Stacy Revere/Getty Images
The NFL playoffs continue with the Divisional Round this weekend.
Saturday's slate includes matchups between the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers during the day and the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens at night.
On Sunday, the Houston Texans will take on the Kansas City Chiefs before the Seattle Seahawks look to knock off the Green Bay Packers.
The Sports Insider team has made predictions for who we think will win each game.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
It's time to break out the big guns.
We've reached the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs, and that means it's time for the league's heavyweights to make their debuts.
On Saturday, the Minnesota Vikings will take on the San Francisco 49ers before the Tennessee Titans look to topple the league-leading Baltimore Ravens under the bright lights. Sunday's slate includes matchups between the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs during the day and the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers at night.
The Sports Insider team made its predictions for how the games will play out. See who we think will advance in the playoffs this weekend below.
Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
Cork Gaines: 49ers. The 49ers overachieved this season just a tad, and the Vikings underachieved a bit. That suggests these teams, when playing at their best, are probably more even than their regular-season performances might suggest. The problem is that we know what the 49ers are, and we can't be sure which Vikings team will show up. Look for the 49ers to win a close game, but I also wouldn't be shocked if the Vikings pulled off the upset.
Scott Davis: 49ers. The Vikings' upset of the Saints was a surprising one, with Dalvin Cook establishing the run game, the defense swarming all over the field, and Kirk Cousins making big throws when it mattered. It's tough to ask them to do it all again on the road for a second week in a row, particularly against a 49ers defense that practically lives in opponents' backfields.
Tyler Lauletta: Vikings. Last week I doubted Kirk Cousins, only to watch as he led the Vikings to one of the most impressive road wins in recent memory. This week, I'm backing Minnesota to pull off another upset, with Cousins once again leading the way. San Francisco started this season dominant, but faltered a bit closer to the end of the year. As long as wide receiver Adam Theilen gets the okay to play on Saturday, I like the Vikings.
Meredith Cash: Vikings. The 49ers demolished every opponent they faced to start the season, but Jimmy Garoppolo and company are trending in the wrong direction. They dropped two of their last five games and won each of the other three by less than a touchdown. The Vikings, meanwhile, defied all expectations to pull out an overtime victory against Drew Brees and the Saints, and I think that momentum will carry them to the NFC Championship Game.
Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens
2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images
Cork Gaines: Ravens. It is easy to forget that Lamar Jackson is still only 23 years old. Meanwhile, good defenses tend to find a way to shut down young QBs in the postseason. The problem for the Titans is that even if they do slow down Jackson, I'm not sure they can score enough against the Ravens defense to matter. This game might be close for a while, but look for the Ravens to pull away in the second half as the Titans' frustration grows.
Scott Davis: Ravens. While the Titans eked out some close games or pulled away late this year, the Ravens did the opposite of that. Over the last eight games, the Ravens outscored opponents by 174 points, 98 points higher than the next closest team. Even the Titans' upset of the Patriots came down to the final minutes. Another significant factor in that one: a huge goal-line stop of the Patriots in the first half. I feel less confident in Tennessee's ability to do the same to a Ravens team that has been running over opponents all season.
Tyler Lauletta: Ravens. It's the year of Lamar, and we're just living in it. After a disappointing postseason debut last season against the Chargers, I think Jackson and the Ravens are going to come out hot against the Titans this weekend. Secure a big lead early, and it will be tough for Tennessee to play their game of slow dominance with Derrick Henry.
Meredith Cash: Titans. I'll be the bad guy here — I think the Titans have the chops to pull off the surprise upset and take down everyone's favorite running back. Yes, nobody has any semblance of an idea on how to stop Lamar Jackson. And yes, the Ravens have steamrolled virtually everyone who's gotten in their way. But ever since Ryan Tannehill took over under center in Week 7, the Titans have been an offensive juggernaut in their own right. Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown are both serious weapons in Tennessee's arsenal, and the defense flexed its muscles in a big way against the Pats last week. There's no doubt Baltimore will be tough to hold back, but I believe Tennessee has a real shot at making the impossible reality.
Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Cork Gaines: Chiefs. Let's not overthink this one. Houston is not going to stop the Kansas City offense. That means the Texans would need to win in a shootout. I am not sure Bill O'Brien knows how to use DeAndre Hopkins well enough for that to happen. Chiefs win this one easily.
Scott Davis: Chiefs. The Texans have played up and down all season, as evidenced by their 16-point comeback and OT win over a beatable Bills team (at home). The Chiefs, meanwhile, were one of the hotter teams in football down the stretch. Patrick Mahomes is healthy, and the defense is rolling, having held opponents below 20 points in five of their last six games.
Tyler Lauletta: Chiefs. The Texans needed to leave everything on the field last weekend to mount a comeback against the Bills at home. The Chiefs defense looks to be peaking at the right time, and after a few stops to start the game, I think Patrick Mahomes puts this one away early.
Meredith Cash: Chiefs. I bet on Deshaun Watson to take care of business last week, but Kansas City is a very different animal from Buffalo. Even with J.J. Watt back in the fold, I don't think Houston can stop Patrick Mahomes, and I don't trust Watson to match that high-octane production against a formidable Chiefs defense. For that reason, I think the Texans will have to wait a little longer to notch their first Divisional Round victory in franchise history.
The Packers are offering $12 an hour for 700 shovelers to help clear snow before their huge playoff gameLarry David says he tried to convince the old Jets GM to draft Lamar Jackson, but only got a condescending answer in returnThe Cowboys' new coach spent his year away from the NFL in a barn studying the game's modern trends to get another chance in the league
Read more: feedproxy.google.com