Wildcard Weekend– Saturday

Posted: 01/04/2014 by levcohen in Football

And the playoffs are upon us. Regular season football is exciting and all, but people don’t remember it. This is when games really matter, and what makes it better is that this is when players play 100% to win, and not just for the money. In the regular season, some players make hundreds of thousands of dollars while some make tens of millions. In the playoffs, though, Peyton Manning will make the same as the punter. Colin Kaepernick will make as much as the long snapper. That’s because, in the playoffs, money doesn’t matter. The Superbowl does, and this is the first step to New York (why is the Superbowl being played in freezing New York??? Well, maybe money still does matter).

Kansas City Chiefs (11-5, 9-7) at Indianapolis Colts (11-5, 10-6):*
Line: Chiefs favored by 1.5
Over/under: 47.5
My prediction: Colts- 27, Chiefs- 13.. I thought the original line (Colts -2.5) was good, and I was shocked when it swung the other way. The Chiefs have been mediocre, if not worse, in the second half of the season. Their defense, which was such a strength in their flawless start to the season, was banged up and shaky by the end of the year. They went 1-5 against teams with winning records, and were thrashed 23-7 at home against the Colts just two weeks ago. And they are now favored on the road? The Colts, on the other hand, seem to be peaking at the right time. In particular, I mean their defense. In their last three games, the Colts have given up just 20 combined points. They have scored 78, and that is thanks to Andrew Luck and a variety of weapons that are becoming reliable at the right time. Trent Richardson, Da’Rick Rogers, Griff Whalen.. The list goes on and on. Luck is at the point, in just his second season, that he can make mediocre players look good. Unlike Kansas City, the Colts had some suspect losses, with a home loss against Miami and a 30 point thrashing at the hands of the Rams as examples. But they also beat the three best teams in football. San Francisco, Denver, and Seattle all lost to Indianapolis. Only six teams have even beat three 12+ win teams, and three made the Super Bowl. Andrew Luck is better than Alex Smith. Chuck Pagano is a better coach than Andy Reid. Advantage, Colts.

For the Chiefs to win, they need to get their pass rush going. Jamaal Charles needs to make a few big plays. And they need to force turnovers. They have done all three things this year, so it’s very possible, but it seems a little far fetched. And remember, the Chiefs are favored. Andy Reid is a bad coach, and I hope he shows it today.

Colts cover
Under

New Orleans Saints (11-5, 8-8) at Philadelphia Eagles (10-6, 8-8):*
Line: Eagles favored by 3
Over/under: 54.5
My prediction: Saints- 31, Eagles- 27.. I’m going against common sense and with my gut here. Yes, dome teams are 3-22 in under 35 degree weather on the road in the playoffs. Yes, the Saints have been poor on the road this year. Yes, the Eagles are one of the hottest teams in football. Yes, LeSean McCoy will probably destroy the Saints suspect run defense. Yes, Nick Foles doesn’t throw interceptions. Yes, the Eagles will be hosting their first playoff game in years and the Linc will be loud. And the temperature will in fact be under 35 degrees by game time. And I’m still going with the Saints. Do you believe that Drew Brees is bad in the cold? Maybe he’s not as good as he is in the Superdome, but I think he’s good enough. These Eagles have very little playoff experience, as most of their key players haven’t advanced far into the tournament if they’ve made the playoffs at all. I don’t have faith in Nick Foles in the playoffs. I do have faith in Drew Brees. That’s why I’m picking the Saints.

Saints cover
Over

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