Posts Tagged ‘Wild Card Week’

Overall: 157-99
Last Week: 9-7

Week 17 wasn’t exactly a kind end of the season, but I still managed a 61% success rate when picking winners. I went 163-93 in 2014 and 162-93-1 in 2013, which (combined with this year’s results) puts me at a 63% rate. This proves any idiot can pick NFL games. With zero research or anything invested in the process, you too can be just like so-called experts. Now onto the playoffs!

Chiefs @ Texans

You know the patented Andy Reid faceplant is coming. Alex Smith and the ground game have been stellar in the second half of the season, but do not underestimate the ability of Kansas City to shoot themselves in the foot. With J.J. Watt as the only real legitimate threat to the Chiefs, they should run Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware right at him. What they shouldn’t do but probably will do is over-expose Alex Smith to hits by dropping back to pass too much. It’s an Andy Reid staple. However, I cannot root for J.J. Watt and this shitty Texans team to advance. Between Bill O’Brien and Andy Reid, gimme the byproduct of the Kool-Aid Man fucking a walrus every time.

Win: Kansas City Chiefs

Steelers @ Bengals

McCarron

Pittsburgh is the most feared team in the AFC due to their potential to post points. Without DeAngelo Williams, the Steelers will employ a rotating door behind Rapistberger. If Big Ben pulls off another unwanted penetration (of Cincinnati’s secondary…and all of their college-aged white women) successfully, there’s very little question whether the Steelers will win. The Bengals’ ability to win this game relies completely on their defense. All season, Cincinnati’s defense has bended but not broken. Considering A.J. McCarron is starting, even bending too much will result in yet another early exit. But being without a running threat is when Pittsburgh will be their most vulnerable these playoffs. I hate both teams, but I think we’re building to A.J. McCarron notching a playoff win before Andy Dalton. Then there’s the possibility of Andy Dalton returning if the Bengals manage to advance.

Win: Cincinnati Bengals

Seahawks @ Vikings

Weeks ago, I told you hipster Michael Myers wouldn’t die. The Seattle Seahawks are the worst nightmare for any respectable NFL fan. This team is awful to watch, but that didn’t stop them from squeezing into the playoffs again. I would love for the Minnesota Vikings to win this game. Yes, I’d rather root for a team that employs a man who beat his child with a stick than watch the Seahawks win another playoff game. I’m beyond sick of this stupid team. When you stab them in the chest, don’t just run away thinking you’ll be fine. This team will get up and continue haunting you. Please cut their head off and end it for good. Marshawn Lynch’s late scratch gives the Vikings hope. But I’ve watched this movie before and know the ending. There’s always a shitty sequel waiting.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Packers @ Redskins

Congratulations, NFL. We live in a world where the Washington Racial Slurs are back in the playoffs. Parity! I don’t know what black hole to an alternate universe I slipped into, but I want to go back to the place where Aaron Rodgers was playing like an all-time great and Kirk Cousins was a shitty backup to RG Knee. The Redskins were the fortunate winner of the no good NFC East—y’know, the division that just fired two coaches and the third is a ginger. If Mike McCarthy can’t get the offensive line to protect Aaron Rodgers long enough to unleash deep balls, then expect to see the Redskins in the next round. A loss may very well bring the guillotine down on Mike McCarthy’s fat neck and triple chins. But I’m hoping Rodgers still has another Super Bowl run in his right arm.

Win: Green Bay Packers

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Overall: 163-93
Last Week: 12-4

Last year, my record predicting winners of NFL games was 162-93-1. This year, it was 163-92-1. I’d argue ties shouldn’t count because ties shouldn’t exist in football. In the regular season, I improved my record by a measly game. The only week I’ve gone under .500 was the 6-10 Week 2 debacle this year. It all goes to show you that predicting winners of NFL games isn’t all that difficult if I can do so at a 64% rate for the past two regular seasons.

Cardinals @ Panthers

Now on their third-string QB, Arizona has had their legs cut from underneath them. Still, the Cardinals keep trying to scratch and claw to survive. Arizona’s odds of pulling off an upset would be much larger if Atlanta was their opponent. Cam Newton poses way too many problems for the Cardinals to handle. At best, Ryan Lindley will throw one touchdown, but it’s a toss-up whether that will be to his own receiver or a defender. With an amazing lack of awareness, Lindley could fall victim to a game-changing sack-fumble from behind if Arizona’s offensive line can’t hold up. My money would be on Cam Newton’s elusiveness extending plays and creating enough offense that the Cardinals simply cannot match.

Would you have any confidence in the Ryan Lindley Face?

Ryan Lindley

Carolina is also Carl’s Stone Cold Lock of the Century of the Week.

Win: Carolina Panthers, 21-16

Ravens @ Steelers

In this year’s Wild Card round, the most important continuing thread is who will not play rather than who will play. Without Le’Veon Bell, all of the focus for the Ravens will be on Rapistberger. While he proved to be Big Ben in their previous matchup, I don’t expect the same aerial performance with Le’Veon out of the lineup. But Baltimore sucks. As a mediocre all-around team, the Ravens probably don’t deserve to be in the playoffs. The Steelers could really do damage if they can escape the rival Ravens this week, but don’t discount the benefit of division familiarity. Expect a close, physical game with each team trying to hit the homerun that will change the game. Antonio Brown could be the difference-maker in the matchup, but Baltimore should shadow coverage to him at all times to avoid disaster.

