NFL playoffs 2019

NFL playoffs 2019: Everything you need to know for Saturday’s divisional-round games SportsPulse: As we get deeper into the NFL playoffs, predicting which team will come out on top gets tougher. USA TODAY Sports’ Lorenzo Reyes is here to help you pick an upset and a lock heading into the weekend. USA TODAY

Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs

Kickoff time: 4:35 p.m. ET
Channel: NBC
Streaming: NBC Sports Live
Location: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City
Line: Chiefs by 5

Injury report: Kansas City could be without several notable contributors on both offense (wide receiver Sammy Watkins and running back Spencer Ware are both questionable) and defense (safety Eric Berry is questionable while linebacker Dorian O’Daniel is doubtful). Indianapolis has already ruled wide receiver Ryan Grant out, and defensive end Tyquan Lewis is doubtful. Defensive tackle Denico Autry and safety Malik Hooker are both questionable.

1. QB play: Fans of potent offenses should be salivating. This matchup features the favorite for league MVP in Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the seeming choice for comeback player of the year in Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. In the regular season, the two combined for 9,690 passing yards and a stunning 89 passing scores. But both also had issues with interceptions. Luck tied for second most with 15, while Mahomes tied for ninth most with 12.

2. Strength on strength: This matchup pits an Indianapolis offensive line that gave up the fewest sacks in the NFL (18) against one of the league’s most prolific pass rushes, the Chiefs tying for first with 52 sacks. Against the Texans, the Colts offensive line didn’t allow a sack of Luck and gave up just four QB hits. And when Luck has time to throw, he can pick apart opposing defenses. Generating pressure in Luck’s face will be key for a Kansas City defense that ranked second-to-last in passing yards allowed.

3. Elements of familiarity: Though Colts coach Frank Reich never served as an assistant under Chiefs coach Andy Reid, there should be plenty of overlap and familiarity between staffs. That’s because Eagles coach Doug Pederson, whom Reid closely mentored as a player and coach, was Reich’s boss in Philadelphia from 2016-17. Reich has indicated how influential Pederson has been in his own rise in becoming an NFL head coach, and Reid’s fingerprints are all over the scheme Pederson and Reich ran while both worked in Philly. Reich has incorporated much of that in Indianapolis. That shared knowledge could be instrumental for both staffs in trying to craft a defensive game plan.

And though it was four years ago and there are only a handful of players remaining on both teams from the matchups, the last time these two faced in the postseason produced a memorable outcome. The Colts dealt Reid and the Chiefs a 45-44 loss in a 2013 wild-card game after Kansas City held a 28-point second-half lead. It was the second-worst collapse in postseason history. The only one worse was when the Oilers blew a 32-point lead in a 1993 wild-card game against the Bills, who were – coincidentally – quarterbacked by Reich.

Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams

Kickoff time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Channel: FOX
Streaming: FoxSportsGo
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Line: Rams by 7

Injury report: Los Angeles is mostly in the clear, as defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks (questionable with a thigh ailment) is the only player with any injury designation. Dallas, on the other hand, is facing more uncertainty. Wide receiver Cole Beasley, defensive tackle Maliek Collins, tight end Blake Jarwin, left guard Xavier Su’a-Filo and safety Darian Thompson are all questionable, while defensive lineman David Irving is out.

1. Return of the back: As much as the NFL has come to be defined by the pass, these clubs’ best offensive players are their tailbacks. Gurley led the league with 21 TDs, and is a Swiss Army knife who’s effective running the ball, catching it or pass blocking for QB Jared Goff. And, yes, he’s now got relief available after Anderson rushed for 299 yards in his two starts. On the other side, Ezekiel Elliott just won his second rushing title with 1,434 yards, has led the NFL in yards per game on the ground in all three of his seasons and chewed up Seattle for 137 more and a touchdown in the wild-card round. Elliott should have much easier sledding against a shaky L.A. run defense. Gurley and Anderson will be facing a Dallas bunch that just shut down the Seahawks’ No. 1-ranked ground game, allowing just 73 yards.

