Four NFL playoff games this weekend. In Green Bay, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Philadelphia.
At least it will be toasty in Lucas Oil Stadium, the only domed stadium among the four northern jewels that will host showdowns. But kickoff temperatures Saturday night in Philadelphia, where the Eagles host the Saints, are projected for 22-25. Kickoff temperatures Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati, where the Bengals host the Chiefs, are projected for 32-36. And kickoff temperatures Sunday evening in Green Bay, where the Packers host the 49ers, are projected for zero to minus-9 degrees.
That’s right. Minus-9 degrees. It’s gotten so cold, the Packers have had trouble selling tickets for this game at Lambeau Field. 49ers-Packers at Lambeau, a January playoff game, Aaron Rodgers is healthy, and it’s not a tough ticket? What’s the world coming to?
Let’s get to the games.
Chiefs at Colts: Kansas City 23-20. The truth is, Indianapolis has not played well down the stretch. Indy won a weak division. Kansas City showed its heart in taking San Diego to the wire in a meaningless game for the Chiefs. I love Andrew Luck, but the Colts are still a couple of years away.
Saints at Eagles: Philadelphia 24-23. New Orleans on the road — 3-5. But before we get too worked up about that record, remember that Philly is just 4-4 at home. Still, I like what Chip Kelly has done.
Chargers at Bengals: Cincinnati 27-20. Some of us are old enough to remember the 1981 Chargers, a glorious team that went to Miami and won in the AFC semifinals, then had to play at Cincy’s Riverfront Stadium, in one of the coldest championship games ever. The Bengals. They’ll win again.
49ers at Packers: San Francisco 21-18. I’m pulling for the Packers. But defense travels. The 49ers play big-time defense and will have enough to corral Aaron Rodgers.
Last week: 11-5. Season: 152-89-1.