Still, a win percentage that high is still a key factor. Let's see if the stat holds true this coming Sunday. There are folks who make predictions, and attempt to analyze the games each week—and a few of them actually know what they are talking about. This column is not about predictions, yet there are times when I feel strongly about which team will play well and win. Sent a number of emails last week stating emphatically that the Los Angeles Rams would be more physical and run the ball well against an over rated front seven of Dallas.
That said, for a moment let us review the games of last weekend overall, and define what aspect is most important to advance in the play-offs. The New Orleans Saints offense moved the chains to record 25 first downs last Sunday, and the 25 is the least amount of first downs by any of the winning teams. Kansas City had 29, while the Patriots and Rams had 30. The winning teams last weekend combined to gain 745 yards rushing, while the losers gained just 205. So, running is key to victory? No, no, and no. Moving the chains is key to victory.
We all know it is a passing league, and the four winning quarterbacks last Sunday are all viewed as top-notch; possibly great. Having coached for much of my life can tell you that a balanced offense that DICTATES to the defense is a key to victory. The final component is one that everyone talks about yet is almost impossible to predict; TURNOVERS. Drew Brees turned the ball over first play of the game, and the Saints did not turn it over again the rest of the game. The Chiefs turned the ball over once also, but again the Rams & Patriots stand at the head of the class—NO TURNOVERS. For those of us who having no "rooting" interest we want to see quality competitive football on championship Sunday, and hopefully we will get it.