Tag: NFL Playoffs 2018

Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys: Everything is on the Line

The Philadelphia Eagles are set to take on the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday at 4:25 PM EST in Dallas, Texas. This is the game of the season for the Eagles. A win lands them tied atop the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys. On the other hand, a loss all but guarantees the end of a playoff hope for the Eagles. With everything on the line, who is favored to win this game and this Division?

Coming into this game, the Philadelphia Eagles are 6-6, riding a two-game winning streak after getting demolished by the Saints 48-7. Although they’ve managed to win 2 games in a row, the Eagles have yet to get in a groove and really get into tip-top form. Furthermore, they still have a deeply injured and susceptible defensive secondary. The Eagles can best be summarized as being the most consistent sub-par team of the 2018 season.

On the other side of the field, the Cowboys sit atop the Division at 7-5 after capping off a four-game winning streak with an impressive 13-10 shutdown of Drew Brees and the Saints. This time of the season is all about getting hot and going on a roll and that’s exactly what the Dallas Cowboys are doing. They are on a four-game winning streak, with their team looking better and better each week. Just last week, their defense came into prime form against the Saints, keeping the #3 scoring offense to just 10 points and the MVP candidate, Drew Brees, to just 127 yards!

Overall, going into this game, the Dallas Cowboys have every single advantage possible. Other than their winning streak and prime defense, this game against the Eagles is in Texas. This season, the Cowboys are 5-1 at home while the Eagles are 2-3 in away games. Again, a clear advantage for a team heating up at the right time. Let’s also not forget how badly hurt the Eagles defensive secondary is, leaving them extremely susceptible in the passing game. Their whole starting defensive secondary and main rotational players, with the exception of Safety Malcolm Jenkins, are injured. Last but not least, the Cowboys have already figured out the Eagles this season, when they beat them 27-20 at Philadelphia back on November 11th.

To make matters worse for the Eagles, even if they win this game, they are still unlikely to win the Division. Currently, the Eagles are 6-6 and the Cowboys are 7-5 with this upcoming match-up left and then 3 more games for each team. If the Eagles win this game, they’ll improve to 7-6 and the Cowboys will demote to 7-6, making them tied atop the Division. In such instances of a tie, the Division goes to the team who has the better record in “head-to-head” match-ups. In this case, each team will have won one game against the other. Thus, the Division winner is then found by analyzing the record of each team for games played in the Division. Again, if the Eagles win at Dallas, their Division record will be 4-1 while the Cowboys record will become 3-2, thus giving the Eagles the Division.

However, there will still be 3 more games left in the season and that’s the real problem for the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Remaining schedules for the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys

The Eagles will still have to play the 11-1 LA Rams, 9-3 Houston Texans, and rival 6-6 Washington Redskins. Two out of the three games are away for the Eagles, leaving them at another disadvantage. In all likelihood, the Eagles are going to lose at least two out of the three games, leaving them at an 8-8 record. Winning against the Redskins is also not guaranteed, as we’ve seen Division rivals ruin playoff hopes in the final game of the year on many occasions.

On the other hand, the Cowboys will have to play the 6-6 Indianapolis Colts, 5-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and 4-8 New York Giants. The Cowboys can win all three of these games and are favored to do so after their performance against the Saints. Even if the Cowboys go 2-1, they’ll end up with a 9-7 record, enough to win the Division.

Ultimately, the Dallas Cowboys control their own destiny and have all the advantages in their favor. It sounds like what a team would hope for, but the Dallas Cowboys have a sour history in such situations. It’s in instances in which they are favored that the Dallas Cowboys fumble apart and analysts know this. 

None the less, this Division is favored for the Cowboys and if the Eagles want to at least try to make a stand, they must get out with a win this Sunday. It’s strictly Division winner or bust for the Eagles and in order to represent the NFC East in the playoffs, the Eagles pretty much have to win out. If the Eagles fail at step 1 this Sunday and lose to the Cowboys, the season is guaranteed to be over.

