While home field advantage is something that is coveted among all postseason combatants, it has not always been a guarantee.
Many road teams have been able to step into hostile territory and walk away victorious. I’m not too sure the same can be said about this crop of road warriors. I’m taking a clean sweep of home victories in this opening weekend of postseason play. Why, you ask?
Here we go:
Colts over Chiefs- For Andy Reid to elevate Kansas from two wins a season ago to nine is remarkable to say the least. Such an increase in the win column warrants “Coach of the Year” consideration at the very least. But beyond every surface if an underlying truth. In the case of the Chiefs, the ugly truth is a 1-5 record against teams with an above .500 win percentage. Coach Reid, your team’s accomplishments this season are nothing to be frowned upon, but until you can beat teams with winning records on a consistent basis, there’s an early exit in your team’s immediate playoff future.
Eagles over Saints- The return of Sean Peyton was warmly welcomed as he helped the Saints to an 11-5 record and a sixth seen in this season’s playoff bracket. Unfortunately, New Orleans has become what Seattle used to be, an inept road team. Being 3-5 away from home does not bode well for any playoff team. Unfortunately for the Saints, they won’t have a chance to redeem themselves until 2014. Philly does the unthinkable and sends New Orleans south for the winter.
Bengals over Chargers- The unsteady play of Andy Dalton has been alarming, to say the least. Some games, he’s solid. While in others, when he’s bad, he’s bad…and not bad as in good either. No matter which Andy Dalton decides to show up, the red zone reliability of BenJarvis Green Ellis and Giovani Bernard, the receiving prowess of AJ Green and the Bengals’ defense will mask whatever deficiencies surface at the hands of Dalton, if any. The Bengals will win what I think will be a thriller of a game.
Packers over 49ers- More shaky than the play of Andy Dalton has been that of Colin Kaepernick. While he hasn’t been as turnover prone, he’s still struggled to put together a string of consistently solid games. Much like Cincinnati, San Francisco compensates for Kaepernick’s shortcomings in the form of their running game and defense. Still, I find Aaron Rodgers, who is just returning to action, to be better than this installment of Kaepernick. It seems like the 49ers and Packers can’t stay away from each other in the postseason. I’ll take the Packers to separate themselves from their most formidable postseason foe to date.
That’s my forecast for what could be a wintry weekend of postseason games. Bundle up and enjoy the games. TNP Sports will be back at it for next week’s divisional round where the top two seed for each conference will come out to play.
By Antoine Hoffman