After an thrilling wild-card spherical that noticed two large upsets, in addition to some unbelievable finishes, the Divisional Round is lastly upon us. Now in case your staff misplaced final weekend, we’re certain you’re upset and you’ve got each proper to be. Even this author is irritated that they solely received one out their 4 predictions proper, however that’s irrelevant.
Considering the matchups we have now been blessed with, there are lots causes to look at some soccer this weekend. The Super Bowl is simply three weekends away and the video games are getting increasingly intense. Whether your staff 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 mentioned 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
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When you take into account that the Indianapolis Colts are a six seed going up in opposition to a one seed within the Kansas City Chiefs, it’s straightforward to catch your self saying the Chiefs will win simply. Don’t be fooled that simply although. Yes, the Chiefs have a tremendous fense with one essentially the most thrilling younger quarterbacks within the sport, however the Colts’ momentum coming into the weekend is palpable.
Including final weekend’s win in opposition to the Houston Texans, the Colts have received 10 their final 11 video games. They began the season 1-5 and received 9 out their final 10 simply to make the playfs. Meanwhile, the Chiefs began the yr 9-1 and went Three-Three of their final six.
Regardless momentum, the Chiefs have a transparent benefit over the Colts in terms of fense. According to NFL.com, the Chiefs completed first in whole factors per sport 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.
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On the opposite facet the ball, the Chiefs battle on protection. Bad defensive performances have been the explanation for almost all the staff’s losses this season, together with a 54-51 shootout in opposition to the Los Angeles Rams. The Chiefs gave up 26.Three factors per sport (24th within the league), and 405.5 yards per sport (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 these groups have performed one another this season so each groups will likely be getting a recent have a look at one another on Saturday. The winner will get to play the victor the New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Chargers sport within the AFC Championship match.
No. four Dallas at No. 2 Los Angeles Rams, on Fox eight:15 at p.m. ET
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Heading to the NFC now, the Dallas Cowboys are recent f a 24-22 win in opposition to the Seattle Seahawks the place the staff blended some stable protection with well timed fense. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams have been one one of the best groups within the league this season, ending with a document 13-Three.
In phrases fense, this sport is a whole mismatch. The Rams completed second in factors per sport with 32.9, and second in whole yards with a median 421.1 each match. Thanks to operating again Todd Gurley, their speeding sport was third within the league, with 139.four yards a sport. Gurley was spectacular this season amassing over 1200 yards speeding and 17 touchdowns. Dallas, alternatively, has been much less spectacular. They rank 21st and 22nd in factors and yards per sport respectively. All stats courtesy NFL.com.
As for passing, this sport comes right down to a battle between Jared Gf the Rams, and Dak Prescott the Cowboys. According to Pro-Football-Reference, Gf completed the season with 32 touchdowns and 4688 passing yards. Prescott completed with 22 touchdowns and 3885 yards. Gf and Prescott completed with 12 and eight interceptions respectively.
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Much just like the Chief/Colts matchup, the staff with the exceptional fense is missing a bit on protection. The Rams completed 20th and 19th in factors and yards allowed per sport, whereas Dallas was sixth and seventh in these classes. This season it’s been the Rams’ fense that has bailed them out unhealthy defensive performances. For the Cowboys although, it’s the protection that retains them in each sport.
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 sport.
Sunday, January 13th
No. 5 L.A. Chargers at No. 2 New England, on CBS at 1:05 p.m. ET
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The first sport on Sunday will see the New England Patriots partake of their first playf sport the season in a marketing campaign the place they’re trying to attain their third-straight Super Bowl. On the opposite facet, Philip Rivers and the Chargers will look to construct on final week’s 23-17 win in opposition to the Baltimore Ravens.
One the extra fascinating storylines this sport is how outdated the quarterbacks are. This is a story 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 smart. Rivers has but to win a title, all whereas Brady has 5 them.
The Patriots completed 11-5 this season and continued to be one one of the best fensive groups within the league, ending fourth in common factors per sport with 27.2. Thanks to Brady that they had the eighth-best passing fense and fifth-best whole fense. Running again James White was additionally an enormous issue for the Patriots fense, amassing over 1000 whole yards this season. The Chargers are additionally no slouch on fense. They had the eighth finest common factors per sport and the 10th finest passing fense. While the Chargers are formidable in that class, the Patriots do have an edge. All stats courtesy NFL.com.
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Defensively the Patriots are missing in phrases stopping the cross and conserving yards to a minimal. They have the 22nd ranked cross protection and 21st ranked whole protection. Although it isn’t all unhealthy. The staff solely offers up 20.Three factors per sport which was the seventh-best common within the league. On the opposite facet the sector, the Chargers are far 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 NFL.com.
In the Brady/Rivers period, the Chargers and Patriots have met twice within the playfs, 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 sport.
No. 6 Philadelphia at No. 1 New Orleans, on Fox four:40 at p.m. ET
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In the ultimate sport the weekend, the defending champs tackle one of the best staff in soccer, the New Orleans Saints. Considering how fortunate the Eagles received final week with Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey lacking a game-winning subject objective, this matchup in all probability ought to have by no means occurred. Regardless, it ought to be one the extra intriguing video games we’ll be blessed with.
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles has been on a roll as late, whereas Saints QB Drew Brees continues to be one one of the best gamers within the league. In 16 video games this season, Brees registered 32 touchdowns and solely 5 interceptions. He additionally accomplished 74.four% his passes which simply goes to indicate how the 39-year-old nonetheless has it.
On fense, it seems as if these groups are in two fully totally different leagues. The Saints have the third finest factors per sport 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 sport because the Eagles rank seventh and the Saints 12th. Not to say, the Saints have the sixth finest rush fense, whereas the Eagles have been the fifth worst staff in that division. All stats courtesy NFL.com.
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The defensive matchup on this sport is trying fairly even though the Saints clearly have a bonus on rush protection, solely giving up 80 yards per sport, adequate for second within the league. In phrases factors per sport, 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 NFL.com.
This received’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 sport that wasn’t even shut.
Whoever wins will play the Dallas Cowboys or the Los Angeles Rams within the NFC Championship sport.
Who do you assume goes to come back out victorious this weekend?