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VOL. 44 | NO. 2 | Friday, January 10, 2020

Titans facing toughest task at Baltimore

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Road teams did a number on the home teams in the Wild-Card Playoffs last week. The Titans, Vikings and Seahawks all traveled and took care of business, while the Bills fell in overtime at Houston. All the games were low-scoring, as no team scored more than 26 points last weekend.

That likely changes in the Divisional Playoffs begin this weekend, as all four road teams are underdogs. But look for competitive games, even if the point spread doesn’t always indicate that.

Ravens 24, Titans 21

Saturday, 7:15 p.m., CBS

The Titans have had a good run, and their fans would love nothing better than to avenge two divisional round losses when Tennessee was the No. 1 seed (2000 and 2008) by going to Baltimore and knocking off the Ravens.

This rivalry isn’t what it used to be – the teams were placed in different divisions by the 2002 realignment – but you can bet it will be rekindled this weekend. The Titans have to slow Lamar Jackson, confuse him and get a turnover or two to pull an upset. And they’ll need Derrick Henry to continue being Superman.

Vikings 23, 49ers 20

Saturday, 3:35 p.m., NBC

An upset special. Minnesota has a very solid squad for a six seed, and Kirk Cousins finally got the “big game” monkey off his back with an overtime win in New Orleans. If the Vikings keep playing defense and running the ball like they did against the Saints on Sunday, then it is possible.

The 49ers are a very complete team that met every challenge this season. The only question about San Fran is whether or not their playoff inexperience might bite them at the wrong time.

Chiefs 30, Texans 20

Sunday, 2:05 p.m., CBS

Two of the game’s most dynamic young quarterbacks face off when the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes goes against the Texans and Deshaun Watson. The Texans won in Kansas City earlier this season, but the KC defense was a mess then.

They have since cleaned up their act and are a big part of why the Chiefs have raised their stock down the stretch. Watson will have to lead Houston, which will be hoping for its first AFC Championship Game appearance since the Titans were playing in Houston as the Oilers.

Seahawks 24, Packers 23

Sunday, 5:40 p.m., Fox

The Packers are flying a bit under the radar for a team that went 13-3 and had a first-round bye. Seattle has been getting by on the play of Russell Wilson and his knack for making big plays at the right time. Can the Seahawks go the hard route on the road and pull another upset? Chances are they can, especially if Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense have one of those days where things aren’t quite clicking.

— Terry McCormick

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