Colts and Cowboys Poorly Prepared [OPINION]
Well, so much for the two hottest teams in football.
The Indianapolis Colts (winners of 10 of the last 11 before yesterday) were sent packing for the year by the Kansas City Chiefs 31-13 at Arrowhead Stadium after being beaten in every aspect of the game and shooting themselves in the foot with a Gatling gun.
Andrew Luck and the Colt's offense mustered up just 21 yards before the last drive of the half which resulted in a rare, missed 23-yard field goal by future Hall of Fame kicker Adam Vinatieri.
Penalties, lousy passing, tackling, blocking and kicking doomed the Colts. Something about a dome team in a snowy, windy game rings a bell.
Kansas City will host the 2018 AFC Championship game next Sunday.
As for the Cowboys, Dallas (winners of eight of their last nine) played shockingly poor on defense and almost as poorly on offense. After yielding a stingy 94 rushing yards per game in the regular season and just 73 to Seattle in the Wild Card round last week, the Rams shoved a whopping 273 yards on the ground down the throats of the overwhelmed "America's Team".
The Rams advanced to the NFC Championship 30-22 thanks to the powerful running of C.J. Anderson (23 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns) and Todd Gurley (10 carries, 115 yards and a TD). Yes, the same C.J. Anderson cut by the 4-12 Oakland Raiders.
I thought for sure the rushing game would be the deciding factor but I had the wrong team. The Rams had surrendered an embarrassing 5.1 yards per carry this year in the regular season. Yesterday in Los Angeles, they held Dallas to 50 yards and 2.3 yards per carry!
Dallas failed to get the one yard it needed in the fourth quarter while driving to tie the game. A crucial fourth-and-one was stuffed by the Rams defensive line, sealing the Cowboys' fate.
I would say "what gives here?" but obviously, the Cowboys were in the giving mood.
Two questions remain for today's games. Who will go to Kansas City to face the awaiting Chief's juggernaut offense and where will the game be played for the NFC title, in New Orleans or in Los Angeles?
I am 0-for-2 with my picks this weekend, and the weekend is early.
Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @RadioKenPittman. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.