Most of the credit for this recovery should go to HC Frank Reich. The NFL's best become involved, as the four teams that got to enjoy a week off jump into the fray hoping to avoid upsets.
One of my pivots this week is Andrew Luck. Snow is expected in Kansas City on Saturday, and heavy snow during the game would be a negative for both offenses. Mahomes set a franchise record for TD passes (50), touchdown-interception differential (plus-38) and 300-yard passing games (10). If they do that, the Saints won't just reach the NFC championship game - they will host it, surrounded by the comforts of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The Chiefs had lost 11 of their previous 12 playoff games, with four of those defeats coming against the Colts. Tom Brady and the Patriots will try to earn their fourth consecutive AFC Championship berth, but is it finally Philip Rivers' year? He endured the childhood disappointments, and the playoff losses while he was starring in high school and at Northern Iowa. But the team undoubtedly had a great plan and approach in order to dominate the game on the ground like that. For the Patriots, the key in my opinion is managing their backs. While many player props in this contest have been inflated, Tyreek Hill's remains low, creating an edge to exploit on Saturday. Their diversity on offense is insane, and their defense is better than the average team.
The Cowboys get a much better match-up in Los Angeles, where the Cowboys faithful will likely hold their own against the Rams fans in terms of attendance.
Sunday might be even more interesting as the Eagles head to New Orleans to take on Brees. But, here we are.
"I think if you're not from here, you don't know", Williams said. The glory is intoxicating, especially for the Saints and their devoted followers who have dreams of not only winning a second Super Bowl in a decade but doing so with a Choppa-style dance on the middle of the hated Atlanta Falcons home field, site of this year's super game.
They now face a stiff test against Drew Brees and the Saints.
A lot of the pre-game chatter regarding this Colts-Chiefs clash is centering on All-Pro quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Patrick Mahomes, but those expecting a 42-41 shootout could be in for a disappointment.
How 'bout them Cowboys!
McClure's optimal NFL Playoff Challenge strategy also includes rostering Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. My main draw from the game was their defense. "Sure enough, he showed today he can finish a game for us". But we'll drop some playoff specific numbers just for fun.
Who's ready for round two of the 2019 National Football League playoffs?
According to Pro Football Reference, only 13 of the other 173 teams to reach the playoffs since 1990 have fared worse than the Chiefs in at least one of those statistical categories, including Green's group from the 2003 season, which allowed 5.2 yards per carry. They are a true warm-weather team. A big question this how RB Todd Gurley III will perform after being out of action for a couple of weeks. New Orleans is more rested, better balanced and playing in a place where it's nearly unbeatable.