NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round Picks

CBS television talent from across the country break down the NFL's Divisional Round games and pick which teams will advance to the Championship.

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The Experts
Picks Overview
  Bob Pompeani Don Bell Steve Burton Matt Yurus
Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Saturday, January 13, 4:35 pm ET
Falcons Eagles Falcons Falcons
Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots
Saturday, January 13, 8:15 pm ET
Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, January 14, 1:05 pm ET
Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers
New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, January 14, 4:40 pm ET
Saints Saints Saints Vikings
Picks Analysis
Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Saturday, January 13, 4:35 pm ET
Bob Pompeani, KDKA Pittsburgh
Bob Pompeani, KDKA-TV, CBS Pittsburgh
Falcons
This would be one of the hottest tickets if Carson Wentz were still playing. But since he isn’t, people wonder if Nick Foles can win postseason games. He has only played in one, and it was a loss with two interceptions. The Eagles do have capable players in their run game and certainly on defense. But in big games like this, often it’s the quarterback who makes the difference. We saw last week the experience of Matt Ryan, who got it done against a young and ready (but not last week) Rams team. This will still be a very close game, but I’m going with Atlanta based on the experience. It will be a close first half before Falcons pull away to win and advance.
Don Bell, Sports Director, CBS 3 Philadelphia
Don Bell, CBS 3, Philadelphia
Eagles
This game is close to my heart. I live in Philly. The Eagles aren’t about football. They represent civic pride. When the Birds lose, the cheesesteaks are stale, depression blocks the sun and a tear falls from the eye of the Willie Penn statue. How bad is life without Carson Wentz? The Eagles are the first No. 1 seed in the Divisional Round to open as an underdog to a No. 6. Even Rocky is shocked. Having said that, I believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Nick Foles isn’t a star, but he’s clearly not a stiff either. Foles and a fierce rushing attack team up with a tenacious defense to ruin Matt Ryan’s Philly homecoming. (I hope).
Steve Burton, Sports Director, WBZ-TV Boston CBS 3
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV, CBS Boston
Falcons
Atlanta has had one year to live with their collapse in Super Bowl LI. They are hungry and a better team than Philly, who is missing their star quarterback in Carson Wentz.
Matt Yurus, Digital Anchor, CBS 11 Dallas
Matt Yurus, CBS 11, Dallas
Falcons
Without Carson Wentz on the field, the Philadelphia Eagles, are in trouble. While Nick Foles is capable, Wentz is the heart and soul of that team. Moreover, the Falcons are heating up, having handily beaten the Carolina Panthers to close the season and the Los Angeles Rams in the first round of the playoffs.  The latter sported the best offense in football. Supported by good defense and special teams, Matt Ryan and the offense get it done.
Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots
Saturday, January 13, 8:15 pm ET
Bob Pompeani, KDKA Pittsburgh
Bob Pompeani, KDKA-TV, CBS Pittsburgh
Patriots
Tennessee shocked the NFL world with that 18-point second-half comeback against the Chiefs. Credit the Titans for out-coaching the Chiefs, something that won’t happen this week. There is the potential distraction hanging over the Patriots about fractured egos between Brady, Belichick and Kraft, but that will not be an issue in this game. It would make things interesting if Tom Brady got injured, and instead of a well-stocked backup QB cupboard with Brissett and Garopollo, they had to use Hoyer. Short of that, the Patriots will cruise to a win. Tennessee had a solid year, but this Cinderella story hits midnight at midnight Saturday in Foxborough.
Don Bell, Sports Director, CBS 3 Philadelphia
Don Bell, CBS 3, Philadelphia
Patriots
You know how it goes — I can talk about my crazy family but you most certainly can not. I have a sneaking suspicion that the recent report exposing the dysfunction between Brady, Belichick and Kraft will unify the trio. No team relishes the “us against the world” mantra like the Patriots — see Spygate, Deflategate, etc, al. Mariota may have to throw three more touchdowns to himself for the Titans to have a chance. The Pats squash the family feud — for now — and roll in Foxborough.
Steve Burton, Sports Director, WBZ-TV Boston CBS 3
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV, CBS Boston
Patriots
The Patriots at home, coming off a bye week. This one is a no brainer.