2. Donald vs. Cowboys blocking: Dallas’ offensive line has been the team’s primary strength for years, but 2018 was a little rough. RG Zack Martin still made the all-pro team, even though repeated knee setbacks meant he wasn’t his typical dominant self. The bigger problems on the interior have been the loss of all-pro C Travis Frederick to Guillan Barre Syndrome while rookie Connor Williams and Su’a-Filo have often struggled to hold down the fort at left guard. Rams wrecking ball Aaron Donald is almost certainly headed to his second defensive MVP award after recording a league-best 20½ sacks, most ever by an interior lineman. He’ll likely be more than a handful for the Cowboys, especially given Dak Prescott was sacked 56 times in the regular season, most among NFC quarterbacks.

3. Young guns: Finally, a nod to Prescott and Goff. Prescott was solid against the Seahawks, making just enough plays to notch his first career postseason win — which is exactly what Goff is hoping to do Saturday night. Prescott will probably have to do even more against the Rams considering No. 1 WR Amari Cooper faces a tough assignment against CB Aqib Talib. Prescott may have to try and use the aggressiveness of Donald and Ndamukong Suh against them and exploit running lanes given the way those linemen look to get upfield quickly. On the other side, Goff could quickly find the game on his right arm if Gurley struggles physically and/or has a hard time cracking the Dallas defensive wall. The Cowboys are also quite effective against the pass, rangy LBs Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch being potentially quite disruptive against some of Los Angeles’ crossing routes. But Goff might have an advantage numbers-wise with Gurley, a pair of 1,200-yard receivers (Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods) and X-factor Josh Reynolds.

NFL Playoffs

NFL Playoffs 2019: Bold predictions for the Divisional Round including Cowboys dramatic finish

For one, Nick Foles is still in the playoffs, and as we’ve all seen over the past year, pretty much every game he plays in ends up being crazy. The Cowboys are also still alive and this is a big week for them, because if they can beat the Rams, they’ll advance to the NFC title game for the first time since the 1995 season.

This round of the playoffs should also be exciting because Tom Brady, Drew Breesand Patrick Mahomes will all be taking the field for the first time this postseason.

Although playoff games are nearly impossible to predict, we’re going to try and do it anyone by making eight bold predictions for the divisional round. Here’s how it’s going to work: Since there are four games on the schedule this weekend, we’ll be making two bold predictions for each game.

Remember, these are bold predictions only. If you’re looking for actual game picks, feel free to click here.

With that in mind, let’s get to the bold predictions.

Watch Saturday’s and Sunday’s playoff games on fuboTV, try it for free, and stream Chargers-Patriots and all the CBS games on CBS All Access.

Eight Bold Predictions for the Divisional Round

Indianapolis at Kansas City, 4:35 p.m. ET (NBC)

Bold prediction: Patrick Mahomes doesn’t throw a touchdown pass

These are called bold predictions, so we might as well start as bold as possible. After becoming just the third player in NFL history to throw at least 50 touchdown passes in a season, the prediction here is that Patrick Mahomes follows up his history-making regular season by throwing exactly zero in this game. During the 2018 season, there was only one game where Mahomes threw zero TD passes and that came against an AFC South team. In Week 5, the Jaguars defense won the battle with Mahomes (they kept him from throwing a TD pass) but lost the war, because the Chiefs won the game anyway, 30-14.

The Jags only gave up 17 TD passes the entire season, which was the second-best number in the NFL. Of course, the Colts weren’t too far behind that. During the regular season, Indy only surrendered 21 TD passes, which was tied for the third-best showing in the league. One other thing to keep in mind here is that this is Mahomes’ first playoff start and quarterbacks tend to struggle in their first start. Since 2013, quarterbacks have gone 4-15 in their first postseason start, which includes a record of 0-3 this year (Mitchell Trubisky, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson all lost). That being said, of all the predictions on this list, I would rank this as the one most likely to blow up in my face.

