Let's just avoid talking about the whole there's only three football games left this season thing and instead focus our energy on how great (on paper) the match ups are today, okay?
In the wild card round the road team won 3 of 4 games. Last week things went a little more chalk, as the home team won every divisional round game.
That set up a conference championship Sunday featuring rematches of two of this regular season's most exciting games. Rams @ Saints and Patriots @ Chiefs. We've got two legend QBs trying to hold off the up and coming young guys who are looking to show the league it's their time now. I think a serious argument can be made that these teams also have the four best coaches in the NFL.
In the AFC we have the two-time defending AFC champion New England Patriots heading to Arrowhead to take on the Kansas City Chiefs. The Pats bested the Chiefs 43-40 in an absolute back and forth track meet in week 6. At the time that game was on TV2 as my main focus was on Game 2 of the ALCS. (S/O JBJ)
With Kareem Hunt and Josh Gordon both out of the picture both teams are a lot different; while still dangerous offensively. From what I'm told the L.A. Rams - Saints game earlier this year was great, but I was too busy throwing up on my closed toilet seat to really remember that one. Â¯\_(ã)_/Â¯
We all know how much I love game narratives and would look what we've got here. The home teams are 10-0 in conference championship games since the 2013 season. Five straight seasons where the higher seed has moved on. Idk....to me, as a guy who loves to bet the opposite color when you see it's been red or black 5+ spins in a row I just don't think that trend is going to continue. Allow me to explain.
NFC Championship Game: Los Angeles Rams vs. New Orleans Saints (-3.5)
Fox 3:05 PM
Everybody wants to talk about the Dome. The Saints are different in the dome! Guys, Drew Brees and Sean Payton have never lost a home playoff game. It's reaaally hard to win in New Orleans.
I mean, who cares that they've been together since 2006 and only have hosted 6 home playoff games?
This is the franchise's first trip to the NFC title game since the 2009 season. Which to me is somewhat hard to believe, but then again, let's not forget the Saints went 7-9 three years in a row. It's been the breakout performances of Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas that have somewhat saved the legacies of Drew Brees and Sean Payton imo.
The Saints are still obviously a great team with a ton of talent. They went 13-3, just like the Rams. I don't need to go position by position with these teams...there's a reason they're still playing. But, the Saints to me, seem like a team who has already peaked. They haven't been playing their best football the last month or so, but to their credit, they're still here. HOWEVAA if Alshon Jeffery actually had the best hands in the league, they probably wouldn't be. Drew Brees has not been the same QB he was before the Cowboys game and the loss of Sheldon Rankins for the Saints could be a real big issues considering how strong the Rams running game looked last week against a good defense in Dallas.
Despite all that I think this is gonna be a fucking awesome game, and one the Saints for sure could win. They're still the Saints...at home. You know the Superdome is gonna be wild. We have two great coaches who love to take chances. I still don't understand wtf McVay was trying to do last week going for it on 4th and 1 on the goal line when a FG makes it a two score game but it was exciting AF. I'm sure Sean Payton will have something up his tight fitting sleeves. We very well may find ourselves in a trick-play dick measuring contest, which I'm all in for. I wouldn't be shocked to see Taysom Hill doing some shit we've never seen before, like playing 3 snaps in a row. Both teams have two good running backs. I said in the preseason CJ Anderson would score 10 touchdowns this year and he's been doing everything he can as of late to make my take look more intelligent. Drew Brees is Drew Brees enough said. Jared Goff, while still young and raw at times, has the potential to be one of the upper-level QBs of the next decade. Both teams have above average field goal kickers.
I just like the Rams roster better than the Saints and really think the Saints are sort of a mirage. I know the Saints are at home and beat them by 10 earlier this year, but as I said earlier I don't think this Saints team is that same as they were that time of the year when they won 10 straight games. Under Sean McVay the Rams are 13-3 on the road the last two seasons, so clearly they can play anywhere. Give me this Rams D line to keep the Saints rushing attack in check. I love what Gurley and CJ Anderson have been doing together. This game should be a blast to watch with many lead changes, I just all week have thought the the Rams find a way to win on the road and am sticking with it.
AFC Championship Game: New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-3)
CBS 6:40 PM
This season the Kansas City Chiefs have one the most entertaining offenses I've ever seen. I couldn't have been more wrong on Patrick Mahomes. I thought he has bust written all over him, then he throws 50 touchdowns. Hand up on that one. Tyreek Hill is probably the most dynamic player in the league. Anytime he touches the ball it could be a house call. They are an annoying ass Golden State Warrior fake sport, just chuck it up offense, but to their credit it works.
Meanwhile the Patriots have been the tail of two teams this season. At home they're 9-0 averaging I'm pretty sure like 33 points a game. The road has been a different story for the Pats as they're just 3-5 with only one impressive road win (week 7 against the Bears). At 11-5 they had their worst regular season of the decade, but for the 8th straight season find themselves playing in the AFC Championship game. Of course I have to put on my Patriots hat and talk about that. EIGHT STRAIGHT AFC Championship games. That's just a stupid stat. That's high school and college. That's a long fucking time. Two Presidential terms. No down years, no slip ups. This team has been within shouting distance of a Super Bowl ring every year for 8 straight years. We will never see a run like this again in the NFL. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are the greatest to ever do it together and sure they've lost their fair share of games in the playoffs, but they also have a chip on their shoulder. Sure they had it surgically put there, but it's there. They're playing this no respect card. They know people are saying they can't win on the road. Look I'm scared of what Tyreek Hill can do in this game, I'm worried Patrick Mahomes is gonna be dead to rights, then escape a sack and flick the ball downfield left handed for 60 yards. All that could very well happen.
But at the end of the day it's the New England Patriots with the best coach and QB ever against the lowly Kansas City Chiefs.. who until last week did nothing but lose home playoff games for the last quarter century. I may end up being wrong but I feel a lot more confident riding with Bill and Tom than buying in on Andy Reid and his freakshow QB who drinks hunts ketchup.
Patriots can run the ball and dictate the way this game is played. The Chiefs defense has a few guys, but overall as a unit does not scare me. Is Eric Berry healthy? I can never keep track. Chris Jones can ruin an offensive line, but this is a solid and complete team. I'm dying with my guys, the season starts today. I'm done writing, idk how, but the Patriots win this game and all is right in the world. I don't think Gronk is going to be silent again. If this is his last game in New England I expect him to ball out. I'm going with history, I'm going with the goats, I'm going with my heart and I'm going to be completely broken if I'm wrong.