This 12 months’s divisional spherical options a number of newcomers, whereas the Eagles, Patriots and Saints are the one groups to return.
Within the NFC, the Eagles and Saints meet once more Sunday in the one regular-season rematch in the spherical. The Cowboys and Rams will sq. off Saturday for the ninth time within the postseason.
Within the AFC, count on the Colts and Chiefs to kick the weekend off in explosive trend. Then the Chargers face a well-known foe within the Patriots on Sunday.
Colts at Chiefs
4:35 p.m. ET, Saturday (NBC)
The Saints could also be a heavy favourite to win the Tremendous Bowl, however the Colts are by far the most important sleepers, particularly after they routed the Texans within the wild-card spherical final week.
Indianapolis continued its sizzling streak by choosing up its 10th win in 11 video games. Andrew Luck was phenomenal as he threw for 222 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, whereas his offense churned out 200 yards on the bottom in a dominating outing.
For the Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes has been sensational below middle and is favored to win the regular-season MVP award. Nonetheless, he would not have historical past on his facet as a first-year starter making his first playoff look. In reality, quarterbacks making their first postseason begin courting again to 2013 are 4-11. The Chiefs are additionally 0-6 of their final six playoff video games at house and winless at Arrowhead since 1993.
Nonetheless, Mahomes’ spectacular firepower must be sufficient to cease the surging Colts.
Prediction: Chiefs 27, Colts 21
Cowboys at Rams
8:15 p.m., Saturday (Fox)
Regardless of a lackluster begin to the season, the Cowboys powered by the house stretch and into the playoffs, together with their win over the Seahawks within the opening spherical.
Now going through an uphill battle at Los Angeles, Dallas will want star duo Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott in high type if they’ve any hope of breaking by Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh’s defensive wall. In the meantime, a lot of the Rams’ offensive success below Jared Goff will depend upon the well being of Todd Gurley, who missed the ultimate two video games of the common season.
Barring any setbacks, the highest quarterbacks from the 2016 draft class and the two finest rushers within the league are positive to maintain viewers on the sting of their seats.
The matchup will mark the ninth time in NFL historical past the Rams and Cowboys have confronted off within the postseason, which is greater than some other two groups within the league. With the all-time document tied at 4-4, there’s extra than simply a visit to the NFC championship on the road.
Prediction: Rams 24, Cowboys 20
Chargers at Patriots
1:05 p.m., Sunday (CBS)
The thought of taking over Tom Brady and Invoice Belichick at Gillette Stadium within the postseason is sufficient to scare even probably the most seasoned veteran. However not Philip Rivers.
The Chargers quarterback is 0-7 in video games in opposition to New England when Brady begins, however the Patriots quarterback hasn’t fairly been himself this season, leaving the door open for Los Angeles to take benefit. The Chargers’ cross rush had no drawback stopping Lamar Jackson and the Ravens within the wild-card spherical, and can look to duplicate that dominating impact on the highway as soon as once more.
But, Brady leads an offense that ranks No. 5 in whole yards due to the group’s success on the bottom.
Might the tip of New England’s undefeated streak at house this season even be the tip of their hopes for a sixth Lombardi Trophy and third since 2015?
Prediction: Chargers 20, Patriots 17
Eagles at Saints
4:40 p.m., Sunday (Fox)
It may very well be argued that the Eagles should not even be New Orleans-bound, on condition that they handed the Bears a wild-card loss in entrance of a surprised house crowd a lot to the dismay of Bears kicker Cody Parkey.
Nonetheless, Nick Foles was his magnificently dependable self as he threw for 266 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. The one different time the Saints have confronted him was in a 2013 playoff recreation when Chip Kelly was the Eagles coach, and clearly loads has modified since then. Relationship again to final season, Foles has gained 9 of 10 begins in video games from December to February.
However the Eagles are at a extreme drawback getting into the Superdome in opposition to Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram with the third-worst cross protection within the league. On the opposite facet of the ball, the Saints completed the common season because the No. 2 run protection.
With a Tremendous Bowl repeat on the road, Philadelphia will want a powerhouse efficiency to get previous the Saints.
Prediction: Saints 31, Eagles 17