There was all kinds of talk circulating as the playoffs began that there would be massive upsets and lower seeds ruining the seasons of top seeds. After all the bloviating, the top 2 seeds in both conferences are in the conference title games. So much for that.
On the non-player front, Miami and Cincinnati remain without coaches. Cincy is apparently waiting for the end of the Rams season so they can hire QB coach Zac Taylor. No one knows what the Fish are doing. The Panthers owner is throwing buckets of shade at his predecessor about facilities, saying “whether it’s the weight room, or the cafeteria, or whatever it is, we haven’t got it.” On the lack of an indoor practice field, he said, “We have 2 teams we play twice a year that play indoors. We need to be practicing indoors on turf.” In 2019, we will play 4 road games indoors or on Field Turf (Falcons, Saints, Colts, Texans), so he’s going to do whatever he can to replace one of the 3 practice fields with a turf field and bubble roof. Beats the heck out of practicing in a ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center, which the team actually had to do as the late fall & early winter have produced many rainy days here. On to the remaining games.
New England at Kansas City – There is talk of below-zero temps in KC. Everyone struggles a bit in such cold, even those in cold-weather cities. What cold doesn’t affect is defense, and after being dormant most of the year, the Chiefs have improved drastically since December 1, led by LB Dee Ford (WAR EAGLE!). But they haven’t faced any offense nearly this efficient – not necessarily a super-scoring machine, but very efficient, converting almost all their 3rddowns and scoring on every possession until the game is put away. The Chiefs can hang with them, but it’s just too hard to pick against BB & Brady. Pats 31, Chiefs 28 
LA Rams at New Orleans – I can’t explain in human language how much I hate this franchise. While most of the world has adopted the view that the bounty controversy was something Saints haters made up just to hate on them, I always go back to the tape that got out to the public of DC Gregg Williams telling his players to “go for the head” in advance of a playoff game against the 49ers. So they will forever be a dirty franchise in my mind. For this game, we again have a matchup we have seen before, and once again, I don’t see any sign that the second result should be different. Throw in the fact that the sports gods have only smiled on me one time (Auburn, 2010) in my adult life, and I’m confident they will deliver a Super Bowl featuring the team I am most sick of and the team I hate most. Aints 45, Rams 38 
Last week’s record: 3-1

Season: 162-102