Football Outsiders
Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis

Divisional Round Open Game Discussion

Your weekend viewing plans (all times Eastern): SATURDAY: Indianapolis at Kansas City, 4:35 p.m.; Dallas at L.A. Rams, 8:15 p.m. SUNDAY: L.A. Chargers at New England, 1:05 p.m.; Philadelphia at New Orleans, 4:40 p.m. Win or go home. Use this thread to discuss them all.


192 comments, Last at 15 Jan 2019, 5:18am

1 Re: Divisional Round Open Game Discussion

Picks are in:

Clots at Chefs: 35-42. Mahomes turn the tide for KC.
Cowbous at Mars: 20-28. The defensive MVP will abuse Cowbous OL.
Chargees at Pates: do not compute. I watched highlights of last year's bout and it was more close than I remembered. It will be something like the NE-KC divisional in 2015.
Eags at Sanities: 17-35. Come on. For the n-th time, let's say together: Foles PO's run is unsustainable.

6 Re: Divisional Round Open Game Discussion

My picks are:
IND over KC (I'm pulling for the team that has an actual defense and an experienced QB. Yes, Mahomes is amazingly good, and he'll probably make me sorry)
LAR over DAL (Seems like a no brainer at this point)
NE over LAC (I had to give NE the edge after some thought)
NO over PHI (Nope, no kind of miracle against the Saints this year)

7 Re: Divisional Round Open Game Discussion

When was the last time that all four home teams won in the divisional round? Was it 2004? This year it's hard to pick an upset. The NFC's top seeds seem more fragile, but so do their opponents.

The opportunity for a rematch of this year's superbowl in the next regular season is already very low. With both North divisions out of the playoffs, it's down to the Pats vs one of the NFC East teams or the Saints vs the Colts. Those have to be among the least likely superbowl pairings. It means we'll only get rematches of 24 previous superbowls in the 2019 season, a fraction below the 2015 offering in percentage terms.

8 Re: Divisional Round Open Game Discussion

I think the pick for a home team to be upset would obviously be the Patriots. They are the one that's actually inferior to the opposition, even if being at home means they are still favorites. Chiefs are moderately better than the Colts, while the NFC home teams are way ahead of their mediocre opposition. But, in a single game elimination tournament, anything can happen. We could have Colts-Cowboys in the Super Bowl.

14 Re: Divisional Round Open Game Discussion

So if you're Andy Reid and win the coin toss, do you buck the common wisdom and elect to receive, try to get the early lead and hope that your defense can do enough to hold on in a shootout?

15 Re: Divisional Round Open Game Discussion

no one's taken the Cows (and I won't either), which strikes me as odd. Rams seem particularly vulnerable (and especially to the strengths of this opponent), so, while I wouldn't be shocked for the home team to figure it out and win by 20+, I can easily see an upset. Gut feeling says the Colts win (though I'd rather be wrong (Mahomes is more fun to watch than peak-Rodgers). Colts seem fundamentally sound, and better on the lines (though the tissue soft schedule gives me pause) , and maybe better-coached. Hope I'm wrong

20 Re: Divisional Round Open Game Discussion

1st Luck batted pass: KC lineman gets away with hands to the face. One of the most inconsistently called penalties in the league. Line play must be really tough to see at field level.

24 Re: Divisional Round Open Game Discussion

Mahomes slides out of pressure again, runs forward, looks right, then throws another cross-body strike to Kelce for a 1st down. Yeah, he's just another run-first guy who will be exposed in the playoffs, according to one payaso.

25 Re: Divisional Round Open Game Discussion

Colts should maybe consider going for this 4th down. Yes, it's early and you are on your own side of the field, but you are already down by 17 and are clearly going to need to score a lot of points to win this. Plus it's short yardage.

38 Re: Divisional Round Open Game Discussion

That may have been the stupidest penalty I've seen in a while. Why exactly do you go up to the referee to feign a lap dance?

SEC schedules in November are an insult to the game.