NFL Playoff Predictions – Conference Championships
After a rough Wildcard Round going 1/4, I bounced back with a 4/4 week in the Divisional games. Despite the best efforts of Nick ‘BDN’ Foles and Andrew Luck, no wildcard teams are left in the playoffs, and we’re left with the top 2 seeded teams in each conference. I’ve said before that the Chargers got screwed having to play as the 5th seed when they were tied for the best record in the AFC, but after watching their game in New England, I think we can be fairly sure they were outclassed by the Patriots. All in all, I think we ended with the 4 best teams, and any Super Bowl matchup will be great. Now, let’s get into the predictions.
Los Angeles (Rams) at New Orleans – 2:05PM Sunday 1.20.2019
Jared Goff didn’t need to make too much happen in the win over the Cowboys, but he didn’t make any mistakes and made just enough plays to keep the Rams driving. Then he handed the ball to Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson over and over to the tune of 238 yards and 3 touchdowns combined. If they can get the ground game rolling again, they can control the tempo, and have a shot to take down the Saints in the Superdome.
The Saints won’t be beat easily. Drew Brees is playing lights out, as he found Michael Thomas in space multiple times to drive the field. Their win had more to do with the Saints defense as the offense. Holding the Saints to 20 points at home was an admirable feat by the Eagles, but when the New Orleans defense plays this good, holding Foles and the Eagles to just 14, they’re rarely going to lose.
Prediction: New Orleans by 6
This is the game I’m the most excited for. Both of these teams have no glaring weaknesses, with solid running games, unique passing attacks, and solid defense. I see this game staying very close, but it comes down to Drew Brees in the clutch. In a on possession game, I trust Drew Brees to score. I can’t say the same about the Rams and Jared Goff. If the Rams get out to a lead, I think they can hold the lead, but if the Saints start hot, there’s no coming back for the Rams. Brees finishes his best season in the Super Bowl.
New England at Kansas City – 5:40PM Sunday 1.20.2019
Patrick Mahomes did everything we’ve come to expect of him. He extended plays when he needed to, threw a few incredible passes, and led the explosive offense they’ve had all season. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce each had 108 yards, and Damian Williams added 154 of his own. The Chiefs can seemingly slip any running back into this system without losing a step. They have a great offensive line, and creative playcalling, and not even the great Belichick can stop them.
The Patriots will have to put up a lot of points to win this game. I don’t believe they will be able to hold the Chiefs offense back. I don’t think any team can. Last time these teams played, the Patriots won 43-40 in Foxborough, and I think a similar effort would be needed to win in Arrowhead. The Chiefs defense last week didn’t look like the one we’ve seen all season. They were getting after the quarterback, dominating in the secondary, and making the high-powered Colts offense look pedestrian.
Bill Belichick will have something extra ready and Andy Reid has shown career struggles in the playoffs, and despite being arguably the 2nd best coach in the league, the gap between 1 and 2 is big.
Prediction: Kansas City by 10
I’m betting against the big bad Pats knowing full well I’m going to look like an idiot for this pick. The Chiefs are just better. Patrick Mahomes is better than Tom Brady. Travis Kelce is better than Gronk (who hasn’t looked the same all season). I think this is the year when history doesn’t repeat itself. GIVE ME ALL THE MAHOMES ROUND 2!!