Tag Archives: Playoffs

Completely Ignorant Super Bowl Extravaganza

Introduction

Yeah, I said Super Bowl. A�Whatchoo gonna do about it NFL? A�Sue me? A�Go ahead, do it, and I’ll bring your whole stupid farce of a league down around your heads. A�The Immaculate Reception and The Tuck Rule both just happened to be against the Raiders? A�Two franchise altering and ultimately dynasty launching plays in the playoffs against the exact same team? A�And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. A�Once I’m done Alex Jonesing you, my cadre of minions will boycott everything that contains an N, and F, or an L, including your fraudulent product. A�I’ve already gotten 4 other people to join me in my anti-Super Bowl party and there’s many more just waiting for a ridiculous cult leader to rise from the population and lead them away from your web of lies.

Okay, did I scare them off? A�Yes? A�Whew. A�It was tough keeping up that insane prattling just to throw them off the scent. A�I just wanted them to go away so that I can freely use the word Super Bowl without fear of being sued by the league. A�Normally, I wouldn’t be worried, but with all of this talk of tanking ratings, concussion protocol, and terrible product on the field, I wouldn’t doubt that they’d come after some tiny web page in the corner of the internet. A�They might actually need the money.

As people tell us, if you misrespect ol’ Glory, she gonna get her revenge! Sad!

Okay, now that the silliness is over, let’s get to the game.A� We will have time for silliness after.A� It is a serious and solemn occasion after all.A� There’s no time for silliness in a child’s game!

What Philadelphia brings to the game

Good cheese steaks that have somehow been elevated to the status of national icon.A� The cradle of American democracy even though the revolution started in Massachusetts.A� Rioting fans that somehow caused the police there to rub Crisco on light poles.A� At least, that’s the official story.A� Maybe some rogue cop there just likes rubbing Crisco on light poles.A� Some dude did still ascend a light pole smothered in Crisco.

Oh, I’m supposed to talk about the football team here.A� Apparently, Philadelphia has a great defense.A� They said that about Minnesota and Jacksonville, too.A� The former did what Minnesota does and broke their fan’s hearts by rolling over in an NFC Championship in which they could have played in the Super Bowl in their home stadium.A� The latter played right into script by folding in the second half and letting the Patriots dance all over our broken hearts once again.A� So, I don’t know what to make of the Eagles defense.

Could these guys electric slide all over Brady (boogie oogie oggie)? Sure. Sh’yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt.

We’ve seen that the way to get to Brady is the way you get to all quarterbacks.A� You pressure him up the middle and take away his ability to step up out of your pressure on the ends.A� Everyone knows the formula.A� So far, only a select few teams have been able to execute the strategy in the playoffs and only one has been able to in the Super Bowl.A� So, pardon me if I’m not overwhelmed by your ridiculous discussions of the Eagles defense.

Speaking of recency bias, how about Nick Foles!A� I was guilty of the same thing last week in my pick of the Vikings.A� Now, it seems like all of America, clinging to some faint hope of a Patriots loss, is using that logic to elevate Nick Foles to Doug Williams status.A� Again, I’m not going to say that he can’t do what he did against the Vikings.A� I’m just saying that it is highly unlikely.A� He’s playing against Negan Belichick and his version of Lucille, Tom Brady.

This picture redacted due to depictions of eye related mishaps. Just know that the Patriots will give us all the Glenn treatment tomorrow.

Other than those two talking points that have saturated popular culture enough to even make it into a brain that has tried to avoid all discussion of the Super Bowl these last two weeks, I think the Eagles might have a decent running back, maybe two.A� Their coach is apparently a guy who knows how to do football things and tell other guys how to do football things.A� What does it all add up to?A� The Eagles will use all of that to build a 10+ point lead in the first three quarters.A� Congratulations, guys, but a football game is 4 quarters long.A� That’s how math works.

What New England brings to the game

Fans that think that the NFL was founded in 2001 when football Jesus descended from the football heavens above with a football shirt and pants on his body, and a football hat on his head.A� Fans that used to be known for rioting and occasionally urinating on one another in drunken fits of drunkeness, but are now much more sophisticated and refined in their drunken behavior.A� Stephen King, though he’s more of a baseball fan and I think he might have somehow avoided Patriots fever.A� Probably his experience with Captain Tripps.A� Clam chowder that has rightly been elevated to national icon status.

I’m biased here. I can’t talk bad about the region or people. I may hate the Patriots, but I love New England. That’s why my snark might be dialed down a bit. Apologies.

