Previewing the Divisional Playoffs
Here are my predictions for the divisional round playoffs.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5)
Last week, the Colts picked up a surprise road win in Houston, beating the Texans 21-7. The Colts defense showed up and took care of business, which is a tall task when going against Watson and company in Houston. Unfortunately, the task at hand only gets harder, as the Colts travel to Kansas City to take on arguably one of, if not, the best offense in the league. I expect Mahomes, Hill, and Kelce to have a day against the Colts. At this time of the year, games simply come down to coaching whether it be making adjustments or out scheming your opponent. That said, I’ll take Andy Reid at home after a bye every single time.
Prediction: Colts 20 Chiefs 31
Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams (-7.0)
Just like the Colts, the Cowboys took care of business in the wild card round. The Cowboys beat the Seahawks 24-22. As I said last week, the Seahawks are a shell of what they used to be. The Rams on the other hand, are only starting to come into themselves. We have seen through this hiring cycle for head coaches that everyone wants the next Sean McVay. It also doesn’t hurt when the Rams boast the league's best roster top to bottom. With Todd Gurley also returning from injury, I fully expect the Rams to take care of business this time around, which they failed to do last year against the Falcons. The Cowboys have a decent team, but I feel they are still a piece or two away from truly competing for championships.
Prediction: Cowboys 16 Rams 31
Los Angeles Chargers vs. New England Patriots (-4.0)
Of the four games this weekend, this is the one I feel most confident could go either way. This is probably the best Chargers team Rivers has had in his career except the one back in 2006 where they went 14-2, but coincidentally lost to the Patriots in the divisional round. The Chargers will once again have to travel across the county, which will take its tole on a team. Melvin Gordon isn’t guaranteed to be at full capacity for this game either. If Gordon can’t provide a spark for the Chargers, they become one dimensional very quickly. At the end of the day, it’s very hard to pick against the Patriots in New England.
Prediction: Chargers 26 Patriots 28
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints (-8.0)
When these two team met back in Week 11, the Saints won convincingly 48-7; however, this playoff will not be a repeat of that beat down. In Week 11, Carson Wentz threw 3 interceptions, where Drew Brees was nearly perfect. With Nick Foles and his magic back in the lineup, it’s hard to imagine the Eagles laying an egg in this one. I’m not completing sold that Foles will be enough to push the Eagles over the hump, but it most certainly will be closer than 48-7. If the Eagles somehow win this game, expect them to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Prediction: Eagles 17 Saints 26