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NFL Playoff Picks: Cowboys shock Rams in Divisional round, Colts and Chiefs get in wild shootout
Let’s just get this out of the way right now: My picks in in the wild-card round were putrid.
After rolling through the regular season, I came out and choked in the playoffs, which kind of makes me feel like the Texans. Although whiffing on my picks was painful, I think I can safely say that multiple people had a worse weekend than me, namely Cody Parkey, every Bears fans and the Seahawks offensive coordinator. I would’ve added Staley Da Bear to that list, but I’m not even sure he’s alive.
I know how you feel Staley, that’s how I felt about going 1-3 with my picks.
Like any ugly loss, the key is to move forward and get better, so that’s what I’m going to do. Let’s hurry up and get to the divisional round picks so I can put the wild-card round behind me.
Actually, before we get to the picks, here’s your weekly reminder to check out the picks from all our other CBS Sports NFL writers, which you can do by clicking here. I should probably point out that not everyone was as bad as me in the wild-card round. As a matter of fact, Pete Prisco went 4-0 against the spread. If Prisco’s smart, he’ll take all the money he won betting on his picks last week and bet them on my picks this week.
If you’re not quite ready to move on to this week’s picks and you want to re-live the wild-card round, you can do that by clicking here and subscribing to the Pick Six Podcast. I team up with Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough every week for an NFL recap show that you can download each and every Monday morning until the end of the season. This week we recapped the first four playoff games and then spent some serious time talking about what our favorite Super Bowl match-up would me.
NFL Divisional Picks
Saturday, January 12
No. 6 Indianapolis (11-6) at No. 1 Kansas City (12-4)
The Chiefs might be the top seed in the AFC and the favorite to win this game, but let me tell you one thing, fans in Kansas City definitely are not getting overconfident. As a matter of fact, I thing they might be under-confident. Is that a word? If not, I’m trademarking it now, putting it on a t-shirt and selling that t-shirt to Chiefs fans.
If you’re wondering what the mood is in Kansas City heading into this week’s game against the Colts, well, let me just that it’s the exact mood you would expect from a fan base that’s been put through 25 years of playoff misery.
I think those two might be onto something, and that’s because the Colts are basically the Chiefs worse nightmare. The Chiefs had NFL’s second-worst passing defense in 2018, the Colts have Andrew Luck. The Chiefs gave up 5.0 yards per carry this year (second-worst in the NFL), the Colts have a running back who averages 4.7 yards per carry and a quarterback who can scramble. The Chiefs tied for the league-lead in sacks with 52, the Colts never let Andrew Luck get sacked (He was sacked a league-low 18 times).
Although I’m pretty sure it was by accident, the Colts roster is basically designed to exploit every Chiefs weakness. The one thing the Chiefs do have is Patrick Mahomes, and if he’s proven one thing this year, it’s that he has the talent to overcome any defensive deficiency the Chiefs might have. Mahomes has proven he doesn’t need any defensive help, which is a good thing for him, because about 50 percent of the time he doesn’t get it.
The problem for Mahomes is that when quarterbacks struggle in the playoffs it usually comes in their first start. Three quarterbacks made their first playoff start this year and they all lost (Lamar Jackson, Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson), which definitely isn’t good news for Mahomes.
I’ll be honest, besides the Bengals, there’s no team in the NFL that I have less faith in to win a playoff game than the Chiefs. They haven’t won a playoff game at home since the 1993 season. They haven’t won a divisional playoff game since the 1993 season. They’ve never beaten the Colts in the playoffs (0-4), and if the Chiefs have proven one thing under Andy Reid, it’s that they basically specialize in finding impossible ways to lose in the postseason. During the playoffs, Reid throws all logic out the window, along with his clock management skills and most of his decision-making abilities.
Also, I can’t even count on Reid to win coming off a bye anymore. Although Reid’s 17-3 off a bye in the regular season and 3-1 in playoffs, he’s just 1-2 off a bye in his past three games (Win in 2018, loss in 2017, loss in 2016 divisional playoff game)
If I can’t count on Reid off a bye, I can’t count on anything in life.
The pick: Colts 37-34 over Chiefs
Record picking Colts games this season: 13-4 (includes 1-0 in playoffs)
Record picking Chiefs games this season: 13-3