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NFL: Saints vs Cowboys: Who Needs the Win More?

The 10-1 New Orleans Saints are set to face off against the 6-5 Dallas Cowboys in less than 4 hours in Dallas, Texas. To this point, there has been a lot of hype placed around this game. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, stated that this game should be viewed as the Superbowl for the Cowboys, considering the team that they’re playing.

“Each play, we’ve got to think it’s the Super Bowl play. If every player on every play in this game says, ‘When we put that tape on Monday, it’s going to look like one of my best plays of the year,’ it’s really going to take that kind of focus to beat a team like this.”

Furthermore, there has been a lot of “trash talk” by the Cowboys with DeMarcus Lawrence starting it all. On Tuesday, Lawrence was asked if the Saints have the best offensive line and here’s his response:

“They’re going to have to match our intensity. S—, for 60 minutes straight. If you hit a m—–f—– in the mouth and then they ain’t doing what they’re regularly doing, putting up 50 points, they start to get a little distressed. Now you got them where you want them at, and then you f—ing choke their ass out.”

With so much hype and talk around this game, it’s without a doubt that both teams are more than inspired to play football tonight. The question remains, who needs the win more? Is it possible that the 10-1 Saints need this game more than the 6-5 Cowboys?

Well, let’s look at it from the Saints perspective. The New Orleans Saints are without a doubt, the best team in the NFL right now. They’re clearly the favorites to win it all, although there are other major contenders in the picture like the Chiefs, Rams, Patriots, and others. Taking this into consideration, this game is very important for the Saints playoff picture.

Right now, the Saints are 1st in the NFC because of their victory over the Rams. Although the Rams and Saints both have 10-1 records, that direct win over the Rams gives the Saints the #1 seed. With that in mind, the Saints want to make sure that they do everything they can to keep that home-field advantage for the playoffs.

Everyone knows how difficult it is for a team to come into the New Orleans Superdome and earn a victory. It gets that much more difficult when it’s in the playoffs and the crowd and intensity is just that much more amped. With that in mind, if the Saints lose to the Cowboys tonight, they will be demoted to the #2 seed with the Rams promoted to #1.

There’s still more football to be played and that could switch up again, but going forward, the schedule doesn’t favor the Saints either. After the Cowboys, the Saints still have to face the Steelers, Buccaneers, and Panthers twice. Other than the Bucs game, the 3 remaining games are all against worthy teams and the Saints can definitely end up on the wrong side of those games.

On the other hand, the Rams schedule is much easier. The Rams only have to face 1 team with a winning record, the 8-3 Bears. Other than that, they’re up against the Lions at 4-7, Eagles at 5-6, Cardinals at 2-9, and 49ers at 2-9. The Rams can definitely win out so even one loss for the Saints can be the difference between a home-field playoff game and an away game in the playoffs.

Furthermore, the Bears even have a shot at earning a Divisional-bye because their schedule is also easier than what the Saints have to go through. The Bears still have to face the 3-8 Giants, 10-1 Rams, 4-6-1 Packers, 2-9 49ers, and 6-4-1 Vikings. There are three difficult games in that schedule, but it is possible that the Rams end up with the 1st seed, Bears with the 2nd, and Saints with the 3rd. Thus, the Saints really have a lot to lose today if they don’t earn the victory.

On the other hand, the Dallas Cowboys are 6-5 and leading the NFC East at the moment. This NFC East Division has been anything but consistent. Every team, even the 3-8 Giants, still actually have a shot at winning this division. However, if we are to put aside the long shots, the Cowboys are definitely favored to win this division. The Giants have problems everywhere and are 3-8. An 8-8 team is not going to win this division and more importantly, the Giants are not going to win out and finish 8-8.