Bold prediction: Colts score a season-high in points

If the Chiefs have one huge weakness going into this game, it’s their defense, which could end up being a huge problem. For one, the Chiefs surrendered 273.4 passing yards per game this season, which ranked 31st overall in the NFL (ahead of only the Bengals). Andrew Luck’s mouth has probably been watering this week at the thought of going up against Kansas City’s defense.

Even if the Chiefs somehow miraculously fix their problem in the secondary, their defense also gave up 5.0 yards per carry on the ground in 2018, which again, ranked 31st overall in the NFL (ahead of only the Rams). The Colts offense is probably going to have lot of confidence walking into Arrowhead Stadium, which means this game could turn into a shootout. To top their season-high in points, the Colts would need to score 43. Their highest number during the regular season was 42, which came in a 42-28 win over the Raiders back in Week 8.

What NFL picks can you make with confidence during the NFL’s divisional round? And which top Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which NFL teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that has beaten 98 percent of experts over the past two years. 

Dallas at Los Angeles Rams, 8:35 p.m. ET (Fox)

Bold prediction: Ezekiel Elliott rushes for 200 yards

Ezekiel Elliott gets a dream matchup this week and that’s because he gets to go up against a Rams defense that can’t seem to stop the run. During the 2018 season, the Rams gave up 5.1 yards per carry, which was the worst number in the NFL. The Cowboys will go into this game fully aware of that number and it won’t be surprising at all if Elliott gets 25 or more carries after a season where he finished as the NFL’s leading rusher with 1,434 yards.

If Elliott does hit the 200-yard mark, he would become just the fourth player ever to pull that off in a divisional playoff game. Coincidentally, two of the other three running backs to accomplish the feat did it while playing for the Rams, and one came in a Rams-Cowboys game. In January 1986, Eric Dickerson rushed for 248 yards in a 20-0 divisional playoff win over Dallas. During the 1975 season, Lawrence McCutcheon rushed for 202 yards in a win over the Cardinals. The only other running back hit the 200-yard mark in the divisional round was Ryan Grant, who did it with the Packers in January 2008.

Bold prediction: This game goes to overtime

The Cowboys should probably give some blood pressure medication out to everyone in Dallas before this game, because watching the Cowboys play in 2018 hasn’t been for the faint of heart. Of the Cowboys 17 games this season, including the playoffs, 13 of them have been decided by one score. The Cowboys also had two games go to overtime this year, which was tied for the second-most in the NFL (The Browns led the league with four overtime games). Basically, the Cowboys always seem to play in close games.

A big reason the Cowboys never get blown out is because of how the team is built. The defense has been rock solid this year, which makes it difficult to score a lot of points on them (The Cowboys only surrendered more than 30 points one time in 2018). Also, the offense loves to run the ball, which keeps the clock running, which means their opponent is getting fewer possessions, which means fewer opportunities to score. Not counting the Super Bowl, the NFL hasn’t had a playoff overtime game since the 2015 season, marking the longest span the NFL has gone without a playoff overtime game in more than 20 years (There were no OT games between 1994 and 1997). It seems like we’re due for an OT game and the Cowboys seem like the best chance for that to happen.

Sunday, January 13

Los Angeles Chargers at New England, 1:05 p.m. ET, CBS

Bold Prediction: Keenan Allen breaks the AFC divisional playoff record for most receptions

If you’ve ever watched the Chargers play, you may have noticed that there are certain games where Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen get so locked in that Rivers pretty much throws every single one his passes toward his star receiver. In 2018, there were five games where Allen had 10 or more targets, including the Chargers 33-30 win over the Steelers in Week 13 when Allen caught 14 passes for 148 yards. In that game, he was the target on 19 of Rivers’ 36 passes (Allen’s 14 receptions was tied for the third-highest total by any player in the NFL in 2018).

The AFC Divisional record for receptions in a game is 13, and coincidentally, that record is also held by a Chargers player. In January 1982, Kellen Winslow had 13 catches during a wild 41-38 overtime win over the Dolphins. Bills running back Thurman Thomas matched the record in January 1990 during a 34-30 loss to the Browns. With cold weather expected this Sunday in New England, the Patriots might not be expecting the Chargers to come out throwing the ball, which is exactly why it might makes sense for L.A. to do it.

