Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Saturday's NFL division round game previews

NFC: Falcons at Eagles, 4:35, NBC

Related News/Archive

Line/OU: Falcons by 3; 41

The Eagles are the first No. 1 seed ever to be an underdog to a No. 6, and it's no mystery why: As good a backup quarterback as Nick Foles is, he's still a dropoff from Carson Wentz, who was an MVP candidate before he blew out his ACL in December. Philadelphia — with the third-ranked rushing offense in the league, keyed by former Buc LeGarrette Blount and former Dolphin Jay Ajayi — likely will try to pound away at the Falcons defense. The Falcons offense seemed to come alive in last week's 26-13 wild-card victory over the Rams, and Matt Ryan has notched a QB rating of at least 100 in five straight playoff games, one short of Joe Montana's record. Maybe more impressively, their defense kept star RB Todd Gurley to a relatively quiet 101 yards and kept consistent pressure on QB Jared Goff.

AFC: Titans at Patriots, 8:15, CBS

Line/OU: Patriots by 13½; 48

Titans QB Marcus Mariota went a long way toward redeeming a disappointing season by showing toughness and poise in last week's comeback win at Kansas City. Tennessee's key player, though, might be RB Derrick Henry, who has 308 total yards and two scores in two games as a starter. If Henry goes haywire — keep in mind New England allowed 4.7 yards per carry this season, 31st in the league — the Titans could play keepaway and pull off the upset. Realistically, the only way QB Tom Brady and the Patriots lose this game is if they beat themselves, which they're not in the habit of doing. Perhaps the off-field distractions of reported conflicts between Brady, coach Bill Belichick and owner Roger Kraft will play a role, but not likely. New England is 20-4 at home in the playoffs and hasn't lost a home playoff game since 2012.

Times wires

Saturday's NFL division round game previews 01/12/18 [Last modified: Friday, January 12, 2018 8:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2018 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. With Victor Hedman out, Lightning's Slater Koekkoek finally gets chance to prove himself

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — When it comes to replacing its top defenseman, the Lightning realizes that's not possible.

  2. Abuse survivor confronts gymnastics doctor: 'I have been coming for you for a long time'


    Two yearbook photos floated side-by-side on a projection screen in the Michigan courtroom.

  3. Gap closing between River Ridge and soccer power Sunlake


    NEW PORT RICHEY — The string of state tournament runs for Sunlake High School has made a great mark for Pasco County boys soccer.

  4. Rick and Tom podcast: Can the Lightning keep up this pace?

    Lightning Strikes

    In their latest podcast, Tom Jones sits down with Joe Smith to catch up on the Lightning through 44 games as it gets set to come back from the bye week.

  5. Plant City boys basketball feasts on community support


    PLANT CITY — One morning a few days before Christmas, Plant City High's boys basketball team piled into a local eatery for some pre-tournament breakfast.