Divisional Previews Day #2
Divisional Round Previews Day 2
By: David Dzienis
#6 Cleveland Browns @ #1 Kansas City Chiefs
As a salty Steelers fan it is going to be hard to stay unbiased, but I’ll do my best…also fuck you Cleveland! Now onto the preview. Cleveland needed some tipped passes and luck to get by the Steelers last week while the Chiefs rested at home as the number one seed. Neither of these team’s defenses has been overly impressive this year and their offenses couldn’t be more different. The Browns run all over you and the Chiefs pass everywhere. Despite teams knowing this is what they do, no one has been able to stop these squads.
So the question becomes whether Nick Chubb and the Cleveland rushing attack can outlast the marvelous Patrick Mahomes and his stable of pass catchers. The advantage would normally go to the running team. A solid run game really opens up the passing attack of an offense, and while the Browns have no notable receivers besides Jarvis Landry, they have enough to be dangerous off play action. The only downside to that is it never seems to matter if Kansas City can run or not. Mahomes is going to do damage regardless. TE Travis Kelce is nearly uncoverable and the tiny WR Tyreek Hill is nearly uncatchable. So the key here will be which defense can step up, or more likely, which offense has the ball last. Kansas City only lost one game this year but the final 8 were all won by only one score.
Prediction: Cle 35 -KC 42
# 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ # 2 New Orleans Saints
Age versus, well, more age. Tom Brady and Drew Brees are currently the two oldest QB’s in the league. They are both guaranteed future Hall of Famers. These two squads faced off twice this year and New Orleans came out on top both times by double digits. Brady has a habit of learning from his few mistakes and analyzing a defense. His offense has started humming lately with Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin both stepping up recently. The real question is whether they can beat a good team. Their current streak was all against the bottom of the league and they have only beaten two playoff teams all season including last week when they beat the Washington Football Team.
Brees may not have the stellar arm he once had but the man can still run an efficient offense. He finally got his favorite target back, WR Michael Thomas, for the playoffs. He is also flanked by the electric Alvin Kamara (another player who killed me in fantasy). The defense has also played a large factor in the Saints success this year. The same can be said for the Bucs defense. Both units ranked in the top 6 this year. Despite the blowouts in this season, this match looks pretty even on paper. So can Brady and HC Bruce Arians figure out the Saints, or will the mastermind, HC Sean Payton, once again send the Bucs home, this time for the rest of the year?
Prediction: TB 27-NO 28
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