In terms of the Redskins, they were the favorites to win this division until Alex Smith was done for the season. They have already lost grasp of the division after losing to the Cowboys last week 31 to 23, and are quickly losing hope of making the playoffs. Their schedule does’t include a team with a winning record, but without their starting quarterback, it’s just a losing situation. Furthermore, they have two games left against the Eagles. If the Redskins and Eagles each win one of those games, they ultimately both help the Cowboys remain atop. Only one other team can rise to contend with the Cowboys so if these teams beat each other, it will be great news for the Cowboys. A team needs to go on a winning streak to contend with the Cowboys and without Smith, the Redskins are not that team.

This leaves us with the Eagles, the most sub-par team of the year. After winning the Superbowl last year and getting back their starting quarterback, they were favored to run away with this division, yet they sit at 5-6 right now. The Philadelphia Eagles are done. They still have to face the Rams and Texans which will put them at 5-8. Even if they win the rest of their games, which they won’t, they’ll finish at 8-8. That’s not going to be enough for this division.

The Cowboys are primed to win this division, being the most complete and healthy team who are getting on a streak at the right time. The Cowboys have won their last 3 games and have the 5-6 Eagles, 6-5 Colts, 4-7 Buccaneers, and 3-8 Giants left on their schedule after the Saints tonight. If the Cowboys win tonight, they put extreme pressure on the Redskins and Eagles to win out. Remember, the Eagles and Redskins still have two games against each other so one team needs to win both games. If they beat each other, the Cowboys will for sure remain atop.

Even if the Cowboys lose tonight, they’re still favored to win this division because they’ll hold their own destiny. They’ll have the Eagles come in to town the following week for a match-up with the division on the line. It’s just extremely difficult to think that the Eagles are going to do anything with a secondary that has been injured all year long and doesn’t seem to be repaired. The Cowboys should stomp on the Eagles in that game and finish the final hope that the Eagles have. Thus, the Cowboys will still have their destiny in hand even if they lose this game. They aren’t going to do any better than a 4th seed so losing tonight isn’t going to affect their playoff seed.

Hence, if we really think about it, this hyped Saints vs Cowboys game is really more important to the Saints. If the Cowboys lose, it’s okay, they still hold their own destiny in their hands. If the Cowboys win, it’ll be an extreme confidence boost and pretty much guarantee them the division although they will not do any better than the 4th seed.

On the other hand, the Saints have much higher aspirations than a 4th seed. If they were to win tonight, they continue to remain atop the conference and keep the race for the #1 seed alive with a difficult road ahead. However, if the Saints lose, they give up the #1 seed with 3 difficult game still ahead, paving the way for the Rams and possibly, the Bears to lead the conference. The Saints need to win this game tonight to remain Superbowl favorites and keep their path to the Superbowl as easy as possible.

NFL: Who Wins the Superbowl if the Season Ended Today?

The National Football League (NFL) season began on September 6th when the defending Superbowl Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, downed the Atlanta Falcons 18 to 12. We are now 12 weeks into the season,a critical point when playoff teams begin separating themselves from the pack. If we imagine that the season ended today, who would win the Superbowl?

Well, here’s how the playoffs look after 12 weeks of football:

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NFC

Washington Redskins at Chicago Bears 

The Washington Redskins are faltering as there is no replacing a quality quarterback like Alex Smith. Colt McCoy can only do so much and unfortunately for him, he has to face a relentless defense in the Chicago Bears. Khalil Mack and the boys should have career days against an offense and a quarterback that have yet to gel together. This is ultimately the difference maker. There’s no reason to even look at how the Bears offense will be against the Redskins defense because it’s just going to be a career day for the Bears defensive players. Bears easily win this contest.

Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys 

This match-up is highly contested and can go either way, but the Vikings defense has been putting on marvelous performances in recent times. Let’s also not forget that these types of games are exactly why the Vikings brought in Kirk Cousins so the pressure and advantage has to be with the Vikings. The Cowboys are a very explosive offense with Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliot and ultimately, this game should come down to the wire. It can go either way, but this game is why Kirk Cousins is in Minnesota and he’ll prove that. He has to win this game.

