The NFL Divisional Digest

It seems like most years, a darling from the wild card round emerges to the Conference Championship or even the Super Bowl. Analysts tag them "road warriors" or some other overused phrase on their quest for a title. This season, though, there have been three teams that were clearly the best three teams from September through December. Then, there's been one team that's been the best from about September 2002 until December. And thus, we have our final four. Let's review the Divisional Round.

Kansas City Chiefs 31, Indianapolis Colts 13

For a game that started at 4:30 PM, ESPN sure knew how to drag out a pregame show. I don't know how many times I watched the highlights of the Colts comeback over the Chiefs in the 2013 playoffs, and sound bites of Rex Ryan whining that he doesn't have a coaching job.

The Colts swore that they weren't just happy to be here, but they kind of looked just happy to be here. They were clearly the inferior team, despite a lot of experts jumping on their bandwagon prior to the game. Though, I think that was more about the Chiefs' stigma regarding their recent playoff failures and habitual inability to get over the hump.

But that was pre-Patrick Mahommes. This guy is unbelievable, even if he does look like Sideshow Bob and sounds like Kermit the Frog. Mahommes is pulling out NFL Street no-look passes, and throwing the ball on a string in-between tight coverage on a consistent basis. It's only one year, so I'm not putting him in the Hall of Fame yet. You know what, actually I am.

Give the Kansas City defense some credit, too. Because their offense is so prolific and fast-paced, their defense is going to give up some points. That, and some sub-par performances have given them a label as a bad D. They aren't, though, and they showed it on Saturday.

I thought Adam Vinatieri was immune to the kicker's curse, but he must have shared an apple juice with Cody Parkey or something. He didn't lose the game for them, but he sure didn't help. Roberto Aguayo is somewhere laughing. And then probably triple texting his agent asking who's been trying to avoid him.

Kansas City gets another home game next week, and let's hope they aren't throwing any more snowballs. Andy Reid specifically said there will be no snowballs thrown unless it comes with sugary syrup and someone in the stands have plastic cones to serve them. Who doesn't love a good snow cone?

Los Angeles Rams 30, Dallas Cowboys 22

I don't mean to be disrespectful in any way, but I feel the need to start with this. Aaron Donald is the best defensive player in the league, but he is nowhere near the MVP. To me, the Most Valuable Player is the person that would see the greatest deficit if they were not on the given team. That's why LeBron James should be the MVP every year. The Cavaliers made the Finals last year, and now they have 8 wins. That's why, in football, the MVP should rightfully go to a quarterback most years, and in rare cases, a skill position player.

That being said, Aaron Donald is an absolute beast. He's just not the MVP. Maybe you have a different definition, and that's okay. There's nothing wrong with being wrong.

If the Rams are able to run the ball like that again, they may not be beat. Who knew they suddenly had a two-headed monster? Anybody watching the game could tell that Todd Gurley is probably still a little hurt. Then you look up and see he has 115 yards on the ground. And how about C.J. Anderson? Somebody get that man a snack.

It all comes back to boy-genius Sean McVay. This dude's the man, and look at the affect it's had on the coaching world. Now anybody who's ever poked him on Facebook is getting a coaching interview. It's funny how the dominoes fall.

I should be unbiased, but I love seeing the Cowboys lose. Ezekiel Elliot walked into the stadium looking like a homeless person who was given a free suit from Salvation Army so he could interview for a dishwasher position. Now all you Cowboys fans who've never been to Dallas can go back to rooting for your eight-team parlay that is a "sure thing." Rams move on.

New England Patriots 41, Los Angeles Chargers 28

Don't let the score fool you. This was not a 13-point game. Max Kellerman has been telling us the Patriots suck since 2014, and I think Tom Brady is sick of it.

I don't even know what to say about this game. The first drive was absolutely brilliant. Fourteen plays. Eighty-three yards. Half the quarter. It was perfect. And they didn't stop there. The Patriots scored every time they touched the damn ball, and did so against a good Chargers defense. The Chargers just got out-maneuvered every step of the way. Not only couldn't they find a way to stop the Patriots, they couldn't even find a way to make it difficult. Julian Edelman on short-outs, Sony Michel up the middle, James White on bubble screens. The Patriots were five steps ahead, and damnit, they knew it.

What was Philip Rivers supposed to do? I'm upset the "fertile flamethrower" nickname hasn't caught on yet, but Rivers was basically forced to call "all-streaks" every play like you did in Madden before you really knew the intricacies of the playbook. I can't blame him, either — the Patriots won every single battle. Desmond King's muffed kick at the end of the half put a bow on the game early. He knew that Sundays were for bowling, anyway.

Robert Kraft absolutely loved it, too. He was chilling with his jacket off, dressed like he was pledging DKE. He's been here before, if you didn't know. Here's a word for the wise: let's never count out the Patriots again until Tom Brady is no longer under center or Bill Belichick is no longer on the sidelines. The Chiefs are more talented this year, but I will anybody be surprised if the Patriots make a trip to Atlanta?

New Orleans Saints 20, Philadelphia Eagles 14

I don't care what anybody says, the rust factor is real. The Saints had locked up the No. 1 seed prior to Week 17, and rested their starters. That means it had been three-weeks since Drew Brees and the offense took the field. And early on, it showed.

But that's what people seem to forget about New Orleans. Despite their high-flying and high-scoring offense we saw throughout September and October, once the weather shifted, they started to rely on their defense more so. With their talented pass rush led by Cam Jordan and the continued emergence of Marcus Lattimore and the newly-acquired Eli Apple on the outside, the Saints suddenly don't have to run and gun at all times to pick up a W. That's what wins Super Bowls.

Early on, we thought Saint Nick was going to bless us again. They jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, but the magic eventually wore off. I think the key was when Cris Collinsworth reminded us every series that Nick Foles also plays basketball. Thanks for the insight, big guy, we heard you the first 40 times.

Michael Thomas must have been hungry prior to the game, because he ate. It seemed like every time the Saints needed a big conversion; Michael Thomas was there to make the play. He's had a record-breaking season for the Saints, and continued it on Sunday.

The crazy thing is, the Eagles still almost pulled it off. If it wasn't for Alshon Jeffrey's slip up, the Eagles might have been back in the NFC championship. Nonetheless, the Rams coming to the Super Dome next week for a chance to make it to the Super Bowl will be exciting.

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