January 11th, 2019.
The Minnesota Vikings will travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers. Saturday, 4:35 PM on NBC.
The Tennessee Titans will fly to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. Saturday, 8:15 PM on CBS.
(11-6) Minnesota Vikings vs. (13-3) San Francisco 49ers:
Kirk Cousins go the “monkey off his back” after winning a playoff game on the road in New Orleans. The Vikings upset the Saints, 26-20 in overtime. Cousins threw a perfect pass to Adam Thielen to set up the game scoring touchdown. He was 19-31 for 242 yards and 1 touchdown. Dalvin Cook rushed the ball 24 times for 98 and yards and Theilen had 129 receiving yards. The Vikings defense limited Michael Thomas to 7 catches for 70 yards and Alvin Kamara rushed 7 times for 21 yards. Minnesota has tremendous talent on both sides of the ball. Make no mistake about it, they beat the Saints because they are a very good and very dangerous team.
The 49ers have no glaring weaknesses. Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 3,900 yards had 27 touchdowns 13 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 102. George Kittle is the best Tight End in the NFL. He had 85 catches and 1,053 receiving yards. When he is healthy, he is like an offensive lineman blocking for the 49ers stable of running backs. Emmanuel Sanders has been a great addition from the Broncos and Deebo Samuel has game breaking ability.
San Francisco’s defense was one of the best units in all of football. Surprisingly, they did not have one player make first team All-Defense. The 49ers had 48 sacks, 23 forced fumbles and 12 interceptions. This team has 11 players who have 40 or more tackles on their rosters. Nick Bosa should win Defensive Rookie of the Year. He had 47 tackles, 16 for loss of yardage and 9 sacks. Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, Jimmie Ward and DeForest Buckner combined for 337 tackles.
If the Vikings can establish the running game with Dalvin Cook they could have a chance to keep it close but I don’t see that happening. Cousins will have a fumble and at least two interceptions.
The 49ers are too well rested, too well coached and too talented to lose this game. SF pulls away in the 3rd quarter.
49ers roll, 41-23
(10-7) Titans vs. (14-2) Ravens:
The Tennessee Titans upset the New England Patriots in the wild card round, 20-13. Derrick Henry carried the ball 34 times for 182 yards and 1 touchdown. It was the most rushing yards ever given up by a Bill Belichick’s Patriots, in the playoffs. Ryan Tannehill threw the ball for 72 yards and yet the Titans won. The Formula for this team will be the same every week. If Tennessee wants to advance to the AFC Championship, they must run Henry at least 40 times against Baltimore and keep that prolific offense off the field. A.J Brown averaged 20 yards per reception, but he had 1 catch for 4 yards against New England. Tannehill only completed 8 passes in the Wild Card Game.
The Titans defensively, are bend but don’t break. They gave up 98 rushing yards and 209 passing yards to New England but only gave up 13 points on the road. They can pressure opposing quarterbacks but they ranked 16th in sacks, (39) on the season.
The Ravens started the Season 2-2, then went out to win 14 straight games in a row. Lamar Jackson threw for over 3,100 yards, had over 1,200 rushing yards and 43 total touchdowns. Mark Ingram III averaged over 5 yards per carry and Mark Andrews had 64 receptions and 10 touchdowns. This is the first offense in the history of the NFL to rush for over 200 yards and throw for over 200 yards per game. They are doing something we have never seen.
The Ravens defense is not talked about nearly enough. They are 4th in yards per game (300.6) and 3rd in points allowed (17.6) and had 43 sacks on the season.
The Titans have the formula to beat the Ravens. They can run the ball, take time of the clock and keep Jackson off the field. What the Titans can’t do, is play from behind. That is exactly where they will be in this game. I expect the Ravens to be up big at the start of the 3rd quarter and the Titans don’t have a pass-first mentality.
Take the Ravens here: 37-23
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