NFL Playoffs: Championship Round
We’re back for the NFL post-season with some of our Gridiron staff writers. The guy to pay extra attention to is Brad Castronovo, who was 165-89 (64%) for straight-up winners, and 142-114 (55.5%) against the spread for the 2018 season.
Question: Which pick are you the most confident in and why?
Brad Castronovo: It’s impossible to be confident in either of these picks, but to me, I find it hard to pick against Tom Brady in January. Mix in some frigid weather, and some doubters in the media, and I’ll put my money on New England this time around. While Mahomes has a bright future, I think the Chiefs have some challenges on defense and with a week of Belichick prep, I trust the Pats to be well prepared.
Zach Greubel: It’s hard to be confident in either of these games given how good these teams are and how close the spreads are. I do feel better about the Saints beating the Rams than the Chiefs beating the Patriots. The Saints did beat the Rams in the regular season with a score of 45-35. That game was in the Superdome as well. A similar score would not be surprising.
Jesse Jones: Not “confident” in any picks this week. Truly think we have the best 4 teams in the NFL playing, so anything can happen. Going with the Saints for the favored team though.
John Ferguson: I’ll take the over on the Chiefs beating the villainous New England Patriots in Kansas City. If anyone is going to beat the Pats in the offseason, it’s going to be on the road. The only times the Patriots have lost a game in the postseason in the last five years has been outside the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium. I’m just plain tired of seeing Tom Brady and the Funky Bunch in the Super Bowl. Pat Mahomes is the hero we all need right now. If he pulls off this upset, give him all the awards and accolades. The Lombardi Trophy, the key to the city, the Nobel Prize, an Oscar for Best Male Actor in a Leading Role… all of it!
Question: Which pick are you least confident in and why?
Brad Castronovo: I think that Los Angeles could cause some problems for the Saints and I’m not exactly confident in the result I predicted. Aaron Donald is truly a game changer and if he dominates the line of scrimmage and rattles Brees, he might not have his usual success with his receivers. The X Factor of Donald, along with the best RB in football might allow the Rams to dominate the clock, keep the NO Offense in check, and send the Rams to the Super Bowl.
Zach Greubel: Kansas City’s first loss of the season came at the hands of the Patriots in a 43-40 barn burner. The Chiefs played that contest on the road, though. Arrowhead Stadium provides one of the best home-field advantages in the league. Brutally cold weather may keep the score lower, but this should be another close one.
Jesse Jones: Patriots will have to channel the Angry Tom in every one of them, but I believe Belichick can put together a game plan the rattle Mahomes just enough to eke out the win here.
John Ferguson: The Rams beating the Saints in New Orleans doesn’t give me a ton to feel confident about, but I’m really pulling for a rematch of the 54-51 slugfest we saw from the Chiefs and Rams earlier this season. The Saints beat the Rams in New Orleans back in Week 9 (45-35) and that was when the Rams had Cooper Kupp active on their roster. Most signs point to a Saints victory here, but I’ll bet against the grain in what will likely be another high scoring game.
Thanks for reading