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints 

The Saints and Vikings played in Week 8 of the regular season in a close game that went 30-20 for the Saints. This game was at the Vikings stadium and the Saints were able to win it by 10 so a home game against the Vikings should only increase their margin of victory. The New Orleans Saints come out on top as this is a game that is too much for Kirk Cousins to manage.

Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams 

Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears did an amazing job this year, surprising us all by winning the division, but this is the end of the road for them. The LA Rams are too explosive offensively and too talented defensively to let this game go. The Bears are very conservative in their approach to the game and the Rams are going to light up the scoreboard and hold the Bears offense down. Lucky for us, we get to see this match-up earlier when the Rams go to Chicago in Week 14.

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints 

This will be the 3rd time that the Rams and Saints play at the Superdome this year. In the pre-season, the Saints won 28-0 and in the Regular season, they won 45-35 after going up 35-17 by the half. This will be no different. The New Orleans Saints offense matches the LA Rams offense at every position. However, the difference is going to be the home-field advantage and the Saints defense. The Saints defense is just playing better than the Rams at the moment and that’s not expected to change. The Saints will come up with a few key turnovers to earn the victory and head to the Superbowl!

AFC

Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans 

Lamar Jackson is a rookie quarterback going up against an elite defense with JJ Watt in the lineup. Enough said, the Texans get this one easily.

Los Angeles Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers 

This one is a toss-up. Philip Rivers and the Chargers have been steamrolling teams this year, but everything changes when a team comes to Heinz field. Every team knows that Heinz field is unique and so do the Steelers. Unfortunately, ultimately karma has to bite the Steelers for the Le’veon Bell situation and this is when his worth is realized. Karma comes back to bite the Steelers as the value of the missing piece that is Le’veon Bell will finally come to fruition. A few fumbles by the running backs will be the decider.

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs 

This will be the 3rd time that the Chiefs play the Chargers this year. They already played in Week 1 of the season at Los Angeles where the Chiefs spoiled the Chargers’ debut 38-28. They will play again in Week 15 in Kansas City so this match-up should give us more information. Ultimately, the Kansas City Chiefs seem to find a way to win. Their offense is too explosive for the Chargers defense and their defense is too talented to give up that many points. The Chiefs should get this contest by another margin of 10.

Houston Texans at New England Patriots 

It was fun while it lasted, but the Houston Texans are not going to beat Tom Brady and the Patriots in Foxborough. In the Postseason, Brady has 21 wins at home and only 6 losses. Brady will find a way to get it done with very quick passes and drop offs to the running backs to secure the victory. There’s no holding the ball to allow sacks. Furthermore, overall, the Texans are too inexperienced to compete with the dynasty that is the New England Patriots and De’shaun Watson will give up a few key turnovers.

New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs 

In the regular season, we were able to see this match-up in Week 6 when the Pats won it by a smudge 43 to 40. One major difference is that the game was in New England and this one will be in Kansas City. Tom Brady is virtually unbeatable at home in the Postseason with a 21-6 record, but away games are a much different story. Away, Brady is only 6-4. After this game, Brady will be 6-5 as the Chiefs will learn from their loss in Foxborough and overcome the Pats at home. To only lose by 3 in Foxborough is impressive so the learning experience of that game mixed with the home crowd will be enough for the Chiefs.

Superbowl Match-up:

Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints 

The New Orleans Saints will get off to a hot start and never look back. In forcing the Chiefs to catch up, Mahomes will try to play hero ball and give up key turnovers that will eventually seal the game. The rookie quarterback will finally look like a rookie at the grandest stage of them all.

The Saints should nab this game by a score of 41 to 30. It will be similar to the historic Chiefs vs Rams game earlier in the season, but not as competitive. This game will ultimately ease the MVP debate too, because seeing Drew Brees beat Patrick Mahomes will be a wake-up call to many fans. Drew Brees is the Superbowl and Regular Season MVP.