Bold prediction: Rob Gronkowski catches two touchdown passes

If this were any other season, this probably wouldn’t be too bold of a prediction, but in 2018, this qualifies as bold, because Gronk just had one of the worst years of his career. If Gronk were to catch two touchdown passes against the Chargers, that would nearly equal his touchdown total from the entire 2018 season (He caught exactly three touchdowns during the regular season).

If you watched Gronk play in 2018, it was pretty clear why he was mulling retirement after the Super Bowl last season and that’s because his body seems to be pretty beat up after taking a pounding from NFL defenses for nine straight seasons. The advantage for Gronk going into this game is that the Patriots had a bye week during the wild-card round, which means Gronk got an extra week to recover from the beating he took in 2018. The prediction here is that a refreshed Gronk scores at least two touchdowns against Chargers, although it won’t be easy, because L.A.’s defense only surrendered five touchdown passes to opposing tight ends all season.

Philadelphia at New Orleans, 4:40 p.m. ET (Fox)

Bold prediction: Nick Foles throws two more TD passes than Drew Brees

If we’re going to make bold predictions here, we might as well make one about Nick Foles, because at this point, any prediction involving him basically has a 50 percent chance of happening no matter what that prediction is. If this game turns into a shootout, the only way the Eagles are going to be able to stay in it is if Foles goes off, and there’s no reason to think that can’t happen. In the NFC title game last year, Foles threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns against the Patriots. If Foles can hit the four-touchdown mark against the Saints, he’ll have a chance of making this prediction happen. Although Brees is known to put up big numbers, he sometimes loses touchdown passes to his running backs — Alvin Kamara Mark Ingram — who are able to run it in from nearly anywhere on the field.

Bold prediction: This will be the highest-scoring game of the divisional round

The last time these two teams met, the Eagles only score seven points, but we can go ahead and throw that result out the window, because Nick Foles wasn’t the quarterback in that game. If we’ve learned one thing about Foles over the past 12 months, it’s that you should never bet against him, and although the Eagles are a huge underdog in New Orleans, there’s no reason to think that Foles can’t go touchdown-for-touchdown with Drew Brees and the Saints offense.

There were only eight games in the entire NFL this season where two teams combined for 80 or more points and the Saints played in three of them. As for Philly, two of the Eagles three highest-scoring games of the season came with Foles as their quarterback. The prediction here is that this is the highest-scoring game of the weekend, slightly edging the Colts-Chiefs game. And just in case you’re wondering, the most points ever scored in a playoff game is 96, which happened during the 2009 season when Cardinals edged the Packers 51-45 in overtime.

Rams vs Cowboys

Cowboys vs. Rams 2019 live stream: Time, TV schedule, and how to watch NFL playoffs online

The Dallas Cowboys got a home playoff game, and they managed to best the Seattle Seahawksto advance to the divisional round, where they will face the completely stacked Los Angeles Rams. Saturday’s game is set for 8:15 p.m. ET on FOX (live streaming via fuboTV).

It will be played at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and the Rams will be well-rested thanks to a first-round bye.

Dallas narrowly avoided an upset against the Seahawks, winning that game, 24-22. Dak Prescottmade a huge play with his legs in the fourth quarter, while weapons Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper both had good games. Dallas was trailing going into the fourth, but scored two touchdowns to hold off Seattle, who scored a touchdown of their own with under a minute to go. They could not, however, secure the onside kick, giving Dallas the win.

Prescott finished that game 22-for-33 for 226 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for 29 yards and a touchdown, while Cooper caught seven of his passes for 106 yards. Elliott carried the ball 26 times for 137 yards and a touchdown.

It was something of an uneven season for the Cowboys, who at times looked quite unlike a playoff team but who ultimately pulled it together in the latter half of the season. They started the season with a 3-4 record, but after the bye week won seven of their remaining nine games.

The Rams loaded up on talent this offseason, bringing in multiple big-name free agents and securing several big trades. Offensively, Jared Goff looks like a star, as evidenced by his 32 touchdowns and 4,688 yards this past season. Todd Gurley had 1,251 rushing yards to go with 17 rushing touchdowns.

