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Playoffs what we all look forward to in the NFL

Steve Brownlee

Ah, what we’ve been waiting for this entire NFL season — the playoffs!

It’s an uphill battle for each of the eight teams playing this weekend, since after this, they will in all likelihood be playing on the road twice more if they can keep winning.

Renee Prusi, who subbed for me so magnificently while I was laid up for all of November and then some, said she’d be happy to let me take the reins by myself for the playoffs.

Without further ado, here’s my thoughts on the matchups:

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Saturday, 4:30 p.m.

Indianapolis at Houston — The one divisional matchup this weekend, but a matchup of two hotter-than-a-pistol teams.

The Colts have won nine of 10 after a 1-5 start, while Houston has won 11 of 13 after an 0-3 beginning.

I’m not convinced about these streaks, however. Other than games against each other — which they split — the only playoff team either has beaten is Dallas.

Against each other, Indy won 24-21 on Dec. 9 in Houston, so I’ll have to go for the near-repeat. Colts, 27-24.

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Saturday, 8:15 p.m.

Seattle at Dallas — This one sounds like a slam-dunk , with the Cowboys featuring running back Ezekiel Elliott rolling up 1,434 yards and the Seattle defense ranked 30th in the league vs. the run.

I can’t say much else, unless the Seahawks were at home. And they’re not. Cowboys, 30-20.

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Sunday, 1 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore — This seems like the toughest game to pick with the Chargers featuring a superior record — 12-4 vs. 10-6 — but having to go as they couldn’t beat out Kansas City for the AFC West.

I’ve got to lean on the Chargers’ inability to ever get it done in the quarterback Phillip Rivers’ era, so I’ll take the Ravens, 27-23.

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Sunday, 4:30 p.m.

Philadelphia at Chicago — In this age of offense, offense, offense — dictated by the rules and not necessarily by what’s in vogue — it’s seems rather difficult for a defense-first, offensively challenged team to make a lot of headway.

Though I’d certainly love to see a Bears-KC Chiefs Super Bowl just for the contrast in styles, I can’t see Chicago’s lackluster offense traveling well.

However, they’re at home this weekend, so I’m happy to take the Bears, 19-17.

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Last week — Steve, 13-3, 81 percent. Renee, 14-2, 88 percent. Regular season — Steve, 158-96-2, 62 percent. Renee, 165-89-2, 65 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal. net.