And, again, here we are at the place where I have to talk about football.A� Everyone tells me that this Patriots defense is not as good as Patriots defenses of the past.A� I hear that Tom Brady is 40 years old and that father time is undefeated.A� There have been reports that Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and Robert Kraft had a little fight a couple of weeks ago over Jimmy G-sus and Brady’s role on the team going forward.A� Gronkenstein went out last game with a concussion.A� Edleman has been hurt for much of the season.A� I’m here to tell you that none of this means a damn thing.

You can cling to whatever sliver of hope speaks to your stupid little heart.A� I’ve seen this story in some form or another many times over the past decade.A� I don’t suffer entertainment that becomes so predictable as to be boring.A� And, I don’t suffer false hope.A� Do not.A� I repeat.A� Do not hate watch this game thinking that the Eagles will win.A� You will waste 4 hours of your life.

The zombies will always breach the perimeter in the last 2 minutes of the show. Joffrey will Joffrey even harder just when you think that he couldn’t be any more Joffrey. And, the Patriots will win this damn game.

The Gordian Aiden

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned in this article that I haven’t watched the Super Bowl in over a decade.A� I’ve had to say it so much to so many people that it doesn’t even sound like real words to me anymore.A� Well, I haven’t.A� I took an assessment of my life, a la my Skyrim days and I decided that I didn’t like the person I was becoming in regards to the NFL.A� There were other triggers, as well, and I didn’t like how other people in my life were falling into the gravitational pull of the league either.A� We’d be on vacation and people would disappear into a bar to watch the Patriots game instead of doing vacation things.A� It’s almost a disorder.

Instead of the Super Bowl, our family has thrown an anti-Super Bowl party.A� We watch a marathon of movies or TV shows together and I still cook food as if we were watching the Super Bowl.A� Potato skins, chicken fingers, nachos, pizza, etc.A� We just don’t watch the game.A� Well, it got out that Aiden wants to watch the game this year.A� It’s most likely because his friends are talking about it.A� That brings up a bit of a dilemma.A� Christine hates football.A� I’ve gotten used to not watching the game.A� But, we also don’t want to dictate what he does with his life.

Okay, it’s not Gordian Knot level, but both of us have expressed our deep displeasure at having to break our tradition for this silly game.

Well, my friend Craig, who I’ve mentioned a few times on the page, invited us over. He was very careful with his words because he knows that the only one in the family who wants to watch the game is Aiden.A� I told him in no uncertain terms that I have no interest in the game.A� I’m not playing that up to make this article seem more intellectually honest as being “completely ignorant”.A� I don’t want to watch a single minute of this game.A� I don’t want to see highlights.A� I don’t want to know stats or the score.A� It will be impossible to do so, of course, but the longer I can stem the tide of Patriots revulsion, the better I will be for it.

So, I’m not sure how I’m going to do it, but I think we might end up at his place.A� He’s got a big place and I can avoid the game without seeming too antisocial.A� Christine likes to hang out and talk with his wife and he says the only other people that are there are Patriots haters.A� I wish them well in their hate watch, but I’m not falling for it this time.

The Pick

I’m 5-5 so far in these playoffs.A� I don’t know if my crystal ball is just foggy.A� I’ve gone 8-2 in my ignorant picks as recently as three years ago.A� Maybe this NFL season was just especially wacky.A� I have to admit that I never thought at the beginning of the season that I’d be picking between the Vikings and Eagles in the NFC Championship or that the Jaguars would beat my Steelers in a game in which the two teams scored 87 points combined.

But, here we are.A� I mentioned last week that choosing this game is like choosing between sawing off my leg and bleeding to death vs. letting the rot slowly spread through my body.A� It’s an apt metaphor and the main reason that I can’t hate watch this game.A� I hate the Patriots.A� That’s been established.A� I hate the Eagles just as much, if not more.A� That’s in the DNA of every red blooded Pittsburgher.

Though, to be honest, my true hatred of Philly sports teams lies with the Flyers. They can go straight to hell.

Who do I want to win?A� The answer in any Patriots Super Bowl is always “not the Patriots”.A� Who are “not the Patriots” this year?A� Well, fate being the cruel mistress she is, they are the Eagles.A� So, the true answer is, “I don’t care.A� Just end this stupid spectacle already.”A� Well, what about the commercials, you may think.A� I feel like the commercials peaked about 5 or 6 years ago just before they started releasing them online before the game.A� Huh, I guess I am somewhat affected by spoilers.A� The halftime show?A� Justin Timberlake?A� Eh, sure, I guess.A� What’s he gonna do, dress as a troll and sing with Anna Kendrick?A� I’d tune in for that.A� Maybe.A� Prop bets?A� Not a gambler.

