AFC Championship Game

AFC Championship 2New England (13-4) @ Denver (13-4), Sunday 3:05 PM

 Line: Den +3.0 O/U 44.5

Here we go. The best the AFC has to offer! Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning…..for the seventeenth freaking time! I like to call it Branning Bowl XVII.

I won’t bore you with recaps or stats or highlights or lowlights of the previous sixteen times they’ve played each other; the (translation: lame) sports media outlets have you covered for that junk. Hell, there’s even a Manning v. Brady Rivalry Wikipedia page.

Despite our affinity for 80’s power rock, Chevy Camaros and Baywatch, we here at The Machine are living in the here and now. I mean, just this week I had Ginger King dapping all over some *not under aged* chicks. When it comes to winning football games (and winning money on football games) it’s a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately-business. And in that regard, New England has a huge edge: their quarterback doesn’t suck.

Still great

Still great

If you think the Patriots are going to steamroll the Broncos, then congratulations, you get it. I won’t waste your time, you can just move along to Ginger’s NFC Championship write-up. But if the Peyton Manning apologists have you second guessing that gut feeling you have…if only the receivers didn’t drop so many passes (seriously, the number of drops has steadily climbed all week- we’re at like double digits now)…then please, continue reading, or take some pepto bismol.

“The Broncos formula for winning is simple: play great defense (1st in total defense, allowing only 283 yards/game), run the ball (CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman have had mild success), and don’t let the quarterback lose the game for you.” That’s me quoting me! And guess what, the Broncos beat the Steelers because their defense came up with a timely turnover and their field goal kicker is money from 60 yards out. Manning was 21/37 for 222 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, with a 74.4 passer rating. That’s a textbook game-manager stat line right there. That passer rating is 10th out of 12 qualified postseason quarterbacks. Oh, that sample size too small for ya? Okay, let’s take a gander at the passer ratings rankings for the regular season (hint: look near the bottom):

Palmer, Brady, Cam, Peyton (one of these is not like the other) []

Yeeeeah, that’s Nick Foles/Ryan Mallet territory we’re talking about. Now don’t misinterpret anything I’m saying: I’d love for Peyton to put one over on the Patriots, win the Super bowl and ride off into the sunset. The problem is that sun set a year and a half ago.

It’s not all doom and gloom for the home team. They do boast the league’s best defense. They are built to cover on the back-end while their edge rushers, led by Von Miller, produce tremendous pressure on the opposing offensive line and quarterback. And if the Patriots have an Achilles heel, I believe it is their offensive line.

The sweater started to unravel a bit the last time the Patriots played at Mile High when the Broncos handed the then undefeated Patriots their first loss of the season. The Patriots lost 4 of their last 6 games, limped their way to a first round bye before handling the Chiefs at home last week. Their losses all came against teams that have strong defensive lines (Broncos, Eagles, Jets, Dolphins) able to generate pressure without committing blitzers.

So that’s what the Patriots don’t do well. In every other facet of the game they excel, including cheating! They are such good cheats! (We’ll never let it die, never).



The Patriots use Edelman and Gronk to create match-up problems. They simply dink and dunk with short passes to Edelman, Amendola and [insert name] running back, until they get to the redzone where they kill you with Gronkowski over the middle. Their efficiency and effectiveness is second to none. If they get into a rhythm, and if the Broncos can’t get Tom Terrific on his ass, this offensive is capable of dropping a 40-spot on any defense.

I love the Manning/Brady angle (soak it in, this will be the last). I love the trash talking about Brady being a bitch. I think the home crowd and Denver’s defense can keep this game close. Hell, the Chiefs and Alex Smith gave the Patriots fits, so the Broncos have a chance. But at the end of the day I trust Tom Brady and Bill Belichick more than Peyton Manning at this stage of his career. I mean, Manning was hard to trust in these spots (cold-weather, primetime matchup) in his prime, let alone now with his noodle neck.

I’ll take the Patriots to win decisively.

Prediction: New England 27, Denver 16

We’re on to Santa Clara!

