2018-19 NFL Playoff Predictions: Divisional Round

After a crazy Wild Card Weekend, the NFL is moving on to the divisional round. Half the teams playing this weekend didn’t play in the Wild Card round due to having byes, while the other half are coming off big victories. Surely, it will be another slate of interesting games. Here are 789’s official playoff predictions for the 2018-19 NFL Divisional Round: DIVISIONAL ROUND GAMES Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs The Colts will head on the road for the second straight week to a familiar opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs.patrick_mahomes_ii QB Andrew Luck has faced off against the Chiefs in the playoffs before, including a classic game where Luck led his team back to a 45-44 victory. Despite the fact that Kansas City boasts QB Patrick Mahomes, the league’s likely MVP, I think the team will stumble at home. This will be Mahomes’ first playoff start, and without a solid runner out of the backfield, he will be forced to carry the load for the Chiefs. I think that the Colts’ defense will keep up its strong play, and Luck makes enough plays to beat the Chiefs’ stellar offense. Cale’s Prediction: 30-28, Colts So, I bet against the Colts who have lost once in the last 3 months and I ended up with egg on my face. Let me tell you this..I am about to do it again. The Colts are ROLLING and if they win they will be very hard to stop. Their defense is the number 1 scoring defense in football since they have started their run mid-season. Andrew Luck is doing Andrew Luck things and with Marlon Mack leading a strong backfield, their offense is rolling. But I cannot go against the MVP here. Yes, it’s Andy Reid in the playoffs. Yes, Mahomes hasn’t been here before. Yes, the Colts have taken them out before in this scenario. But, I think Mahomes is going to be able to keep them in the path to the AFC title. He will overcome that horrible Andy timeout late in the 4th and Tyreek Hill will zip past the Colts at least once. I’ve got KC here. Tyler’s Prediction: 31-23, Chiefs Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams As much as I hate to say it, the Cowboys are rolling. Knocking off Seattle, even when you’re at home, is no small feat. QB Dak Prescott is simply making plays when he needs to, and RB Ezekiel Elliott is pounding the ball. The Rams have looked out of sync since WR Cooper Kupp went down mid season, and RB Todd Gurley missed the final two games of the year with an injury. I’d expect Gurley to struggle on the ground, and QB Jared Goff to find limited success through the air. I think the Cowboys stay hot, and make enough plays on the road to take a trip back to Dallas for the NFC Championship game. Cale’s Prediction: 27-24, Cowboys Cowboys are hot, and the Eagles put out the blueprint to take down LA. Gurley has been banged up so it’ll be interesting to see if this month off was able to get him back to close to 100% healthy. The Cowboys defense has been stout, they made Chris Carson nearly non-existent so I am sure they will have somebody spying Gurley. Dak has been looking like a different player, but he hasn’t seen Aaron Donald running at him. I think Goff and the offense can muster up enough at home to get by the Cowboys here, but JUST barely. Look for a big touchdown from Josh Reynolds or Tyler Higbee to seal the W. Tyler’s Prediction: 32-29, Rams Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots The Chargers will continue their playoff route on the road in Foxboro against the New England Patriots. While QB Philip Rivers didn’t have his best game last week, I expect him to be much better against a weaker Patriots’ defense. I think WRs Mike Williams and Keenan Allen will combine to have big days, with RB Melvin Gordon coming up with key yardage on the ground. On the other side, I think the clock has run out on Belichick, QB Tom Brady, and the Patriots. Brady’s arm doesn’t look as strong as it once was, TE Rob Gronkowski is rumored to retire after the season, and the team is not nearly as deep as last year’s AFC Champion. I think the Chargers will continue their hot streak, and the team’s defense makes enough plays to stop Brady. Cale’s Prediction: 30-24, Chargers 3865495717_8d1338648c_bNow, I truly believe the Chargers are the better team. Philly Rivers is rolling, he’s got all his weapons, even Hunter Henry has joined the party after missing all year up until now after tearing his ACL back in May. But, it’s the Patriots. That is my argument, Brady is still Brady and Belichick is still Belichick. They’re like a spider, until I see some concrete evidence the monster is dead, that’s when I believe it. Their defense stinks and yes Gronk runs like he’s playing underwater. They’re going to win. Tyler’s Prediction: 23-17, Patriots Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints Call me crazy, but I think the NFL’s top regular season team gets knocked off on Sunday. After handing the Eagles a beat down earlier this year, the Saints faltered the last few weeks of the season, and with a combination of not playing in Week 17 and the team’s first round bye, New Orleans hasn’t played a football game in 3 weeks. The Eagles are rolling, the QB Nick Foles’ magic is flowing, and the team’s defense is looking like one of the league’s top units. The key for the Eagles will be getting in the face of Saints’ QB Drew Brees, and the secondary slowing down WR Michael Thomas. Ultimately, I think the Eagles are able to pull out the upset win. Cale’s Prediction: 26-20, Eagles Look, this is not going to be the same game it was almost two months ago when these two teams met. The Eagles looked dead, and the Saints were rolling and the most confident team in the NFL. Now, I don’t think so. The Eagles have their edge back. They have the same swagger they played with all last season that ended with a parade down Broad Street. St. Nick is alive and well, and they will go into the Superdome and they will put up a huge fight. Unfortunately, I think they’ll be just short. The Saints starters essentially have been resting for 3 weeks, they will be healthy and they will be ready. Kamara, Thomas and Ingram will all be ready to go full speed ahead. They may start slow, but I think New Orleans will be up to the task of stopping the magic of Nick Foles and Cre’von Leblanc. Just kidding, Eagles win. Tyler’s Prediction: 32-29, Eagles
Stay tuned for the rest of 789’s NFL Playoff Predictions as the weeks move on!
Cale Ahearn

I am currently a Digital Content Producer at WPMT-FOX43, at least that's my day job. I am a graduate of Shippensburg University that majored in Communications/Journalism. My goal and dream is to cover professional sports for a living. I am a lifelong Philadelphia Sports fan, and am a diehard of the Phillies, Eagles, and Sixers. Ultimately, my goal is to make 789 Media the best it can be, your one-stop-shop for news, music and entertainment news, sports, and anything you could want for your homepage of your web browser to be. I hope you enjoy the content of our site as much as we enjoy creating it.

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