NFL Playoff Schedule 2018: TV Coverage, Live-Stream Guide and Saturday Picks

NFL Playoff Schedule 2018: TV Coverage, Live-Stream Guide and Saturday Picks

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The NFL divisional round is set for Saturday and Sunday.

The Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles kick things off on Saturday afternoon in a matchup between the defending NFC champion and the current No. 1 seed.

The Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots will face off in the Saturday nightcap. The Pats are looking for their sixth Super Bowl title, while the Titans are looking for their first.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are out for revenge against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who they lost to 30-9 earlier this season. Pittsburgh will host that one on Sunday afternoon.

The final divisional-round game is also a rematch as the Minnesota Vikings host the New Orleans Saints. In Week 1, the Vikings beat the Saints 29-19.

It should be a fun weekend of football. Here’s a look at the schedule, television coverage and live-stream information. You can also find some picks and paths to victory for each of the teams playing Saturday.

              

NFL Playoff Bracket and Schedule

Divisional Round

Saturday, January 13, at 4:35 p.m. ET on NBC and NBC Sports Live: No. 6 Atlanta Falcons at No. 1 Philadelphia Eagles

Saturday, January 13, at 8:15 p.m. ET on CBS and CBS All Access: No. 5 Tennessee Titans at No. 1 New England Patriots

Sunday, January 14, at 1:05 p.m. ET on CBS and CBS All Access: No. 3 Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 2 Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, January 14, at 4:40 p.m. ET on Fox and Fox Sports Go: No. 4 New Orleans Saints at No. 2 Minnesota Vikings

                                        

Conference Championships

Sunday, January 21, at 3 p.m. ET: AFC Championship on CBS and CBS All Access (lowest-seeded AFC team at highest-seeded AFC team)

Sunday, January 21, at 6:30 p.m. ET: NFC Championship on Fox and Fox Sports Go (lowest-seeded NFC team at highest-seeded NFC team)

                                      

Super Bowl LII

Sunday, February 4, at 6:30 p.m. ET: AFC champion vs. NFC champion on NBC and NBC Sports Live (game will be played in Minneapolis)

         

Saturday Picks

Falcons 27, Eagles 13

Patriots 42, Titans 17

                  

How the Eagles Can Beat the Falcons

If the Eagles offense doesn’t commit any turnovers, the run game gets going and quarterback Nick Foles connects with wideout Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz (as Chris Raybon of 4for4 Fantasy Football noted, the backup signal-caller and pass-catchers have established a solid rapport), then Philadelphia has a shot at winning this game.

If the Eagles offense is sloppy, Jay Ajayi and LeGarette Blount run into walls on every play and Foles can’t hit anybody, then Philadelphia is going to have an early exit.

On defense, the Eagles’ primary objective will be to shut down star wideout Julio Jones. The problem is that Philadelphia has to deal with a few other weapons, namely the running back tandem of Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman, as well as possession wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.

Still, Philadelphia, who allowed the fourth-fewest points per game, could be up to the task, especially at home in front of what should be a raucous crowd.

           

How the Falcons Can Beat the Eagles

On offense, the Falcons might have a hard time running against the Eagles’ stout front seven. Per Football Outsiders, the Eagles were first in adjusted line yards and running back yards per carry.

Their best bet might be looking to create offense through passes to the running backs. Of course, we should also see a lot of star wideout Julio Jones, who crushed the Eagles with 10 catches for 135 yards last year.

On defense, Atlanta’s fast, hard-hitting and aggressive unit should get after Nick Foles. The Falcons should send the house and force him into mistakes, which could give Atlanta good field position.

Although Foles did well in his first start of the year (a four-touchdown performance in Week 15), he’s struggled since then with a 47 percent completion rate.

The Falcons are road favorites, per OddsShark, and should take this one if the passing attack is crisp and they win the turnover battle.

            

How the Titans Can Beat the Patriots

Three things need to happen for the Titans to pull off a major upset.

First, running back Derrick Henry needs to get going. If he’s rushing for two to three yards per carry and not breaking off any chunk plays, then this game will be over early.

But if the offensive line gives Henry some lanes and he bursts through them for four to five yards per carry and some big gains, then the Titans have a shot.

Second, quarterback Marcus Mariota needs to make plays on the ground as he did against the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild-card round by rushing for 46 yards on eight carries (and catching his own deflected pass for a touchdown).

Third, the Titans need to force turnovers and win special teams battles. If they can get good field position after a fumble or interception or keep the Pats’ returners from breaking off big games, that would go a long way toward the Titans staying competitive.

              

How the Patriots Can Beat the Titans

Expect a lot of running back Dion Lewis and tight end Rob Gronkowski on Saturday night. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that running backs Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee are not expected to play with knee injuries, so Lewis will handle the majority of the carries out of the backfield with James White giving him a breather every so often.

The Titans have fared well against runners this year, holding them to 3.44 yards per carry according to Football Outsiders, but they have trouble against pass-catching running backs and tight ends. They allow 58.3 receiving yards per game to running backs (14.2 more than the league average) and 59.7 receiving yards per game to tight ends (9.1 more than the league average).

Therefore, we could see Lewis and Gronkowski posting big games in a Patriots victory.

Breaking Sports News

via Bleacher Report – Front Page http://ift.tt/yO6Sgr

January 13, 2018 at 10:44AM

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