Yes, 2014 is here and what better way to start the new year out then with the NFL baby! I know a lot of truckers follow the NFL and so I felt that it would be quite appropriate. Can you blame me? I actually have a strong passion for football, from the NFL to high school football. Remember, we can talk about anything you like. Sadly, nobody read my last post. Well, nobody commented. I want to hear back from you. If I could write it for you, I would! I’d make it real easy for you, but I can’t. Just kidding, let’s be nice.
I’m excited for Saturday as the NFL will kick off with a great slate of games on Saturday and Sunday. The NFL Playoffs will officially begin on Saturday when the Kansas City Chiefs visit the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts and Chiefs just played each other a few weeks ago, a game that Indy won 23-7. The Colts has won 4 out of the last 5 games, their lone loss a 42-28 beating from Cincinnati. The Colts are 6-2 at home and riding a 3 game win streak entering Saturday.
The Chiefs are not the same team that started out 9-0. Kansas City is only 2-5 in the their last 7 games, their two wins being against Oakland and Washington. The Chiefs are 6-2 on the road, so KC can handle the tough dome environment. We’ve seen in the past that hot teams entering the playoffs are more then capable of winning. My pick IND 31 KC 20
Our prime game for Saturday night is the New Orleans Saints traveling to face the Philadelphia Eagles. The Saints stumble into the playoffs only winning twice out of the last 5 games. New Orleans is 3-5 this year on the road and we all know the cloud that hangs overhead with the Saints playing away from the dome. It doesn’t appear to be extremely cold on Saturday night, but it will be chilly.
Something has to give on Saturday night. The Saints have the 2nd rated passing attack in the NFL and the Philadelphia defense is ranked last against the pass. Drew Brees may have a huge game, but we all have to wonder if the Big-Eazy curse will continue. The Saints have struggled on the road, especially in cold weather.
The Philadelphia Eagles have won 7 of their last 8 games and Philly is the hottest team entering the playoffs. The Eagles are a very dangerous team but they do struggle at home. Their only 4-4 at home this season, but they’ve won 4 straight home games. This should be a great game, but I believe the Saints will win in a close one. NO 24 PHI 23
Moving to Sunday, our first NFL matchup of the day will be the San Diego Chargers at the Cincinnati Bengals. The Chargers have won 5 of their last 6 games, including wins over Denver and Kansas City. Their one loss actually came from the hands of Cincinnati, a 17-10 win. Although they must travel East, look for San Diego to put up a fight against the Bengals. Philip Rivers is playing his best ball in years and they head into Sunday as one of the hottest teams in the NFL.
The Cincinnati Bengals are back in the playoffs for the third straight year, but they still haven’t won a playoff game. This year may just be Cincinnati’s year. It’s all on the shoulders of Andy Dalton. When Dalton plays great, the Bengals are a legit SuperBowl contender. When Dalton struggles, so does Cincinnati. The Bengals are also on a row heading to Saturday, also winning 5 of their last 6 games.
Traveling East is hard and the Bengals are 8-0 at home. I don’t see this streak ending on Sunday. Although I think the game will be close, I believe the Cincinnati defense will secure their first playoff win since 1989. CIN 27 SD 17
Our last game on Sunday will feature the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers and the Packers have also met once already this year in week one, San Francisco winning 34-28. San Francisco has struggled on offense this season, but their top 5 defense is something to reckon with. Green Bay has been up and down all year. They were one play from being eliminated last Sunday. With Aaron Rodgers back, Green Bay has a shot.
The 49ers have won 6 straight games and 11 of their last 13. San Francisco is dangerous on offense and defense. However, their passing attack has struggled. They rank 30th in the NFL for passing, but 3rd for rushing. The 49ers are 6-2 on the road so their more then capable of pulling out a win. If one thing will factor into the equation, it will be the frigid cold of Green Bay. We’re expecting extremely cold temperatures.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is back and healthy. The Packers have won 3 of their last 4 games after a 4 game losing streak. Green Bay will look to get back on track and the cold weather may play to their favor. The Packers rank 6th and 7th in rushing and passing, a balanced attack they’ve missed for years. However, the Green Bay defense continues to struggle. I expect this game to be close, but I can’t see the 49ers losing. SF 19 GB 17