Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Literal Divisional Round

Chiefs fans at Arrowhead Stadium could be a difference maker.
There are eight teams remaining in the NFL Playoffs, and fittingly it's all eight divisional champions that will be meeting in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.  The Wild Cards are gone after all four home teams won last weekend, so there will be no Cinderella story this year ... unless the Texans win, they'll need a glass slipper to win the Super Bowl, probably two and a pumpkin to turn into their chariot.

Here's a look at who Austen and I are picking this weekend:

Austen's Eight-Point Pick
@New England over Houston

Austen: My head literally might explode if the Texans win this game. While they have one of the best defenses in the league, they also have an offense that got shut out the last time these two teams played. You don't win a lot (/any) games scoring zero points. When was the last time the worst quarterback in the league beat an MVP candidate in the playoffs? I don't know but I'd have to guess never. 

Score: New England 41, Houston 13

Stally: I hate to be an over confident Patriots fan, but I can't see a way the Texans win this game.  As The Pats destroyed the Texans with Jacoby Brissett at the helm, just wait until Tom Brady gets to lead this weekend.

Score: New England 31, Houston 13

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Wild Wild Card

Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning both have aspirations for
another Super Bowl ring, but only one can win this weekend.
It's playoff season, and that means that Austen is back for the stretch run.  Happy 2017, blog readers!

Let's get into our playoff breakdown:

Stally's Eight-Point Pick
@Pittsburgh over Miami

Stally: This is the only game of the four that I find easy to pick.  The Pittsburgh Steelers are a good football team with a ridiculous amount of offensive talent, and Miami is headed on the road with a backup QB.  I just don't see the Dolphins winning this game.

Austen: No argument here. Matt Moore is more than serviceable (I would have Miami favored over both the Texans and Raiders), but they got a road game with the most dangerous offense in the league. Tough draw for a Fins team that has not made the playoffs in almost a decade and has only won one playoff game this millennium.

Austen's Eight-Point Pick
@Seattle over Detroit

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Week 17: Games Worth Watching

The Lions and Packers are neck-and-neck
in the race for the NFC North.
Stally: Week 17 is usually skipped in most fantasy football circles.  This year, more than most, it might be skipped by many of the NFL teams as well.  The AFC has its six teams with only some seeding scenarios on the line.  The NFC still has a division up for grabs (the NFC North) as well as a Wild Card spot that could, but might not, involve the NFC North loser.

Instead of ranking games by confidence like usual, I'll clump together the games worth watching, and the games not worth watching.  There's no need waste type on some of these irrelevant games, and the draft order really isn't something with which I'm going to concern myself at this time.

If Austen returns to the blog at some point, he's more into the draft than I am, so I'll leave that for him.

Must Watch Games

Green Bay @ Detroit (8:30 p.m. NBC)

This is the one game of the day in which there's an opportunity for either team to win and make an impact on their playoff situation.  The winner of this game wins the NFC North and goes to the playoffs.  These teams will know by kickoff if the loser can make it as a Wild Card or not (see the Redskins game below), which could further add to the intrigue.

The Lions have impressed this season.  The Packers have impressed as of late.  I'm going to give the edge to Detroit at home in this one, as I don't think this is the same old lame Lions team we've seen in the past.

My pick: Detroit (3 confidence points)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Week 16: Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Stally: Who's been naughty and who's been nice?  In the NFL, we're about to find out.  There are several clinching scenarios for the playoffs this weekend, and a lot more elimination scenarios.

Santa came early on Thursday for the Dallas Cowboys, who clinched the division and NFC's best record by virtue of a Philadelphia upset over the New York Giants.  Additionally, the Patriots (division and first-round bye), Seattle Seahawks (division) and Oakland Raiders (playoff berth) can all put an extra log on the fire and relax this holiday weekend, as they'll all be playing football past New Year's Day.

As per usual, Austen isn't going to have time to weigh in this week, so Elf Stally will take care of the write-up. Here's a look at the rest of the league and what I expect to unfold in Week 16 in order of confidence points:

16 - @New England over New York Jets

In Week 16 last year, the Patriots literally kicked away the conference's best record by electing to kick in overtime to the Jets, who promptly scored a game-winning touchdown.  That was last year's Jets, this is this year's Jets, whose poor coach was in the hospital on the night before game day.  That was also in New York, and this one is in New England.  The Jets will be delivering the gifts this year.

15 - @Green Bay over Minnesota

The Packers are back to playing good football, and the Vikings (?!) ... yuck!  Talk about being naughty, the Elf on the Shelf is not giving good reports on the Vikings right now.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Week 15: Two-Minute Drill

Despite a slow start, Aaron Rodgers and
the Packers are gaining confidence each week.
Stally: I've missed kickoff, so it's time to run a two-minute drill.  One sentence maximum per game.

Here are my picks in order of confidence points:

16 - @Atlanta over San Francisco

Stally: The Niners are playing some truly awful football, if you even want to call it that.

15 - @Seattle over Los Angeles

Stally: The Rams have looked terrible for several weeks, so I got this one right on Thursday.

14 - Green Bay over @Chicago

Stally: The Packers are a very confident group despite early season struggles.

13 - @Houston over Jacksonville

Stally: At 2-11, the Jaguars have become an easy team to pick against on a weekly basis.