Thursday, January 31, 2019


This Sunday, the New England Patriots and the Rams (formerly in St. Louis but now back in Los Angeles) will meet again seventeen years later in the Super Bowl.
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady were there after the 2001 season when kicker Adam Vinatieri (now with the Indianapolis Colts) nailed the game winning field goal as time ran out in a 20-17 victory, giving New England their first ever Super Bowl title.
They are the only two left from that team and will look to give the Patriots their sixth championship this Sunday in Atlanta. Super Bowl 53 is being hyped all week long and the Rams know they are facing a formidable foe in the Patriots, who are making their third consecutive Super Bowl appearance.
For the Rams to win this game, they must stifle the Patriots consistent running game (127 yards per game) which sets up the passing attack for Brady and company, which averaged 266 yards per game this season. Running back Sony Michel ran for 931 yards this season (4.5 ypc average and six TD) to lead the team.
Meanwhile, the Patriots defense must be ready to face the two headed monster running game the Rams boast. Todd Gurley (1,251 rushing yards, 4.9 ypc average and 21 total touchdowns in 2018 season) and C.J. Anderson, who was a late season signing when Gurley was injured and has averaged seven yards per carry. The Rams rushing game averages 139 yards per game.
The passing game averaged 281 yards per game and QB Jared Goff passed for 4,688 yards and had 32 TD passes and only twelve interceptions this season. He has flourished under Head Coach Sean McVay and his high octane offense the past two seasons. Plus, Goff led the Rams back from a 13-0 deficit in the hostile environment of the Super Dome when they beat the New Orleans Saints, 26-23 in OT in the NFC Championship Game.
The main targets for Goff include wide receivers Brandin Cooks (80, 1,204, five TD) and Robert Woods, who snagged 86 receptions for 1,219 yards and six touchdowns. 
The Patriots defense has been stellar in the playoffs, giving up just 42 yards in the first half against the high powered offense of the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC title game, which they eventually won, 37-31 in overtime.
Look for a tight game as both teams will likely run the ball to control the field and the clock to keep each others' offensive units off the field. Protecting the ball is always key in big games and the Patriots rate a slight edge in that category. Brady has been here so many times and Goff will do well to limit mistakes and keep his team in the game.
One other factor is the pass rush. The Rams have Aaron Donald up front and all he did was lead the NFL with 20 1/2 quarterback sacks this past season. Ndamukong Suh is huge on the D-line as well and has stepped it up in the post-season.
Brady is well protected by the offensive line (21 QB sacks in regular season) and so far in the post-season has not been sacked. Goff was sacked 33 times this season. Meanwhile, the Rams defense amassed 41 sacks. New England's defense registered 30 sacks, led by Trey Flowers, who had 7 1/2 sacks.
When Brady does drop back to throw, he has the great Julian Edelman at wide receiver and also tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was limited by injuries in the regular season, but is healthy once again. Then there is running back James White, who hauled in 87 pass receptions this season for seven touchdowns while also averaging 4.5 yards per rushing attempt.
Both teams have reliable kickers as well. Stephen Gostkowski has been in New England since 2006 season and has been clutch through the years. This season, he scored 130 points and was 49-for-50 on PAT kicks while making 27 of 32 field goal attempts.
Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein (116 points with only one missed PAT kick in 36 attempts and 27-of-31 field goal accuracy) is known simply as "Greg the leg" for his booming kicks, which included the game-winning 57-yard field goal against the Saints in the NFC title game in overtime that put his team into the Super Bowl.
This is a game that could very well come down to which ever team has the final possession which should make for another exciting Super Bowl.

                     PREDICTION -  New England Patriots 31,  Los Angeles Rams 27 

Saturday, January 26, 2019


The Trump government shutdown came to a close (at least temporarily) yesterday as the Senate and House both approved bills that Trump signed to end the government shutdown (lockout if you prefer) that puts 800,000 plus federal workers back on the payroll effective immediately.
Common sense has to be put back in place in Washington, D.C. politics and let it begin with the Executive branch (Trump and Pence) so this country doesn't have to deal with this sort of crap any more.
Ridiculous is what it was and if Trump can keep his ego in check (highly doubtful) perhaps the American people can live their lives without all the distractions and drama of Trump and (Senate majority leader) Mitch McConnell, who continued to dig in with their silly requests until the outside pressure became too much.
Yes, the American people want their TAX REFUNDS processed and delivered on time! 
Two years gone and two long years left until hopefully the American voters wisen up and get the riff-raff of Trump and his cohorts the hell out of Washington, D.C. once and for all. That is unless the Robert Mueller investigation fries some more fish (see Manafort, Cohen and now Nixon era holdover Roger Stone as examples) in the near future.
We, the American people, can only hope so.

