If you recall, last weekend in the NFL, all of the underdogs won. That’s right. The teams that were favored to win did not. And the thought by many was that the Colts, Cowboys, Chargers, and the Eagles all had a legitimate shot to do the same thing this weekend. Perish the thought!
The Colts were never in the game with the Chiefs (31-13). Dallas needed a late score to make the game look closer than it was against the Rams (30-22). The Chargers were anemic against the Patriots (41-28). The Eagles, on the other hand, came within an unfinished drive of beating the Saints, but they, too, did not prevail (20-14).
So, the divisional round games were basically a bunch of “yawners”. But, that should not be the case this coming weekend. Each match-up is extremely intriguing.
According to the lines on the games – 3 points for the Chiefs and 3.5 points for the Patriots – the only difference between the four appears to be the home field advantage. The other interesting thing about the match-ups is each game involves high-scoring offenses. Again the over/under line is 57 for the Rams and the Saints and 57.5 for the Patriots and the Chiefs. The 114.5 combined number is the largest in 30 years.
Obviously, the Vegas odds makers don’t just take offense into consideration when they arrive at over/under numbers. They also must look at the defenses. The Chiefs’ defense is the worst of the bunch and the rest of the group have average defenses, at best.
The other huge asset for each of these four teams and, it may be the best predictor of a great Sunday of football, are the four coaches. What announcer has not mentioned the Andy Reid tree in the last month? Sean Payton has maintained excellence throughout his career and then (duh) – there’s Bill Belichick. That leaves Sean McVay of the Rams, who is, by far, the most innovative mind of the young coaches. This is an elite group, for sure.
Sunday promises to be a great day of NFL football!!
P.S. Check Gary’s Guesses to see which teams make it to the Super Bowl at the end of the blog.
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSING)
- As much as Eagles’ fans want to keep Nick Foles around (and why wouldn’t they?), it will not happen. Carson Wentz is their future and the Eagles cannot possibly carry the $20.5 million price tag attached to Foles.
- There are cries to fire Jason Garrett of the Cowboys. He certainly is one of the most apathetic appearing coaches on an NFL sideline. He does not seem to be the type to light a fire under his team, BUT, in the last three years, only the Patriots, Steelers, and Chiefs have won more games. And all the noise about firing him comes from the outside, not from within the locker room. So, wait and see.
- If either the Patriots or the Saints win the Super Bowl, will Tom Brady or Drew Brees call it quits? Both have contracts that run through 2019. They are so competitive that this is a tough call. Look for them both to return.
- Alshon Jeffery dropped three passes all season, but every Eagles fan will remember the last one. And that is a shame. Alshon Jeffery is a great receiver and certainly was one of the main reasons the Eagles overachieved this year. It is more appropriate to feel badly for Jeffery than to condemn him.
- RCN-TV has been the home of a number of upsets this basketball season – Easton over Beca, Liberty over Emmaus to name a few. This week, it’s Easton at Northampton on Tuesday night, Navy men at Lafayette on Wednesday, Easton at Parkland wrestling on Thursday, and Allen at Emmaus on Friday followed by Wilson at Bangor.
Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks (Last week: 3-1) (Overall: 165-82-2 67% )