What a Wild Card weekend, right? Three of the four teams went on the road and came away as the victors. The Indianapolis Colts went into Houston and dominated from the beginning to the end. Dallas was able to hold off the tough and physical Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night. The first game on Sunday saw the Los Angeles Chargers jump out on Baltimore. The Ravens made a great comeback, but the defense of the Chargers came through with a turnover to seal the game. The finale Sunday saw the defending champion, Philadelphia Eagles go to Soldier Field and edge out the Bears. As expected, it was a defensive battle and Cody Parkey missed a 43-yard FG at the end to give the Eagles the 16-15 win.
On the AFC side, top ranked Kansas City will host the Indianapolis Colts. The #2 seed New England Patriots will host the Los Angeles Chargers. As far as the NFC, the top ranked New Orleans Saints will host the Philadelphia Eagles. We also will have the 2nd seed Los Angeles Rams Hosting the Dallas Cowboys. Let’s see who’ll advance to the Conference Championships. My record last week was 2-2, which lowered my overall mark to 82-47. My winning percentage dipped from 64 to 63.6%.
We start things off at Arrowhead as the Kansas City Chiefs host the Indianapolis Colts. The game will start at 4:35 and this should be a really good game. Indianapolis comes in as the hottest team in the playoffs as they’ve won 10 of their last 11 games. In their game against the Texans, they dominated on both sides of the ball. Andrew Luck has support all around him from the line, to Marlon Mack in the backfield, plus a great receiving core. Can they repeat their performance from last week against the Chiefs? Kansas City has arguably been the best team in the AFC all season. Patrick Mahomes will either be the league MVP or the runner-up with his magical season.
When they lost Kareem Hunt, the offense seemed to lose some of its swag as far as the running game. Mahomes still have Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce to rely on. The defense of the Chiefs hasn’t been good this year, but they’ll make those much needed stops. These two teams have faced each other several times in the past with the Colts winning. The most recent came in 2012 when Andrew Luck lead an improbable comeback. In this game, the Chiefs should win a close battle and advance to the AFC Championship game.
Kansas City Win 30-20
We head to the NFC for the Saturday night game as the Dallas Cowboys head to Los Angeles to battle the Rams. After dismissing the Seahawks, the Cowboys will travel to Los Angeles for this one. The game plan for Dallas is simple, run the ball, play great defense and no turnovers. When those three things happen, they’re damn near unbeatable especially when Zeke gets his carries. Dak Prescott has come into his own as he’s been playing great football all season. The defense will need to control Todd Gurley and pressure Jared Goff if they think they’ll advance to the NFC Championship game.
As far as Los Angeles goes, they definitely needed the extra week off to get over the injuries on the team. Todd Gurley have been struggling with a knee injury and the time off will be beneficial for him. Aaron Donald will be a distraction for Dak and the entire offense of the Cowboys. Donald will need help from those around him because he’ll most likely get double teamed a lot. This game shouldn’t be a high scoring affair and the Rams will want to erase their playoff loss from a year ago. With the Rams being built for a run at the Super Bowl this year, I’m running with them to barely edge the Cowboys.
Los Angeles Win 23-21
This will be the first game played Sunday afternoon between two of the better teams in the AFC. The Los Angeles Chargers will head to Foxboro to battle the New England Patriots. Los Angeles is coming off an incredible season and hard-fought win over Baltimore. The Chargers come into this game 8-1 on the road, which is by far the best mark in the league. Philip Rivers continue to strive in pressure situations and get a kick out of the boos from the fans. The defense was the story in the Ravens game as they came up with several big plays. The question now is, can they dethrone the Patriots in the AFC and advance to the AFC Championship game?
After being written off a few times this season, here are the New England Patriots again. They come into the Divisional Round after a bye week and could be making another Super Bowl appearance. Let’s be honest, Tom Brady haven’t been the usual Brady as in years past. When it comes to playoff time, what other QB would you want at the helm besides Brady? We also know that Gronk isn’t himself either, but the Patriots have plenty of weapons on offense. On defense, the Patriots have the ability to stop whoever they need to. With all of this being said, do you think they can stop this tough Chargers team? It’s hard to pick against the Patriots, but I’m going with another Chargers road win to advance to the AFC Championship game.
Los Angeles Win 24-23
We have the final game of the Divisional Round weekend. The New Orleans Saints will host the Philadelphia Eagles to see who’ll advance to the NFC Championship game. The Saints had the best record in the NFC this season as the offense looked unstoppable at times. This was on full display when they dismantled the Eagles earlier in the season at home 48-7. After the Saints were embarrassed by the Cowboys, the offense didn’t look the same. It seems like the Saints were on a mission all season after the way their season ended last year in Minnesota. Will the Saints put up a repeat performance against the Eagles and advance to the NFC Title game?
As far as the Eagles goes, what can you say about this team that haven’t been said. This team was written off after the Saints game, but they rebounded and made another run. Despite having those 2 INTs, Nick Foles delivered magic and lead them on a game-winning TD drive. While Nick Foles gets a lot of attention and deservedly so, the defense is looking like the one from a year ago. Fletcher Cox and Michael Bennett have been causing havoc. The Eagles will play their asses off in this game because they will want to erase that game from earlier in the year. Unfortunately, the Saints are my favorite to make the Super Bowl and they’ll advance to the NFC title game. This game will be much closer than the previous one though.
New Orleans Win 31-21
What’s the game you’re looking forward to the most? What do you think about my predictions? How do you envision the Divisional Round shaping up? Check out my thoughts on who’ll advance to the Championship games according to my picks and also leave some feedback below.
AFC Championship Game
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers
NFC Championship Game
New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Rams