Monday, January 21, 2019

NFL PLAYOFFS - AFC and NFC Championship Games Review

The Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots will square off in Super Bowl 53 (February 3 in Atlanta) as they both won in overtime in the conference championship games. It was the first time both the AFC and NFC championship games went into overtime in the same season.

There was big time controversy in the Rams 26-23 victory against the host New Orleans Saints. An obvious pass interference by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman against Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis was not called late in the fourth quarter with the Saints in the red zone in a 20-20 tie game. The league admitted to Saints Head Coach Sean Payton afterwards the officiating crew blew the call.
Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein and teammates celebrate game winning field goal in OT
After racing out to a 13-0 first quarter lead, the Saints went flat as the Rams rallied back to cut the deficit to 13-10 at the half. For the game, Rams quarterback Jared Goff passed for 297 yards with a touchdown and an interception while Saints QB Drew Brees had 249 passing yards with two TD passes and one costly interception in the OT session.
The game was tied 20-20 with 5:03 remaining after Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein made the second of his four field goals. The Saints went ahead 23-20 on Will Lutz' 31-yard field goal with 1:31 to go in the game. That kick followed the controversial non-call on the pass interference committed by the Rams defense.
From there, the Rams drove downfield to get a game tying 48-yard field goal by Zuerlein with only 15 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
In the OT, Brees was hit as he attempted to pass and the ball fluttered into the arms of Rams defensive back John Johnson III. The Rams drove the ball to the Saints 39-yard line and then Zuerlein boomed a 57-yard field goal through the uprights for the win, sending the Rams to their first Super Bowl appearance since the 2001 season.

In frigid Kansas City, the New England Patriots outlasted the Chiefs, 37-31 in OT to make it to the Super Bowl for the third consecutive season.
Patriots running back Rex Burkhead scored his second TD of the game (a two-yard run) to win it as the Pats took the kickoff in OT down the field to score the touchdown that wrapped it up.
In the first half, New England's defense dominated the high powered Kansas City offense, limiting them to just 32 yards in total offense while building a 14-0 halftime lead.
The second half, especially the fourth quarter, turned into a shootout as the Chiefs rallied back behind three TD passes by QB Patrick Mahomes (295 passing yards) with two fourth quarter TD strikes going to RB Damien Williams, who also had a rushing score in the game.
Tom Brady and the Patriots are Super Bowl bound again
Trailing 17-7 entering the fourth quarter, Kansas City took a 21-17 lead with 7:45 remaining in regulation on the second TD pass from Mahomes to Williams, a 23-yard scoring play. The Patriots came right back as RB Sony Michel (29 carries for 113 yards) scored his second rushing TD of the game on a 10-yard run with 3:32 left.
The Chiefs drove downfield and Williams scored on a two-yard run with 2:02 left to put KC back on top, 28-24. Then the Pats came right back as QB Tom Brady (348 passing yards with a TD and two INT) drove the team down the field and Burkhead scored on a four-yard TD run with 39 seconds remaining. A costly offside penalty on the Kansas City defense took away an interception that would have iced the game for the Chiefs during the drive.
However, Kansas City brought the ball back to field goal range and kicker Harrison Butker made the 39-yard field goal with only eight seconds left to force the overtime.
In the OT, Brady and company moved the ball downfield and Burkhead punched it in from two yards out and the Pats once again punched their ticket to the Super Bowl, the ninth appearance for the team in the Bill Belichick-Brady era.

