Divisional Round Weekend Predictions

Jacob Chaimovitch and Josh Hobbs

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After 4 crazy wild-card games, we move onto the Divisional Round with only eight teams left. Jacob (0-4 picks record) and Josh (3-1 picks record) are back with their picks for the NFL Divisional Round of games. In this round, the #1 and #2 seeds from each conference finally get to play playoff football after getting a bye week. The #1 seed gets the lowest remaining seed in the conference, while the #2 seed gets the highest remaining seed. It’s sure to be a good slate of games so here we go. Here are our projections.

     #6 Indianapolis Colts at #1 Kansas City Chiefs (AFC)


For me, this isn’t even a debate. Sure, the Colts took down the Texans on the road – by no small margin might I add – but their next test is the best team in the AFC and, arguably, the league. Patrick Mahomes has been lighting up scoreboards all season long. He has the second most passing yards in the league and the most passing touchdowns in the league with 5,097 and 50 respectively. On top of that, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are both in the top ten for receiving yards. No Kareem Hunt? No problem. Chiefs win big.

Colts 14, Chiefs 35


While I think this will be an interesting match, I think the Chiefs still come out on top. The Colts showed why they belong in the playoffs on Saturday against the Texans on the road, with a dominating performance on both sides of the ball. If you consider yourself a longtime NFL fan, you should know that there is lots of playoff history between these two teams, whether it’s 2013 and the historic comeback led by Andrew Luck, or 2003 where the game was decided by a single punt. But this is a new era of the NFL, and Patrick Mahomes is right at the head of it. The Chiefs present an offensive that the Colts simply won’t be able to stop, and I believe the pass-rush of the Chiefs will be the deciding factor in this close game.

Colts 26, Chiefs 31

     #4 Dallas Cowboys at #2 Los Angeles Rams (NFC)


I may regret this later, but I’m not going to go with the Rams for this game. Every part of my New York Giants brain is telling me not to pick the team I hate the most, but I’ll explain why this isn’t much of an upset at all. On paper, Goff has more passing yards and passing TDs this season than Dak Prescott. However, Prescott doesn’t necessarily need to put the ball in the air. In fact, neither team needs to at all. Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley II both had monster seasons. Even if they do take it to the air, Amari Cooper is having a way better season than Connor Kupp. If the Dallas O-Line can contain Aaron Donald and protect their QB, the Cowboys can win this game. I have faith. Go Cowboys.

Cowboys 23, Rams 16


This is one of my upset games for the Divisional Round. The Rams finished their season on a weird note, as they looked completely different as the regular season came to a close. Now, of course, some of that can be attributed to the loss of star Todd Gurley II, but other issues like the defense and the inconsistency of Jared Goff I feel are all red flags. I think Cowboys keeps their season alive by leaning on Ezekiel Elliott and simply controlling the game from start to finish. Dak Prescott will also need to step and make some big throws, but I believe a combination of a dominating run game and a solid defense that forces enough empty trips and field goals sneaks out of LA with a W.

Cowboys 26, Rams 24

     #5 Los Angeles Chargers at #2 New England Patriots (AFC)


Any other season, I’d pick the Pats in a blowout. But this isn’t any other season for both teams. For the first time in a long time, the Patriots didn’t look like the AFC juggernaut they usually are during the season. Sure, they are a different team in the playoffs, but be patient; we’ll get to that. The Chargers, meanwhile, have surpassed any and all expectations they had going into the season. Finishing 12-4 is no small feat in the NFL. Despite being a lower seed, they have a better record than the Patriots. A behemoth in Rob Gronkowski is matched by Antonio Gates, who doesn’t seem to age at all. The two-headed RB monster of Sony Michel and James White is matched by Melvin Gordon, who had an incredible 2018. Tom Brady is matched by Phillip Rivers, who is underrated in my opinion. However, all that changes when the Pats are in the playoffs. The last time the Patriots lost in the divisional round was to the Jets in 2010. The last time they lost to a Chargers team in the playoffs was 1963. I think you know where I’m going with this. Expect a great game between two amazing teams, but expect the evil empire of the NFL to survive.

Chargers 31, Patriots 35


I think this game has the potential to get ugly. The Patriots looked very good the last few weeks of the season, and now they’re relatively healthy and playing at very high level. Now, most of the headlines surrounding the Pats this season is the regression of Tom Brady and how Rob Gronkowski is practically an old man on the field. But what has not been talked about enough is how well this Patriots secondary is playing. I feel like they have the opportunity to completely change this game, with a quarterback in Phillip Rivers who has been prone to interceptions all throughout his career. To get to the point, the Chargers will be fall due to a lack of playoff experience, injuries, and playing in Foxborough in January.

Chargers 17, Patriots 31

     #6 Philadelphia Eagles at #1 New Orleans Saints (NFC)


Fun Fact: Saints QB Drew Brees and Eagles QB Nick Foles went to the same high school. Anyways, why is it that the Eagles never show up during the regular season, but when they go to Soldier Field, Doug Peterson snaps his fingers (or, rather, calls timeout with 10 seconds left in the game) and the Eagles win in the playoffs again. Well, tough luck Philly. The Football Power Index (FPI) gave you a 2.4% chance to win it all after beating the Bears. On the other side of the ball, the FPI gave New Orleans a 26.5% chance at the same thing. Need I say more? Ok then, I will. Drew Brees threw 8 yards shy of a 4,000-yard season this year and that was with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram Jr. putting up 883 yards and 645 yards respectively. Not to mention Michael Thomas is also having a great season. Now, I’m not saying the Eagles won’t score at all. In fact, I’m going to grant them 3 touchdowns, all made by Nick Foles as a result of the Saints below-average defense. Simply put, the Saints will score more…way more.

Eagles 21, Saints 45


Now if you read the last prediction article, you would have seen that I chose the Eagles to win against the Bears on the road. Not saying I told you so…but I TOLD YOU SO!!! Now if you reading this thinking, ‘well you would’ve been wrong if Cody Parkey could make a field goal’, you would also be mistaken because video after the game surfaced showing that Eagles defensive tackle Treyvon Hester tipped the ball immediately after the ball was struck. If you don’t believe me, look at the video, and the NFL officially changed the ruling from a missed FG to a blocked FG on Monday afternoon. Now, back to the game at hand. The Saints have been the best team in the league since Week 9, with stellar play nearly every week from Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas And if you simply look at the matchups, there are several that favor the Saints. They’re at home and have had a week to rest and getting everyone rested. So surely I couldn’t pick the Eagles to win this one, right? WRONG! I am once again choosing Nick Foles to use his magic and shock the world by sending the Eagles to the NFC championship. One of the major advantages that favor the Eagles is that the Saints do not have a good secondary, which I believe the Eagles can control and simply outscore them. It already happened with the Pats, and I expect history to repeat itself. Plus, the whole point of making this pick is based on the success of the Eagles…It doesn’t make sense. I expect the Eagles to walk out of New Orleans with another victory to shock the world.

Eagles 35, Saints 31