As Wild Card weekend approaches you may be thinking to yourself “Who will the Patriots be playing next weekend? Will there be any upsets?” Well think no more, as I have all the answers for you right here.
The Colts faced the Chiefs in week 16 of the regular season, a game in which they won 23-7.
Everyone and there brother are writing the Colts off in this game, and it makes absolutely no sense to me. The Colts have beaten tough teams this season (SEA, DEN, KC, SF,) and have lost games that will leave you scratching your head (STL, MIA). But three of the five Colts loses came after they lost Reggie Wayne for season, which sent the coaching staff back to the drawing board to come up with new ways to move on offense. The Colts may be the most over looked team in the playoffs that could do some very serious damage.
On the other hand the Chiefs may be the worst 11-5 team in NFL History. They have lost to every good team they have played this season (Denver twice, San Diego twice, Indy). They only have ONE win against a team that is over 500, and that was against the Philadelphia Eagles, a team that struggled at the start of the season. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Alex Smith does not play to win games, he plays not to lose them. And if you play like that in the NFL Playoffs, you will lose. Indy wins 27-14.
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When the Chargers and Bengals met in Week 13, The Bengals came away with a 17-10 win. But The Chargers were able to contain Dalton, holding him under 200 passing yards and forcing a turnover. Philip Rivers threw for over 250 yards in the same game.
Andy Dalton has struggled in the postseason in his career. He is 0-2 with 4 interceptions and a QBR of only 48.5. Dalton threw 4 interceptions last weekend against the Ravens, making his interception total come to 20 for the year. The Bengals escaped last weekend with a win, but that was only because the Ravens offense was terrible all year, and especially in that game. If Andy Dalton turns continues to turn the ball over and give his opponent a short field, they will lose. And I think Andy Dalton will do just that this game. Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers high powered offense will take advantage of these opportunities and win this game. San Diego wins, 23-17.
This may be the hardest game to call for me. On one hand, the Saints have struggled on the road this season. They have lost in New York, New England, Seattle, and Carolina. All of those teams have either a cold weather climate, or a hostile playing environment, and in some cases both. The weather on game day in Philadelphia is expected to be clear, and with a high of 31 degrees.
But on the other hand the Saints have the second ranked passing offense behind Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham. The Eagles come in to this game with the worst passing defense in the league. If the Saints were playing in the Super Dome, I would not be questioning the outcome of this game for one second. The Saints would win, because they are the more talented team and they are led by a seasoned veteran and future Hall of Famer, Drew Brees. And for that reason, and that reason alone, I pick the Saints to win this game, even though they struggle on the road. There is just too much talent on this team and I believe that most of these “on the road” problems are in the players heads at this point. Sean Peyton will be able to help rid of some of those problems and coach this team to victory. LeSean McCoy will have a huge game on the ground, but the Saints will still win 28-21.
A rejuvenated Packers team will host the 49ers at Lambo field on Sunday. I said it before Aaron Rodgers returned and I will say it again, the Packers could very well be the Super Bowl Representative from the NFC, and I stick by that. Aaron Rodgers and the Packer offense will have another week working together under their belt by the time they face San Francisco, so they should look smoother than they did last week against Chicago. The Packers defense should be able to contain Kaepernick and the miserable 49ers passing offense that ranked 30th in the league. The 49ers should, and will hurt the Packers with their run game but that will not be enough to beat Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Packers win 27-24.
If this scenario plays out, it would leave the Patriots facing the Colts next weekend in New England.