Win: Baltimore Ravens, 26-24

Bengals @ Colts

The groundbreaking news in this wildly unentertaining Wild Card game is that A.J. Green is unlikely to play. While there’s a slight chance that may change within this next day, Cincinnati is preparing as if A.J. will not be available. For the Bengals, that translates to an even heavier reliance on Jeremy Hill’s pounding style. Considering the awful condition of an already embarrassingly weak Colts defense, Cincinnati could get away with running the ball 40+ times with Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard to break the will of Indianapolis. But then there’s the issue of Red Rocket. Andy Dalton on the road in a playoff game is a recipe for disaster despite Cincinnati’s superior talent on offense and defense. As pitiful as Indianapolis has appeared like a playoff pretender, I cannot accept Andy Dalton and his dog dick-red hair defeating Andrew Luck.

Win: Indianapolis Colts, 27-23

Lions @ Cowboys

Ndumbass Suh will suit up for this game despite the fact his dirty tactics were once again caught on camera as he tried to break Aaron Rodgers’ leg. As much as I hate the Cowboys and want the Lions to win, Suh should not be eligible for this game. Even with at least one nimble 300-lbs player sucking up space and pressuring the QB, the Lions are not a team operating on all cylinders. The head-scratching antics under Jim Schwartz’s reign have re-appeared at the worst time for Detroit. The Black Mannequin Jim Caldwell predictably brings a no-sense style instead of a no-nonsense approach. Matt Stafford needs to win from the pocket and connect with Golden Tate on man-to-man coverage while Megatron will likely see two defenders the whole day. With the onus on a gun slinger like Stafford, Dallas seems poised to continue controlling the ball with DeMarco Murray setting the pace and keeping the Cowboys defense off the field. As long as Tony Romo doesn’t lose his glass slipper eluding pressure, the Cowboys’ Cinderella season will continue.

Win: Dallas Cowboys, 17-10

Last Week: 10-6
Overall: 162-93-1

Chiefs @ Colts

Luck

Just two weeks ago, the Colts took a hammer to the Chiefs, which was indicative of each team’s season. Indianapolis routinely played up to competition and surprised a handful of quality playoff teams by pulling off the upset only to then suck against mediocre opponents. Meanwhile, Kansas City beat up on garbage all year to take advantage of a weak schedule, but the Chiefs looked consistently overmatched against good teams. Can Alex Smith win a road playoff game? Given the right circumstances, the answer is yes. Kansas City will need to pressure Andrew Luck and control the clock through Jamaal Charles and their running game. But the Chiefs will be in trouble if Luck launches a few bombs downfield because Kansas City is not a quick strike passing offense that can post 30 points. Something tells me that this will be a low scoring first half with Kansas City out to an early lead, but the Colts will adjust after the half and rely on the playmaking ability of T.Y. Hilton. Expect Trent Richardson to continue to look like a replacement level runner, but he could make a difference catching passes out of the backfield. Ultimately, I think Andrew Luck pulls another horseshoe out of his ass with a comeback playoff win to add to his resume.

Win: Indianapolis Colts, 27-23

Saints @ Eagles

A lot of shit has been said about the inability of the Saints to travel on the road away from New Orleans in the cold and still be productive at a high level. This script is eerily reminiscent of last decade’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading into Philadelphia against the Eagles. New Orleans already has a Super Bowl pedigree, but the Saints have been inconsistent due to their lack of a running game—not the temperature. Without Reggie Bush on the roster anymore and an aging Darren Sproles, New Orleans is clearly lacking an explosive element from the RB position. Pierre Thomas was surprisingly effective when healthy but he’s injured and out so the Saints will need Sproles to break a few screens or bust a return. No one would be shocked if the New Orleans pulls off the road win, but the Saints will need to pressure Philadelphia into mistakes. The problem is that the Eagles have protected the football with Nick Foles at the helm instead of Michael Vick. Expect LeSean McCoy to slash and gash his way to paydirt. Even without a defense, Chip Kelly should be able to creatively scheme enough offensive production to just outlast a last-minute surge.

Win: Philadelphia Eagles, 31-28

Chargers @ Bengals

Do I have to pick a winner in this match-up? Neither quarterback is particularly likable or trustworthy. After last week’s evening slate of games, I was surprised to see the tie-breaker scenarios play into the favor of the San Diego Chargers. No one expected the Chargers, which makes them dangerous. Playing with house money, San Diego has nothing to lose and everything to gain. As a Colts fan and Peyton Manning supporter, I’m still scarred from the Billy Volek Game and the repeated lucky breaks that enabled the old Chargers to pull off surprising upsets. Although I don’t expect history to repeat itself on Sunday, San Diego has better playmakers suited for the cold weather and snowy grounds. If Danny Woodhead converts on 3rd down, the Chargers could exhaust the Cincinnati defensive line and control the intermediate to deep areas with Antonio Gates and Keenan Allen. Despite my reservations about Ginger Nation, the Bengals have a far superior defense and I still believe Gio Bernard will become a Ray Rice-eseque piece to relieve pressure and much-needed defensive attention from A.J. Green downfield.

Win: Cincinnati Bengals, 24-17

49ers @ Packers

San Francisco has owned Green Bay in every recent match-up. Right now, the 49ers are the hottest team in football after beating the Arizona Cardinals last week, which means logic dictates that the Packers don’t stand much of a chance even in Lambeau. Aaron Rodgers holds the only hope for Green Bay, but he’s just coming off a multi-week absence and none of his supporting cast seems completely healthy. In frigid temperatures, San Francisco’s strong running game with zone-reads sprinkled into the mix provide more explosiveness than Green Bay’s boom or bust passing attack. If Kaepernick turns the ball over, then the Packers could just jump onto Eddie Lacy’s ample posterior. But I anticipate Jim Harbaugh outsmarting Mike McCarthy by minimizing the responsibility on his young quarterback to instead battle the Packers with his strong defensive front. Ultimately, the linebackers for San Francisco will ensure success or defeat for the 49ers as they need to create pressure and cover the middle of the field to contain Green Bay’s gains.

Win: San Francisco 49ers, 20-13