Top 5 Bold Predictions for the 2019 NFL Divisional Round Games

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Ricky Dimon

NFL

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The second weekend of NFL playoff action is on the immediate horizon, so it’s time to make some bold predictions for the divisional round. Will any road teams pull off upsets? Who will star from an individual standpoint? Let’s take a look at what might—or maybe what might not happen in our Predictions for the 2019 NFL Divisional Round Games.

The Chargers will win at New England

These aren’t your normal Patriots, who are accustomed to getting the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. If they win this weekend and Kansas City does the same, Tom Brady and company will have to go on the road for the conference championship. Well, just making it that far is no foregone conclusion. New England suffered five losses during the regular season and all five came against opponents that did not make the playoffs. It is a modest 4-3 in its last seven overall. The Chargers, on the other hand, are 12-2 in their last 14 contests and they are an incredible 8-1 on the road following last Sunday’s 23-17 victory at Baltimore—which was not as close as the score suggested. With Philip Rivers running the offensive show and Melvin Ingram dominating on defense, this is a team no one wants to face.

Todd Gurley will score two touchdowns

What’s happened to the Rams? Through their first seven games (7-0), their point differential was plus-107; in their last nine (6-3), it’s a mere plus-36. Part of the reason for the clear step back is that Todd Gurley has been banged up with various physical niggles. The former Georgia standout has scored multiple touchdowns only twice in Los Angeles’ last nine contests, partly because he missed the last two in the regular season due to a knee issue. Gurley had previously found the endzone on multiple occasions in four his team’s first seven outings. Three weeks of rest should be huge for the 24-year-old, who is officially listed as questionable but will most likely come out like gangbusters in the playoffs.

Drew Brees will produce his second-highest yardage total of the season

The over/under for this one is 50.5—the second-highest total of the weekend behind only Indianapolis vs. Kansas City. It should go over. After all, Nick Foles once again has the Eagles rolling on offense and the Saints obviously boast one of the NFL’s most prolific attacks with quarterback Drew Brees, running back Alvin Kamara, and receiver Michael Thomas. Brees (32 touchdowns, five interceptions) hasn’t reached the 400-yard mark since passing for 439 yards during a season-opening loss to Tampa Bay. More will be required of him against Philadelphia, and the 39-year-old will most likely deliver.

Captain Andrew Luck will pen a defeat letter referencing a “ricochet” and “Chief Pat”

One of the best Twitter accounts in the business, especially during the NFL playoffs, belongs to Captain Andrew Luck (@CaptAndrewLuck). The Luck parody pens letters to his mother before and after all games, making battle-like references as if he was at war as opposed to playing football. A ricochet, of course, is an interception—and Luck has been victimized at least once in six of the Colts’ last seven outings. Kansas City was tied for ninth in the NFL with 15 interceptions during the regular season. As for the Chiefs’ offense, it is obviously led by Patrick Mahomes. The second-year QB sensation has accounted for 52 total touchdowns. Luck’s unit may be hard-pressed to keep up at Arrowhead Stadium, thus resulting in a letter of sorrow to the captain’s mother.

At least one game will be decided by a field goal on the final play

The biggest story of wild-card weekend was the last-second double-doink by Bears kicker Cody Parkey. His miss off both the upright and the crossbar resulted in Chicago losing 15-14 to visiting Philadelphia. Three of the four spreads this week are within a touchdown, suggesting the games should be competitive. The only one that isn’t involves the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles, who are +8 underdogs at New Orleans. Expect drama; expect chaos; expect heroes and goats—more likely than not kickers.

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