NFL Divisional Round Preview7 min read
What a wild card weekend we had. Filled with drama, crushing defeats and yet more Foles magic. But things will be taken up a notch as the teams who had earned a bye enter the fray. They do so with home advantage too
How will teams deal with the pressure as we approach the final stretch of the playoffs. Teams are now just two wins away from the Super Bowl in Atlanta. As well as the usual suspects we have a couple of new teams and quarterbacks making this playoffs very interesting. I have a look to see who will make the conference championship games.
Colts @ Chiefs
What a performance it was from Andrew Luck against the Texans last weekend. He got the job done early. I would be surprised if he didn’t win the comeback of the year award. He has not got a lot to work with In terms of talent but what he does have is immense skill. He has been able to lead the colts to a winning record, dispatched of the Texans in their own stadium and now faces the number one seed as his reward.
The crazy thing is I can see them shocking the Chiefs, but with the sheer volume of options and the season that Pat Mahomes has had I wouldn’t say that with great confidence. I think the Chiefs will win but if it were to go the other way I think I’d be happy with that too.
Mahomes has been incredible this year, there is a reason that these two quarterbacks are being tipped to be the season MVP. Between them they have thrown for 89 touchdowns this season, a record for a head to head in the playoffs. Mahomes has been responsible for 50 of these, which for a rookie is some feat. Add in the 5000 passing yards and you begin to see why the Chiefs are the number one seed.
The only issue I have though is that so far this season in the biggest games they have lost. Against the Patriots, Rams and Chargers most notably as they are all playoff teams themselves.
But when I look at the two rosters the Chiefs should win this, they certainly do on paper. With Travis Kelce they have one of the leagues best tight ends, the absence of an elite running back may cost them their Superbowl chances this season but they should find themselves in the AFC championship game next week.
TY Hilton to score a touchdown
Chiefs to win by 7-12 points
Mahomes over 2.5 passing touchdowns
Cowboys @ Rams
What a game this could be. The two best running backs in the game going head to head. This is here the game will be won and lost. More so for Dallas. When Ezekiel Elliott is contained the Cowboys are contained.
They are vastly improved since the signing of Amari Cooper mid season. They are 8-2 since he signed from Oakland. He has provided them with the outlet that Dak Prescott relies on. This can create the space for Zeke and Dak to be able to use their legs and capitalise on the strength of this team.
If you need evidence that there is more to them than just this look back at when they faced the Saints. They held the highest scoring defence at the time to little points and yardage as they ended the winning run for New Orleans. The Dallas defence has turned up in the latter half of the season and they will need to do so again if they are to harbour hope of a first NFC championship game since the 90s.
The Rams are scintillating when they click, they are still pretty impressive even when they are a bit sluggish too. They have assembled one of the best rosters in the league, on both sides of the ball too.
However, they are an all or nothing team I find. They always want to go for it all in every single play of every single drive. This isn’t always a bad thing but when they have run into in form defences they have lost. This could be the case again with the Cowboys.
Their offence is scary. The absence of Kupp has affected them and even Todd Gurley sat out the last two games. They have an abundance of options and they have one of the most creative minds in Mcvay, he will be delving into his bag of trick no doubt as he looks to make the most of the Super Bowl window that the Rams have right now.
Amari Cooper to score a touchdown
Rams to score every quarter
Rams to win both halves