Don’t Sleep on the Jaguars

After a 10-3 win against the Buffalo Bills in the NFL Wild Card round of the playoffs, the Jaguars proved that they are no longer the laughing stock of the NFL. The Jaguars that currently lace up their cleats every Sunday are vastly different then the Jaguars that could only win three games just four years ago. These Jaguars have a legitimate chance to win it all and people should start to take notice.

 

Defense Wins Championships

 

usa_today_10272203.0The defense that’s jokingly called “Sacsonville”, knows how to live up to its nickname. The jaguars defense contains several of today’s top players, including Marcell Dareus, Dante Fowler Jr., Malik Jackson, Barry Church, and all-pro’s Calais Campbell, Jalen Ramsey, and Aj Bouye. As the legendary Bear Bryant once said “offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships.” This quote relates very heavily to the Jaguars as the team is constantly being led by it’s defense that is ranked 1st in passing yards allowed and 2nd in total yards per game. Opponents should fear the Jaguars defense, as they are incredibly hard to play against.

 

Running Game

 

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Although the offense has been ravaged by injuries and suffered from inconsistent play by Blake Bortles, the run game has remained strong. This season, the Jaguars have rushed for the most yards in the NFL, relying heavily on rookie back Leonard Fournette, but also having both Chris Ivory and TJ Yeldon to back him up. As long as the Jaguars use the run game, opponents should fear what their offense is capable of.

 

 

The Improvement of Blake Bortles

 

627687612.0Everyone likes to laugh at Blake Bortles, but he’s far from the worst quarterback in the league and the stats show it. Now, Blake Bortles will most likely not throw as many touchdowns as his did in 2014 (35) ever again, but that’s kinda hard to do when all his receivers are constantly getting hurt (or in Justin Blackmon’s case, suspended). This season he only threw 21 touchdowns, but he also only threw a career low 13 interceptions. Bortles has always shown he isn’t the greatest decision maker, but this year an improved offensive line and run game was able to take pressure off of Bortles which limited his picks. As Bortles continues to improve, NFL teams should be scared because when playing up to full potential, the Jaguars are deadly.

My Take on NFL Divisional Playoff Round

Atlanta Falcons vs Philadelphia Eagles 

What a way to kick off the weekend! The Falcons head into Philadelphia for the first time since 2005. The last time these two met in the postseason, the Eagles won 27-10 and the crazy part about this game is that the Falcons are the favorites. The Falcons, the favorites in Philadelphia? A stadium that is going to be packed to the brim with 65,000 plus people, a place where the Eagles are 7-1 this season.

Wow, the betting gods must really have ZERO faith in Nick Foles. Which we cannot blame them, Foles for the three games he has started has been pretty grotesque. The Falcons story of “this team has the tools, all they need to do get going is a little bit of confidence”, awesome Atlanta you played a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in twelve years, and had an inexperienced quarterback and head coach in the playoffs. I cannot stand the Falcons headlines, where “Oh this team is good, watch out. They needed that loss last year to really test them.” Yeah no, no one wants to lose in the Super Bowl, no one needs that to wake up.

The Eagles have to rely heavily on their defense, which the Eagles defense is 4th in total yards(306.5), 1st in rushing yards(79.2) and 3rd in third-down coverage(32.2). The defense I think will hold its own, but the Eagles will need Nick Foles to be somewhat serviceable, a Blake Bortles like performance is something many Eagles would be ok with. The Falcons will try to expose the Eagles fragile secondary with Julio Jones and Mohammad Sanu. Matt Ryan will try to lead the Falcons to another Conference Championship, just this time they hope for a different result.

The Eagles coming in as the underdog, I think gives this team a major boost, they will play with a chip on their shoulder and come out hungry, may sound crazy but it makes sense. How do we think this game turns out, low scoring first half, overall low scoring game. Falcons and Eagles exchange chances, a ton of three and outs during the first portion of this game. Second half the jitters start to calm down, the teams take more chances and I truly believe the Eagles can win this game.