At least we'll get another Super Bowl week of this guy!

At least we’ll get another Super Bowl week of this guy!





NFC Championship Game


Yes, there is another game on Sunday.

Yes, there is another game on Sunday.

Arizona @ Carolina, Sunday 6:40 pm

Line:  Carolina -3, O/U 48

The final game before the Super Bowl, although you have to wonder:  does anyone care?  With the raging hard-on that everyone (the league, the media, even Roid Rage) has for the Brady/Manning showdown, will there be anything left in the tank after the collective money shot that gets dropped during the early game?  Well, I’m here to tell you to take a blue pill and get back on that horse, there’s still work to do.

Arizona v. CarolinaSeriously, all the talk this week is about the Patriots and Broncos.  As if I need another reason to hate Tom Brady or ESPN.  And, not for nothing, but the NFC Championship game features the better teams.  Both Arizona and Carolina have better records than Denver and New England (Christ, the Panthers are 15-1), better defenses, and better quarterbacks.  Sorry, but this isn’t 2004.  I’ll take (league MVP) Cam Newton and healthy Carson Palmer over aging Tom Brady and noodle neck Peyton Manning.  Anyway, let’s get to the real game.

Carolina and Arizona are pretty evenly matched.  They rank 1st and 2nd in overall offense, and 6th and 7th in overall defense.  Need more proof?  How about Cam and Carson.  Each threw 35 tds during the regular season, and were one int apart (10 to 11 in favor of Cam).  And both have fast, aggressive defenses.  On paper, this game’s a toss-up, and with Carolina at home and only giving 3 points, the odds makers seem to agree as well.  So who wins?

What? A superstar that interacts with AND cares about the fans? Suck it, Brady!

What? A superstar that interacts with AND cares about the fans? Suck it, Brady!

Despite being the old man on this website (seriously, what the hell is dabbing?  Roid Rage won’t tell me) I’m embracing youth and rolling with the Panthers.  For several reasons.  First, they haven’t lost at home all year.  A perfect 8-0 (9-0 including last week’s playoff win).  Second, Cam Newton is no longer just an “athletic” quarterback.  He’s a bona fide stud.  Sure, he’s brash, obnoxious, and wears questionable clothing (see below), but so do all kids.  Cam has grown right before our eyes this year, and so have the Panthers.  This was most evident last week against Seattle.  The Panthers jumped out to a commanding 31-0 lead, and then held on to win 31-24.  The Panthers won despite Cam not having a great game.  He only threw for 161 yards with one touchdown, and rushed for a season low 3 yards.  And his touchdown came after they were already up 24-0.  But while his stats weren’t that amazing (sorry, completion percentage doesn’t wow me), he didn’t do anything to hurt his team (e.g. drive killing interceptions).  And, he makes everyone around him better.  That’s the mark of a true leader and a complete team.

What. The. Fuck.

What. The. Fuck.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, are no slouch, but you get the feeling that they’re playing with house money at this point.  They are lucky to be playing on Sunday.  They did everything they could do to lose last week.  Carson Palmer threw not one, but two endzone interceptions, and it should have been 3.  He looked lost out there, and Arizona’s defense completely collapsed, especially during Green Bay’s final drive that had not one, but two Hail Marys.  However, Arizona only needed one man to show up:  Larry Fitzgerald.  Larry reminded us in a big way that he’s still got it…hauling in 12 passes for 176 yards and a game winning overtime touchdown.  For Arizona to have any chance, Larry will have to bring his A game once again.

Still got it.

Still got it.

On defense, Carolina will shadow Larry with Josh Norman, and will sit back and dare Arizona to run the ball.  Losing Jared Allen will hurt Carolina up front, but second year stud Kony Ealy is up to the task to slide in as the starting DE.  And don’t forget about Luke Kuechly.  Fresh off last week’s pick 6, Luke will be all over the field.

Paging regular season Carson.

Paging regular season Carson.

