2019 AFC and NFC Championship Predictions
Before we get into these 2019 AFC and NFC Championship Predictions, let’s check our Super Bowl predictions. Everyone but me, Evan Hoovler, still has their Super Bowl winner intact. Luckily I’m the funny one. You know who else was the funny one? Ringo Starr, who also had the least talent. Okay, now that my time in the barrel is over, on to our 2019 AFC and NFC Championship predictions.
2019 AFC Championship Predictions
Waleed Ismail: Currently, the richest 1% hold about 38% of all privately held wealth in the United States. while the bottom 90% held 73.2% of all debt. According to The New York Times, the richest 1 percent in the United States now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. Since Tom Brady has become the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots, they have appeared in 47% of the Super Bowls. The rich get richer. Patriots 47, Chiefs 13
Evan Hoovler: As an analyst, I have to stay completely unbiased. While Patrick Mahomes is having the best inaugural starting year since Dan Marino, that condescending robot Tom Brady has the experience to drag his mediocre supporting cast deep into the playoffs. However, New England’s wretched, fugly defense won’t get the advantage of catching their opponents by surprise: Kansas City’s offense is too deep and they benefit from the home field crowd. This will be a shootout, with that Cro-Magnon weirdo Tom Brady running out of firepower first. Chiefs 42, Patriots 31
Jeff Krisko: Troops heading to fight in World War I thought that it would be a fun, quick romp that would allow them enough time to sweep out, smash the opposition, and be back in time for Christmas. Unfortunately, both sides thought they could outmaneuver and overpower their opposition. Their hopes and dreams were quickly dashed, as the world’s bloodiest war (until the next one) dragged on for the next half-decade, leaving tens of millions dead. That’s how the Chiefs-Patriots matchup feels when you look at it.
You look at the Chiefs, an offensive juggernaut led by the wunderkind Patrick Mahomes and offensive genius Andy Reid. This offense lost Kareem Hunt at the end of the season, and barely skipped a beat. They missed Sammy Watkins for several games, and they hardly missed a beat. After their thorough dismantling of the Colts, they look like they’ll walk all over the Patriots. They won’t.
Then you have the Patriots; never count out ol’ Touchdown Tommy, they say. Despite their own weird internal crowing that people think they suck (they don’t suck, and nobody actually thinks that), they were among the league leaders in both points scored and points per game. After their thorough dismantling of the Chargers, they look like they’ll walk all over the Chiefs. They won’t.
While tens of millions won’t be dead after Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, one team will have to go home, and not play in the Super Bowl. Crazy, but that’s how the rules work. I’m going to go with the Patriots here, because Missouri is supposed to be the antigriddle version of hell this weekend, along with a full-blown snowstorm. It’s going to rule, and I’m not so certain Patrick Mahomes and the high-flying Chiefs offense is going to function well in the cold. Tom Brady has been fighting the weather in New England since the dawn of the century, so I am going to go with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots here. What started as a WWI analogy ended in a real Cold War. Patriots 31, Chiefs 24
Will Button: The Chiefs had a very narrow loss to the Pats this year, but in all honesty, they looked like the better team. The Patriots put up 41 against the Chargers in their divisional round matchup and looked pretty phenomenal. Brady threw for 343 yards and a touchdown, while Sony Michel carried the ball 24 times for 3 touchdowns and 129 yards on the day. They found a weakness and exploited it, which is something Belichick has a knack for. The Chiefs also had a great outing, but Mahomes didn’t have a passing touchdown, relying heavily on rushing Damien Williams who gained 129 yards and a score off of 25 carries. I’ve got to lean towards the Chiefs for this one. Even though their receivers were held scoreless in the last game, five of them combined for 27 receptions, four caught five or more targets. Mahomes has plenty of targets to choose from and a capable arm. The Pats won’t go down easy in this high scoring matchup, but look for the Chiefs to run away with it in the second half. Chiefs 44, Patriots 34
2019 NFC Championship Predictions
Waleed Ismail: Since the Bears were eliminated from the playoffs, I have been going through an existential crisis. How could a just and caring God eliminate the Bears and make me choose between the Rams and the Saints? In order to determine who is most likely to win, I asked myself who would win in a fight, a saint or a ram. Since there is no God, the dumb saint would be bludgeoned to death by the ram while he wasted his time praying into the cold, unfeeling night. Rams 32, Saints 17
Evan Hoovler: This has all the trappings of a classic, down-to-the-wire NFC championship. Of course, so had the Vikings-Eagles in 2018 (final score: 38-7), the Falcons-Packers in 2017 (final score: 44-21), and the Panthers-Cardinals in 2016 (final score: 49-15). So let’s go with the momentum and call this a blowout. Since I’ve arbitrarily decided this will be a blowout, I have to look at blowout capability (aka “blowcap”): The Saints won three regular season games by 20+ points, whereas the Rams won three games by 20+ points. That was not helpful. I’m going to have to go with the Saints: They held the Eagles to 49 rushing yards, last week, and Goff hasn’t displayed the ability to take over a game since Kupp went down. Saints 38, Rams 13
Jeff Krisko: I really want the Saints to win this one, I really do. I only have one chance to get one-half of my Super Bowl prediction right, and it depends on the Saints beating up on the Rams for the second time this year. There should be evidence to support what I want: the Saints are at home, the Saints already took out the Rams this year, and Drew Brees-Sean Payton was the proto-Jared Goff-Sean McVay. It’s a great story, something outside of a movie. The new hot coach/QB combo takes out the old hot coach/QB combo en route to winning the Super Bowl getting smashed by the Patriots.
I just can’t see this being more of the same from the Rams and Saints from earlier this season. Both teams stumbled down the stretch and weren’t quite the same teams that met earlier this year in one of the best games of the season. Ultimately, sequels are never as good as the original (well, usually). Is this one going to be a straight-to-DVD cash-in on a classic? A low-budget, more of the same, but not nearly as good sequel like Starship Troopers 2? Wherein the Saints just slow down the game and roll all over the Rams? Or will this be a turnabout on the classic, like The Empire Strikes Back? In this case, I guess the Rams are the Empire.
With both teams struggling down the stretch, and one of these teams already battle-tested in the playoffs (don’t forget the Saints were down 14-0 last week), I am going to go with the Saints. They already knocked off the playoff rust, and they don’t have a weird mystery injury to their star running back that forces them to play 275 pound C.J. Anderson all game. This one won’t be nearly as fun as the original, but people go to sequels because they want to see more of the same. This will be another Saints victory, just like the original this season. Let’s go Saints 38, Rams 33
Will Button: This will be a match for the ages. Both offenses can be explosive, and with Kamara and Gurley in the backfield, there’s no telling how high the scores might get. The Saints did an impressive job against the Eagles’ run game, keeping them to 49 yards on 16 attempts. They also kept Foles to 201 passing yards. The Saints defense will need to kick it up a notch against a powerful Rams offense who put up 30 points against the Cowboys last week. Goff primarily relied on their rushing game, and between C.J. Anderson and Todd Gurley, the Rams had 238 yards of rushing and 3 touchdowns. The weak link here is Goff’s passing game. Though he didn’t throw any picks, he certainly didn’t throw any touchdowns either. His 185 passing yards are troubling, and with the Saints two interceptions against the Eagles, it’s guaranteed the Rams will try to get their run game going early and often. I’m taking the Saints on this one. The Rams allowed 266 yards of passing offense against the Cowboys, and if there’s one thing Drew Brees knows how to do, it’s pass the ball. The Rams pass defense will be their undoing. Saints 34, Rams 20
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