Tennesse Titans vs New England Patriots

The Patriots welcome the Tennesse Titans to Foxboro for a playoff game that no one ever imagined. The Titans Marcus Mariota starts in his second playoff game vs Tom Brady a QB that has started in 34 playoff games, going to be his 35th on Saturday. Good luck Tennesse.

All the news behind the Patriots between Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, and Tom Brady, I really truly believe this is all the media trying to stir the pot in the Patriots locker room and distract them. Because if anyone thinks the Patriots are going to be distracted by all this news is probably a 10-year-old, or thinks like one. Tom Brady really going to lose to Marcus Mariota and the Titans, please. Maybe not win by 13.5 points but the Patriots are almost a guarantee to win this game.

The Titans, I’m sorry Tennesse but you guys have really no shot, I hate to sound like a Patriots supporter because I really just think highly and respect the Patriots and it’s their game to lose here. Yeah they lost to the Jets in 2011, and the last time they lost in the second round was Denver in 2016 but Peyton Manning was the QB, Mariota is no Manning and the Broncos also did win the Super Bowl that year. Tennesse just hope for Mariota to get his way on the ground because he had trouble against Buffalo through the air, it may get easier vs a less skilled defense but it won’t be much easier.

How do we think this game turns out? Well, the Patriots will win probably, I’m not sure by how much, I don’t know if they cover the spread of 13.5. Brady comes in a chip on his shoulder and all. I think it’s going to be interesting to see how Belichick and Brady interact on the sidelines and during play calls. Patriots, Steelers Conference championship?

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Blake Bortles to the promise land! I honestly hope so, I understand the James Harrison vs Steelers thing but, how awesome would it be if the Jaguars just came running through the playoffs. The Giants did it the first time they won the Super Bowl, they came in the Wild Card game beat Tampa Bay and didn’t look back. Why can’t Bortles and the Jaguars unreal defense do the same thing? I am all aboard the Bortles train. Sign me up Jacksonville.

The Steelers get back Antonio Brown, coupled with LeVonn Bell, well crap there goes the Jaguars chances. The Jaguars did beat the Steelers Week 5 this season though and held them to only 9 points. Still, the best wide receiver in the league and best running back in the league, how can you even contain that. Jalen Ramsey will have his hands full with Brown and this will be his time to see if he can really be the best corner in the league. Big Ben and his double chin, come hobbling in and probably hobbling out to lead the Steelers to yet another Conference game. Big Ben is so immobile, I really don’t understand how he is a QB, but he does what he needs to do and has been doing it for years now.

How do we think this game turns out? Well, the Jaguars are going to need to hold the Steelers offense to a very minimal amount of points and yards, it would have to be like in the 10-17 range for the Jaguars to have a chance. They struggled to score more than 10 points vs Buffalo, the Steelers defense is no cake walk. Do we seriously believe the Jaguars can win 17-10? 21-17? Probably not. Have to run with the Steelers but let’s go Jaguars, bring me the checker games at the tailgate and teal burgers.

New Orleans Saints vs Minnesota Vikings 

Hands down the best game of the playoffs, the Viking defense vs the Saints offense. Another storyline here is the MVP candidate Case Keenum vs Drew Brees what!, Yeah Case Keenum played like an absolute MVP caliber player. Won’t happen but you cannot discredit Keenum’s stats this year. 3547 yards, 22 TD and 7 INT and 98.3 PAT. Brees started in 16 games(Keenum 14), had a 103.9 PAT, 4,334 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Don’t sleep on Keenum people.

