Divisional Playoff Round
2 out of 2 last week! Just goes to show that when it comes to the playoffs it’s all about who shows up on the day! The Eagles managed to sneak past the Bears and looked dangerous, just like they did last season….. we all know how that turned out! I managed to get the Chargers right on beating the Ravens and called that it would come down to which team turned the ball over more. The Ravens did…. so they go out and the Chargers move on. The Cowboys and Seahawks was always going to be a tough battle but Dak played well and consistently, which is all that Dallas needs. How about the Colts though? Did the Texans just not turn up or are the Colts a real threat this season? I do like how they can threaten with both the run game and the passing attack. Watch out.
This week I have gone for 3 out of the 4 home teams to win. After watching the Colts, I’m a believer. I love what Andrew Luck does and I love that offensive line and their offensive play calls even more. Kansas City are such a dominant attacking force but there are questions on the defensive side of the ball. Think it will come to who makes the big play to win it and I like Andrew Luck Over Patrick Mahomes in that scenario. Tough one though.
Cowboys now have to go to LA and upset the Rams. I think the Rams have too much on both sides of the ball for the Cowboys to deal with. If the Rams shut down Zeke then Dak has to throw…… if that’s the case then watch out for Aaron Donald. I think the Rams won comfortably but it’s competitive.
So with a win, the Chargers earn a trip to Foxborough. Tom Brady awaits in what must seem to him to be a standard when entering an NFL season. So much so that the Patriots are 12-2 in the divisional round during the Belichick era. The red hot Chargers not only need to play lights out on offence but I think the key is getting to Brady and pressuring him. Give the guy time and he will punish any team.
We then finish with the favourites to go and win it all. The Saints host the Eagles in what I think will be a very intriguing matchup. The Eagles are doing something similar to what they did last year and are still in it. You just can’t write them off but they face a side that for me are too strong throwing or running the football. Drew Brees averages 323 passing yards per game in the playoffs. That’s astonishing. I think the Eagles keep it entertaining at the start but the Saints win it comfortably in the end and wear down the Eagles defence.
Below we move on to our wildcard playoff round predictions. Look out for them every weekend during the season to help you make your mind up on those dodgy looking matchups and for a few helpful stats to back it up. I tend to miss the Thursday night game as it’s a little too early to post the rest of the predictions for Sunday. So much can change in the footballing world in just a few days.
Neil is 162-81 this season so far in his predictions. Follow him on Twitter: @neil_itez for more.
Colts 34 @ 31 Chiefs
Cowboys 17 @ 24 Rams
Chargers 24 @ 31 Patriots
Eagles 20 @ 27 Saints