Who do I think will win?A� Crazy things can happen.A� Somehow in the recent past, we went sideways in time and now exist in the universe where Donald Trump is president of the USA.A� However, I don’t see any way that the Eagles win this one.A� Heck, I’ll take the loss and go 5-6 in these playoffs to be wrong.A� But, even if they did, so what?

I just hope that it doesn’t take very long to bleed to death.

Completely Ignorant NFL Championship Preview

Post Mortem on the Divisional Round (and the elephant in the room that is my Steelers)

Not much to say about the Patriots game.A� I was 100% correct on that one.A� I was about 50% correct on the Eagles vs. Falcons game as that game was more or less a toss up during the Falcons last possession of the game.A� I was dead wrong about the Steelers game and I don’t even know how to score the Vikings game since they went from about a 22% chance to win to over 98% chance to win after that touchdown.A� What it all boils down to is a 2-2 record in the divisional round and overall 4-4 for the playoffs.

Okay, let’s talk about my Steelers.A� I tuned the game out at halftime and then we went over to visit Christine’s parents.A� My father in law said to me as I walked into the house, “Tie game.”A� I responded with the appropriate shocked reaction and then learned that the Steelers were actually down by 7 points.A� Well, that was enough to hook me for the rest of the game.A� I’m sorry that I did.A� That was a pathetic display against what we were told by all of the experts was an inferior team led by a subpar quarterback.A� I can accept being beaten by the Patriots (no, I can’t), but to continually lose every year with the amount of talent they have is unacceptable.

I was texting with Chris during the game and my assessment was, “I like Tomlin, but that game was an abomination.A� It might be time to start talking about him going.”A� It was in the heat of the moment and I’ve had some time to cool off.A� I don’t feel any different.A� I know that nothing will come of it, but maybe they will at least make an example out of Haley?A� Who am I kidding?A� I’ll meet you back here next year, just as dejected as I am right now.

NFL Championship Weekend

Now, for this weekend.A� I’m going to do things a little bit differently here.A� (a) Because I’m a math nerd and I have to get my brain ready for the new semester, (b) because sometimes I just like to switch things up every now and then, and (c) we all know that the Patriots are going to repeat as champions this year, so why not have some fun this weekend.A� I’ve looked up the probabilities for each team to make the Super Bowl atA�Playoff StatusA�and used those to figure out the probabilities of each match up for the Super Bowl.A� I will analyze each of those from least to most likely and then make my pick at the end.A� Hope this works!

Least Likely MatchupA�(10.35%) – Jaguars vs. Vikings

The Jaguars are massive underdogs to the Patriots this week and the Vikings are just below a coin toss at the Eagles.A� I’m rooting for the Jags for two reasons.A� First, eff the Pats.A� Second, long ago my dad instilled in me that you want to root for the team that beat you because then you can soothe your wounds by saying at least you lost to the champs.A� When the Pats usually beat the Steelers, these two are at odds with one another.A� Not so far this year.A� Watching the Vikings dismantle Drew Brees and the Saints for a half after watching the debacle that was my Steelers makes them my new favorite team.A�A�Verdict: I guess you could say that my heart wishes for this one.

Only Slightly More Likely (12.65%) – Jaguars vs. Eagles

Considering I never thought either of these two teams would even sniff the conference championships, you could say that I’m surprised that this is even a possibility, let alone the fact that it happens in about 1/8 universes that are currently in existence.A� The schadenfreude in me wants to see exactly what they’d talk about in the 2 weeks leading to the game and then in the 12 hours of pregame on the actual day of the game.A� Nevermind, I know.A� It would be all about Blake Bortles, World Beater.A� Get in line, hosers, he got me a championship first.A�A�Verdict:A� Nobody wishes for this horror show of a game.

Happens In Over a Third of Possible Universes (34.65%) – Patriots vs. Vikings

After my Steelers lost, I was in quite the tizzy.A� I went from wanting to see Brady vs. Brees to wanting to see Minnesota’s defense against Brady.A� I may have settled on that last one.A� I don’t want Tom Brady anywhere near the Super Bowl again, but if Minnesota can do to Brady for the whole game what they did to Brees for a half, sign me up for that.A� It would almost be worth it to listen to WEEI for a week or two and hear all of the Southies lose their crap.A�A�Verdict:A� This is the game that I really want to see.