The Saints have such a powerful backfield paired with Alvin Komara and Mark Ingram, coupled with Drew Brees arm, the Vikings defense will have their hands full. But the Vikings are ranked 1st and or 2nd in every defensive category this season. This is going to be one hell of a game, Christ. I really do not even know what to say about this game, it really comes down to Vikings defense vs Saints offense while the Vikings offense tries to just be serviceable and put up points

What do we think happens with this game? This is going to be by far the most competitive and exciting game of the divisional round. The Vikings are going to be extremely tough to beat at home but it’s nothing the Saints can’t do. Although they have lost five times on the road over the last 18 years, and in 2000 playoffs during the divisional games they lost to the Vikings in Minnesota. I truly believe in the Vikings defense and I think Minnesota comes out with this one.

NFL Wild Card Recap; Titans vs Chiefs, Falcons vs Rams

Earlier last week, I wrote my takes on these wild card games and I am completely saddened to say that the first day was a bad day, per my takes, therefore I really hope no one took that as advice on who to take. 

Titans vs Chiefs 

The Chiefs have now lost six straight home playoff games since 1995, and since 1994 the Chiefs have 1-10 playoff record. It still amazes after the game the video I saw of Andy Reid walking back to the locker room, all the fans are saying “we love you Andy” and then Marcus Peters comes running by and the fans scream “Let’s go Marcus” and he just says “Shit where we going? Home?” I’m not sure if the people in Kansas City are just that nice or they are just completely delusional and can actually stomach a loss like that, a loss that should have never happened. But I guess obviously they are used to it at this point so they’re just happy to be there. Good for you Kansas City fans, but you fans worry me.

The Titans now though have won their first playoff game since 2003, and since that last win in 2003, this was only the third time they made the playoffs in the last eleven years. Now, they have to face the Patriots in New England, Marcus Mariota, 24-years-old, will face off against Tom Brady, 40-years-old, who is old enough to be his father. The controversy in New England may play a part in the Titans favor, but I would literally be in awe if the Titans come out with this one. The Titans win this game, Bill Belichick will probably attempt to run Robert Kraft out of New England, but Brady and Kraft will team up and kick him out of New England and then will Belichick will hold a grudge, go to another team and coach until he is 85-years-old. Wow, I really hope the Patriots lose.

Falcons vs Rams

Come on Rams, this was your game to lose and you came in and lost to the Falcons. Now, we have to hear how the Falcons are on a mission after that embarrassing Super Bowl loss last season. Way to go, way to let the Falcons bogus story continue. I mean 24/45 from Jared Goff is not playoff caliber when you miss half of your throws in a playoff game what do you expect. Todd Gurley did his part rushing 14 times for 101 yards. They definitely didn’t utilize their receivers as three of their receivers had only 1 catch, they threw to two guys the whole game, and their defense did not look like the defense we saw all season. Matt Ryan came in L.A., we all assumed he would be star struck by the big lights, still thinking about that Super Bowl loss, but he threw 21/30 with 218 yards and 1 TD, got the job done, but a lot of credit goes to the run game and defense. As DeVonta Freeman and Travis Coleman rushed for a combined 32 times for a combined 110 yards, nothing pretty but they did they would they had too.

This loss marks the fourth loss by the Rams in the last 18 years, and before this playoff run the last time the Rams made the playoffs was 2004 when Marc Bulger and Marshall Faulk were on the team. The Falcons though like I said head into Philadelphia now, and continue their “we’re hungry for a Super Bowl victory” headline after they blew a 20 point lead in the Super Bowl last season. This will be a good game and it will come down to the Eagles containing Julio Jones, and the Falcons offense, while the Eagles keep it simple, run the ball a ton and rely on Nick Foles to not make a mind-boggling idiotic play.