But on defense is where the Rams get scary. Aaron Donald is a machine that cannot be stopped under any circumstances, and paired with guys like Ndamukong Suh, Dante Fowler Jr., and defensive backs Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib — that defense is just downright scary.

Below is all you need to follow Saturday’s evening game.

Time, TV, and streaming info

  • Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
  • Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • TV: FOX
  • Streaming: FuboTV, FOX Sports GO
  • Odds: The Rams opened as 7-point favorites for the game, per OddsShark.

Cowboys vs. Rams news

  • Cole Beasley and Blake Jarwin are the big names missing practice on the Cowboys’ injury report.
  • Of course, Allen Hurns is also a big concern, as he was placed on injured reserve after a gruesome injury in the wild card round. Lance Lenoir was signed to the active roster in a corresponding move.
  • Todd Gurley was a limited participant in practice, which is obviously a concern, but the chances of him missing the game are slim to none.
  • The Rams’ home-field advantage is hard to define, given the recent move and the two teams in Los Angeles. How much does it really mean for them?
  • Rams fans have five Cowboys players that will make the biggest difference in Saturday’s game.
  • Last year, field conditions were a major concern in Los Angeles, and it’s something to monitor on Saturday.
  • The Rams will be wearing throwback uniforms for the game.
  • Over at Turf Show Times, they have staff predictions of the divisional round, a comparison of the two teams’ receivers and quarterbacks, and a look at whether or not stopping Ezekiel Elliott will matter to the overall score of the game.
  • There is some serious playoff history between the Rams and Cowboys.
  • The Cowboys continue to prove doubters and experts wrong each and every week.
  • The folks at Blogging the Boys take a look at the “rust or rest” argument ahead of Saturday’s game.
  • A 23-year curse can be broken if the Cowboys notch a win over the Rams.

Cowboys vs. Rams prediction

In the divisional round playoff picks from SB Nation, four of the six making selections think the Rams will win it, along with the OddsShark computer. The coin flip also landed on Los Angeles, while two of our experts picked the Cowboy.

Chiefs vs Colts

NFL playoffs: Picks, odds for Colts vs. Chiefs divisional-round game

Click here To watch Live Stream

January 12, 2019 9:37am ESTJanuary 12, 2019 9:30am ESTIndianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, NFLOur picks and predictions for the Colts vs. Chiefs divisional playoff game are here. Who will win in Kansas City on Saturday?

A divisional playoff matchup featuring the Colts and Chiefs seemed impossible a couple months ago given the status of what was considered a rebuilding Indianapolis team. As hard as it is to remember now, the same can be said for Kansas City, which before the season was breaking in what amounted to a rookie quarterback.

Yet here we are, with Andrew Luck and Patrick Mahomes providing the NFL playoff QB matchup we never knew we needed.

MORE: Full 2019 NFL playoff schedule

The passers will be the focus of the hype leading into the divisional playoffs for good reasons — Luck’s comeback story and Mahomes’ historic numbers. But the keys to victory for both teams are embedded deeper.

For example, the Colts are here thanks to a revived rushing attack around Marlon Mack and what feels like an unstoppable third-down offense. Their defensive revival behind rookie linebacker Darius Leonard can’t be understated; the Texans, who scored just seven points in the wild-card round, would agree.

In Kansas City, hiding behind the glare of Mahomes is an underrated rushing attack, even without Kareem Hunt, and arguably the NFL’s best set of mismatch creators in Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. The star of the Chiefs’ defense, tackle Chris Jones, finally will have some help on the back end with safety Eric Berry healthy enough to play.

Below are Sporing News’ picks and predictions for the Colts vs. Chiefs divisional playoff game.

NFL playoff picks: Colts at Chiefs

  • Date, time: Saturday, Jan. 12, 4:35 p.m.
  • Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
  • TV: NBC
  • Odds: Chiefs -5; Total: 57.5

Tadd Haislop: As SN’s Vinnie Iyer has pointed out, the Colts present the Chiefs a handful of issues. Indianapolis’ pass protection has been money, and Luck’s decisiveness as a passer, combined with his top-notch pocket presence, will be a challenge for Kansas City’s pass rush.

