Divisional Round Preview

After a crazy wild card round, let’s look ahead to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.

Colts vs. Chiefs

This might be the most interesting game of the weekend. The Colts are red hot, winning 10 of their last 11 games. Andrew Luck looks back to full form and the offensive line is doing an incredible job protecting him. That should give him plenty of time to shred this lackluster Chiefs’ defense. The Chiefs haven’t looked great down the stretch, losing two of their last three games. This Colts’ offense is good enough to keep up with the Chiefs and their defense is good enough to get just enough stops to win this game. Also, Andy Reid has a history of peeing down his leg in the playoffs. I think this game will be close and a shootout, but Indy will be moving on.

FINAL SCORE: 45-41 Colts

Chargers vs. Patriots

Another interesting matchup and another matchup where I think the away team will win. The Patriots are undefeated at home this year but overall, they haven’t looked great. Brady and Gronk look old, they don’t have a threat on offense, and the defense has been inconsistent. This Chargers team is the most complete team in the AFC and maybe the whole NFL. Their offense has been dynamic with Rivers, Gordon, Mike Williams, and Keenan Allen. Their defense can be suffocating with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, possibly the best pass rushing duo in football. And, the Chargers finally have a good kicker, which seems to be their downfall every season. However, the biggest advantage the Chargers have is that they aren’t a typical away team. With the temporary stadium they are at, they have terrible home field advantage. When you watch a Chargers’ home game, the fans cheer for the away team as much or more than they cheer for the Chargers. They’ve fought all year as an away team. So I don’t think playing in Foxboro will be as big as an advantage as it usually is. However, this is also the Patriots and I’m sure Bill Belichick fixed all the Patriots issues in their bye week so I’m sure I’ll be let down when the Patriots blow out the Chargers. However, I’ll still pick the Chargers in this one.

FINAL SCORE: 27-13 Chargers

Eagles vs Saints

Here comes the Eagles again. After upsetting the Bears on a partially blocked double doink field goal, the Eagles are once again looking to make in improbable run with backup quarterback Nick Foles. The Saints were strong all season but like the Chiefs, they didn’t look as great in the final weeks. Hopefully a week of rest will allow them to get recharged as they try to make a run for Drew Brees, who doesn’t have too many more chances. While I’d love to see the Eagles win back to back Super Bowls with Foles, I just don’t see how they get it done in New Orleans. While the Eagles defense looked solid on Sunday, they have been tested by an offense than can be as dynamic as the Saints. The Saints defense has also been playing better, which may cause problems for the Eagles. One fun fact about the Saints: When they won the Super Bowl, they were 13-3, with their three losses coming to the Panthers, Cowboys, and Buccaneers. This year, they were 13-3 with their three losses coming against the same three teams. Saints fans are hoping this means history repeats itself.

FINAL SCORE: Saints 31-20

Cowboys vs Rams

Finally we get to the Cowboys and Rams. The Cowboys were able to beat the Seahawks by leaning on Zeke, who had 30 touches for 169 yards. The key for the Rams in this game is shutting down Zeke. This team can only win when they feed Zeke. If you make the Cowboys rely on Dak, then they could be in big trouble. He’s a game manager at best and if you take away his best weapon, he’ll crumble. This Rams team was also pretty solid all year and although this Dallas defense is very good, I think they’ll be able to move the ball against them. This game is a severe coaching mismatch and I think it’ll show in this game.

FINAL SCORE: Rams 28-17

-Stephen Brown III (@sbtrey23)

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