The last four. Exactly what everyone expected, right? I think more people would have expected the 49ers and the Titans to finish last in their divisions than to make their respective conference championships. And Green Bay was staring at a declining Rodgers playing under a new coach for the first time in over a decade.
Oh and we have Kansas City, coming in hot after falling behind 24-0 to the Texans before winning by 20.
One of these things is not like the other. Kansas City is the last of the expected to be here teams. Matt LaFleur is in his first year as a head coach. Mike Vrabel is in year two, Kyle Shanahan in year three. Andy Reid has more than triple the experience as an NFL head coach than the other three combined. Building two teams into contenders is no small feat.
There is at least one similarity between Reid and the other three. He is still searching for that first Super Bowl win. And with no Bill Belichick to get in his way, Reid has never had a better chance than now. As an Eagles fan, I am all too familiar with Reid and his playoff woes. Clock mismanagement, poor play calling, and a general unpreparedness were to be expected by my 2000’s Eagles.
But my Eagles didn’t have Patrick Mahomes either.
On to the picks:
Kansas City wins and covers
There is a Derrick Henry sized part of me that thinks the Titans will continue this incredible run. But watching Patrick Mahomes throw the football in the year 2020 convinces me otherwise. Even though the Titans are a running team, their time of possession is low. Henry is almost too good. His big play ability can be a drawback against the Chiefs. Keep Maholmes and co. off the field, that should be the goal. I just don’t see it happening. Last year’s MVP will be heading to this year’s Super Bowl.
San Francisco wins, Green Bay covers
Here we have a case of a dominant team against a really good team with a few dominant players. San Francisco, has put together the most complete season of any team in the NFL. They are three plays, hell maybe three inches away from perfection. I don’t think the Smith brothers, Adams and the Aaron’s are enough to overcome the talent on San Francisco. I do think the experience of Rodgers keeps the game closer than expected. But San Francisco pulls away in the fourth.