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Kibbles and Picks 2019 – Divisional Round

January 9, 2019
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Not exactly an auspicious beginning to our NFL postseason predictions, but it could have been worse.

I managed a mere 2-2 record, correctly picking the Colts and Cowboys as Wild Card winners and whiffing on my Ravens and Bears guesses. However, Stella did even worse – her sole correct pick was the Chargers, missing on the rest of the games.

As for this weekend’s action, let’s start with the games on which Stella and I agree.

We both like the Patriots to beat the Chargers at home, although I’m a bit more confident than Stella is. While we’ll admit to being a little scared of the L.A. offense – Philip Rivers has been as good as ever and the Chargers can definitely run the football – we also think that the Patriots match up decently. Assuming the secondary plays their game and the front seven can at least keep the Chargers honest, New England can put up enough points to win. The Pats just don’t lose these games; New England has one of the most significant home field advantages in football. Tom Brady is going to make somebody into an unexpected hero this weekend – we look forward to finding out who.

We also like the Rams against the Cowboys. Yes, the Cowboys have proven to be remarkably resilient in recent weeks and their defense is legitimate. However, it’s tough to know whether you can trust Dak Prescott in a big game like this, particularly against a scary Rams pass rush. And the Rams do know how to score points, though they’ve lagged a bit toward season’s end. Dallas will try to stop Todd Gurley … but can they? If Gurley gets going, the play-action game opens up for Jared Goff and L.A. is off to the races. The Cowboys have had an unexpectedly good season and a couple of well-timed big plays could conceivably win this one for them ... but it seems unlikely.

I like Kansas City to win at home against the Colts. The Chiefs offense has been as impressive as anything the league has seen this year. Patrick Mahomes finished with 50 TD passes and over 5,000 yards. There are weapons all over the field and head coach Andy Reid seems to have a pretty good idea of how to use them. They’re dying to get into a shootout; if they do, I think they win. Stella really likes what she’s seen from Indianapolis recently – enough to pick the Colts in an upset. She loves what she’s seen from Andrew Luck under center. She’s cautiously optimistic about the running game. The offensive line has performed like one of the league’s best. She thinks the Chiefs will struggle to stop the Colts attack and that they’ll just need a couple of stops on defense to pull off the road win.

In what feels like a reach, I’m picking the Eagles to pull off the road upset against New Orleans. The truth is that nothing about what I saw from Philadelphia against Chicago should give me any kind of confidence regarding their performance going forward. And yet … they just feel like a team of destiny right now. Momentum in the NFL is a bit of a myth, but in this case, I think there might be something to it. Stella thinks that the NFC’s top-seeded team - playing in a dome at home, stacked with skill position talent and led by one of the best quarterbacks in the league’s history - is probably going to have little problem dispatching a team that needed a missed field goal by an offensively-deficient opponent to even get here. She’s picking the Saints to win in a game that’s effectively over by halftime.

And that’s where we are. Hopefully, I can eke out a postseason victory and reclaim some tiny scrap of my dignity following the extension of my years-long losing streak. For her part, Stella remains unconcerned.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Saturday, January 12

Indianapolis at KANSAS CITY

Dallas at LA RAMS

Sunday, January 13

LA Chargers at NEW ENGLAND

PHILADELPHIA at New Orleans

Wild Card record: 2-2

Postseason record: 2-2

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STELLA’S PICKS

Saturday, January 12

INDIANAPOLIS at Kansas City

Dallas at LA RAMS

Sunday, January 13

LA Chargers at NEW ENGLAND

Philadelphia at NEW ORLEANS

Wild Card record: 1-3

Postseason record: 1-3

Last modified on Saturday, 12 January 2019 09:51

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