Matt Yurus, Digital Anchor, CBS 11 Dallas
Matt Yurus, CBS 11, Dallas
Patriots
For the first time in recent memory, the New England Patriots have let the inner workings of its organization seep into the public in a substantive way. I suspect that Bill Belichick was in fact upset by his boss’s decision to trade away Jimmy Garoppolo, the team’s future. And it cannot have been easy having had Tom Brady’s personal training guru roaming facilities and sidelines with virtually unlimited access, potentially conflicting with team personnel. For most teams, this would have been a distraction. For the Patriots, it is motivation. Brady will show he is still the best by a long shot. And Belichick will be anxious to show nothing can shake his process-oriented approach. (It helps that the Tennessee Titans are not a good playoff team.)
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, January 14, 1:05 pm ET
Bob Pompeani, KDKA Pittsburgh
Bob Pompeani, KDKA-TV, CBS Pittsburgh
Steelers
This isn’t October, when it was 73 degrees on game day. This weekend it will be 50 degrees colder, with 23 degrees the expected temperature. The Steelers are also playing much better. They are well rested and will likely be healthy, which means all weapons on deck, including Antonio Brown. Jacksonville’s defense is very good, but their offense is not. Leonard Fournette will not rush for 181 yards like he did in Week 5. That means more of the pressure will fall on Blake Bortles, and that is not in the Jags’ playbook. Last year, the Steelers got shredded by Miami in regular season and then came back to shred them in the playoffs. I see something similar this time.
Don Bell, Sports Director, CBS 3 Philadelphia
Don Bell, CBS 3, Philadelphia
Steelers
The key number is FIVE. Back in WEEK 5, the Jaguars forced Ben Roethlisberger into a career-high FIVE picks. They harassed and embarrassed the future Hall of Famer, while Blake Bortles rode mediocrity (95 yards passing) and Leonard Fournette (181 yards rushing) to a 30-9 win. Don’t expect to see that again. Big Ben, pride and a healthy dose of Le’Veon Bell should lead the Steelers to the AFC Championship Game.
Steve Burton, Sports Director, WBZ-TV Boston CBS 3
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV, CBS Boston
Steelers
Traveling to Pittsburgh and beating the Steelers is too tough for the Jaguars. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has too much playoff experience.
Matt Yurus, Digital Anchor, CBS 11 Dallas
Matt Yurus, CBS 11, Dallas
Steelers
I cannot imagine the formidable Jacksonville Jaguars defense picking off Ben Roethlisberger five times, including two pick sixes, as they did in week five. And without that, or a similar collapse, Blake Bortles cannot do enough to contribute to a win. Big Ben will get redemption. 
New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, January 14, 4:40 pm ET
Bob Pompeani, KDKA Pittsburgh
Bob Pompeani, KDKA-TV, CBS Pittsburgh
Saints
Minnesota earned its #2 seed with solid and consistent play all season long. Even with injuries at QB to both Bridgewater and Bradford, Keenum kept it in the fast lane when Zimmer gave him the keys to the offense, despite many critics. The Vikings beat the Saints convincingly early in the season, but New Orleans is not the same team. Kamara and Ingram are outstanding together. But this will come down to an experienced quarterback, just like with Atlanta. And I love what Drew Brees is capable of doing. New Orleans has used the run to set up the pass, which is completely opposite of what they have done for so many years with Brees. This will be a highly competitive game that the Saints will win.
Don Bell, Sports Director, CBS 3 Philadelphia
Don Bell, CBS 3, Philadelphia
Saints
I’m having a strong case of déjà vu. Back in 2010, the 13-3 New Orleans Saints were trying to cap off a surprising season. They narrowly beat the Vikings and a crusty, old and decaying Brett Favre in the NFC title game en route to a Super Bowl win. My point is… there’s playoff history here. This year’s New Orleans Saints seem to have some of that mojo. Cool Brees authors an upset in Minny.
Steve Burton, Sports Director, WBZ-TV Boston CBS 3
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV, CBS Boston
Saints
Minnesota would love to play in the Super Bowl at home. But this weekend, there will be too much Drew Brees for them to handle.
Matt Yurus, Digital Anchor, CBS 11 Dallas
Matt Yurus, CBS 11, Dallas
Vikings
In the opening round, the New Orleans Saints looked good at home, where they were 7-1 in the regular season. But alas, they play the Minnesota Vikings on the road, where the Saints were 4-4. Coupled with the Vikings good rushing defense, losing home-field advantage will make the difference.

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