By Christopher Pelto
Just like that there is only three weeks left of the NFL season (minus the Pro Bowl, that no one cares about). So cherish these playoff games even if your team isn’t in it! Football will be over before soon…
We are going to continue our Cheap Seat Predictions for the AFC and NFC Divisional rounds, similar to last week where we went 2 for 4 in our predictions.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t predict the Texans’ meltdown or Cody Parkey‘s blocked field goal.
Like the Bears next season, Cheap Seats is going to bounce back. Lessgetit… 💺💺💺
Dallas Cowboys (#4) vs Los Angeles Rams (#2)
Saturday, January 12 @ 8:15 p.m. EST
Alright sports fans, I can’t believe it either, but they let me do another article. I almost called the Cowboys game to a T last week. The 2-pt conversion heard round the world upset my pick by one point and most likely ruined a lot of suckers in Vegas too.
Anyways, this week the Cowboys face the Rams in what some would assume to be a blow out having judged these teams by their regular season. This is the playoffs; I have a weird feeling it’s going to be closer than some assume. Both teams have been on different paths heading into the playoffs. As the Cowboys enter this match-up healthy, the Rams are hobbling into the game with a banged up Todd Gurley.
As you can judge by my other article, with this massive onslaught of offenses we’ve seen this year; linebacker play is pivotal.
Both teams will look to control the time of possession by running the ball and commanding the line of scrimmage. Last week, Zeke was able to amount 137 yards and scored the eventual go-ahead touchdown. This week, they’ll look to keep that ball in Zeke’s hands and out of quarterback, Dak Prescott‘s.
Dak went 22-33, 226 yards and one TD last week. He did throw one interception too. With Zeke running the ball, they’ll try to keep the number two scoring offense off the field in the Rams.
The Rams have averaged 32.9 points during the season while amounting 421 yards of offense per game, as well. Sean McVay will try to space out the defense as best he can, but I have an inkling that teams are starting to key on the run more than biting on the motions or fakes.
As you’ve seen when the Cowboys played the Saints earlier this year, the key to bothering a great quarterback is pressure. The speed the have on defense is something that I think changes the game.
Ultimately, I think the Cowboys are catching their stride at the perfect time. It’s always important to peak heading into the playoffs because although you can gain home field advantage, you can “blow your load too early” while rattling off a 13-3 record.
My pick is that the cowboys win the game on an upset.
Cowboys 24, Rams 17
Philadelphia Eagles (#6) vs New Orleans Saints (#1)
Sunday, January 13 @ 4:40 p.m. EST
Will Big Dick Nick Foles strike again?
I don’t think so. I believe that Sean Payton and Drew Brees are focused this year. Their offense has seemed to dry up a bit since the beginning of the season and they do lack a receiver to take the top off the secondary. The Saints activated Ted Ginn in hopes of finding someone with speed and report to help Michael Thomas shoulder the load.
The Saints look great on paper, but the Eagles seemed to have magic in Foles, who could be potentially playing his way to a huge payday. Although Foles has failed to create the sense that he can be a consistent starting quarterback in the NFL, he has managed to lead the Eagles to a Superbowl win and holds a Superbowl MVP with it. Not many can say that.
Look for the Eagles to use the same model defensively as the Cowboys did to pressure the quarterback up-the-gut. With a shorter QB, the pressure up the middle causes the most issues.
The Eagles were demolished in week 11 by the Saints, 48-7, but that was also with Carson Wentz at the helm. New Orleans is an eight point favorite in this match-up and I think they’ll be able to hold it. The Saints threw the ball 519 times during the regular season and ran it 471 times. A lot different model than the previously led Brees’s teams where he had to throw the ball 50+ times.
Look for the defense to make some plays and finally expose Nick Foles. Ultimately, the Saints will prove to be the better team and the Eagles will have to decide what to do moving forward with their starting QB.
Saints 28, Eagles 10