Further complicating matters for the Chiefs: They gave up a full five yards per rush in the regular season, second worst in the league. The Colts ran all over the Texans, and they know it’s a good way to control the clock and keep Mahomes off the field in the divisional round.

But Indianapolis’ young defense has not seen an offense quite like the one it will see in Kansas City. Technically nobody has, as the Chiefs boast the NFL’s No. 1 offense with 35.3 points per game in the regular season.

If Mahomes plays up to his potential, or close to it, the Colts can’t stop him.

Pick: Chiefs, 35-24

MORE: Analyzing NFL divisional playoff bracket

Vinnie Iyer: The Colts, armed with Luck and powered by Mack, can definitely put up some points in Arrowhead, and they won’t be intimidated by the raucous playoff atmosphere with Luck and Reich keeping them cool through four quarters.

The rested Chiefs, however, will exploit the holes in the Colts’ promising young defense — something the Texans could not do. Mahomes will see big plays open up because of good protection and his ability to extend plays outside the pocket.

This feels like a “last possession wins” game, and Mahomes will begin his playoff legend with a successful game-winning drive.

Pick: Chiefs 38-34

Cowboys vs Rams

Cowboys vs. Rams 2019 live stream: Time, TV schedule, and how to watch NFL playoffs online

The Dallas Cowboys got a home playoff game, and they managed to best the Seattle Seahawksto advance to the divisional round, where they will face the completely stacked Los Angeles Rams. Saturday’s game is set for 8:15 p.m. ET on FOX (live streaming via fuboTV).

It will be played at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and the Rams will be well-rested thanks to a first-round bye.

Dallas narrowly avoided an upset against the Seahawks, winning that game, 24-22. Dak Prescottmade a huge play with his legs in the fourth quarter, while weapons Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper both had good games. Dallas was trailing going into the fourth, but scored two touchdowns to hold off Seattle, who scored a touchdown of their own with under a minute to go. They could not, however, secure the onside kick, giving Dallas the win.

Prescott finished that game 22-for-33 for 226 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for 29 yards and a touchdown, while Cooper caught seven of his passes for 106 yards. Elliott carried the ball 26 times for 137 yards and a touchdown.

It was something of an uneven season for the Cowboys, who at times looked quite unlike a playoff team but who ultimately pulled it together in the latter half of the season. They started the season with a 3-4 record, but after the bye week won seven of their remaining nine games.

The Rams loaded up on talent this offseason, bringing in multiple big-name free agents and securing several big trades. Offensively, Jared Goff looks like a star, as evidenced by his 32 touchdowns and 4,688 yards this past season. Todd Gurley had 1,251 rushing yards to go with 17 rushing touchdowns.

But on defense is where the Rams get scary. Aaron Donald is a machine that cannot be stopped under any circumstances, and paired with guys like Ndamukong Suh, Dante Fowler Jr., and defensive backs Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib — that defense is just downright scary.

Below is all you need to follow Saturday’s evening game.

Time, TV, and streaming info

  • Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
  • Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • TV: FOX
  • Streaming: FuboTV, FOX Sports GO
  • Odds: The Rams opened as 7-point favorites for the game, per OddsShark.

Cowboys vs. Rams news

  • Cole Beasley and Blake Jarwin are the big names missing practice on the Cowboys’ injury report.
  • Of course, Allen Hurns is also a big concern, as he was placed on injured reserve after a gruesome injury in the wild card round. Lance Lenoir was signed to the active roster in a corresponding move.
  • Todd Gurley was a limited participant in practice, which is obviously a concern, but the chances of him missing the game are slim to none.
  • The Rams’ home-field advantage is hard to define, given the recent move and the two teams in Los Angeles. How much does it really mean for them?
  • Rams fans have five Cowboys players that will make the biggest difference in Saturday’s game.
  • Last year, field conditions were a major concern in Los Angeles, and it’s something to monitor on Saturday.
  • The Rams will be wearing throwback uniforms for the game.
  • Over at Turf Show Times, they have staff predictions of the divisional round, a comparison of the two teams’ receivers and quarterbacks, and a look at whether or not stopping Ezekiel Elliott will matter to the overall score of the game.
  • There is some serious playoff history between the Rams and Cowboys.
  • The Cowboys continue to prove doubters and experts wrong each and every week.
  • The folks at Blogging the Boys take a look at the “rust or rest” argument ahead of Saturday’s game.
  • A 23-year curse can be broken if the Cowboys notch a win over the Rams.

