Last updated 1/15/2019 at Noon
WINNER 0F PATS-KC GAME LIKELY 2019 SB LII KINGPINS
It’s amazing that the National Football Leagues’ best teams just happen to be facing each other for Sunday’s Conference Championship Playoffs.
The No.1-seeded New Orleans Saints will host the second-seeded Los Angeles Rams Sunday at 2:05 p.m. while the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs throw out the welcome mat for Tom Brady and his No. 2-seeded New England Patriots’ teammates at 5:40 p.m.
The two winners will meet in Super Bowl LII two weeks later on Feb. 3 in Atlanta.
The two AFC games were won by big margins and were not that interesting to watch. Saturday, the Chiefs jumped out to an early lead over the Indianapolis Colts, led 24-7 at halftime and went on the win handily 31-13.
The Colts looked horrible in this divisional playoff game. My question is why didn’t Indy play half as bad against our Houston Texas the week before? Are the Houston Texans that bad? Were the Colts exceptionally good in that game?
Results of the Patriots-LA Chargers contest also was a stinkeroo to watch as quarterback Tom Brady directed New England’s offense in a silky-smooth manner almost scoring at will against the hapless Chargers defense, leading by 28 points at halftime.
The game was not nearly as close as the final 41-28 score indicated as the Pats used its entire bench and even a couple of cheerleaders in the second half just to keep the fans from thinking they paid for a track meet instead of a high-dollar NFL playoff game.
The two NFC playoff games were much more interesting to watch. The Dallas Cowboys were just a bit overmatched against the LA Rams and made a futile attempt to solve Orange native Wade Phillips’ defense.
The Pokes jumped out to a 7-3 lead after the first period, but then found themselves on the short end of a 20-7 halftime lead as the Rams chalked up 17 unanswered points in the second quarter.
But the Cowboys defense just could not corral the Rams rushing attack which stung the Pokes for a whopping 275 yards on 48 carries and went on to eliminate Dallas
Of course, this wasn’t the first divisional-round loss Dallas has suffered. They have been unable to get over this hurdle for almost 25 years, when the Cowboys posted the franchise’s fifth world championship following the 1995 season.
The Rams were convinced they would be playing defending world champion Philadelphia, who came flying out of the starting blocks and put up 14 points before the game was much more than 10 minutes old.
But New Orleans’ quarterback Drew Brees came to life and engineered two drives that produced 10 points, reducing the deficit to 14-10 at the intermission.
The Saints’ defense had a successful wake-up call after the first period and held the Eagles scoreless the rest of the way. The Saints went ahead 17-14 near the end of the third period and added a field goal in the fourth quarter to move ahead to 20-14.
However, Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles—who coincidentally went to the same high school as Brees (Austin Westlake)—went to work and drove his team to the Saints’ 27 where his perfect pass to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery went right through his hands and was grabbed by a surprised Marcus Lattimore, who snatched his second interception of the game.
This pick virtually ended the game as the Saints went into the “Victory formation” and killed the clock and showed the Rams who they really will be playing Sunday.
New Orleans is an early 3½-point favorite and I believe the Vegas Boys. I look for a low-scoring battle, with the Saints coming out on top 24-17.
To me the big game will be in the AFC when New England travels to Kansas City to meet the Chiefs in Sunday’s late game.
Brady and Head Coach Bill Belichick always get bent out of shape when football prognosticators announce the Patriots are picked to lose.
But that’s the case as the early Vegas line has the Chiefs a three-point favorite. I don’t know if I’m a Chief fan or a New England-hater.
The game features perhaps the NFL’s two best coaches in Belichick and Andy Reid, the two top quarterbacks in Brady and Patrick Mahomes and the two best tight ends in Rob Gronkowski and Chiefs’ Travis Kelce.
If the game comes down to defense, the Patriots should have the edge simply because Kansas City has given up many more points, but also has scored more points.
I hear the limb cracking that I’m out on by predicting the Chiefs will win 42-38.
KWICKIES…The addition of Tennessee Vols transfer Will McBride to the Lamar quarterbacking corps has caused a mild exodus of players at that position as former Port Neches-Groves star Adam Morse announced he was transferring to Division II Henderson State University in Arkansas while former West Orange-Stark star Jack Dallas is quitting to concentrate on baseball, where he already has logged one successful season as a Cardinal starter.
The New England Patriots finally scored a touchdown on the opening drive after going seven playoff games without one. It also marked the Pats’ eighth-straight AFC Division playoff win. Tom Brady has been the winning quarterback in 27 of 38 playoff games. Bill Belichick has coached in 40 playoffs games.
Six-time Pro Bowl selection and former Miami Dolphins guard Bob Kuechenberg died Saturday at the age of 71. He also was a member of the only NFL team to achieve a perfect season. He joined the Dolphins as a free agent in 1970—coach Don Shula’s first season—and played for them until 1983.
Matt Kuchar fired his second 66 in a row Sunday to win the PGA Tour-Sony Open and pocketed $1,152,000 for his effort. He started the event with 63’s on Thursday and Friday and went on to win by four shots over Andrew Putnam.
Georgia upset the No. 13 Tennessee Lady Vols 66-62 giving them their first three-game losing streak in 33 years.
JUST BETWEEN US…Former West Orange-Stark all-state and All-American honorable mention safety Deionte Thompson announced last weekend that he will not return to Alabama for his senior year but instead will opt for the 2019 NFL draft. Those who follow the draft closely have Thompson as the top safety in the draft. Also announcing for the draft is Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, who will leave the quarterback job open at Oklahoma. He also was drafted by the Oakland A’s and played in the minor leagues last summer but found out he cannot play both pro baseball and NFL football.