The Square Pigeon’s Pipeline: NFL Divisional Round Weekend Picks
NFL Divisional Weekend
The Square Pigeon Pipeline is in its third year here at the Spooky Express. Jason delivers his thoughts and picks on both college football and the NFL each and every week.
Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs
Five years ago, these teams met in a wild-card matchup that was a game for the ages.
Andrew Luck led the visiting Colts on an amazing comeback. Early in the third quarter, the Colts trailed by 28 points.
The Chiefs lost their commanding lead as Alex Smith turtled up, and Luck threw it around the field to secure a one-point victory.
This time around, Andy Reid gets a real weapon at quarterback with Patrick Mahomes, but it is more than Mahomes. Kansas City’s only real offensive weapon was Jamaal Charles. I mean, Dwayne Bowe caught the most balls of any of the receivers with 57. Now, there is Travis Kelce (who missed his rookie season in 2013 when these teams met in the playoffs), Tyreek Hill, and even Sammy Watkins (who should return for this game) is better than anything they had before. The Colts run will end this weekend.
PICK: KANSAS CITY –5.5 OVER 56.5
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams
The Rams brought the playoffs back to Los Angeles for the first time since the Raiders hosted the Broncos in the wild-card round following the 1993 season. Unfortunately for LA fans, the Rams lost their game against the Falcons. Sean McVay led the Rams to their second straight NFC West title by winning two more games than last year and continuing the development of Jared Goff. The young quarterback continued to improve in nearly every aspect.
With that said, Goff still struggled against quality defenses. The Cowboys have surprisingly put together one of the best defenses in the league. Last week, Dallas shut down the league's top rushing attack, and they kept Russell Wilson in check. To move on to the conference finals, they need to make a repeating performance by shutting down Todd Gurley and confusing Goff. It’s possible, but I’m sticking with the home team.
PICK: LOS ANGELES -7 UNDER 49
Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots
Including the playoffs, Philip Rivers has a 1-7 record against the New England Patriots. You have to go way back to 2008 to find that win. It is also the only game that Rivers didn’t throw an interception. It was also the game of the series that Tom Brady didn’t start at quarterback for the Patriots. So to recap, Rivers is 0-7 when taking on Tom Brady and the Patriots.
It means that the Patriots are going to run right through the Chargers. Brady is playing, and they are at home. Well, I don’t think it is that clear cut. The Patriots struggled down the stretch finishing at 2-2 with their two wins coming against the Bills and Jets. Brady looked like he finally is being affected by age. He threw double-digit interceptions for the first time in five years and posted his lowest quarterback rating in four years. He is still great, but the above average defense will wear out the old man.
PICK: LOS ANGELES +4 UNDER 47
Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints
The Eagles’ ability to win with Nick Foles is baffling. His performance doesn’t jump off the screen, but Philadelphia is 10-2 (including the playoffs) as a starter the last two years. Foles did receive an assist from Cody Parkey on his missed field goal. I know it was officially changed to a block, but it was a miss. Parkey owns the goal post. The bottom line is Foles is winning (for some reason).
The Saints can’t take this game lightly, and I don’t think they will. Last season’s miracle finish that ended New Orleans’ season in the divisional round must still be fresh in their mind. Drew Brees won’t let this team sleep on the Eagles as they did against Minnesota last year. The Vikings had new business being within one score in that game. There is a good chance of a double-digit victory for the Saints.