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NFL Divisional Round: Saturday Open Thread

Here's an open thread for Saturday's NFL divisional round games in the playoffs.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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The NFL playoffs return today as the divisional round gets underway.  Today's matchups feature the number two seeds in each conference hosting the number five seeds, and the games should be very interesting and well worth watching.  Consider this an open thread for you to discuss the games, but first let's take a very brief look at the two matchups.

Kansas City Chiefs (12-5) at New England Patriots (12-4)

4:35 p.m. ET - CBS

The Chiefs are football's hottest team, as they have won 11 in a row, including a 30-0 victory in the Wild Card round over the Texans.  The Patriots, of course, are the defending Super Bowl champions and are looking to advance to the AFC Championship game for yet another year.  The real wild card in this game could be the health of Rob Gronkowski, who is dealing with knee and back injuries.  The Chiefs are also dealing with a significant injury as Jeremy Maclin has an ankle injury, but the injury to Gronk could have the biggest impact of anything.  The Patriots are a different team when Gronk isn't playing or isn't playing well, so that will be a huge key to watch.  Ultimately, however, I think the Patriots pull it out at home to advance to another AFC title game - which might set us up for one last Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning title game.

Green Bay Packers (11-6) at Arizona Cardinals (13-3)

8:15 p.m. ET - NBC

This game is a rematch of the week 16 game in which the Cardinals beat the Packers by 30 points in a complete domination, but it's unlikely that this week's game will take a similar trajectory.  Aaron Rodgers and the Packers seemed to regain their rhythm a bit last week, which could make for a much more intriguing matchup this time around.  With Carson Palmer healthy and the Cardinals being one of the best teams in football this year, however, I'm taking the Cardinals in this one to advance to the NFC Championship game and notch their first playoff win under head coach Bruce Arians.