Tuesday - Jan 15, 2019

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THE PROGNOSTICATOR: Division Playoffs

Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator, may it cash you out. Over the many years that I have been writing The Progno I’ve pleased with how well it does predicting the outcome of games. It’s a formula that I have developed over the years that does a fairly in-depth matchup analysis of each game utilizing a number of different statistical categories. It has actually done so well over the years that I’m always left a little surprised when things don’t shake out like the prediction says it should. Last weeks games had a few surprises and at the end of the week, as far as picking the outright winner, The Progno went just 1-3 which doesn’t get it done. But, if we were to hunt for the silver lining, ATS (against the spread) The Progno actually went 2-1-1 so perhaps where it counts, it still performed fairly well? If someone were to have received another half a point in the Jaguars/Bills game (and the line did bounce around during the week) they would have gone 3-1 ATS so maybe, just maybe, all is not lost! Let’s dive in.
Passing Rushing
Team Score Team Score
PIT 259 JAX 119
JAX 248 TEN 114
NE 246 NE 113
ATL 233 PIT 113
PHI 233 MIN 110
MIN 222 ATL 108
NO 202 NO 107
TEN 197 PHI 102

How to read the table: The table shows how a team will do Passing and Rushing in the upcoming week of the NFL. Red is HOT, Yellow is WARM, White is NORMAL, Light Blue is COLD and Dark Blue is FREEZING COLD. Play players from teams that are Red and Yellow, avoid players from teams that are Light or Dark Blue and expect average days from teams that are White.

All times are Eastern

Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles – Saturday 4:35pm
The Falcons played a good game last week against a Rams team that had scored a LOT of points this season. All that scoring is most definitely going to skew the numbers in favor of the Rams and skew it did. The problem for the Rams wasn’t the skew, it was the “pee-yew” as the Rams played horrible. Goff looked like a shell of his former self and Gurley never really got going. It all seemed so right for the Rams until everything went so horribly wrong. Experience counts in the playoffs and last week it showed.

 

This week the Falcons are favored going into the top seeded Philadelphia Eagles which has to be a rarity. The Falcons finished third in the NFC South earning the final NFL playoff position as the six seed and to be favored as the road team against the top seed just does not happen. It is a damning reflection of the play of no one else but Eagles backup quarterback Nick Foles but here’s the thing, Foles is just one player and while he is arguably at the helm of the most important offensive position on the team there are many other hungry Eagles that know how to make an impact. The Eagles defense was one of the best in all of football this season and they are still intact as is the revamped ground game for the Eagles. Do not count the Eagles and their home field advantage out just yet.

 

Favorite: Atlanta Falcons by 2.5
Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 24 – Atlanta Falcons 17
Category Advantage
Rushing
Passing
Offense
Interceptions
Fumbles
Turnovers

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots – Saturday 8:15pm
Is anyone but a Titans fan picking against Tom Brady here? I can’t imagine it. Even some Titans fans are likely to be picking the Patriots in this one just given the history. The Patriots will be up for this game and Tom Brady will be precision like. While the Titans are talented up front on defense the Patriots are arguably the best in the league at screen plays to all positions and that combination along with end arounds to their wide receivers will be tough to handle for the plodding Titans.

 

Favorite: New England Patriots by 13.5
Prediction: New England Patriots 31 – Tennessee Titans 20
Category Advantage
Rushing
Passing
Offense
Interceptions
Fumbles
Turnovers

Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers – Sunday 1:05pm
Nothing ever goes according to plan in the NFL. Most had Kansas City last week but Tennessee won the game. Most will have the Pittsburgh Steelers this week and while the game will be close, it will be the Jacksonville Jaguars that surprise. The one caveat though and what makes this a high-risk pick is the play of Blake Bortles. Bortles has had some great games this season but has had just as many clunkers and when he clunks, man does he clunk. If it weren’t for the ultra-talented Jaguars defense holding the Bills to just 3 points last week, the Jaguars would have lost that game as Bortles looked lost at times. There is a lot of risk with this pick but if the Jaguars play to their average they will compete in this game.

 

Favorite: Pittsburgh Steelers by 7
Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars 31 – Pittsburgh Steelers 30
Category Advantage
Rushing
Passing
Offense
Interceptions
Fumbles
Turnovers

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings – Sunday 4:40pm
Both offenses will be down statistically in this one as the defenses outweigh the offenses. The Saints have a tremendous offense but the Vikings have the defense to slow them down. The Vikings have a good offense but the Saints have enough on defense to also slow them down. What makes the difference in this one is where the game is played as Minnesota is at home and New Orleans does not play as well when not on their home turf. The difference will be all it takes to have this game swing the Vikings way.

 

Favorite: Minnesota Vikings by 3.5
Prediction: Minnesota Vikings 27 – New Orleans Saints 20
Category Advantage
Rushing
Passing
Offense
Interceptions
Fumbles
Turnovers

About Tony Holm

Founder and President of FantasySharks.com. Five-time nominee for the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. Started publishing fantasy content on the web in 1993 and hasn't stopped yet.