Those damn Eagles just won’t lose, will they? How ‘bout them Cowboys? Can Andy Reid win a playoff game? Philip Rivers vs Tom Brady and the New England winter? All this and more coming up, ft. my hot (I think) takes.
Colts at Chiefs: The Colts showed a somewhat stunning display of dominance last week against the Texans. Going to Kansas City is no easy task but their defense is not close to being on the level of Houston’s. Last time these teams met in the playoffs Kansas City blew a 23-point lead, and Andy Reid hasn’t coached/managed a good playoff game since. I have no reason to believe he will now. Timeouts and game clocks are the same no matter what Kansas City fans say about the differences between Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes II. The Colts defense played fast and smart last week and will have to do it again to match up to the speed of Kansas City’s offense. Colts win in a relatively high scoring game.
Cowboys and Rams: Did Dallas play well last week? Yes. Did Pete Carroll and Brian Schottenheimer absolutely fall flat on their face despite Russell Wilson’s best effort? Also a resounding Yes. Sean McVay and the Rams are a much more potent and aware offense. With Todd Gurley anchoring the run game and Jared Goff having weapons to throw to, the Dallas defense could be in for a rude awakening. The rams will need to work to get pressure on Dak Prescott only after they try to contain Ezekiel Elliott. The Rams need to force Dak Prescott to beat them with his arm. If they can do that, I like their chances to establish an early lead and better contain the Cowboys. Rams win by at least 10.
Chargers at Patriots: The Chargers dominated the ravens for about 3 quarters, almost completely collapsed and the forced a game sealing fumble. If Lamar Jackson can pick apart the Chargers defense, why can’t Brady? The Pats will need to protect Brady and if the can do that, receivers should be able to get open over the middle so Brady doesn’t have to hold the ball. The Pats need to use James White and Rex Burkhead in the passing game because that is a weakness for the Chargers defense, and it’s usually a strength for the Pats offense. I don’t believe chargers running back Melvin Gordon will be playing healthy so that could allow the Patriots to focus on defending the passing game and getting pressure on Phillip Rivers. Pats win the closest game of the weekend.
Eagles at Saints: What almighty power is betting on the Eagles? After winning on a tipped field goals miss last week the Eagles ride into New Orleans, site of their biggest loss this season, a 48-7 blowout. The eagles defense played better than expected last week, but the bears offense does not have the weapons the saints does or the most accurate quarterback of all time in Drew Brees. If the Saints can put up a lot of points the eagles don’t have a diverse enough offense to be able to mix in the run with the pass. The Saints are coming in with a vengeance after how their season ended last year, a missed tackle resulting in the Minnesota Miracle. Sean Payton will have his team fired up to get to where they think they should’ve been last year. The luck is going to run out for Nick Foles. Saints win the most lopsided game of the weekend.