For Arizona to win, they will need to play perfect football…and even that may not be enough.  This game comes down to who do you trust more:  Carson Palmer or Cam Newton?  Or, better phrased, playoff Carson Palmer or Cam Newton?  After watching the Cardinals last week, we just don’t trust playoff Carson Palmer.  The Panthers play with the perfect blend of carefree attitude and focus.  This game will be close, but our money’s on Carolina to pull away in the end.  Get ready to see a lot of this, whatever it is:

newton gif

Prediction:  Carolina 31, Arizona 20

Divisional Weekend – Round 2

NFL DivisionalSeattle (11-6) @ Carolina (15-1), Sunday 1:05 PM

Line: Sea +2.5 O/U 44.0

With all due respect to Russell Wilson, he’ll be the second best quarterback on the field today. If The Machine’s application is approved in time, SuperCam will definitely get our vote for MVP this year. Cam has been putting up ridiculous numbers in the passing (and running) game all season; including Week 6 at Seattle, where Newton threw a 26-yard TD dart to Greg Olsen to cap a come from behind win against the reigning NFC Champs. While Newton was picked twice in that game, he added a rushing TD along with the Olsen score, and, like all season, made big plays in big spots. He is seeing the entire field, spreading the ball to his ho-hum receiving corps, and trusting his freakish athletic ability. He’s been a force at home (to go along with 257 rushing yards + 6 rushing TDs):

homesplitUnfortunately for Cam and the Panthers, they are facing one of the hottest…and easily the luckiest…teams in the league. After being gifted a ticket to the Divisional Round, Seattle is playing with house money, so they’ve got no reason not to play free and loose. Plus, they get BeastMode back, who has a penchant for making game-changing plays in the playoffs.

Defensively, Seattle is much more average on the road than at home. Cam Chancellor has looked like a liability in coverage, as evident on the final drive last week, where he drew a 19-yard PI penalty only to get torched by Kyle Rudolph on the very next play for 24-yards. That *should* have cost the Seahawks their season. Greg Olsen should see double-digit targets and put up big numbers (he gashed the ‘Hawks this year to the tune of 7/131/1). The Panthers boast a formidable front-seven and a true lockdown corner in Josh Norman. Their athletic line backing corps should be able to contain Russell Wilson and keep him from creating outside the pocket and on broken plays, a lethal facet of his game.

Vegas basically has this one as a toss-up if it were on a neutral field. After facing a tough defense in Minnesota, and traveling across country this week to face the best team in the conference, I think Seattle’s luck runs out in Carolina.

newton gifPrediction: Carolina 20, Seattle 17


Bengals-ScalpPittsburgh (11-6) @ Denver (12-4), Sunday 4:40 PM

Line: Pitt +7.5 O/U 41.0

If the first game is the “good” than this one promises to be the “bad and the ugly”. The Steelers come hobbling into Mile High to face dead-arm Peyton Manning. Both teams are playing for the right to get whipped by Brady and Company.

Let’s start with the home team. The Broncos formula for winning is simple: play great defense (1st in total defense, allowing only 283 yards/game), run the ball (with the uninspiring duo of CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman), and don’t let the quarterback lose the game for you. Peyton Manning, the first ballot Hall-of-Famer, has been physically reduced to a game-manager that got (rightfully) bench for Brock-freaking-Osweiler this season.

If you’re to believe the cockgobblers Nance and Simms, Peyton Manning’s presence sparked the running game in their Week 17 victory over the Chargers. Admittedly, we might have been a few cases of Silver Bullets deep at the time, but we’re not blind. Manning was 5/9 with 65 yards and he was launching ducks all over the field. The spark in the run game probably had more to do with San Diego’s atrocious run defense and less with Manning’s presence. But that’s just our analysis.

