After a so-so job of NFL playoff prognostication, it’s worth taking another shot.
Colts at Chiefs (-4.5): Last week, I predicted that Kansas City would make the Super Bowl. Clearly, that means, I think they’ll win this game. That doesn’t mean I don’t have doubts.
The Colts picked up an impressive win against the Texans last weekend. They have a great quarterback, terrific offensive line and an underrated defense. They can win this game.
The NFL playoffs start this weekend, which means lots of money is going to be wagered.
The Chiefs offense should be able muster plenty of points in front of the home-field fans at Arrowhead Stadium, but it’s doubtful that their defense will be able to hold off the Colts. Kansas City will win but fail to cover. Chiefs 30, Colts 27
Cowboys at Rams (-7): Dallas’ defense is good, and its game plan is solid. None of that should change when facing the high-powered Rams offense. The Cowboys will try to establish the run, and they’ll stymie the Rams.
Even so, the Cowboys won’t be able to do enough to stop the Rams. They’ll come close, but ultimately fall short.
The line seems a little outlandish. It’s hard to imagine the Rams winning by a full touchdown and extra point. Don’t get me wrong, the folks in Las Vegas are much better at this than me, but the safe bet is certainly to take the points. Rams 24, Cowboys 20
Chargers at Patriots (-4.5): New England is favored, as they should be. It’s a playoff game in Foxborough; the Patriots have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick; and the Chargers don’t have the greatest record in this spot.
If you’re a Cardinals fan, let me ask you this question: Do you trust the starting rotation?
None of that changes the fact that the Chargers were largely the better team this season. They just had the bad luck of playing in the Chiefs’ division.
After predicting the Chargers would lose to the Ravens last week, I’m coming back strong on the Chargers. This could very well be their year. Take the Chargers outright. Chargers 28, Patriots 27
Eagles at Saints (-8): New Orleans put a 31-point beating on Philadelphia in November. It may not seem like that matters, especially after the Eagles beat the Bears last week, but it does.
The Eagles defense has gotten measurably worse since that time. Despite beating the Bears, the Eagles allow Chicago to move the ball up and down the field. The Bears simply couldn’t score.
The Saints offense won’t be so forgiving. In the Superdome, the Eagles won’t be able to keep up.
Whatever magic Nick Foles found in the 2017 playoffs has been rediscovered in the last few weeks, but it all runs out Sunday in New Orleans. The Saints not only win, but they’ll cover easily. Saints 40, Eagles 24
Rest of the way: Not much changes from my previous predictions. After this week, the Chiefs will beat the Chargers, and the Saints will top the Rams. That leaves my Super Bowl prediction of Saints over Chiefs in place. Good luck!