Friday, January 18, 2019

NFC Championship Game Preview

The last time the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans played against each other, it was like a pinball machine as the final score totaled 80 points, with the Saints winning the game 45-35 back in Week Nine at the Superdome.
They will go at it once again on Sunday afternoon in New Orleans in the NFC Championship Game.
These two teams know each other and both can score points with the best of them, evidenced the Rams are the number two scoring team in the NFL and the Saints are third best, trailing only the Kansas City Chiefs in scoring in the 2018 season.
The Rams have quarterback Jared Goff (4,688 passing yards with 32 TD passes and 12 interceptions) along with running backs Todd Gurley (1,251 rushing yards in 14 games with a 4.9 ypc average and 17 rushing TD, 21 total TD) and C.J. Anderson, who has been stellar after being signed when Gurley missed the final two games of the regular season with injuries.
Wide receivers Robert Woods (86 receptions, 1,219 yards, six TD) and Brandin Cooks (80, 1,204 and five TD) are dual threats in the Rams passing attack.
The Saints have quarterback Drew Brees and all he did was shatter his own NFL record for completion percentage (74.4 percent) this past season while throwing 32 TD passes and only five picks.
Goff and Brees tangle again for a trip to the Super Bowl
Running back Alvin Kamara does it all for New Orleans (881 rushing yards along with 81 receptions for 701 yards and scored 18 touchdowns) while Mark Ingram ran for 645 yards (4.7 ypc average) and scored seven touchdowns. Wide receiver Michael Thomas caught 125 passes for 1,405 yards and nine touchdowns this season and had a big game in the Saints win over the Rams in November.
Defensively, both teams get after opposing quarterbacks. The Rams had 41 sacks with All-Pro defensive end Aaron Donald leading the league with 20 1/2 sacks. New Orleans registered 49 takedowns as Cameron Jordan had twelve to lead the team.
The Rams had 18 interceptions and the Saints picked off 12 passes. The Saints allowed just 80 yards rushing per game while the Rams offense rushed for 139 yards per game, so something has to give. Meanwhile, the Rams give up 122 yards rushing per game while the Saints gain 127 yards per game on the ground.
Turnovers will be a key to the game and both teams protect the ball fairly well. The Rams (12 INT, eight fumbles lost) had 20 turnovers while the Saints turned it over 16 times (seven INT and nine lost fumbles) during the regular season.
This game should be another close one and the Saints have one of the best home field advantages in pro football. If the Rams can keep Brees under pressure and run the football effectively like they did against Dallas last week (273 rushing yards) they can win this game. However, Brees and the Saints can smell another Super Bowl and it's not likely they will lose at home.

                           PREDICTION -  New Orleans 31, Los Angeles Rams 24

Thursday, January 17, 2019

AFC Championship Game Preview

They're  ba-aaack !

Yes, the New England Patriots are in the AFC Championship Game for the eighth straight season and will face the Kansas City Chiefs (in frigid Kansas City) this Sunday evening. The Patriots unloaded on the Los Angeles Chargers in the first half (35-7 lead) to advance with their 41-28 win while the Chiefs dismantled the Indianapolis Colts, 31-13 the day before.
These two teams faced each other back in Week Six on Sunday Night Football and the Patriots won 43-40 on a 28-yard field goal by kicker Stephen Gostkowski as time expired in Gillette Stadium.
This time, the Chiefs will have the "home field edge" and will be looking to run the ball and control the clock to keep Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the offense on the bench. The same can be said for the Patriots, as they showed they can also run the ball. They would like to see Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and company on the bench.
In that Week Six game, Mahomes had four touchdown passes and two interceptions while Brady threw for one score.
Both teams have weapons on offense. The Patriots feature running backs Sony Michel (three rushing TD last week) and James White, who had 14 receptions in last week's win. Wide receiver Julian Edelman (nine catches for 151 yards last week) and tight end Rob Gronkowski are the main targets for Brady to throw to.
As for the Chiefs, Mahomes and WR Tyreek Hill combined for big numbers this season (87 receptions for 1,479 yards with 12 TD) and he is a threat to score whenever he gets the ball in his
Brady and Mahomes - Round Two
hands. Another big weapon is tight end Travis Kelce, who had 103 receptions for 1,336 yards and ten touchdowns.
Chiefs running back Damien Williams had a career game last week, going for 129 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
Defensively, both teams controlled the line of scrimmage last week and held their opponents running game in check. Pressure on the quarterback was also common last week for both the Chiefs and Pats defensive units.
The weather is supposed to be frigid (single digit high temperature is forecast at kickoff) with wind chills plummeting below zero. That will not have an effect on the visiting Patriots. Hell, they seem to thrive on it. The Chiefs also should likely be immune to the cold weather.
The biggest determining factor will be turnovers, as it almost always is during football games, especially in the playoffs.
Look for a hard fought game with both teams running their game plan behind solid pass protection as it likely comes down to the wire once again. Whoever has the ball last should be in position to win this game.
Mahomes has been the top quarterback in the NFL this season, but Brady has the experience and the hardware (five Super Bowl rings) which is a huge factor. Barring any unforeseen injuries to key players or an inordinate amount of turnovers by one team, look for the Patriots to pull this game out in a squeaker.