I liked the Steelers to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl this year. That was before Antonio Brown was decapitated and Big Ben’s arm fell off.  Adam “Pacman” Jones claimed Antonio Brown (who was clearly knocked out before he hit the ground) was faking his injury (as if the refs needed more justification to throw a flag?!) and predicted Brown would be cleared to play this weekend. Yeeeeah. Pac also thinks his Enron stock will rebound and Jupiter Ascending will take home the Oscar for best picture. We long for the days when Pacman did what Pacman does best: make it ran dolla dolla bills (and bullets) in da club. Already reduced to a running back committee of Fitzgerald Toussaint (sounds like a French painter) and Jordan Todman, Brown’s play-making ability is a huge lose. Pittsburgh will rely on young but capable wide outs Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton, while Heath Miller figures to be peppered with short targets.

While Brown’s injury is devastating, Roethlisberger’s busted shoulder is of greater concern. Reports out of Pittsburgh claim that Ben is driving the football with good velocity, but isn’t that exactly what you would expect reports out of Pittsburgh to say? He certainly wasn’t able to throw the ball down the field during the final drive in Cincinnati; a fact that was overshadowed by the Bengals meltdown (with an assist from Joey Porter). This isn’t exactly uncharted territory for Ben, as he annually seems to be a walking infirmary.

So who do you trust more: and banged up Big Ben or going-on-40 Peyton Manning? Manning was no good in cold-weather playoff games in his prime when he had an arm (Eli clearly got all the clutch genes). Despite how decimated the Steelers are, I have to believe they can make enough plays to keep it close. The Steelers could easily lose by a touchdown, so I love getting the ½ point hook. I’m guessing Pacman Jones likes the Broncos to run away with this game in a shootout; so give me the Steelers and the points.

Prediction: Denver 17, Steelers 12







Divisional Weekend – Round 1

NFL DivisionalAlright we’re back and ready for another weekend of NFL playoff action.  We’re going to be straight with you:  last week was brutal, at least from a betting perspective.  The Machine was 2-2 straight up, but a pathetic 0-4 ATS.  But have no fear:  We’re doubling down on our Coors Light intake and ready to make out mortgage payment back.  Let’s get to it.

Kansas City @ New England, Saturday 4:35 PM

Line: NE +5, O/U 44

Patriots v Chiefs 2As if you need a reason to hate the Patriots even more:  this is their 6th straight home playoff game in the Divisional Round.  Sometimes, cheating pays off.  In the 5 prior Divisional playoff games, the Pats are 4-1 (3-2 ATS).  That’s a real nerdy way of saying we like their chances.

But there’s two things that are going to make this game close: injuries and synthetic marijuana.  No one needed the bye week more than the Patriots.  After winning their first 10 games, the Pats went 4-6 down the stretch, and were hobbled by injuries all around.  The Patriots will get Julien Edelmen back, but now comes word that Gronk’s playing time is questionable.  He was limited in practice all week, and didn’t practice Thursday.  In addition to that, there’s Belichick’s unexplained shiner, plus Chandler Jones’ weekend bender (are those things related, why is no one reporting on that angle?)

There's a scandal here somewhere...

There’s a scandal here somewhere…

Oh yeah, there’s one other thing to keep in mind:  The Chiefs.  Kansas City started the season at 1-5, but then won 11 straight, punctuated with a 30-0 shellacking of the Texans last weekend.  Just think what this team could be if Jamaal Charles were healthy.  Just think what my fantasy team could’ve been.  But it’s not the offense that first comes to mind.  It’s the defense.  Led by all-world Justin Houston, the Chiefs allow fewer than 18 points a game, good for 3rd overall.  They also rank 4th in sacks.  If you watched last week’s Wild Card matchup against Houston, the Chiefs defense was unreal.  Perfect combination of pressure and press coverage, Andy Reid deserves coach of the year.  The Chiefs defense alone will keep this game close.  I don’t care how much illegal taping the Pats have done…their line will not be able to stop K.C. from putting constant pressure on Brady.

Where the Chiefs will struggle is finding points.  Alex “I’m not a game manager (yes you are)” Smith leads an offense that ranks 27th overall (30th in passing) by far the worst of the playoff teams.  With a banged up Jeremy Maclin, throwing the ball will be even tougher.  Maclin leads the team in catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns.  And the Patriots defense is no slouch, ranking second overall in sacks.

