Last Week’s results: 2-2
The two I got wrong last week were the Eagles over the Bears and the Colts over the Texans, but let me explain myself. First of all I live in Bear country, so even though I sensed a potential Eagle upset brewing, it was hard to ignore the coverage of persistent Bears fans who felt this postseason would be a special one. Anyway, I came a Cody Parkey post and crossbar-hitting kick away from 3-1. I picked the Texans over the Colts as more of a homage to my preseason super bowl pick - Saints vs Texans - than anything else as well. You could also tell that the Texans didn’t wakeup ready to play postseason football, at least in comparison to the Colts. I couldn’t have expected that, but here are my picks for Saturday’s games.
6. Colts @ 1. Chiefs
A large portion of people seem convinced that at least one heavily favored team will lose this week, and I tend to agree. For most of the week I’ve been thinking the surprise upset may come from this very game because of the Colts play of late on Offense and Defense has had them peaking at the right time- having won 10 out of 11 after a rough 1-5 start. That said, on Game Day (today) I’ve started to shift towards a confidence in the Chiefs, for a few reasons. The Colts offense clicked from the get-go in Houston, but I believe the Texan’s stadium (NRG Stadium) used it’s retractable roof, making the cooler weather easier to adapt to, and even then the Colts only scored once after the first two drives of the game, which luckily for them resulted in 7 points apiece (14 points in first two drives). Patty Mahomes should be fired up to end the theory that he can’t win a big game, and given that he and Andy Reid (17-3 career regular season + 3-1 career post-season record after a bye) had two weeks to prepare for a playoff game in the very advantageous Arrowhead Stadium, I think they’ll get the job done. However, if the Colts win it’ll take a serious defensive effort, and another superb start on offense and defense. I very much doubt this stat will continue after todays game, but if the last 11 games are any indication, maybe all the Colts need to do to win is score at all- only lost in past 11 games was by the score 6-0 to the Jaguars.
Chiefs 37 Colts 29
4. Cowboys @ 2. Rams
Once again the Cowboys find themselves in a very tough game to predict from an outsiders perspective. The Rams have been fairly ignored in the media this week, at least to the point that one could be forgiven for forgetting that they started the season 8-0 and finished with a co-lead of the best record in the NFL- 13-3. Sean McVay, along with Bill Belichick, Andy Reid, and Sean Payton, who all sported bye weeks last week, are probably the four coaching minds anyone would be foolish to bet against off a bye. Call me foolish but I think youngster Sean might get a bit humbled on Saturday night, and here’s why. The Cowboys have access to the secret to beating the Rams, and unlike most NFL teams they can exploit it in order to overcome the Rams strengths. The Cowboys have already seen the Bears completely demolish the Rams, and they themselves have already shut down the only offense in the NFC fiercer than the Rams, the Saints, whom the Cowboys defense held to 10 points. Once again we run into a situation where the hotter team- Cowboys have won 8 of 9 ( 23-0 L to Colts) after 3-5 start- runs into the better team, whom may have already played their best football. unlike the Colts, the Cowboys have the recipe for victory + it helps that LA is the least advantageous home-field in the playoffs. Give me the ‘Boys.