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MATT ERICKSON: One and done for Bears, Colts in the playoffs
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PRO FOOTBALL | PLAYOFF PICKS

MATT ERICKSON: One and done for Bears, Colts in the playoffs

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Matt Erickson

Matt Erickson

Hey, Bears and Colts fans — the important thing is, your teams made the playoffs.

And we've seen in the past, just about anything can happen in the postseason. Frankly, it would be so very 2020 NFL season for the Bears and Colts to pull off shockers this weekend to get to the next round.

But sometimes, reality has to set in, and the reality is the Bears and Colts are likely to be one-and-done in January. In fact, the Bears are the biggest underdogs this weekend, and the Colts aren't too far behind them in terms of betting lines.

Let's start with the Bears, who backed their way into the playoffs thanks to Arizona's loss in Week 17. Until the Bears were schooled by the Packers, they had a nice run going. But in New Orleans, they'll be taking on pretty much the best defense QB Mitch Trubisky will have seen all season — and that could be a problem.

This very well might be Drew Brees' last chance to win a second Super Bowl, and his past three playoff appearances have led to either early exits or heartbreaking ones. Provided the Saints have Alvin Kamara back, he'll play a huge factor not just on the ground, but catching passes out of the backfield.

The Bears have averaged more than 30 points per game their past five games, and a lot of that is due to David Montgomery's emergence as one of the best running backs in the league. The Bears would be wise to run him early and often to grind things out and try to keep Brees off the field and try to limit Trubisky's opportunities to make bad decisions. I think they'll do that and keep things closer than a double-digit point spread, but not close enough.

The Bills haven't won in the postseason in more than 25 years. That's insane. This year, though, they're too good to have that slide extended. The Colts have a top 10 defense, even though it has struggled at times. But what will be key is similar to what the Bears need: Keep Buffalo's offense on the sideline to keep QB Josh Allen from making big plays.

Buffalo has more than doubled up on its opponents on the scoreboard the past six weeks. The Bills have been great a home, and I don't think the Colts will give them too much of a problem.

As for the rest of the weekend's slate, it seems crazy to go with all six favorites. But I think the Bears and Browns can keep it from being all chalk at the sports books.

Ariel and Jared preview Colts vs. Bills.

COLTS (11-5) at Buffalo (13-3)

12:05 p.m. Saturday. Bills -6.5 (50.5)

MattE's pick: Bills 29, Colts 20

L.A. Rams (10-6) at Seattle (12-4)

3:40 p.m. Saturday. Seahawks -3.5 (42.5)

MattE's pick: Seahawks 26, Rams 20

Tampa Bay (11-5) at Washington (7-9)

7:15 p.m. Saturday. Buccaneers -8 (45)

MattE's pick: Buccaneers 31, Washington 17

Baltimore (11-5) at Tennessee (11-5)

12:05 p.m. Sunday. Ravens -3.5 (54.5)

MattE's pick: Ravens 37, Titans 27

Geoff Sheasby joins and previews Bears vs. Saints.

BEARS (8-8) at New Orleans (12-4)

3:40 p.m. Sunday. Saints -10 (47)

MattE's pick: Saints 28, Bears 20

Cleveland (11-5) at Pittsburgh (12-4)

7:15 p.m. Sunday. Steelers -6 (47.5)

MattE's pick: Steelers 27, Browns 23

Week 17 Results: 13-3 straight up, 10-6 against the spread

Regular Season: 168-86-1 (.661) straight up, 130-123 (.514) against the spread

Matt Erickson is an award-winning journalist whose NFL picks have appeared in The Times since 2003. He also writes about the Oscars, food and travel for the paper and is an editor in USA Today's Sports Media Group.

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Matt Erickson is an award-winning journalist whose NFL picks have appeared in The Times since 2003. He also writes about the Oscars, food and travel for the paper and is an editor in USA Today's Sports Media Group.

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