As much as we’d love to call an upset, we just don’t see it happening.  The Chiefs haven’t won in Foxboro since 1990 (0-5), right about the time the Machine was heading into our awkward teen years (or elementary school for Roid Rage – young punk).  Despite the injuries to the offense, the Patriots defense will carry the day.  Provided Chandler Jones lays off the pipe, they should be able to keep 8 in the box and force Alex Smith to throw.

Prediction:  Patriots 24, Kansas City 17

Whatever happened to regular weed?

Whatever happened to regular weed?


Green Bay @ Arizona, Saturday 8:15 PM

Line: ARZ +7, O/U 49.5

Cardinals v Packers 2Three words:  Bet. The. Over.  This game screams shootout in the making, as the Packers travel to Arizona for a little redemption against the Cardinals.  These teams played each other in Week 16, and Arizona laid the wood to Green Bay, sacking Aaron Rodgers 8 times en route to a 38-8 victory.  But even though that game was less than three weeks ago, it feels like forever.  Now the Cardinals get Playoff Aaron Rodgers, and that’s not an easy task.

In 12 playoff games, Rodgers has thrown 25 tds and only 7 ints, and has a qb rating over 100.  He’s exactly the guy you want leading your team in the playoffs.  However, the Packers can’t completely rely on Aaron to bail them out.  For Green Bay to have success, it needs balance with the running game.  Last week against Washington, they found it, as both Eddie Lacy and James Starks rushed for touchdowns.  As a team, Green Bay rushed for over 140 yards.  This forced Washington to honor the run, which opens up more lanes for Rodgers.

For Arizona, it’s all about getting over the hump…and that hump is Carson Palmer.  Although it’s not a huge body of evidence, Carson is the only qb left in the playoffs to not win a playoff game, going 0-2, with one td, one int, and a qb rating of 66.5.  He hasn’t played in the playoffs since ’09 and, at 36 years old (that’s not really old, btw) the window is closing on his chances for playoff redemption.

Despite the disparity in playoff qb comparisons, we like Arizona.  The Cardinals have been flying high all season, winning a franchise record 13 games, and having the best balance in the league, with both a Top 10 offense and defense.  It’s that consistency that gives The Machine a chubby.  That, and Lifetime movie marathons.  But we digress…

Defensively, Arizona creates matchup nightmare after matchup nightmare.  Patrick Peterson is the best corner in the game (sorry, Richard), and Calais Campbell upfront is unstoppable.  With so much speed in the secondary, they execute the best corner blitzes in the league, and their strength at the ends allows them to overpower the line, oftentimes resulting in plays like this:

Cardinals Sack

The Cardinals are a perfect 4-0 in home playoff games.  We like their chances to extend that streak, and for Carson to get his first playoff win.

Prediction:  Arizona 38, Green Bay 30

Popcorn AND White Zin...sign us up!

Popcorn AND White Zin…sign us up!

Wildcard Weekend: NFC Preview

Oh yeah!

Oh yeah!

Fantasy season may be over, but the real season’s just beginning!  Nothing better than playoff football, and we mean NFL playoff football…not that lame watered down college nonsense.  Note:  when you resort to blaming poor ratings because of Star Wars, you know you’re out of options.  Shit, Luke Skywalker could show up to my house and I’ll be like, “Luke, use the force and shut your mouth until halftime.  The game’s on!”

Roid Rage, fresh off of winning The Machine’s season-long ATS picks (over me by one game!), split the games yesterday with his expert analysis of the AFC games.  Seriously, what the hell happened at the end of the Cincy/Pitt game?  Is the City of Cincinnati on fire?  Prediction:  Marvin Lewis gets fired.  Anyway, it’s time for some NFC action.  Let’s get right to it.

Seattle (10-6) @ Minnesota (11-5), Sunday 1:00 PM

Line:  MIN +5.0, O/U 39.5

A home dog?  In the playoffs?  That must be a mistake, right?  That hasn’t happened since…well yesterday, when both playoff games featured home dogs.  Home dog or not, The Machine’s a firm believer in past performance being a good predictor of future events…especially when that past performance happened last month.  And that brings us to the Seahawks and Vikings.

