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Predictions for Saturday’s Divisional Round Games

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The real playoffs kick off this weekend in the NFL with two Divisional Round games today and tomorrow. I call these the real playoffs because the Wildcard is essentially teams that usually don’t deserve to make the playoffs competing to see who is going to lose in the Divisional Round to a better opponent. However, that is not always the case and I believe it will not be the case for one of the Wildcard winners this weekend. Here are my predictions for the Saturday’s games:

Falcons @ Eagles – 4:35 PM on NBC

It’s not very often that you see a number 1 seed in any playoffs be the underdog against a 6 seed but that is exactly what we have in this matchup. The Eagles were an impressive 13-3 in the regular season and for that reason earned a first round BYE and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. However, the loss of their star quarterback Carson Wentz is looming large and is the main reason that the Falcons are 2.5 point favorites. Many pundits don’t have the Eagles standing a chance in this game, however they are forgetting that they still have the runningback duo of Jay Ajayi and Legarrette Blount. The Eagles were third in the NFL this season in rushing, averaging just over 132 yards per game. That combined with the fact that the Eagles do have arguably the most capable backup quarterback in the NFL in Nick Foles gives the Eagles a chance to hang with the Falcons. But they will not be able to keep up with the rapidity of the Falcons offense led by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, who combined for a big week in the Wildcard round last week. Prediction: Falcons 34 – Eagles 24.

Titans @ Patriots – 8:15 PM on CBS

Tom Brady is 25-9 in his NFL playoff career and has had yet another excellent season, leading the Patriots to the 2nd best passing offense in the NFL. He had an NFL-best 32 passing touchdowns in comparison to just 8 interceptions which is really incredible when you think about the fact that the Patriots haven’t had one of their leading receivers Julian Edelman all season long. On the other side of the coin you have Marcus Mariota. Mariota just played in his first career playoff game last week throwing for 2 touchdowns including one to himself. However, he has a much taller task ahead of him today if his Titans are going to come out on top in a game in which they are currently 13.5 point underdogs. If the Titans are going to win this game today, it is going to be because of the run game. The Patriots ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in run defense in the regular season and they are susceptible to the big play. For this reason, I think the Titans will be able to hang around in the first half. But as the Patriots always do, they will make adjustments at halftime and come out dominating in the second half. Prediction: Patriots 41 – Titans 17

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Antonio Brown Is Not Interested In A Trade

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Antonio Brown has no plans on leaving the Steelers.

The Pro Bowl wideout told reporters was obviously frustrated with the loss on Sunday. Brown tweeted originally tweeted out trade me after a reporter questioned his talent.

During the press interview, Brown stated, “I don’t want to be traded.”

“The tweet yesterday was not in reference to anything other than Antonio responding to a person he knows. It was not directed towards a trade or wanting to be [traded]. Any idea he was asking for a trade is not accurate,” Rosenhaus said in a statement to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Brown has recorded 18 receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown through the first two weeks.

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Jimmy Butler Wants Out Of Minnesota

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Jimmy Butler is ready to suit up for another team.

Butler is  Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks on his list of preferred destinations according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Butler can be a free agent in July, and those three teams have the max salary space to sign him without giving up assets in a trade.

He informed Timberwolves president and coach Tom Thibodeau of the request during a meeting Tuesday in Los Angeles, sources said.

He averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in Minnesota last season.

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Dwayne Wade Coming Back For One Last Season

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Dwayne Wade is calling it quits after the 2018 NBA season.

The 12-time All-Star already has three championships is ready to walk away from the game. Wade announced his return in video titled “One Last Dance.”

“This decision is bigger than the game of basketball,” said the soon to be 37-year-old. “This decision don’t have nothing to do with the talent I have in my body. Yeah, I’m not as quick as I used to be. Yeah, I don’t jump as high as I used to. Yeah, I don’t. Yeah, I don’t. Yeah, I don’t.

“A lot of you guys see me is as a three-time champion, a 12-time All-Star, an Olympic gold medalist, y’all didn’t see that kid that no one [saw] because he was small, because he couldn’t shoot as good as everybody else,” he said. “Y’all didn’t see the grind. Y’all didn’t see the tears.”

Wade will return with Miami Heat for his last season. Many fans will forget about his lost tape years in Chicago and Cleveland.

“I still see a player who can contribute heavily if he really wants to,” Heat president Pat Riley said to reporters in July. “If he plays, he’s going to want to do that. We don’t want him back as a place-mat holder or somebody who’s going to be a veteran in the locker room. Dwyane is a great player, a great talent. He’s not the same guy he was in 2006, but he can be a very good player for us and can make a big difference for us. We want him back as a guy that realizes if this is going to be his last year or whatever, we want this to be his best year ever.”

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