The Chiefs are gunning for a first play-off win in Kansas City in 25 years while the Rams need to stop the Dallas Cowboys from running over them in LA.
Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs (2135 GMT)
What can you say about these two quarterbacks? With 89 between them this season it’s the most prolific match-up ever in the NFL play-offs but the irony of this game is that defence will probably settle it.
The Colts have been the stingiest in the league since week seven, and that’s been behind their 10-1 run every bit as Andrew Luck’s quarterback brilliance, while Patrick Mahomes’ 50 TDs have been backed up far better at home by a defence allowing just 18 points per game at Arrowhead.
Well hope for a Luck v Mahomes shootout as it’s usually in the trenches of the defence and running game where play-off football is decided – and they wouldn’t be the first best-scoring offence in the league to come unstuck in the post-season.
Although Luck has demonstrated his brilliance the Colts will be building their game plan around Marlon Mack running the ball – has gashed the Texans last week and the Chiefs are the second-worst run defence in the league.
Kansas City are also second in sack rate and third in interception rate at home so it’d be wise to keep the ball on the ground, while it’s also the best way to keep the ball out of Mahomes’ hands.
History is also not on KC’s side as their fans haven’t seen a play-off win for 25 years and they’ve blown big leads in recent years – one of them being 28 half-time advantage against these very same Colts.
The danger is real with the Colts but Mahomes can also show he’s the real deal in his first play-off game to pinch it for the Chiefs.
Verdict: Chiefs (-3) at 8/13
Dallas Cowboys @ LA Rams (0115 GMT)
The Cowboys set up all wrong for the LA Rams, who really struggle against the run and come up against the leading running back in the league in Ezekiel Elliott.
Dallas had a poor 3-5 record on the road this season but the LA Coliseum is one of the more friendly away days in the NFL and there’ll be that many Cowboys fans in attendance that it will have a real Super Bowl atmosphere with fans from both sides.
The Rams averaged 37 points a game at home in their 7-1 season and the bye week has hopefully form them given their own star running back Todd Gurley time to heal his injury to return to his role leading the attack both in the ground and air.
Dallas are 7.5 point underdogs but they stand a very real chance of upsetting the odds, as they’ve done all three times they played a game being underdogs by seven points or more.
That 5.1 yards per carry is the key stat though – it’s both the amount of yards the Rams allowed during the season and also the exact same average of Elliott’s first down runs this season.
If they can handle him they should get the job done, if they can’t then the Cowboys can ride off into the sunset with another huge win.
Touchdowns: Robert Woods & Ezekiel Elliot to score at 11/10