Remember way back when, in December, when the 6-5 Seahawks went to Minny to face the 8-3 Vikings.  The Vikings had all the hype, as they had only lost one game at home all year.  Well, the Seahawks absolutely throttled the Vikings, scoring the first 35 points en route to a 38-7 dismantling of the Vikings.

No Beastmode, no problem.

No Beastmode, no problem.

This game comes down to who do you trust more:  An upstart team or the defending Super Bowl Champions?  This one’s a no brainer.  The Machine’s money is on Seattle.  No Beastmode?  No problem.  Thomas Rawls ran for over a 100 yards and a touchdown the last time they played…and Minnesota has no answers for the read/option, which we normally hate, but admit the Seahawks run to perfection.

For Minnesota to have any chance, they have to feed AP the ball.  I don’t care how far behind they get.  AP only had 18 yards on 8 carries last month.  That ain’t gonna do it.  AP needs to have 20+ touches.

Simply put:  The Seahawks are on a roll.  Winners of 6 of their last 7 (and 8 of their last 10), Seattle’s coming into the playoffs as the hottest team.  Not even the frigid cold Minnesota winter can cool them off, which brings us to our other point:  the weather.  This could be one of the coldest games in NFL history.  How cold, you ask?  Special underwear cold…temperatures are expected to reach 20 below with wind chill.  This again, will place a huge importance on ball control and time of possession.  Seattle ranks 4th in the league in time of possession, while Minnesota sits at 17th.

Prediction: Seattle 20, Minnesota 10

You may want to dress a little warmer...or not.

You may want to dress a little warmer…or not.

Green Bay (10-6) @ Washington (9-7)

Line:  GB +1, O/U 45, Sunday 4:40 PM

If we told you the team that’s going to win is the team with the quarterback that has thrown for more yards and has a better QBR and higher QB rating, you’d think Green Bay, right?  I mean, Green Bay has All-World Aaron Rodgers.  Certainly he’s had a better year than Gus Frerotte-in-training Kirk Cousins?  Right?  Right?

WRONG!  Gus…err…Kirk has quietly put together one of the best performances of any QB in the league this year…and he’s done it with far less of a supporting cast.  And who can forget his now infamous rallying cry:

Green Bay really misses Jordy Nelson.  Even without Jordy, they have a ton of weapons on offense (and Aaron Rodgers); however for Green Bay to be successful, they need balance with the rushing game, and that’s where the Packers are failing.  Don’t let Green Bay’s 12th overall rushing ranking fool you:  Eddie Lacy is limping into the playoffs.  In his last three games, Lacy has rushed for 23, 60, and 34 yards, respectively, with 0 touchdowns.  That equates to 39 yards/game.  Not surprisingly, Green Bay lost 2 of those 3 games (with the lone win against the Raiders).  Without a healthy Lacy, Green Bay becomes very predictable.  And their defense is a liability.

Washington, meanwhile, enjoys a healthy balance.  Their three-headed rushing attack of Alfred Morris, Matt Jones, and Chris Thompson, makes defenses keep an extra man in the box, which opens up the passing lanes for Kirk.  Jordan Reed has been simply unstoppable, with 5 tds in his last 4 games.

This game’s going to be close.  The Redskins get no respect because they play in the NFC East and…well because everyone hates Dan Snyder.  Some or all of that may be true, but it won’t matter come game time.  Somebody needs to win a home game in the playoffs this weekend.  We like the Skins in a close one.

Prediction:  Washington 24, Green Bay 21

Effective PR strategy to make people feel ok with the Redskins.

