There was nowhere to go but up.
And that's exactly where I went with my NFL divisional round picks, going 2-2 straight up and a nice 3-1 against the spread. That brings my record to 2-6 straight up and 3-5 against the spread in the postseason after going 0-4 in both categories the first week.
I like the home team in one game and the visitor in the other.
Go easy on me, 49ers fans. I'll probably be wrong again, which will be good for you and the 49ers.
Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)
This is a game featuring a clash of counter-cultures in terms of offense. The Titans want to pound the football with the run game, while the Chiefs want to throw it around with Patrick Mahomes.
The Titans will feature Derrick Henry, a bruising back who has rushed for 588 yards the past three games, including 377 the past two weeks in the postseason. He helped the Titans beat the Chiefs earlier in the year when he rushed for 188 yards. Tackling him in the open field is a major challenge for any defense.
The Tennessee defense will be challenged in a big way by Mahomes and his fleet of speedy receivers, add in tight end Travis Kelce and it's an even bigger challenge. I just can't see the Titans slowing Mahomes, who is now healthy. If the game starts getting away from the Titans, it will hurt them in terms of getting Henry going. That's exactly what I think will happen. The Titans won't keep up. The Chiefs, behind another big day from Mahomes, will go to their first Super Bowl in 50 years.
Pick: Chiefs 30, Titans 20
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Green Bay Packers (+7.5) at San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers battered and bruised the Packers in the regular season, winning 38-7 in Week 12. San Francisco's defensive line tossed Aaron Rodgers around like a rag doll, sacking him five times. San Francisco held the Packers to 198 yards that day and Green Bay was 1 for 15 on third down.
That won't happen here.
Yes, the 49ers are coming off an impressive victory over the Vikings last week, a game where their defense dominated, but the Green Bay offense is much better now than it was in Week 12. Rodgers, who is 0-2 against the 49ers in the playoffs, looked good against Seattle last week.
It will come down to the Packers offensive line against that dominant pass rush? Can it hold up? I think it can.
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The Green Bay defense is an aggressive group that loves to play with the lead. But they've had issues against the run all year and San Francisco is outstanding running the ball. If the 49ers win it, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could have an easy time of it against the Packers. The offense is keyed off that run game.
I think both offenses will have success here, but in the end I think it will come down to the better quarterback. I am going with Rodgers and the Packers.
Pick: Packers 27, 49ers 26