Will the young gun outduel the GOAT in Arrowhead? Who will take the shootout in the Big Easy? The Breakout Live team make their picks for the NFC and AFC Conference Championships.
Patriots at Chiefs: I desperately want to pick the Chiefs, but I can’t. There’s a reason why the Pats have been in 8 straight AFC title games, and I just can’t bring myself to bet against them this weekend. New England’s defense has played pretty well over the last month (minus garbage time last week vs. LA), and I think they’ll do just enough against KC to put Brady in a position to win it at the end, which you know he will.
Rams at Saints: I was very impressed with what the Rams did to Dallas last Saturday, but I’ll still take the Saints at home in the NFC title game. New Orleans has left a lot to be desired over the last quarter of the season, but they have multiple weapons and LA won’t be able to load up against the run like they did vs. Dallas. Take away the run, Brees will kill you. Take away the pass, Kamara and Ingram will run down your throat. With all things being equal, I’ll take the steady Brees and vet Payton over the sometimes-shaky Goff and NKOTB (New Kid on the Block) McVay.
George “Cannonball” West
Patriots at Chiefs: Before these playoffs began, I predicted the Patriots would be facing the Rams for the 2019 Super Bowl. I am going to stick with that forecast. I will ride with Brady and Belichick until somebody shoots at the King and doesn’t miss. And I especially don’t think Andy Reid has the gumption to knock out the champ.
Rams at Saints: This Rams team has been built around an innovative offense with a winner of a head coach, and a defense built out of a future Hall of Fame DT and a bunch of ring hungry mercenaries. So when the dust settles, the Rams will wreak revenge on the Pats for Super Bowl XXXVI. This time they’ll beat Brady.
Senior News & Fantasy Editor
Patriots at Chiefs: The Chiefs may have just won their 1st home playoff game in 25 years and now host their first-ever AFC Championship, but I think they’ll block the Patriots from a 3rd straight trip to the show. The Patriots were 3-5 on the road, and if not for a slow start by the Chiefs in Foxborough, the Chiefs would have won the game earlier this year in New England. Mahomes is the league MVP, and I think the torch passes in Arrowhead this Sunday.
Rams at Saints: I just can’t trust a Jared Goff-quarterbacked team even with Sean McVay pulling his strings. The Saints top-ranked run defense didn’t get a load of C.J. Anderson last time around, but they also avoid seeing Cooper Kupp this time. Kupp and his 5 catches for 89 yards and a score aren’t traveling to the Big Easy, making it a lot harder for the Rams in the rematch. Sean Payton has taken his team to a Super Bowl and won, while McVay just notched his first playoff win vs. the Cowboys. Too much noise, too much Saints offense, and just enough defense sends the Saints to Atlanta.
Patriots at Chiefs: The two things you don’t usually count on with the Chiefs were exceptional vs. the Colts: Defense and running (post-Hunt). And Mahomes looks exceptional with his accuracy from nearly every angle. But no way am I betting against Brady & Belichick in a conference championship, not with the way they dismantled the Chargers #9 defense in the divisional round. Look for the Chiefs defense to return to their meek selves and the Patriots to become the first team in a quarter-century to play in 3 straight Super Bowls.
Rams at Saints: I lean a bit toward the Rams in this one. The Saints won the first matchup in a high-scoring affair, but the Saints offense hasn’t been as explosive as it was during that period. I’m more confident in the Rams ability to move the ball in various ways, especially with the 2-headed monster of Gurley and Anderson on the ground. If Pederson had not botched the clock management and Jeffery not booted a perfectly thrown ball, the Saints might not even be playing in this one.