                      PREDICTION -   New England  30, Kansas City 28

Sunday, January 13, 2019

NFL PLAYOFFS - Divisional Round Review

The NFL playoffs are down to the final four teams as the New England Patriots will play at the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC championship. In the NFC title game, it will be the Los Angeles Rams traveling down to The Big Easy to face the New Orleans Saints.

Saturday, January 12
Kansas City 31, Indianapolis 13 -The Chiefs dismantled the Indianapolis Colts, 31-13 as they ran the ball for four scores, including two by running back Damien Williams (129 yards on 25 carries). It was the first home playoff win for Kansas City since the 1993 season.

LA Rams 30, Dallas 22 - The host Rams battered the Dallas defense to the tune of 273 rushing yards as both C.J. Anderson (123 yards and two rushing TD) and Todd Gurley (115 yards and a rushing score) surpassed the 100-yard plateau. The Cowboys defense allowed 463 yards while they only had 50 yards rushing in the game.

Sunday, January 13
New England 41, LA Chargers 28 - The host Patriots ran all over the Chargers defense, bolting out to a 35-7 halftime lead as RB Sony Michel (24 carries, 129 yards) scored three touchdowns to lead the rout. Quarterback Tom Brady passed for 343 yards and a touchdown as the Patriots coasted in the second half.
Chargers QB Philip Rivers had three scoring passes in defeat. This is the eighth straight season the Patriots are advancing to the AFC Championship Game, which is an NFL record.

New Orleans 20, Philadelphia 14 - Marshon Lattimore sealed the win for the home team New Orleans Saints with his second interception of the day (off a deflection through the hands of Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery) with 1:53 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Saints fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter as Philly QB Nick Foles threw a 37-yard TD pass to Jordan Matthews and then scored on a one-yard run. From there, the Saints did all the scoring for the rest of the game as QB Drew Brees had a pair of touchdown passes, including a two-yard strike to WR Michael Thomas (12 receptions for 171 yards) to give them the lead late in the third quarter. Saints kicker Will Lutz made two field goals to help provide the final outcome.

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints

New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs

Friday, January 11, 2019

NFL PLAYOFFS - Divisional Round Preview

Here we go, it's time for the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.
There are four games on tap and all of them could be very close, possibly being decided on the final possession of the game.
The action starts Saturday in Kansas City where the Chiefs, the top seed in the AFC, will host the upstart Indianapolis Colts, who have rebounded from a 1-5 start to advance to this round of the playoffs.
The night game on Saturday is the Dallas Cowboys at the Los Angeles Rams in what will likely be a test between the new "Doomsday" Dallas defense going against the Rams high octane offense.
On Sunday, the Los Angeles Chargers head back to the East coast where they will face the mighty New England Patriots, who have been to three of the last four Super Bowls and won two of them.
The final game of the weekend will have the New Orleans Saints hosting the Philadelphia Eagles, who are the defending Super Bowl champions and won a thriller on the road last week against the Chicago Bears.
The following offers a look at the games this weekend and the Heftyinfo picks will follow.

Saturday, January 12

Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs -  The Chiefs boast the NFL's highest scoring offense, led by hot shot quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who passed for over 5,000 yards and had 50 touchdown passes. Top flight wide receiver Tyreek Hill (87 receptions for 1,479 yards with 12 TD) is a threat to score whenever he gets the ball in his hands. Another big weapon is tight end Travis Kelce, who had 103 receptions for 1,336 yards and ten touchdowns.
Not to be outdone is Colts QB Andrew Luck, who had 39 TD passes this season and also in the mix is running back Marlon Mack, who went off for 148 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in last week's 21-7 victory over the Houston Texans. Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (76, 1,270 yards and six TD) and tight end Eric Ebron (66 receptions, 13 TD) are the main targets Luck will throw to.
Defensively, the Colts rate the edge as they defend both the run and the pass fairly well. The Chiefs can get after the quarterback, but they also give up too many big pass plays and that could be what makes the difference in this game.

Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams -  The Rams have a talented offense that scores points at a rapid fire pace behind QB Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley, who is expected back in the game after missing the final two games of the regular season with nagging injuries. Gurley led the NFL with 21 touchdowns this season.
The Cowboys have a triple threat with QB Dak Prescott (passing and running TD in last week's wild card game win), RB Ezekiel Elliott and wide receiver Amari Cooper, who is the deep threat the team lacked in the first half of the season when they stumbled out to a 3-5 start.
The Rams have some playmakers on the defense, especially pass rusher Aaron Donald, but the Cowboys defense is better overall and is a cohesive unit that plays strong against both the run and the pass.

