The Breakout Live team debates which underdog has the best chance to win in the divisional round and get to the conference championship.
George “Cannonball” West
Two words as to why I think the Colts will win as an underdog this week in Kansas City: Andy. Reid. Since Reid has become Kansas City’s head coach, he is 1-4 in the postseason, including a big blown lead as a home favorite last season vs. the Titans. Reid struggles in the postseason because, while he is a master of passing offense, he has no respect for defense and never assembles the defensive squad that is necessary for a Super Bowl winner.
K.C. was #24 in regular season points allowed per game at 26.3 and #31 in passing yards allowed per game at 273. The Chiefs defense wilted under the pressure of competent offensive teams in their 4 losses to the Patriots, Rams, Chargers and Seahawks. Reid is incapable of handling an opponent with a good offense, which the Colts have at 27.1 ppg (#5). I predict Indy will initially trample and then air out the Chiefs this weekend at Arrowhead, while a Walrus on the sideline peers aimlessly at an unReidable defensive game plan.
Senior News & Fantasy Editor
As much as I’m tempted to go with the Chargers, who haven’t lost a game when they get on a plane to get to it, I like the Cowboys. Well, I don’t “like” the Cowboys; in fact, I grew up hating them, but I’ve had this feeling they might just roll into the NFC Championship for a while now.
The Rams struggled at the end of the season with some poor performances against Chicago and Philadelphia. Dallas has a defense that can and has given them fits. Zeke is always tough to stop and the Cowboys actually believe they’re special, whereas I’m not sure the Rams feel like everything is exactly falling into place for them. Faith is a heckuva thing.
That’s easy, because they’re not underdogs in my opinion: The Chargers. They’re only underdogs due to the asinine NFL playoff seedings, nothing more. Yes, they nearly coughed up a 20-point lead last weekend in Baltimore, but before that they looked every bit like the best team in the AFC. The roster is stacked and honestly, the wake-up call they received from the Ravens in the 4th should serve as a positive motivator.
Let’s not sugarcoat it: A divisional playoff game at Foxboro in January against Tommy and The Hoodie is a bad draw for any team. But the Chargers are most equipped to handle it. They’re 8-0 outside of California this season (including 3-0 on true East Coast trips), and the Pats are better on paper than they are on the field. LA is peaking, they’re hungry, and you know Philip Rivers is dying to finally chalk one up in the win column against Brady. They won’t suffer another letdown this Sunday.
I picked the Colts before the playoffs began and I’m sticking with them again this week. Andrew Luck and Marlon Mack have command of this offense, and the defense is coming up with some big games of late. Furthermore, the Colts have owned the Chiefs in recent years, and the Chiefs and Andy Reid are known for their playoff chokes. If anyone can break the jinx, it’s Patrick Mahomes. But I’m sticking with the Colts to head to New England with the AFC Championship on the line.