NFL Playoff Bracket 2019: Divisional Schedule, Odds for Road to Super Bowl 53

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2019

Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (25) runs against the Houston Texans during the second half of an NFL wild card playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

A trio of NFL teams have to win road games for the second consecutive week to stay alive in the postseason.

However, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Chargers face much more difficult tasks in the divisional round against some of the best teams in football.

Dallas, who was the only home team to come out on top in the Wild Card Round, heads on the road for the first time in the postseason to take on the Los Angeles Rams. 

The divisional-round schedule begins in Kansas City, where the Chiefs play the Colts, while the Saints conclude the four-game slate by hosting the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles. 

                             

NFL Divisional Round Schedule and Odds (via OddsShark)

All Times ET. 

Saturday, January 12

AFC: No. 6 Indianapolis at No. 1 Kansas City (-5.5) (4:35 p.m., NBC)

NFC: No. 4 Dallas at No. 2 Los Angeles Rams (-7) (8:15 p.m., Fox) 

            

Sunday, January 13

AFC: No. 5 Los Angeles Chargers at No. 2 New England  (-4.5) (1:05 p.m., CBS) 

NFC: No. 6 Philadelphia at No. 1 New Orleans (-9) (4:40 p.m., Fox) 

In addition to the broadcast networks, the games can be viewed on FuboTV.

              

Updated Super Odds

      

Can Kansas City Find A Way To Win At Home? 

Kansas City is one of the NFL's poster franchises for postseason heartbreak.

The Chiefs have a 9-18 all-time playoff record and are 1-10 in their last 11 postseason games, with four of those defeats coming at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts, who come to Arrowhead Stadium Saturday. 

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The last time Andrew Luck and the Colts visited Kansas City, they came from behind to win 45-44 in the 2013 wild-card round. 

In that game, the Chiefs held a 31-10 halftime lead, but they couldn't hold off an incredible rally led by Luck, who won the game with a 64-yard touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton. 

Although the Chiefs are the No. 1 seed in the AFC and have one of the best young quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes in their possession, they need to be concerned with the Colts. 

Luck and Co. come into the divisional round on a five-game winning streak in which their offense scored 25.8 points per game.

That's concerning to the Chiefs because they have the 24th-ranked total defense that only held four opponents under 20 points

If Kansas City is unable to contain Luck. running back Marlon Mack, Hilton and others, Indianapolis could be the team that takes over with its defense. 

The Colts rank 16th in passing defense, but they were able to create 15 interceptions, which landed them in the top 10. 

If Frank Reich's team puts enough pressure on Mahomes, the Chiefs might suffer the same fate they have in the past. 

However, there's a good chance Mahomes propels the Chiefs to victory by himself to add to his Most Valuable Player campaign.

If that occurs, the Chiefs and their fans will avoid postseason heartbreak for at least one more week. 

                     

Will The Rams Win At Home This Time Around?

The Los Angeles Rams haven't suffered through as much misery as the Chiefs, but they are under pressure to pick up a home playoff victory. 

After impressing in Sean McVay's first season in charge, the Rams fell flat at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the wild-card round to the Atlanta Falcons a year ago.

With an extra week off to rest, the Rams should come into Saturday night's clash with fresh bodies. 

The best news that came with the first-round bye was an additional seven days for running back Todd Gurley to get healthy.

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Gurley, who is dealing with a knee injury, told reporters during the off week that he was feeling better, per ESPN.com's Lindsey Thiry.

A full-strength Gurley would be a welcome sight to the Rams offense, as he carried the ball over 15 times twice after Week 9.

The Rams are 10-0 when Gurley earns 15 or more rushing attempts, and they are 6-0 in each of the games he's run for triple digits. 

But reaching that number Saturday night will be difficult against a Dallas defense that held the Seahawks to 73 rushing yards in the Wild Card Round.

                

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

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