NFL playoffs: Picks, predictions for 2018 divisional round

Super Bowl LII Odds With Wild Card Weekend Over Check Out This 40/1 Long Shot

NFL playoffs: Picks, predictions for 2018 divisional round

Minnesota's linebackers and defensive front featuring Everson Griffin and Linval Joseph will also face the tall task of shutting down New Orleans' two-headed backfield of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Five of those 11 made a Super Bowl appearance, with four winning the championship that year.

However, defense is only half of the equation.

The NFL has staged 51 Super Bowls, and until this year, the host team never had a home game even in the divisional round of the playoffs. They are literally a wild card since the injury of Carson Wentz. They started 4-4, barely squeaked into the postseason, and then upset the Los Angeles Rams on the road in the wild-card round to move on.

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For instance, Philadelphia surrendered 7.7 fewer points per game than expected based on the down, distance and field position of each opposing play against. The Eagles also stuffed 28 percent of rushers at or behind the line of scrimmage during the regular season, 10 percentage points better than the Rams (18 percent).

Prediction : New England Patriots win by 17+. Minnesota has the NFL's No.1 ranked defense and an offense that's 10th in points scored, while New Orleans has the No.2 offense with a defense that's 10th in points allowed. I know the Jaguars had their way the last time they visited Pittsburgh, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will not throw five interceptions once again, and he will not allow the Jaguars defense to do the scoring for Jacksonville.

But the Jaguars' playoff hopes will live and die by how their defense plays, and right now, there is no team better at stopping the pass. It's that same defense that allowed Jacksonville to win in Pittsburgh 30-9 in Week 5. His passer rating drops from 103.5 to 62.1 under pressure this season, roughly the difference between Drew Brees (103.9 passer rating) and DeShone Kizer (60.5, the worst rating by a passer this season).

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"I think having gone through these situations, understanding what it's like, the atmosphere, those kinds of things, knowing that it's going to be tough, all those things kind of carry forward", Ryan told reporters, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Me either, but here we are. The Steelers' defense hasn't been the same since Ryan Shazier's injury, and the Jaguars can win outright if Blake Bortles avoids committing multiple turnovers.

When the Buffalo Bills went up against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the performances of both teams made it very hard to tell that they were playing in January.

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