Tomorrow there are two NFL playoff games on the docket: The Kansas City Chiefs against the Indianapolis Colts in Indy and the New Orleans Saints traveling to Philadephia to take on the Eagles. These two games have one thing in common for me: I see the team with the better running attack winning.
Chiefs vs. Colts 4:35 Saturday:
These two teams look very similar if you look at the records, both finished the season 11-5, the Colts had a 6-2 record on their home turf and the Chiefs had a 6-2 record on the road, so you would think that these two teams would stack up pretty evenly. I don’t see it that way. I think the Chiefs are a far superior team to the Colts in reality. The Colts play in a terrible division, one in which they were able to coast through easily without any resistance, while the Chiefs division boasts 3 playoff teams (the Broncos and Chargers also made it) So they were playing quality teams all year long. The Chiefs also scored more points on the season (430 to 391) and they allowed less points (305 to 336).
I look for Jamaal Charles to have himself a big day tomorrow on that turf, he’s a dynamic back who can be just as effective catching the ball in the flats as he in rushing out of the backfield.. The Colts are ranked 26th in the NFL against the run allowing 125.1 yards per game allowed on the ground, while Charles ranked third in the league in rushing with 1,287 yards rushing. I also expect the Chiefs defensive front seven to unsettle Andrew Luck by applying a ton of pressure. Luck having a huge day is the only way I see the Colts coming through this game with a victory.
Prediction: An easy victory for the Chiefs, 27-14
Saints vs. Eagles 8:05 Saturday:
This game featured two high powered offenses squaring off in what looks to be a very entertaining watch. This is another game that looks at lot better on paper than I think it will be played out on the field. The Saints are a Jekyll and Hyde team. They are a prolific team at home, not so much on the road as evidenced by their 8-0 home record and their paltry 3-5 road record. I don’t foresee Drew Brees and the Saint offense clicking on all cylinders playing in the bitter cold on a Saturday night in Philly. I think with the elements playing a factor the run game will be extremely important and that provides the edge for the Eagles. LeSean McCoy the leagues leading rusher this season will be going up agianst the 19th best rushing defense. “Shady” put up an astounding 1,607 yard rushing, over 250 yards more than the next best back.
I think Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham will create enough mismatches in the underneath game to keep the game close with Drew Brees, but I don’t think the Saints will be able to get the ball deep the way they like to. If Nick Foles plays mistake free football and allows McCoy to lead the way the Eagles should prevail.
Prediction: Eagles win, just not as comfortably as the Chiefs earlier in the day. 23-17 Philly.
(all stats from NFL.com)