And then there were four. We’re less than 24 hours from both the NFC and AFC championships games, and I for one am nervous for a few reasons. For starters, weather forecasts say Boston is going to get pounded with snow both tonight and tomorrow, and even as I type this the streets are already becoming dusted with white stuff, similar to the shoulders of a guy with bad dandruff. I’m nervous because my neighborhood loses power all the time. It could be a light rain shower with a slight breeze and my power will shut off for 48 hours. I’m very nervous this will happen tomorrow and I’ll have to trek out and search for a functional television, which completely conflicts with my plan of ordering food and drinking beer on my couch all day. I’m also nervous because of the spreads of these games, and for the Patriots, what is at stake here. Let’s take a look at the matchups for tomorrow
LA RAMS (+3.5) @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-3.5): SAINTS -3.5
From the start of the season, I think most people had these 2 teams coming out on top of the NFC. Both boast powerhouse offenses and defenses, with the Saints D being initially shaky but improving a lot as the year went on. The teams met once this year back in week 9 in what was a shootout, where the Saints pulled off a 45-35 victory. Drew Brees had a monster game, throwing for just under 350 yards and 4 TD’s. Jared Goff also had a great game however, throwing for just under 400 yards with 3 TD’s. Both of these QB’s have cooled off noticeably in recent weeks, which puts a greater emphasis on the run game. I would say both teams are pretty evenly matched on the ground, with maybe a slight advantage going to the Rams. This new Gurley/Anderson duo is insane, and it makes the Kamara/Ingram dynamic, which is very impressive, seem average. I think we’re in for another high scoring affair, but I’m going with the Saints in this one. They had a slow start last week, but once again proved something that has always held true: Nobody comes into New Orleans and beats the Saints at home.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (+3) @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-3): PATRIOTS +3
Anybody that thought I was going to pick otherwise is an idiot. I’m a homer through and through, so no shit I’m going with my team. I know this is a risky move because the Patriots are not a good road team and we find ourselves going up against the number 1 offense in the NFL. They met once already earlier this season, where the Patriots won 43-40 back in Week 6. It was a tight game obviously, but still a win nonetheless, and I’m sure Belichick and Brady have been studying that game tape like it’s the Zapruder Film. There are a few reasons why I like our chances tomorrow. For starters, I’m loving the weather forecast. The Patriots are way better in the cold, and history shows that. Some snow wouldn’t hurt either, but I’ll take some frigid temperatures. Secondly, as impressive as Mahomes has been, he’s still just a kid. He is undoubtably having a legendary season, but an AFC Championship breakdown isn’t outside the realm of possibility. If our D line can get to him and not give him any time to think, I think we stand a good shot. Lastly, our coaching as infinitely better than the Chiefs. Our gameplan last week was fantastic, and I hope we keep it up with utilizing our run game, James White in particular. Andy Reid couldn’t manage a clock if his life depended on it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s already a wasted a timeout or 2 somehow. Call me stupid all you want, but I like to call it optimism. Give me the Patriots in January vs. literally anybody.
So there ya have it: The Saints and the Pats in the Super Bowl. The talking heads counted the patriots out back in week 2, so it’s fucking awesome to see them still here and I hope they keep going. There’s no sense in continuing with speculation so I’m leaving it at this. Those are my picks and I’m sticking with them. I’m about to start working on my Draft Kings blog for tomorrow, but don’t hold your breath because I’m a few beers deep already and the Bruins and Celts are on tonight. If not tonight, it’ll be up tomorrow morning.