NFL Divisional Playoff Analysis

What a great Wildcard weekend it was! I was 2-2 on my predictions. If only the Bears had made that darn field goal I would have been 3-1. And Dallas won but not before giving me much anxiety after letting Seattle come close in the end.

Another great set of games is on hand for this weekend:

Saturday January 12:

Colts (11-6) at Chiefs (13-3):

I am really looking forward to this one. You may remember that these teams played in 2013 and the Colts came roaring back from a 28 point deficit to win 45-44. It was the second largest playoff comeback next to the Houston Oilers implosion to Buffalo in 1993. And I expect another high scoring shootout. This time the game is in KC which will give them the home field advantage. The Colts are on a roll (11-1) and the Chiefs have one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the league. Some of the play Mahones has made come close to defying the laws of physics. I believe the Colts will need toput at least 35 points up to win this and I think they will. It still may not be enough but I will give them the slight edge. There won’t be much defense in this game. Just like the NFL likes it.

Cowboys (11-6) at Rams (13-3):

This is a renewal of a great rivalry from the 70’s and 80’s. The Rams and Cowboys met in the playoffs in 1973, 75, 76, 78, 79, 80, 83 and 85. The Cowboys shouldn’t be here. They were 3-5 at the mid way point of the season and the Redskins were leading the division. But the two teams went opposite directions since then and Dallas is now 11-6. They have done it the old fashioned way – with a stout defense. One can only wonder if Romo would have gotten his Super Bowl ring had this defense been playing the last few years. This week will present a great challenge. The Rams have one of the best offenses in the league and won’t be as conservative in their play calling as Seattle was (I was even surprised by it). Dallas will need to control the ball with Elliot and keep the Rams off the field. Even then they will need to score at least 28 to win. One plus for Dallas – Goff is more of the classic pocket quarterback so they won’t have to worry about him running near as much as Russell Wilson did. This should be a great game. I am going to go with an upset pick and take the Cowboys (since they ARE my favorite team).

Sunday January 13:

Chargers (13-4) at Patriots (11-5):

Everybody talks about this game being an opportunity for Rivers to even the score with Brady and the Patriots from 2007. That is ancient history now. I look at this more as a do or die scenario for him. Rivers is 35 and isn’t going to have that many more seasons. Not everybody can be Tom Brady and play until their 40’s. This may be his last, best chance to get to the Super Bowl. The Chargers finally have playmakers at every position on offense and are healthy after a season riddled with injuries. And they have a great defense. When could you ever say that about a Chargers team? Dan Fouts must be highly envious. As I said last week, don’t count out New England. They have tons of playoff experience (just in Brady alone!). This will be a close game. I predicted against the Chargers last week and they proved me wrong. They have an excellent coaching staff who made the changes needed after a drubbing by the Ravens 3 weeks ago. I think they will be prepared and will win in a squeaker.

Eagles (10-7) at Saints (13-3):

Last month the Saints demolished the Eagles 48-7. That’s not going to happen again. This game will be much closer. I am intrigued by Nick Foles. He has some kind of special superhuman ability to turn it on when it is crunch time. I haven’t seen anything like it for a long time. For that reason alone I think the Eagles have a good chance of winning this game. They already survived the toughest defense in the league in the win over Chicago last week. So I don’t have any concerns about their ability to score points. The unanswered question is whether the Eagles D can put the brakes on the Saints offense. Drew Brees is another quarterback that father time is bearing down on. But what an incredible year he has had. But he hasn’t played in 3 weeks. A lot of times that can disrupt your rhythm. I think the Saints win but by no more than a touchdown.

John Baldwin

John Baldwin is a native of Roanoke, Va located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of SW VA. He is a husband and father of three children. He has been a devout Christian since he surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus Christ and accepted the free gift of salvation in 1988. Politically John is a conservative who's political views were formed during the administration of Ronald Reagan. John's fulltime job is as an Applications Analyst (Software programming). John is also the host of two online radio shows on Victory Radio - "The Front Porch Gospel Music Show" and "Victory Talk Radio" (interview show). He is also an avid "oldies" music fan and is the DJ of the weekly "J-Bal Oldies Show” on the Doo Wop Cove.

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