Cowboys vs. Rams prediction

In the divisional round playoff picks from SB Nation, four of the six making selections think the Rams will win it, along with the OddsShark computer. The coin flip also landed on Los Angeles, while two of our experts picked the Cowboy.

Colts vs Chiefs

NFL playoffs: Picks, odds for Colts vs. Chiefs divisional-round game

Click here To watch Live Stream

January 12, 2019 9:37am ESTJanuary 12, 2019 9:30am ESTIndianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, NFLOur picks and predictions for the Colts vs. Chiefs divisional playoff game are here. Who will win in Kansas City on Saturday?

A divisional playoff matchup featuring the Colts and Chiefs seemed impossible a couple months ago given the status of what was considered a rebuilding Indianapolis team. As hard as it is to remember now, the same can be said for Kansas City, which before the season was breaking in what amounted to a rookie quarterback.

Yet here we are, with Andrew Luck and Patrick Mahomes providing the NFL playoff QB matchup we never knew we needed.

MORE: Full 2019 NFL playoff schedule

The passers will be the focus of the hype leading into the divisional playoffs for good reasons — Luck’s comeback story and Mahomes’ historic numbers. But the keys to victory for both teams are embedded deeper.

For example, the Colts are here thanks to a revived rushing attack around Marlon Mack and what feels like an unstoppable third-down offense. Their defensive revival behind rookie linebacker Darius Leonard can’t be understated; the Texans, who scored just seven points in the wild-card round, would agree.

In Kansas City, hiding behind the glare of Mahomes is an underrated rushing attack, even without Kareem Hunt, and arguably the NFL’s best set of mismatch creators in Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. The star of the Chiefs’ defense, tackle Chris Jones, finally will have some help on the back end with safety Eric Berry healthy enough to play.

Below are Sporing News’ picks and predictions for the Colts vs. Chiefs divisional playoff game.

NFL playoff picks: Colts at Chiefs

  • Date, time: Saturday, Jan. 12, 4:35 p.m.
  • Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
  • TV: NBC
  • Odds: Chiefs -5; Total: 57.5

Tadd Haislop: As SN’s Vinnie Iyer has pointed out, the Colts present the Chiefs a handful of issues. Indianapolis’ pass protection has been money, and Luck’s decisiveness as a passer, combined with his top-notch pocket presence, will be a challenge for Kansas City’s pass rush.

Further complicating matters for the Chiefs: They gave up a full five yards per rush in the regular season, second worst in the league. The Colts ran all over the Texans, and they know it’s a good way to control the clock and keep Mahomes off the field in the divisional round.

But Indianapolis’ young defense has not seen an offense quite like the one it will see in Kansas City. Technically nobody has, as the Chiefs boast the NFL’s No. 1 offense with 35.3 points per game in the regular season.

If Mahomes plays up to his potential, or close to it, the Colts can’t stop him.

Pick: Chiefs, 35-24

MORE: Analyzing NFL divisional playoff bracket

Vinnie Iyer: The Colts, armed with Luck and powered by Mack, can definitely put up some points in Arrowhead, and they won’t be intimidated by the raucous playoff atmosphere with Luck and Reich keeping them cool through four quarters.

The rested Chiefs, however, will exploit the holes in the Colts’ promising young defense — something the Texans could not do. Mahomes will see big plays open up because of good protection and his ability to extend plays outside the pocket.

This feels like a “last possession wins” game, and Mahomes will begin his playoff legend with a successful game-winning drive.

Pick: Chiefs 38-34