On paper, the Rams have the more talented team. They have a great coach too. The Patriots still have possibly the best coach and quarterback of all time, and that means more experience. The Rams’ best player, Todd Gurley, seems to be playing injured. It feels like a good chance the Patriots win. That said, Goff seems like exactly the kind of quarterback that somehow pulls of the upset against Brady in the Super Bowl. It’s illogical, but I’m picking the Rams.
While I think the Saints are the much better team and the Saints have a great home-field advantage, I think this game will be much closer than many might expect. Considering the expectations we generally have for the Saints at home, their offense wasn’t at their most explosive last week. Had the Eagles scored a single touchdown after the 1st quarter, they would’ve won. I trust the Saints to win this, but I won’t be shocked if the Rams pull off the upset.
Prediction: Saints win
New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes showed up in his first playoff game in a way that most 1st-time playoff quarterbacks do not and Andy Reid couldn’t find a way to blow that game against the Colts. But, as great as Andrew Luck and the Colts have been lately, playing the Patriots in the playoffs is going to be a next-level challenge. The Chiefs do have a great home-field advantage, but the weather won’t be something this Pats team isn’t already used to, so that advantage might be minimized. Obviously Mahomes is unbelievable and this Chiefs team is legit, but there’s no way I’m picking against Brady and Belichick against Andy Reid and a young quarterback.
The Colts are going to put up a lot points, but even with the Chief’s playoff history, I think they’ll be able to put up more points than the Colts. This will likely be similar to the AFC Wild Card game in 2014 that the Colts won 45-44, but I think the Chiefs will pull this off.
Prediction: Chiefs win
Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Rams
The Cowboys needed the Seahawks to lose their kicker and abandon their most lethal weapon in Russel Wilson to barely beat the Seahawks by 2 at home. The Rams have struggled a bit recently, but I think they’ll be able to put up enough points to win this game.
Prediction: Rams Win
Los Angeles Chargers @ New England Patriots
The Chargers are going to the AFC Championship game. This Patriots team has some good wins this season, but it just feels like even if this isn’t the end of their run, this year isn’t going to be a Super Bowl year for them. Too many holes, too many unhealthy guys, and things unfortunately didn’t work out for Josh Gordon. The Chargers demonstrated they don’t need home-field and they 10am Pacific start time didn’t seem to hurt them either.
Prediction: Chargers win
Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints
The Nick Foles thing is cute, but let’s be real, he’s not beating Drew Brees in New Orleans. The home-field advantage is legit for the Saints and they are probably going to score 40+ on the Eagles’ secondary. I think it’s awesome what Foles has done to keep the Eagles’ season alive and obviously his post-season last year was incredible, but the Saints are going to annihilate this Eagles team.
These teams feel pretty even, and by default, it seems like the home team would be the pick. But, I think I just trust Andrew Luck more in this situation, considering he’s got playoff experience. DeShaun Watson has a college football championship under his belt, and that counts for something, but Luck has played in a handful of NFL playoff games and even been to an AFC Championship game, so I’lol give the Colts the slight edge.
Prediction: Colts win
Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys
I’m worried about picking against the home team in too many of these games, but so many of these late Cowboys wins feel fluke-y or like they barely beat bad teams. The Seahawks don’t typically lose in the first round and they’ve been able to win some big games. Then again, they’ve played a lot of those at home. I think it’ll be a close one, but the Seahawks will pull it off.
Prediction: Seahawks win
Los Angeles Chargers @ Baltimore Ravens
I said I didn’t want to pick too many games against the home team, but that’s kind of irrelevant when it comes to the Chargers. They went 7-1 on the road and 5-3 at home. The “road” game they lost was in Los Angeles anyway. The Ravens are a funky matchup for the Chargers, but I feel like Lamar Jackson Jr. is going to be prone to rookie mistakes in his first playoff game.
Prediction: Chargers win
Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears
The Eagles have been on a tear and the defending champs seem to look like they’re ready to defend their title. But this Bears team seems ready and their home-field advantage is legit. The Eagles pulling this off wouldn’t shock me, considering Mitch Trubisky might give them plenty of opportunities to take the ball back. But I think the Bears can keep this game at their pace style.
Well I’ve picked against both these teams in each of their series so there’s just about no reason to think I’d be right on this one. I feel like the Red Sox are the better team, but fact that they’ll have to tweak their lineups in Dodger Stadium might make those games tough for them. I’m also unsure about their starting pitching. Is Sale really ready for Game 1? Will they get another great game from Price? Not to mention their bullpen, is Kimbrel going to successfully close these out? All that said, I STILL don’t trust the Dodgers.
I’ll keep it short. The Dodgers certainly seem like the more talented team, but the Brewers are so damn good, especially right now. The Brewers had the better overall season, and have less demons to exorcise. I just feel more confident in them in this series.
Brewers in 5
These were the best two regular season teams in baseball and they’ve continued to play like it in the post-season. The Red Sox do have a couple of question marks on their pitching staff, but they can definitely hit. This series is ultimately a toss-up, so I’m sticking with the defending champions. The Red Sox can definitely win this, but the Astros seem solid and have nothing to prove.
This is a tough call, but I think the Indians might be fresher. They’ve pretty much been able to coast most of the season with a comfortable lead in their division. The Astros had to maintain a lead on the Mariners and A’s for the majority of the season and didn’t clinch until late September. Both teams have unbelievable talent, the only edge the Indians have is that rest. But it could definitely go either way.
Indians in 5
Red Sox vs. Yankees
It’s hard to know what to take from that last Red Sox/Yankees season series, the Yankees clobbered the Sox, but the Sox had clinched and didn’t have anything to play for. The Yankees are at a disadvantage having just played the Wild Card game, but on the other hand, it’s hard to know what pitchers will be in playoff condition for the Red Sox. Can Price and Porcello give the team solid playoff starts? Is Chris Sale healthy? I feel more confident in the Yankees.
There’s no logical reason to think the Braves will win this series. Maybe they had a more consistent season than the Dodgers, but that in the MLB, a late season hot streak is preferable. But, I think the Dodgers are going to have a touch time exorcising their demons. Like the Indians losing to the Yankees in the 2017 ALDS, I see the Dodgers choking this one away.
Braves in 5
Brewers vs. Rockies
The Brewers are good and I already predicted they will be going to the World Series (but the other team I predicted would go is the Yankees and I want them to lose the Wild Card game, so I hope I’m only half right). Christian Yelich has been awesome. I think the Rockies are a great team and I’d be happy to see them win, but I think the Brewers win this series.