AFC Divisional Games Preview | 49ers Fangirl

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The wild card weekend is over and we are on to the divisional playoff round. In the AFC, it’s Brady vs. Brock and Alex vs. Big Ben. Let’s a take a look!

Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots

We’ll start at Gillette Stadium, where Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans are off to take on the New England Patriots. 49er fans will be watching this game and Josh McDaniels’ offense very closely.

  • The Texans are coming off a decisive win over the Derek Carr-less Oakland Raiders but the fun stops there, because now they’re facing Brady, Tom Brady. That would be Tom Brady and his 112.2 passer rating, 3,554 yards, 28 touchdowns and two interceptions. Two! The whole season – well, his season was 12 games, but my God!
  • In contrast, Texans’ QB Brock Osweiler finished the regular season with 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He looked the best he has this season the other day throwing for 168 yards and a touchdown and rushing for another. But those numbers aren’t going to cut it without some serious defensive help.
  • Enter the Texans’ Jadeveon Clowney-led defense. Clowney was a nightmare for Connor Cook with an interception and two batted passes.
  • You’ll have to watch to see if I think Clowney and the Houston defense can stop Brady.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Next up, let’s head to Kansas City, where 49ers’ fans will probably be rooting for Alex Smith’s Chiefs to beat Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

  • This one should be interesting. The Chiefs haven’t won a playoff game at home since 1993, but the Steelers’ offense has not wowed on the road all season. And Arrowhead is loud. I still think advantage KC.
  • Alex Smith’s offense has been upgraded significantly by wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who is also a huge special teams threat, with three returns for touchdowns this season. Add in Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce and Smith has a lot of weapons to choose from.
  • Then again, so does Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger connected with Antonio Brown for two touchdowns against the Dolphins, while running back Le’Veon Bell rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns himself. That being said Road Ben is not Home Ben, with nine touchdowns, eight interceptions and a 59.4% completion rating away from Heinz Field in 2016.
  • Watch to see if I think this is the year that the Chiefs can win a playoff game at home.

It should be a great weekend of football! Enjoy!

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Tracy Sandler

Bleeding gold and staying Niner faithful, I bring you the latest news features & commentary on my beloved San Francisco 49ers.

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