NFL Divisional Round Preview: Saints And Chiefs Headline The Weekend

After an thrilling wild-card spherical that noticed two huge upsets, in addition to some unbelievable finishes, the Divisional Round is lastly upon us. Now in case your crew misplaced final weekend, we’re certain you’re upset and you've got each proper to be. Even this author is aggravated that they solely bought one out of their 4 predictions proper, however that’s inappropriate.

Considering the matchups we've been blessed with, there are many causes to observe some soccer this weekend. The Super Bowl is simply three weekends away and the video games are getting an increasing number of intense. Whether your crew continues to be in it or not, there is no such thing as a denying how entertaining this weekend’s matches are going to be.

Having stated that, let’s check out how these groups stack up.


Saturday, January 12th

No. 6 Indianapolis at No. 1 Kansas City, on NBC at four:35 p.m. ET

NFL Divisional Round Preview: Saints And Chiefs Headline The Weekend

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When you take into account that the Indianapolis Colts are a six seed going up towards a one seed within the Kansas City Chiefs, it’s simple to catch your self saying the Chiefs will win simply. Don’t be fooled that simply although. Yes, the Chiefs have a tremendous offense with one of the vital thrilling younger quarterbacks within the recreation, however the Colts’ momentum coming into the weekend is palpable.

Including final weekend’s win towards the Houston Texans, the Colts have gained 10 of their final 11 video games. They began the season 1-5 and gained 9 out of their final 10 simply to make the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Chiefs began the yr 9-1 and went Three-Three of their final six.

Regardless of momentum, the Chiefs have a transparent benefit over the Colts in the case of offense. According to NFL.com, the Chiefs completed first in whole factors per recreation with 35.Three and first in whole yards with 425.6 yards per match. In those self same classes, the Colts completed fifth and seventh respectively. The Chiefs success is largely because of quarterback Patrick Mahomes who completed the yr with 50 landing passes. In comparability, Andrew Luck had 39 touchdowns.

NFL Divisional Round Preview: Saints And Chiefs Headline The Weekend

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On the opposite aspect of the ball, the Chiefs wrestle on protection. Bad defensive performances have been the rationale for almost all of the crew’s losses this season, together with a 54-51 shootout towards the Los Angeles Rams. The Chiefs gave up 26.Three factors per recreation (24th within the league), and 405.5 yards per recreation (31st within the league). Comparatively, the Colts are 10th and 11th in these classes, giving them a transparent benefit on protection, in accordance with NFL.com.

Neither of those groups have performed one another this season so each groups shall be getting a contemporary have a look at one another on Saturday. The winner will get to play the victor of the New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Chargers recreation within the AFC Championship match.

No. four Dallas at No. 2 Los Angeles Rams, on Fox eight:15 at p.m. ET

NFL Divisional Round Preview: Saints And Chiefs Headline The Weekend

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Heading to the NFC now, the Dallas Cowboys are contemporary off of a 24-22 win towards the Seattle Seahawks the place the crew blended some strong protection with well timed offense. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams have been among the finest groups within the league this season, ending with a report of 13-Three.

In phrases of offense, this recreation is an entire mismatch. The Rams completed second in factors per recreation with 32.9, and second in whole yards with a mean of 421.1 each match. Thanks to operating again Todd Gurley, their speeding recreation was third within the league, with 139.four yards a recreation. Gurley was spectacular this season amassing over 1200 yards speeding and 17 touchdowns. Dallas, then again, has been much less spectacular. They rank 21st and 22nd in factors and yards per recreation respectively. All stats courtesy of NFL.com.

As for passing, this recreation comes all the way down to a battle between Jared Goff of the Rams, and Dak Prescott of the Cowboys. According to Pro-Football-Reference, Goff completed the season with 32 touchdowns and 4688 passing yards. Prescott completed with 22 touchdowns and 3885 yards. Goff and Prescott completed with 12 and eight interceptions respectively.

NFL Divisional Round Preview: Saints And Chiefs Headline The Weekend

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Much just like the Chief/Colts matchup, the crew with the exceptional offense is missing somewhat on protection. The Rams completed 20th and 19th in factors and yards allowed per recreation, whereas Dallas was sixth and seventh in these classes. This season it’s been the Rams’ offense that has bailed them out of unhealthy defensive performances. For the Cowboys although, it’s the protection that retains them in each recreation.

