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Breaking Down the Showdowns – Who Will Prevail When the Smoke Clears

Anthony DiMoro

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Remember that iconic scene in “Field of Dreams” when Kevin Costner’s character was asked “Is this Heaven?” , his response was “Iowa” but his weekend may feel like a bit of heaven for NFL fans. Following an interesting and exciting Wild Card Weekend we are lining up for the second course of the bountiful feast which is known as The Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.

 

 

And we have a good number of games on tap and I aim to improve by split from last week (I was 2-2) and go fro the clean sweep. My pics will be a little more bold, but I’ll explain why I picked each.

 

 

Don’t forget we will be LIVE Tweeting throughout the games on Twitter during each game. Come Join Us @sportsrants

 

Or you can just join us on SportsRantz.com or SportsRantz.net to join in the sports talk with the Ranterz Community

So let’s dig in!

 

 


New Orleans Saints vs. San Francisco 49ers

After blowing out the Detroit Lions in the Wild Card Round, the Saints look to keep the offensive momentum going against the 49ers who are making their first playoff appearance since 2002. A classic tug of war between offense & defense.

While many of you may be quick to pick the Saints due to their impressive offensive output during their matchup against the Lions, keep in mind if Lions cornerback Aaron Berry caught that interception we may have has a different score. I am not saying the Lions might have won the game if that play was made, but the score may have been different.

I’m not too comfortable picking the Saints, who for the first 3 quarters of the Lions game struggled to put Detroit away and allowed the Lions to stay in the game.

The 49ers are a sound defensive teams and this is my early pick for Game of the Weekend, but the 49ers seem more balanced than me and are certainly more rested.

San Francisco 24, New Orleans 21


Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens

I really like the Houston Texans and they have been my pick to reach the Super Bowl since the playoff teams were set,. What can I say, I am a sucker for a good story and I can’t help but root for an underdog sometimes. But what stands out more than the journalistic appeal of the Texans is the heart they show and the balance.

Last week on the sidelines I saw a collection of quarterbacks huddled around Houston QB Tj Yates (Jeff Garcia, Jake Delhomme, Matt Leinart) helping Yates through every step of the game. That solidarity speaks volumes to me.

I also like the Baltimore Raves. Who can’t like that defense. But the loss of Ray Lewis impacted the Ravens late in the season and who knows just how healthy the future Hall of Famer will be. And while the Ravens are one of the top defenses in the league and a running back names Ray Rice who is a fantasy stud, the Texans are more balanced of a team.

Joe Flacco will be put in a situation to win the game for the Ravens and frankly not too many people are confident in that, not even Ravens fans.

Houston 17, Baltimore 13


Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots

So last week I really, really wanted to pick Denver. but I took my had over my heart and picked the Steelers, oops!

But this week I feel less confident picking Denver, simply because the offense of the Patriots is too explosive, even for a much-improved Denver defense to handle. While Tebow surely will have his fair share of highlight plays against a rather questionable Pats defense, I just don’t think it will be enough to overcome the Pats offensive output.

Besides all of that, Bill Belichick is one of the best in the business at making halftime adjustments and I have no doubt if things don’t start out the way the Pats intended, they have the ability to correct it in time to win the game.

New England 28, Denver 17


New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers

Nothing says “Playoff Football” quite like January at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

But before the Pakcers plan a ticker tape parade for a ticket to the NFC Championship they have to encounter the New York Giants. The same Giants they narrowly defeated by 3 points a few weeks back when the Pack was still undefeated.

While this game may rival the Saints/49ers game for “Game of the Weekend” honors, it will fall a little short.

I would love to pick the Packers here but the way things are going for the New York Giants makes it hard to make that an easy choice. Furthermore, everything about this game and their first encounter reminds me of 2007 when the Giants narrowly missed defeating the the undefeated New England Patriots int he regular season, only to upset them in the Super Bowl.

Does history repeat itself? This weekend it does

New York 31, Green Bay 27

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. Anthony DiMoro is a Contributor for 'Forbes' where he talks Sports, SEO, Social Media and Internet Marketing. Anthony also hosts the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast' and is a Contributor to the Huffington Post where he covers sports

New England Patriots

Florida Prosecutors Offer to Drop Robert Kraft’s Solicitation Charges

Anthony DiMoro

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Prosecutors in Florida have offered to drop solicitation of prostitution charges against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft if he agrees to admit that he would have been proven guilty had he gone to trial to fight the charges, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Andrew Beaton.

Kraft, 77, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of first-degree solicitation after he was allegedly caught on camera paying for, and receiving, oral and manual sex at the infamous Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida.

One of the incidents allegedly occurred back in January on the morning of the Patriots’ AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs, which the Patriots won en route to their Super Bowl victory.

According to the report, prosecutors have offered the same deal to the other men charged in the sting. Beaton considered the offer “unusual” (h/t NBC Sports Boston).

Additionally, if Kraft decides to take the deal, the Patriots owner will have to complete an education course about prostitution, complete 100 hours of community service, and undergo screening for sexually transmitted diseases.

According to ESPN, Kraft is one of 200 people that allegedly engaged in sex acts at Florida massage parlors that were targeted in the sting.

Kraft has denied the allegations.

 

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Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill Under Investigation

Anthony DiMoro

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Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill is under investigation for battery, according to the Kansas City Star’s Steve Vockrodt and Brooke Pryor.

Per the report, the team is aware that law enforcement is currently investigating Hill, adding that the Kansas Department of Children and Families is also investigating Hill.

“I can only confirm we received a report and an investigation is ongoing,” Mike Deines, spokesperson for DCF, said.

The Kansas City Star has obtained a police report from the Overland Park Police Department regarding a battery incident that lists a juvenile as being the victim, along with Hill’s fiancee, Crystal Espinal, listed under “others involved.”

While the report was dated as last Thursday, the exact date of the incident remains unclear, per the report.

“The club is aware of the investigation involving Tyreek Hill,” the Chiefs said in a statement to The Star. “We’re in the process of gathering information and have been in contact with the league and local authorities. We’ll have no further comment at this time.”

KCTV 5 obtained another Overland Park police report dated March 5th, a report of child abuse or neglect that was closed 3 days later when authorities declined to prosecute.

Hill has a troubling history. Back in 2014, Hill reportedly choked and punched Espinal, who at that time was eight weeks pregnant with their son. Hill pleaded guilt to domestic assault and batter by strangulation later in 2015.

The Chiefs have seen Hill blossom into a star, and they have been negotiating a contract extension with Hill that would make him the highest paid wideout in NFL history, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.

 

 

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Buffalo Bills

WR Cole Beasley Signs Deal with Buffalo

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Cole Beasley

In the NFL, free agency has been wild in 2019. A lot of big name players getting big contracts with new teams. Now, add another big name player to the list.

Down in Dallas, free agent wide receiver Cole Beasley has been trying to make an offer to Dallas to sign a multi-year contract for $20 million. Well, today, he accepted a deal with the AFC East Buffalo Bills.

According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the contract is for 4-year $29 million, $14.4 million guaranteed.

Cole Beasley, who is 29-years old grew up in Houston, Texas and went to high school in Little Elm, Texas. From 2008-2011, Beasley played Wide Receiver at SMU in Dallas. In 2012, Cole signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.

Here are Cole Beasley’s numbers during his time in Dallas:

  • Caught 71 percent of the passes
  • Targeted 449 times
  • 319 passes caught
  • 130 passes dropped
  • 3,271 reception yards
  • 23 Touchdowns

For many Cowboys fans, he will be missed on the field and the sidelines.

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