My Take on NFL Wildcard Games; 1/6/18

Tennesse Titans vs Kansas City Chiefs 

To kick off the wild card round, we will see a matchup a majority of fans have no interest in, Tennesse Titans vs Kansas City Chiefs. This matchup would be a lot more interesting if the Chiefs continued their success and did not fall off. Anyways, this game is going to be the least exciting game for a couple of reasons, the Titans probably do not belong in the playoffs, and the Chiefs with Andy Reid as head coach will find a way to lose this game. The Chiefs offense is extremely exciting stacking up with Kareem Hunt in the backfield, Tyreek Hill at wideout and Travis Kelce banging around at the tight end position. The weapons are there and they should most likely win this game. Among the Titans roster, Marcus Mariota will be starting in his first playoff game ever. The young QB compares to Alex Smith decently, Mariota’s QB rating is 79.3, completion percentage is 62 percent, he’s only thrown for 13 passing touchdowns, but has racked in 3,232 passing yards this season. The Titans have a great defense and much of the reason they are here, some decent wideouts and two iffy running back the Titans are going to be relying on Mariota and their defense to win. I think this game stays close and we see a decent game but at the end, we all know how it will end up. Chiefs on top.

Atlanta Falcons vs Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are definitely the best team to be here among wild card teams and if they lose it would be devastating after how successful they were this season and how quickly they turned their fortune around. Todd Gurley posting MVP like numbers similar to Adrian Peterson did when he won the MVP in 2012. Gurley looks like an absolute train out there and has carried this Rams team to a handful of wins this season. The Rams finished 1st in the NFC West with an 11-5 record as the Falcons finished 3rd in the NFC South, 10-6. After a Super Bowl trip, last season the Falcons have the experience factor on the Rams and this will be Jared Goff(possible MVP) first playoff game. The Rams have not seen a playoff berth in god knows how long. But with this explosive offense, and solid defense I think this is the Rams game to lose. The Falcons have to get back to running a more versatile offense and using one of the best receivers in football Julio Jones, Matt Ryan will need to step up and play like he did last year in the playoffs. By no means do I want the Falcons to win, but there is something telling me they have a chance. I hope the Falcons lose because the Rams story is way more exciting then the Falcons and I’d much rather see the Rams play on. The Falcons had their chance to do something and they blew it, now the Rams chance is alive and hopeful, the first year in a new city, new stadium what’s a better story than that. Go Rams!

Buffalo Bills vs Jacksonville Jaguars

This is like the Super Bowl for these two teams as both of them have not seen the playoffs nor successful seasons in quite some time. The Bills last made the playoffs in 1999 and the Jaguars last made the playoffs in 2008 when David Gerrard was the QB! This is going to be probably my favorite game of the wildcard round. Blake Bortles and Tyrod Taylor battling it out, LeSean McCoy carrying the Bills to a victory, Bortles tossing the skin around for 300 plus passing yards. Anything is possible for this game, these two teams are a toss-up. I cannot even pick a favorite because neither team really has any x-factors that make them stand out. The Jaguars defense is a big factor but they are definitely beatable, and the Bills offense is a problem but again they have the weapons to get it done. I can’t say what will come of this game, I think we see a Jaguars win, but the Bills could easily upset them. Just go into this game, a bit tipsy and ready to continue that buzz into the night game.

Carolina Panthers vs New Orleans Saints

In terms of talent wise and competition, this game is probably going to be the best game of the wild-card round. The Panthers had a blunder of a season after making the Super Bowl now bounce back into the playoffs vs a very experienced QB Drew Brees. The Saints one-two punch out of the backfield is about the best in the NFL right now, rookie Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram look to be running the table for the Saints. But Cam Newton and his amazing pre/post playoff game interviews are back. Newton will try and tear open his chest a few times this game and lead the Panthers to a victory in Superdome. The Saints home field advantage is major here and Drew Brees playing in his 12th playoff game, the veteran gun slinging QB will look to connect with Michael Thomas to lead the Saints to their seventh playoff win(since Brees has been QB). I think this game comes down to the wire, possibly a shootout, possibly a real low scoring, defensive game. It will be tough to see a low scoring game as both offenses are very strong, Christian McCaffery will look to match another rookie Alvin Kamara in both their first playoff games during their first season, as Cam Newton will look to outplay the veteran Drew Brees. A lot of headlines going into this game and smart they saved the best for last. I think Saints come out with this one and Brees is going to be wrapped up in a body bag moving onto to the divisional round.