Both groups have but to play one another this season. The winner will get to play both the Philadelphia Eagles or the New Orleans Saints within the NFC Championship recreation.


Sunday, January 13th

No. 5 L.A. Chargers at No. 2 New England, on CBS at 1:05 p.m. ET

NFL Divisional Round Preview: Saints And Chiefs Headline The Weekend

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The first recreation on Sunday will see the New England Patriots partake of their first playoff recreation of the season in a marketing campaign the place they’re seeking to attain their third-straight Super Bowl. On the opposite aspect, Philip Rivers and the Chargers will look to construct on final week’s 23-17 win towards the Baltimore Ravens.

One of the extra fascinating storylines of this recreation is how previous the quarterbacks are. This is a story of two veterans as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is 41, whereas Rivers is 37. Their age hasn’t held them again in any respect actually. Brady had 29 touchdowns and Rivers had 32 this season, making them amongst the elite quarterbacks within the league. While Rivers might have had a greater season passing, Brady has the largest pedigree championship sensible. Rivers has but to win a title, all whereas Brady has 5 of them.

The Patriots completed 11-5 this season and continued to be among the finest offensive groups within the league, ending fourth in common factors per recreation with 27.2. Thanks to Brady they'd the eighth-best passing offense and fifth-best whole offense. Running again James White was additionally a giant issue for the Patriots offense, amassing over 1000 whole yards this season. The Chargers are additionally no slouch on offense. They had the eighth greatest common factors per recreation and the 10th greatest passing offense. While the Chargers are formidable in that class, the Patriots do have an edge. All stats courtesy of NFL.com.

NFL Divisional Round Preview: Saints And Chiefs Headline The Weekend

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Defensively the Patriots are missing by way of stopping the cross and protecting yards to a minimal. They have the 22nd ranked cross protection and 21st ranked whole protection. Although it isn’t all unhealthy. The crew solely provides up 20.Three factors per recreation which was the seventh-best common within the league. On the opposite aspect of the sphere, the Chargers are rather more constant defensively. They have been eighth in factors allowed and ninth in whole yards, cross yards, and rush yards given up. All stats courtesy of NFL.com.

In the Brady/Rivers period, the Chargers and Patriots have met twice within the playoffs, with the Patriots taking each video games. However, Brady has struggled in these matches so it will likely be fascinating to see how this one performs out.

The winner will tackle both the Kansas City Chiefs or the Indianapolis Colts within the AFC Championship recreation.  

No. 6 Philadelphia at No. 1 New Orleans, on Fox four:40 at p.m. ET

NFL Divisional Round Preview: Saints And Chiefs Headline The Weekend

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In the ultimate recreation of the weekend, the defending champs tackle the most effective crew in soccer, the New Orleans Saints. Considering how fortunate the Eagles bought final week with Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey lacking a game-winning discipline objective, this matchup most likely ought to have by no means occurred. Regardless, it needs to be one of many extra intriguing video games we’ll be blessed with.

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles has been on a roll as of late, whereas Saints QB Drew Brees continues to be among the finest gamers within the league. In 16 video games this season, Brees registered 32 touchdowns and solely 5 interceptions. He additionally accomplished 74.four% of his passes which simply goes to indicate how the 39-year-old nonetheless has it.

On offense, it seems as if these groups are in two fully totally different leagues. The Saints have the third greatest factors per recreation common, whereas the Eagles are 18th in that class. There is just one class the Eagles beat the Saints in and that’s passing yards per recreation because the Eagles rank seventh and the Saints 12th. Not to say, the Saints have the sixth greatest rush offense, whereas the Eagles have been the fifth worst crew in that division. All stats courtesy of NFL.com.

NFL Divisional Round Preview: Saints And Chiefs Headline The Weekend

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The defensive matchup on this recreation is wanting fairly even though the Saints clearly have a bonus on rush protection, solely giving up 80 yards per recreation, ok for second within the league. In phrases of factors per recreation, the Saints rank 14th, permitting 22.1. The Eagles are 12th in that very same class, forfeiting 21.eight factors per match. Both the Saints and Eagles are abysmal on cross protection, rating 29th and 30th within the league respectively. All stats courtesy of NFL.com.

This gained’t be the primary time these two groups play one another this season. On November 18th the Saints routed the Eagles 48-7 in a recreation that wasn’t even shut.

Whoever wins will play the Dallas Cowboys or the Los Angeles Rams within the NFC Championship recreation.

Who do you suppose goes to come back out victorious this weekend?