Sunday, January 13

Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots -  The Chargers bring the best road record (8-1 including playoffs) in pro football against the Patriots, who are nearly unbeatable at home in the playoffs in the Belichick-Brady era. In fact, New England had an 8-0 home record this season, so something has to give in this game.
The Chargers are loaded with talent on both sides of the football, led by QB Philip Rivers (32 TD passes and 12 interceptions) and a trio of gifted wide receivers, led by Keenan Allen (97 receptions, six TD) and also Mike Williams, who had ten touchdown receptions this season. Also running back Melvin Gordon (provided he is completely healthy) is a threat to break one whenever he carries the ball. Gordon scored 14 touchdowns and averaged 5.1 yards per carry.
The Patriots have arguably the greatest quarterback of all time in Tom Brady and he has never lost a game against the Chargers when Rivers is the starting quarterback, including 2-0 in playoff games.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski will be a key factor for the Patriots to have success against a strong Chargers defense, which kept Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson in check in last week's road win against the Ravens in the wild card game.
Whichever team has the fewest turnovers will most likely win this football game and advance to the AFC Championship Game next weekend. The Patriots will be looking to get there for the eighth consecutive time, an NFL record they already own with trips to that game the past seven years.

Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints -  The Eagles surprised the Chicago Bears 16-15 in the wild card game last week and will look to continue their magic carpet ride behind quarterback Nick Foles, who helped take the Eagles to the Super Bowl title last season.
The Saints have one of the top offenses in the NFL and QB Drew Brees set a new record this season for completion percentage (74.4 percent) along with 32 touchdown passes and only five interceptions thrown. It helps too that he has so much talent around him, especially the running tandem of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.
Wide receiver Michael Thomas had 125 receptions (1,405 yards) and nine touchdowns. Kamara scored 18 touchdowns and had over 1,500 combined yards rushing and receiving.
If the Eagles defense can get after Brees and keep the offense in check, they stand a chance to pull off the upset. However, if Brees and company can do what they did against Philly (in Week 11, New Orleans won at home 48-7 vs. the Eagles) last time, it could very well be another blowout win for the Saints.

The Heftyinfo predictions for the Divisional Round  . . . . . . .   (Home teams are listed in bold)

Indianapolis over Kansas City 
LA Rams over Dallas
LA Chargers over New England 
New Orleans over Philadelphia

Last Week's Record -  2-2 

Playoffs Record -  2-2

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Clemson Buries Alabama For CFB Championship

The Clemson Tigers completed a perfect 15-0 season as they completely dominated the Alabama Crimson Tide (14-1) in a 44-16 win to capture the CFB Championship, which was their second title in the last three seasons.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence had three touchdown passes (347 yards passing) and running back Travis Etienne scored two rushing touchdowns to lead the rout.
The Tigers defense shutout the Crimson Tide in the second half after gaining a 31-16 halftime advantage.  Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa passed for 295 yards with two TD and two interceptions.

  Heftyinfo  College Football FINAL Top Ten   (2018 season)

1.  Clemson  (15-0)
2.  Alabama  (14-1)
3.  Oklahoma  (12-2)
4.  Notre Dame  (12-1)
5.  Ohio State  (13-1)
6.  Florida  (10-3)
7.  LSU  (10-3)
8.  Georgia  (11-3)
9.  Washington State  (11-2)
10.  Texas  (10-4)

Sunday, January 6, 2019

NFL PLAYOFFS - Wild Card Round Review

The Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs provided quite a bit of excitement and some fantastic finishes as four teams moved on to the next round while four others are going home.
Here's the breakdown on the four playoff games this past weekend.

SATURDAY, January 5

Indianapolis Colts 21, Houston Texans 7 - Colts running back Marlon Mack rushed for 148 yards and a touchdown while quarterback Andrew Luck had two touchdown passes in the road win. Texans QB Deshaun Watson had a TD pass and 76 rushing yards in the loss.

Dallas Cowboys 24, Seattle Seahawks 22 - The Cowboys advanced past the Seahawks with the home win as RB Ezekiel Elliott scored the go ahead touchdown (rushed for 137 yards) while QB Dak Prescott passed for a TD and also ran for another. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson also had a passing and rushing touchdown in the game, which marked the first time in Wilson's career his team failed to win at least one playoff game.

