Rewind: NFL playoffs' most memorable divisional-round games

The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots may find the return path isn't as difficult this postseason.
		 Tim Bradbury  Getty Images

Home teams are in all caps.

New England is allowing 5.73 yards per play this season, worse than every team except the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A report has claimed there is a rift between Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft, but tight end Rob Gronkowski has insisted he and team mates are not losing any sleep over it. Look for the Patriots to make the Titans look silly during this game. A near ideal game plan in Los Angeles kept the high powered Rams offense off the field - they limited running back Todd Gurley to just 18 touches and dominated the time of possession by over 15 minutes! With Carson Wentz it would be a different story. But its run defense will get a test from Henry and Mariota, who in the last two games has given a needy offense a big boost with his ability to create plays with his feet. Foles is completing just 56.4 percent of his passes and is averaging only 5.3 yards per attempt.

- Philadelphia have totalled under 220 yards of offense in their last two home games, the first time they have done so since September 12-19, 1999. All four semifinal participants were, more or less, in the southwest quadrant of the country, and the two finalists were driving distance from the finals venue in Atlanta. Atlanta is motivated to avenge its Super Bowl loss and is catching fire, winning four of its past five while beating the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and Rams in that span. The defensive side of the ball is probably where this game will be decided. However, Philadelphia is a home underdog here against the spastic and inconsistent Atlanta Falcons. Second, Nick Foles is awful. People are essentially penciling in the Falcons for a repeat NFC Championship Game appearance.

(3) Jacksonville Jaguars 7 (2) Pittsburgh Steelers 42: Let's be realistic here. As the great Mike Lombardi says, "Past performance, predicts future success", however in this case, I don't think that there is as much to derive from this game.

The Steelers sure seem to believe that Brown, who missed Pittsburgh's final two games of the season with a partially torn calf muscle, will be fully healthy and good to go for Sunday. It's not just because it's my former team or where I came from, but the way things turned out the first time around. Tennessee has to win the line of scrimmage in order to have a chance. The Patriots must be very happy the way this has played out for them. No one will confuse Jacksonville's offense for a high-flying attack, but the Jaguars quietly have the league's sixth-besttotal offense and theNFL's best rushing attack.

Rewind: NFL playoffs' most memorable divisional-round games
Rewind: NFL playoffs' most memorable divisional-round games

That's why Brady's Patriots and Roethlisberger's Steelers are heavy favorites to oust Mariota and Bortles in their AFC divisional matchups this weekend. If Tennessee can lean on Henry and engineer long drives to bleed the clock, it should be able to keep this game close well into the second half. The rest of his team will just need to be on its A game.

- New Orleans are 1-6 all time on the road in the playoffs.

Graves' 11-5-1 mark on the season certainly would have been good enough to earn a playoff spot - so he is back, as are some of his fiercest competitors from the year, to take on the Super Bowl Challenge. Not only are the Vikings 7-1 at home this season, but Super Bowl LII will be played in Minnesota.

Traditionally, the most entertaining National Football League playoff games take place on divisional weekend.

The Wild Card games are set to have four teams that are big favorites over the teams they are playing.

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