Most Likely Scenario (42.35%) – Patriots vs Eagles

Brady vs. Foles.A� Really?A� I mean, we’ve heard that the Eagles have just as good a defense as the Vikings and they sort of proved it by shutting down Atlanta for the whole game instead of just a half.A� I’m just not as excited about the possibility of Nick Foles being in the Super Bowl as not only did I become a fan of the Vikings defense, but I think I might have a slight man crush on Case Keenum now.A�A�Verdict:A�Other than Pats fans who just want that ring (baby!), does anyone really want to see this game happen?

My Pick

I already told you that I want Pats and Vikes.A� I also think that this is the game that is likely to happen.A� First, Nick Foles is not Drew Brees.A� I’m pretty sure that Minnesota can shut him down for an entire game instead of just the half.A� Also, as Bill Simmons mentioned in his emergency podast to discuss the past weekend games, the Vikings have the stink of destiny on them.A� They won that Saints game in impossible fashion.A� They could become the first team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium.A� It just feels right.A� You may notice that I didn’t even mention the Pats/Jags game.A� In spite of his shredding of my woefully unprepared Steelers team, Blake Bortles isn’t doing the same to a Bill Belichick prepared team.

Completely Ignorant NFL Divisional Round Preview

A Note about the CFP Championship Game:A� I watched the first half and part of the second half (right up until when Alabama’s freshman quarterback threw his interception) with a friend before proclaiming the game over after that interception.A� I thought I was going to go home to get some sleep because I had a substitute job the next day.A� Instead, I laid on the couch for about a half an hour or so until I tuned back into the game to see it tied.A� I then watched the missed FG and overtime.

The final play of the game got me off of my couch and cheering.A� I was excited both for the freshman QB from Hawai’i (I apologize for not writing his name, but I don’t even know how to spell it and I want to be intellectually honest about it) and that our pick was correct.A� I texted my friend asking how he felt about it.A� He remains bitter about Nick Saban, so we had a bit of a back and forth about referees and how that is always the lament of the loser (my response).A� He accused me of being an Alabama fan due to my excitement about the win.A� Hey, I’m just happy that I got something right in football after doing rather poorly in the Wild Card round and CFP semifinals.A� Can’t wait until next year and the Return of the Jedi.

Introduction

You will just have to trust me that I wrote this last night and only got around to typing it today.A� It might looks a bit suspicious when I go 4-0.A� I went 2-2 last week.A� I got the Jaguars and Saints right, but missed on the Rams and Chiefs.A� George went 3-1, kind of lending some credibility to my habit of calling it coin flip weekend.A� He only missed on the Panthers, but they almost came back.A� We are going to retire George for the rest of the season since this is when things start to go more according to expectations.A� We might bring him back to see his famous cousin star in the Super Bowl and hopefully this is the season that we both lose a ton of money and respect by picking every single game during the season.

The Picks

Titans at Patriots (Saturday at 8:15 pm):A� Andy Reid Andy Reided all over the Tennessee/Kansas City game last week and one team that would seem to have no business in the playoffs advanced to play New England this weekend.A� Chris and I were texting and, in our not so professional opinion, Tennessee has absolutely no chance of winning this game.A� now that there is this stupid ESPN article about the Patriots in fighting over Jimmy G-sus (thanks Cousin Sal!) is out, they are going to most likely be in full “Eff you” mode.A� I already thought they would win the Super Bowl again this year, but now it is virtually certain.A� Dammit.A� Alabama and New England in the same year?

Jaguars at Steelers (Sunday at 1:05 pm):A� Buffalo was only in the playoffs because the NFL decided that six teams is the right number for their playoff format.A� Jacksonville was only in the playoffs because there has to be a winner in each of the 4 divisions in the playoffs.A� They showed last week that they are quite possibly the 2 least qualified playoff teams in recent memory.A� Chris and I give them a marginally better chance than Tennessee only because they beat the Steelers in September, which is little more than extended preseason.A� I get to watch the Steelers get blown out by the Patriots in the AFC Championship game again.A� Yay for me.

Falcons at Eagles (Saturday at 4:35 pm):A� There is no love lost between me and Philadelphia.A� However, even I’m a bit sad at how their season played out.A� If not for the Wentz injury, I’d probably have them as the favorite.A� Playing Nick Foles in a playoff game is not anyone’s idea of a winning strategy.A� Earlier in the week, I figured Atlanta might just blow them out.A� However, I’ve been convinced by more recent arguments that Philadelphia might be able to hang.A� I don’t think they win, but it should be a good game, at least.

