The primetime game tonight is the Falcons at the Rams, which in my opinion will be the most exciting Wild Card game.
The Falcons have something to prove. Ever since last February, all Falcons fans have heard was “28-3”. We all know how much that has annoyed and frustrated Atlanta, so you can expect the Falcons to come out with a bang.
The Falcons have as much experience as you could want from a playoff team. They are fresh off of a Super Bowl and have a quarterback, Matt Ryan, with 8 playoff appearances under his belt. Not too shabby for the Falcons.
Then, you have the Rams. They have 6 players on their 53-man roster who have played in a playoff game. Not even their head coach, Sean McVay, has coached in a playoff game. But they have Wade Phillips!
The Falcons win the mind battle.
But, I think the Rams win the skill battle.
They have the number 10 ranked offense in the league led by of course, Jared Goff. I haven’t even started talking about their MVP candidate yet either. Todd Gurley. The man is a monster and is getting multiple touchdowns for the past few games.
And then you have the defense. Aaron Donald. Ever heard that name? He recorded 11 sacks this season, but that stat doesn’t show the pressure he’s able to put on the quarterback and how well he can get off of blocks. Of course, Wade Phillips is one of the great defensive minds in the league.
The Falcons have good matchups to go against the Rams. They have the elite players in skills positions with Jones, Sanu, Gabriel (cleared to play), Freeman (available), and Coleman. They have a good offensive line (watch out for Donald who dominates almost everyone he goes against) and of course a consistent quarterback.
The defense consists of players like Deion Jones, Jarrett, Neal, Trufant, and Vic Beasley Jr. These are some of the elite defenders who have been ranked among the best last year.
The Falcons have lots of talent on their team, but I think the Rams are slightly better, just because they have had such a good season.
Though, when it comes down to the game itself, I have the Falcons upsetting for their skill and experience.
The game tomorrow will be the Panthers visiting the Saints.
I’ll just say that I have the Saints winning this game.
Very simply, I don’t believe in Cam Newton while under pressure. Last week, when playing for the division title, he choked. He threw three picks and didn’t even get 200 yards. I don’t think he can get it done in New Orleans against a good Saints team. I’m not thinking of the 2015 season, just because it Cam’s his MVP season and something happened since then. We haven’t seen that kind of production from Newton since the 2015-2016 season.
The Saints have the number two offense and an average defense. They have already beaten the Panthers twice and the Panthers will not be able to figure it out.
So if this happens, it will be the Falcons at the Eagles and the Saints at the Vikings. It’s also completely possible that the Rams will win, and in that case it will be the Saints at the Eagles and the Rams at the Vikings.
I’m going to say that the Eagles are not beating any team in these NFC playoffs. Nick Foles has not been consistent. He couldn’t even score against the Cowboys, and couldn’t win when they only put up 6 points. They have to ride their defense, but all the teams in the NFC, have elite offenses. The Eagles will not advance.
So, I have the Falcons in the Championship game for the second straight year, but of course the Rams could be there as well.
I have the Vikings over every team in the playoffs. Case Keenum has been playing at an unreal level. They have the best defense in the league. They can use their defense to win games, and they have the offense to put up points. And they’ve beaten the Saints and Rams in the regular season already, so…
I have the Vikings in the Super Bowl AT HOME, which should be a big problem for the Patriots, I mean whatever team wins the AFC.