Not bad for me considering I am still way behind on the NFL. Like, did y’all know Case Keenum is a legitimate MVP contender? Case Keenum.
Happy for him, but wow.
Couple of takeaways from Round 1:
- I picked the Chiefs straight up last week because “they had the more experienced coach and they had time to prepare.” Any coach that calls a speed option play on “must-convert-3rd-down” is not prepared. Any coach that only gives their marquee running back 5 carries over three quarters is not experienced. Let’s move on.
- Marcus Mariota’s pass to himself. Cool…however, if you’re banking on these types of plays to win games, you’re in trouble.
- Atlanta being counted out of EVERY game because of what happened last year in the Super Bowl, is the only Atlanta we will see for as long as they survive in the playoffs. Not a safe bet…ever.
- Yes, Jacksonville vs. Buffalo was a rock fight. What did we expect? Congratulations to the Buffalo Bills by the way for making the playoffs for first time in 18 years and scoring 3 points. I don’t have an analogy for this except if you were a football team that hadn’t been to the playoffs for 18 years, and you finally make it but you only score 3 points against a team led by Blake Bortles.
- Speaking of Bortles, y’all see he basically said he was Lebron? I dig it. Go big BB.
- Carolina is still one of those teams that I actively cheer against and I’m pretty sure it’s because I love seeing sad Cam with his funny hats in postgame press conferences.
Here we go:
Atlanta at Philadelphia
After Carson Wentz went down, the Philadelphia faithful were adamant that there was very little drop-off between Wentz and Nick Foles.
Against the Giants, Foles proved this to be true.
Against the Raiders, Foles proved this to be false.
Let’s take the average and just consider maybe it’s an average drop-off.
To give perspective, Deshaun Watson to Tom Savage on the 2017 Texans would be a MASSIVE Drop-off. Essentially, If Deshaun is a samurai sword. Tom Savage is a plastic spoon.
I don’t think we’re dealing with swords and spoons. Maybe swords and less-sharp swords.
That said, Atlanta may have hit a stride and is actually favored in this game despite the game being in the wintery cold Philadelphia.
Pick: Eagles +3
Tennessee at New England
Ignore the controversy and empty narratives floating around regarding the Patriots. In fact, consider that it may fuel them.
Ignore any sentiment that the Titans are so outmatched that they have the potential to surprise the Patriots.
I had every intention of weaving some element of actual football analysis into this pick, like that the Titans can do X, Y, and Z and the Patriots are vulnerable here or there.
Not worth it.
Pick: Patriots -14
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh
In Week 5, Ben Roethlisberger threw 5 interceptions and the Steeler lost to the Jaguars, 30-9.
Weird game and during the post game media availability, Roethlisberger posited that he just may not “have it anymore.”
We all gasped. What could he possibly mean?
Nothing. He meant nothing. He’s fine.
He’s also the only quarterback in almost 20 years not named Manning or Brady to win multiple Super Bowls.
On the other side is Blake Bortles. The only quarterback in the last 20 years to be named Blake Bortles.
Pick: Steelers -7.5
New Orleans at Minnesota
The last time these teams played was in Week 1, with Sam Bradford starting for Minnesota (Minnesota won).
That feels like it was years ago because since that time, New Orleans has emerged as a power running team, while Case Keenum seems to have perfected the Minnesota brand of the West Coast offense.
Couple of considerations
- Will Minnesota close the dome and expose the dome-happy Saints to the elements?
- Can the Vikings be the first team to HOST the Super Bowl?
No idea. Remember, I’m still behind on this stuff.
Pick: Vikings -4