFC Championship.

Score: Patriots 24 Raiders 10

Pittsburgh Steelers (Third Seed) at Kansas City Chiefs (Second Seed)


This game will be a rematch of week four in the regular season, where the Chiefs came to Pittsburgh and lost 43-14. Ben Roethlisberger threw five touchdowns that game as he embarrassed the Chiefs defense. The Chiefs are a completely different team now, plus they have home field advantage knowing that the Steelers struggle on the road. This match up is basically one of the league's best offenses which includes Big Ben, Antonio Brown, and LeVeon Bell versus one of the league's best defenses which include Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, and Eric Berry. Pittsburgh will need big games from LeVeon Bell, Antonio Brown, Big Ben, and the defense to advance. Kansas City will need their defense to hold this prolific offense as well as rookie wide receiver Tyreek Hill to be the amazing return man he has been all season with his amazing speed. Also, a strong outing by quarterback Alex Smith and running back Spencer Ware wouldn't hurt either. I see Kansas City winning a close game as their defense and special teams will be too much for Pittsburgh.

Score Kansas City 20 Pittsburgh 10

NFC

Green Bay Packers (Fourth Seed) at Dallas Cowboys (First Seed)


This will be a week six rematch when the Cowboys beat the Packers 30-16. The Cowboys are looking to continue this magical season led by Dak and Zeke while Aaron Rodgers is chasing another championship with his Packers. This will be Dak's and Zeke's first playoff game and everyone will be watching to see how they will play. Will they play up to expectations or will they finally hit the rookie wall? Expect a lot of offense in this game with the Cowboys rushing attack and the Packers passing attack. The Cowboys will need their defense to try to stop the Packers offense and for their star rookies to play like how they have been playing all year. The Packers will need to depend on their run defense to stop Zeke Elliot, as he recently won the NFL rushing title. Also, the Green Bay receivers will need to play well this game. Dallas will win this high scoring game.

Score: Dallas 30 Green Bay 23

Seattle Seahawks (Third Seed) at Atlanta Falcons (Second Seed)

This match up is another week six rematch where the Seattle Seahawks escaped with a 26-24 win versus the Atlanta Falcons. This will be a very different match up though. Since that week six game, the Falcons offense caught on fire while the Seahawks lost safety Earl Thomas for the season due to an injury. Seattle has not looked like the same team that won a championship a couple of years ago while Atlanta is improving. The Seahawks have struggled on the road so this game might be trouble for them. The Seahawks will need their defense to be great this game to stop star receiver Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman. They will also need their offensive line to be productive to keep Vic Beasley Jr. away from Russell Wilson. The Falcons will need their defense to hold down the great combo of Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin as well as tight end, Jimmy Graham. Also, they will need big games from wideout, Julio Jones, and their defensive line to put pressure on Russell Wilson. Look for Vic Beasley Jr. to have a great game. I see the Falcons escaping with a very close win to finally get past their playoff struggles.

Score: Atlanta: 17 Seattle 14

Those are my predictions for the divisional round for the NFL Playoffs. These were made on Friday before Wild Card weekend so the match ups may not be correct. Good luck to all the teams involved and see you guys next week for the championship round!

Cover Image Credit: Sports Mania

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Andy Ruiz Jr. May Not Look Like The Typical Boxer, But It Doesn't Make His Victory Any Less Deserved

Andy Ruiz Jr. just proved that dreams can come true.

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On June 1, boxing fans witnessed something special as Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO after going seven rounds in the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world. Ruiz Jr. (33-1) was a heavy underdog (+1100) heading into the match-up with Joshua (22-1) but ultimately flipped the script to hand the British fighter his first professional loss ever. Surely the fight will go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Some members of the media and fans have been quick to label the fight as a 'fluke' and 'rigged' which in the end is no surprise to me. That always happens in the sports world. Many did not believe we would get this result yet failed to remember the one rule of sports -- expect the unexpected. Over the past week, I've been coming to the defense of Ruiz Jr. in the wake of others choosing to call him a joke.

I was shocked and surprised to hear two of my favorite sports analysts, Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe, make fun of Ruiz Jr. and frame him as just a guy that looked like 'Butterbean.' When I viewed their tweets on social media it honestly made me upset. Sure, Ruiz Jr. may not have fit the mold of what a professional boxer should look like, but they simply should not have just judged a book by its cover.

Personally, I thought it was disrespectful for Smith and Sharpe to throw shade at Ruiz Jr. in the way they did. I felt like they should have done a better job of acknowledging the winner considering the result of the match. Yet choosing to bash someone because of their physical composition appeared like a low blow. The very foundation of sports allows people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and backgrounds to compete -- that's why most people follow them in the first place.

Smith was open behind his reasoning for his tweets in which I'd like to shed some light on. Smith was upset about how boxing time after time contains elements of corruption with fans having to wait years until promoters schedule big fights. He along with other followers of the sport were looking forward to the highly anticipated yet potential future match-up between Joshua and fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Smith believes that by Ruiz Jr. beating Joshua it essentially diminished the chances of that fight ever happening with the same amount of buildup, but that still doesn't provide any excuse for mocking the new heavyweight champ.

Ruiz Jr. was there for a reason and ultimately seized the opportunity that was right in front of him -- that's not his fault for getting the job done. Just because someone doesn't look like the part doesn't mean they don't possess the same qualities and characteristics as their counterparts. The following pair of videos display the amount of talent Ruiz Jr. does have in the ring. Even fellow boxer Canelo Alvarez and former UFC lightweight/featherweight champion Conor McGregor acknowledge that and have come out to say something on their behalf.

Unfortunately, I don't expect much to change because most will stand their ground and continue to behave the same way. All I'm saying is I did not enjoy some of the top figures within sports media stereotyping Ruiz Jr. based on his looks. I would think that we would be better than that and recognize that anyone can accomplish something great in this world. It all just starts with a simple dream.

I understand and respect other people's takes on this subject, maybe I'm looking into things deeper than what they are, but it struck a chord with me and I felt the need to say something about it.

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