Looking to bounce back after predicting just one game correctly in the Wild Card Round. Take a look:
Patriots over Chargers: This should be a close game but the Patriots at home in the playoffs under Belichick are 19-3. Getting that Bye week was huge for them. The Chargers have a great team- their well-off in the pass and run game, they get after the quarterback, and they have a strong secondary. I just think trying to beat the Pats in New England coming off a bye is an almost impossible task. This isn’t a great Pats team, but they do have a number of weapons on offense, plus a solid defense. And then, you know, Brady and Belichick.
Colts over Chiefs: the Chiefs high-powered offense took a hit when they lost Kareem Hunt. Their bigger problem, though, might be their mediocre defense- they finished strong with a 35-3 win against the lowly Raiders but prior to that they gave up 38, 29, 24, 33 and 55 points down the stretch. Meanwhile, the Colts have won 10 of their last 11, playing a brand of very well-round football. We all know how great Luck is, but Marlon Mack has given them a balanced offense, their o-line is one of the best in football, and their defense, led by Darius Leonard, has continued to improve as they year has moved along. Mahomes has been magical this year, but I think the Colts manage to pull of this upset.
Rams over Cowboys: The Cowboys have a good recipe for success- run the ball well, and play strong defensively. The only problem is that they seem to play much better at home. They’re just 3-5 on the road this year, and have the tall task of beating a loaded Rams team. While the Rams haven’t played great defense this year, Aaron Donald is a monster, and Aqib Talib makes a big difference in their secondary. On offense, the key might be how healthy Gurley is. I’m guessing he’s ready to go after almost a month off between games.
Saints over Eagles: On November 18th, the Eagles lost by 41 in New Orleans. While they’ve improved since then, the most surprising team to win this week would be Philadelphia for me. New Orleans has the better quarterback, running back, wide receiver and their offensive line is great. Their defense improved as the year went along, and they have home field advantage. They also come into this game with a chip on their shoulder having missed the opportunity to play in Philadelphia in last year’s Championship game because of a brutal last second miss play. As amazing as the Foles story is, the Eagles are simple an inferior team in this game.