Championship Sunday Predictions: Birds, Bengals to Meet on the Final Sunday

| January 27th, 2023

The four best teams in the NFL remain. That’s all we can ask for in the final weeks of an NFL season.

49ers at Eagles (-2.5), Over/Under 46.5

  • Let’s look at some regular season rankings:
    • Yards per game: Eagles 3, Niners 5
    • Points per game: Eagles 3, Niners 6
    • Yards allowed per game: Niners 1, Eagles 2
    • Points allowed per game: Niners 1, Eagles 8
    • Opposing passer rating: Eagles 3, Niners 6
    • Sacks: Eagles 1, Niners 11
    • Interceptions: Niners T-1, Eagles T-4
    • Turnover differential: Niners 1, Eagles 3
  • What do those stats show? There is no advantage in this game. It is going to be decided by a big play here, or a big play there, or a costly turnover at the wrong moment, or a brilliant special teams moment. I give the Eagles a slight edge at quarterback, and a slight edge for the home field. And that slight edge is reflected in my score prediction.
  • Eagles 24, 49ers 23

Bengals (-1) at Chiefs, Over/Under 47.5

  • The Chiefs had been favored in 14 consecutive postseason games, and the only reason they are not favored this week is because of the health of their quarterback. What will Patrick Mahomes look like Sunday evening? There is a strong chance we won’t know until the game kicks off, and that makes it near-impossible to predict with any semblance of certainty.
  • Joe Burrow’s postseason stats: 5-1, 68.1% completion, 1,556 yards, 8 TDs, 2 INTS, 98.4 rating. Against the best competition, Burrow is at his best. Is he the best quarterback in the sport?
  • With a hobbled Mahomes, I don’t think the Bengals are the better team. I think they are the significantly better team. So…
  • Bengals 31, Chiefs 20

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Championship Sunday Gambling Guide!

| January 17th, 2020

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Still have my head above water this postseason, thanks mainly to believing Derrick Henry is an unstoppable force and wagering heavily on him in both rounds. We’re down to the final three games of the 2019 NFL season. Need a strong finish to a solid gambling campaign.

2:05 PM Central

AFC Championship Game

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)

Over/Under: 52.5

This is Andy Reid’s time. He’s one of the best coaches in the history of this sport. He’s got one of the most prolific, successful coaching trees in the history of the sport. He’s sacrificed so much for this game he loves and all that’s missing from his resume is a title. Once he wins on the final Sunday, his next stop is Canton. I can’t see him losing this title game at home. And I can’t see Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo not completely selling out to stop the run.

Final score prediction: Chiefs 34, Titans 20. 

5:40 PM Central

NFC Championship Game

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-7.5)

Over/Under: 45

They can run the ball. They can rush the passer. They have a quarterback who always gets them into the right play and makes the big throw. Are the Packers a great team? No. But they’re built to succeed in this spot. I’m not taking them to win. But I won’t be surprised if they do.

Final score prediction: Niners 31, Packers 30

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What the Four Remaining Teams Can Teach the Chicago Bears

| January 18th, 2017

Is it a generic, almost clichéd way to approach the Championship games? Yes. But after years of writing about the Bears in January – whilst the Bears are often in hibernation – this is what we got. The four remaining teams in the NFL playoffs have valuable lessons to teach the Bears moving forward.


Tom Brady beat Brock Osweiler. Aaron Rodgers beat Dak Prescott. Ben Roethlisberger beat Alex Smith. Matt Ryan beat Russell Wilson. I understand that football is the ultimate team game but it isn’t coincidence that the four better quarterbacks all advanced this past weekend.

There are three kinds of teams in the NFL.

  • Teams with star quarterbacks that can compete for titles every single season.
  • Teams with better-than-average quarterbacks who won’t be in the postseason every year but can still be good enough to win a title here or there.
  • Everybody else.

All four of these teams belong in the first category. (And half the league spends their time debating whether their quarterback is a category 2 or category 3 man.)


Three of the four coaches remaining are also three of the five longest tenured in the NFL. But…they’ve also had a franchise quarterback in their holster for the duration of their tenure.


…how do you explain the NFC? Green Bay and Atlanta play little defense and are more than likely to blow their over/under of 61.5 out of the water.

Here’s how the eight teams that played in the Division round ranked in points allowed per game this season:

1 – Pats (win)

3 – Seahawks (loss)

5 – Cowboys (loss)

7 – Chiefs (loss)

10 – Steelers (win)

11 – Texans (loss)

21 – Packers (win)

27 – Falcons (win)

What do the four conference finalists have in common, however? All four are top 10 in turnover ratio. The lesson: you can survive playing subpar defense if you take the ball away from the opponent more than they take the ball away from you.