Effective PR strategy to make people feel ok with the Redskins.


wc02Kansas City (11-5) @ Houston (9-7), Saturday 4:35 PM

Line: Hou +3.0 O/U 40.0

Alex Smith v. Brian Hoyer. If you have to miss one game this weekend, this is it. Side note: if you have to miss one game this weekend than you aren’t doing it right. This is the playoffs man! Sure, we don’t exactly have Aikman against Young, and Vegas isn’t projecting fireworks as evident with the low total of 40 points, but that’s not going to stop The Machine from kicking off Wildcard Weekend tailgate-style: grill, cooler and fire pit!!

This is a rematch from Week 1, where the Chiefs beat the Texans 27-20, and it wasn’t that close. You know, the game that Brian Hoyer started after winning the training camp battle only to get benched half way through in favor of Ryan Mallett. The same Ryan Mallett whom the Texans later released when they realized he was Ryan Mallett. What a difference 16 weeks can make.

Andy Reid should get consideration for coach of the year. After starting the season 1-5 and losing their franchise offensive cornerstone in Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs rattled off ten consecutive wins. Yes, they feasted on bottom-feeders, beating Oakland (twice), San Diego (twice), Baltimore, and Cleveland, but a 10-win streak is impressive in Madden, let alone the NFL. So, despite the fact that KC is the better team (slightly), why isn’t that streak going to make it to 11? Because the NFL is a game of match-ups, and the Texans are a difficult match-up for the Chiefs on both sides of the ball. Defensively, the Texans will be able to take away either Jeremy Maclin or Travis Kelce (or both) while keeping the Chiefs behind sticks in down-and-distance. That’s where JJ Watt will go to work and leave his mark on this game. I’m expecting one of those dominate performances from the All-Pro.

Glad I have a desk job!

Glad I have a desk job!

On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs had no answers for DeAndre Hopkins, who destroyed their secondary to the tune of 9/98/2. Hopkins pretty much feasted on every secondary this year, despite average (that’s being generous) quarterback play. Without an elite shutdown corner, look for Hopkins to post gaudy reception and yardage numbers.

As a final note, there was a bit of bad blood between these two teams in their Week 1 showdown. On the first play from scrimmage, Travis Kelce went to the knees of JJ Watt. Watt took exception to the play, and I’m sure didn’t forget about it. So while we might not be in store for fireworks on the scoreboard, the game might be extra chippy on the field.

I like the Texans as a home dog to win this game outright.

Prediction: Houston 23, Kansas City 19


steel01Pittsburgh (10-6) @ Cincinnati (12-4), Saturday 8:15 PM

Line: Cin +3.0 O/U 45.5

The poor Bungals just can’t get it right. Heading into the playoffs last year Andy Dalton was healthy while all of his offensive skill players were hurt. This year everyone is healthy except the Ginger Warlock! That leaves Cincinnati entrusting AJ McCarron to become the first quarterback since Boomer Esiason (whom is 54 years old mind you) to win a playoff game. Ouch.

For whatever the first game lacks in big plays, this one should pick up the slack. Antonio Brown is the best receiver in the game and AJ Green isn’t too far behind. The Steelers create and exploit mismatches with Martavis Bryant and Marcus Wheaton.   The Bengals counter with Giovani Bernard out of the backfield and Tyler Eifert in the red zone. Both offenses will find success moving the ball in this one.

ABrownPittsburgh hasn’t exactly instilled a ton of confidence lately; inexplicably dropping a Week 16 game to the Ravens, limping by the lifeless Browns last week while needing help from the Bills (you’re welcome) to sneak into the playoffs. However, that is all regular season fodder at this point. Big Ben’s experience in making deep playoff runs will be the difference in this one.

If the Steelers secondary can hold it together and not blow too many coverages (something they tend to do) then I like their chances of getting after McCarron and creating some turnovers. This will game will be close, with the Steelers pulling away at the end.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 31, Cincinnati 23













Roid Rage Ginger King Dr. Mike Big Daddy Vegas Vinny
129-104-7 127-106-7 111-122-7 118-115-7 116-117-7
Roid Rage Ginger King Dr. Mike Big Daddy Vegas Vinny
10-5-1 12-4-0 8-8-0 8-8-0 4-12-0

Week 16 Scorecard