By: TC Martin
After seeing spotty quarterback play from young and inexperienced signal callers last week, we will get to watch much better examples of leadership and skill this week as Tom Brady and Drew Brees take the field for the first time this postseason.
Having to witness the utter embarrassing performance of rookie Lamar Jackson along with a only a slightly better outing by second year QB Mitchell Trubitski, it will be refreshing to see a couple of future Hall of Famer’s this weekend. Here is a look at the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.
Indianapolis at Kansas City – 5.5 This game features a veteran versus a youngster at the quarterback position. Andrew Luck in the main reason the Colts have won 10 of their last 11 games and are the hottest and most consistent teams in the playoffs. They have been in playoff mode since November having to basically win out just to get here. People rave about Patrick Mahomes but let’s see what happens in the playoffs. Despite having the top seed and home field advantage, he doesn’t have history on his side. The Chiefs have been here before, failing miserably the last six times at Arrowhead. They haven’t won a home playoff game since Joe Montana was their quarterback in 1994. The Colts are playing loose and pressure is on the Chiefs not to choke again.
LA Chargers at New England – 4 Phillip Rivers leads the Chargers back east for the second straight week but this time they will see a much different offense than they saw last week in Baltimore. The Chargers bullied a kid in Jackson. The Patriots will be ready for the Chargers solid defense as Brady looks to do what he normally does in January; win. Although the Chargers have been outstanding on the road this season, winning 8 of 9 games including seven in row, they haven’t; had much success against the Pats going 1-5 in their last six meetings.. Melvin Gordon wasn’t real effective last week carrying 17 times for only 40 yards and re-injured himself in the process. If they can’t run the ball, the Patriots will move on.
Dallas at LA Rams -7 This is a battle between two inconsistent young quarterbacks. After a great start, Jared Goff has been average at best the past five games. He’s thrown six touchdowns, four of those were against the lowly 49ers in the season finale and six interceptions. Todd Gurley is still nursing an injury and the Cowboys strength is their defense. Dak Prescott figures to struggle against a stout Rams front seven. If he isn’t mistake prone, the Cowboys may be able to do what the Falcons did in this game last year, which is pull off the upset. The Rams certainly have enough weapons on both sides of the ball to eliminate the Cowboys and start the Jason Garrett debate all over again.
Philadelphia at New Orleans -8 The defending champs vs the machine that are the Saints. Brees has New Orleans clicking on cylinders with the NFL’s best record at 13-3. With a solid running game and dependable receivers, this team has the makings to win it all. With Brees, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas and home field advantage, the Saints will be a tough out. Philadelphia looked to be dead at Thanksgiving buy they reeled of six wins in seven weeks including last weeks 16-15 upset at Chicago. The Eagles have been here before with Nick Foles and they enough experience to make us think they can continue the run but conventional wisdom says the Eagles wont have enough to beat the Saints.