SUNDAY, January 6

Los Angeles Chargers 23, Baltimore Ravens 17 - The Chargers got another road win as they jumped out to a 23-3 lead and held off a furious fourth quarter rally by the Ravens. The Chargers defense registered seven QB sacks against Lamar Jackson (two pass TD in the loss) and also forced three turnovers (two fumbles and one interception) which included a strip-sack fumble recovery to seal the game. Chargers kicker Mike Badgley made five field goals and RB Melvin Gordon scored a rushing TD to help provide the outcome.

Philadelphia Eagles 16, Chicago Bears 15 -The Eagles got a fourth quarter two-yard TD pass from QB Nick Foles (266 passing yards, two TD, two INT) to wide receiver Golden Tate late in the fourth quarter for the road win, but the real drama happened when Bears kicker Cody Parkey's (3-for-4 on field goals in the game) 43-yard potential game-winning kick hit the left upright with five seconds remaining in the game.
Bears QB Mitch Trubisky passed for 303 yards and had a 22-yard scoring pass to WR Allen Robinson, who had 10 receptions for 143 yards in the loss.


Saturday, January 12

Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams

Sunday, January 13

Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots
Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints

Friday, January 4, 2019

No Doubt About It

In light of recent events, especially the TRUMP government shut down, this sums it up very well . . .

Thursday, January 3, 2019

NFL PLAYOFFS - Wild Card Round Preview

The NFL Playoffs are here.
Two games on Saturday and Sunday with the winners moving onto the divisional round next week.
The home teams are all favored to win with the Chicago Bears being the biggest favorite to knock off the Philadelphia Eagles late Sunday afternoon.
There are three quarterbacks who are making their first playoff start (Mitch Trubisky - Bears, Lamar Jackson - Ravens and Deshaun Watson - Texans) while two of the starting QB's include Super Bowl winners Nick Foles (Philadelphia Eagles) and Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) who will be looking to get back to the big game in a few weeks.
There will be many twists and turns the next couple of weeks as the teams battle it out and the many football analysts will talk and talk and talk about those teams and the individual players of those teams.
Keeping it simple, here is a brief breakdown of the wild card games with the Heftyinfo predictions following up.


Indianapolis Colts (10-6) at Houston Texans (11-5) - Look for the Colts to go after Texans QB Deshaun Watson, who was sacked 62 times in the regular season. Both teams will look to run the football while airing it out with top flight receivers (Colts have T.Y. Hilton and Texans have DeAndre Hopkins). Colts rate the edge at tight end with Eric Ebron, but Houston has many more stalwarts on defense, led by J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. These two teams split the two games in the regular season.

Seattle Seahawks (10-6) at Dallas Cowboys (10-6) - The Seahawks beat the Dallas Cowboys (Week 3) 24-13 up in Seattle, but this time the game is being played in Dallas. Cowboys "big three" of QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott and WR Amari Cooper will look to break the solid Seattle defense. Seattle QB Russell Wilson has been there and done that when it comes to playoff football, so the Cowboys defense will have a challenge.


Los Angeles Chargers (12-4) at Baltimore Ravens (10-6) - The Ravens utilized two big plays to win at Los Angeles two weeks ago, 22-10 as the defense sacked L.A. quarterback Philip Rivers four times and picked off two passes. The Ravens with their running attack have caught recent opponents off guard with rookie QB Lamar Jackson leading the way. The Chargers will have the advantage of having seen this type of offense before, so it will be just a matter of executing on defense once the game starts. Chargers have been banged up in recent weeks, but will likely have RB Austin Ekeler along with Melvin Gordon and possibly even tight end Hunter Henry to help bolster the offense.

Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) at Chicago Bears (12-4) - The Bears have arguably the best defense in the NFL this year and the Eagles will be hard pressed to break that defense, which has been dominating opponents the last four weeks. Linebacker Khalil Mack is the leader of the Bears defense so Philly QB Nick Foles will have a real test as he seeks to lead the Eagles back to another Super Bowl run. As long as the Eagles aren't able to mix things up on offense, the Bears should be able to keep this game low scoring. If it becomes a free-for-all (doubtful) then the Eagles rate the edge.

The Heftyinfo picks for the Wild Card Round   . . . . . . .  (Home teams are listed in bold)

Indianapolis over Houston 
Seattle over Dallas
LA Chargers over Baltimore 
Chicago over Philadelphia

Last Week's Record -  12-4 


Lock of the Week Record -  15-2