I’m going to pick games for the upcoming divisional round this weekend. As I said to my wife on our honeymoon, based on my past performance, this will not be pretty. (All times in Eastern.)
Colts at Chiefs (-5.5). Saturday, 4:35, NBC
Colts looked sharp last week. They bring enough on defense to limit KC on a few drives; meanwhile, their offense has shown enough efficiency and explosion to continue the Chief defense’s holiday season of giving. I picked the home teams to win all but one last week (Chargers – the only game I got right). Won’t make that mistake again.
Cowboys at Rams (-7). Saturday, 8:15, Fox
In hindsight, that Rams/Chiefs scorefest said a lot more about each team’s defense than its offense. That said, the Cowboys’ pass with only slightly less difficulty than a kidney stone, meaning that the Rams’ offense, at home, should keep them ahead by the spread and then some.
Chargers at Patriots … wait for it …
Eagles at Saints (-8). Sunday, 4:40, Fox
I don’t know what Nick Foles did in his life to deserve the kinds of breaks he has brought to his team over the past calendar year, but my goodness, he does seem to have something on his side, doesn’t he? While Philly should do some good things on offense, the New Orleans home crowd could throw off their timing a bit (nothing against Chicago, it’s just that indoors makes a difference). Meanwhile, Drew Brees in a dome > Mitch Trubisky in the elements. Saints will win, but Foles will cause some cajun cardiac discomfort before he’s done.
Pick: Eagles (spread); Saints (straight-up)
Chargers at Patriots (-4). Sunday, 1:05, CBS
This has to turn into a nail-biter, right? Like, a 2014 Baltimore playoff, losing-feeling-in-my-fingers, stomach-on-spin-cycle type game. Fueled by trans-flight adrenaline, the Chargers will get off to a fast start, scoring early and holding the Patriots to more field goals than touchdowns in the first half. The elements and a couple of home-cooking calls (expect to see a few of those all over the league this weekend. Playoff football!) will set New England on the right path, as a late Chargers field goal attempt to tie it gets blown off course.
Sure. Why not?
Pick: Chargers (spread); Patriots (straight up)
Enjoy the games, people. It’s nothing but hoops and hockey for weeks after the Super Bowl.
Chris Warner forgot to mention the Orlando Apollos. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org and his Twitter is @cwarn89.