Saints at Vikings (Sunday at 4:40 pm):A� I said last week that I’d have liked to have seen Panthers/Saints as an NFC Championship game.A� We now have a good possibility of two NFC South teams making it.A� The Vikings are good but they, too, are starting a backup quarterback in the playoffs.A� I’m less confident in Case Keenum than I am in Nick Foles.A� He’s played more this season and Minnesota has a great defense, though, and a decent running game, so I’m more confident to pick them to win.

Wrap Up

More and more likely it is looking like we will see a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl again this year.A� Many people are actually calling for it.A� Granted, it might be a compelling game for most, but I have no interest in watching it.A� Then again, I won’t watch it at all as we will have our annual Lucas-Mullen No Super Bowl Watch Party, so I guess let NFL fans eat their cake.

Completely Ignorant NFL Conference Championship Edition

(Editor’s Note: A�Well, those of you waiting for us to fall of the wagon, get your Nelson Muntz “Ha ha” finger pointing and “told you so”s out of the way. A�We have some football games to get wrong!)

NFC Conference Championship

The Falcons destroyed the Seahawks in a game that I was actually grateful to get wrong last week. A�I’m already sick of the Seachickens and their budding cross conference rivalry with the Patsies. A�Aaron Rodgers’ team won in the closing seconds against the Pokes and set up a dream matchup for me, even though I had the exact opposite teams in my picks. A�This is probably the hardest game for me to pick. A�I’m leaning Atlanta because they are playing at home, Matt Ryan is the pick for MVP because the other players in the running are either a rookie or missed 4 games for various reasons, and it is just a more fun story for the Falcons to finally make it to the Super Bowl. A�However, Aaron Rodgers’ team is hot right now, just knocked off one of the leading contenders to win the Super Bowl in their home, and I don’t know if you heard, but they have Aaron Rodgers on their team. A�I am genuinely split on this one, but I will take the Falcons in a high scoring affair, 35-30.

AFC Conference Championship

I was deathly afraid of the Chefs last week and it turns out that there was some basis for that fear. A�The Steelers squeaked out a win over the Chefs with one of the oddest football scores I’ve seen in a while. A�They didn’t look overly impressive in the game, only managed field goals as scores, and gave me no reason to be positive going into this week’s game against the Pats. A�I didn’t see the Pats beat the Texans as the only game that I got right last week, but I heard that they weren’t that impressive even though they won by such a large margin. A�As a Steelers fan, I feel like I’ve seen this same stupid game against the Patriots five times before and it always ends in a 34-14 score. A�I have no reason to believe that this time will be any different, so there you have it.

The Super Bowl, which will again be shunned in favor of the annual Lucas-Mullen film festival is going to be the Patriots against the Falcons. A�Look for our hastily written preview only hours before the game.

My Completely Ignorant NFL Coin Flip Weekend Preview

(Editor’s Note: A�Look for a detailed analysis of the season preview after Super Bowl weekend. A�Also, we hope to expand our reach of ignorant sports coverage into college with a preview of the BCS Championship game before Monday. A�Holy cow, this is an actual editor’s note and not an attempted joke. A�We’re either losing our edge or attempting to go legit or both. A�Personally, I hope it’s neither.)

A couple of years ago, I had the idea to pick the NFL playoffs. A�I went 9-2, missing the Broncos/Indianapolis game and getting within a Beastmode touchdown of getting the Super Bowl right as a preseason pick. A�I took that success and was going to pick the games for last season (or this or both) against a coin and compare those records to “experts”. A�Why a coin, you may ask.

Well, I’m glad you asked. A�When faced with the prospect of picking Wild Card games in those playoffs, I made the offhand remark that the teams were so close that you might as well just flip a coin. A�This year seems less random, which is always dangerous, especially when discussing the NFL. A�As most games are decided by one score or less, there is no such thing as a sure thing. A�Except, eff the Patriots. A�I can guarantee that. A�100%. A�Every time.

Oakland @ Houston (-3.5)

This game has the potential to be the worst playoff game in the history of the league. A�Look, I get that we live in a time when everything is either the best or the worst ever and there is no room for nuance. A�However, I’m not one for hyperbole. A�Let’s look at the evidence.

Oakland is a surprise team by making the playoffs after a fairly significant drought. A�That rarely ends well for a team. A�Their quarterback–a big reason that they are relevant again–got injured and they’re now relying on a far inferior back up. A�About the only team that can (and has) survived such a tragedy is New England. A�Eff the Pats.

Houston is the perpetually underperforming team that they always are. A�It’s just that this year, Indianapolis decided to give in to peer pressure and stink like the rest of the division. A�Houston didn’t lose their starting quarterback, but they might as well have with Brock Osweiler under center. A�They did, however, lose JJ Watt and I’ve heard less imaginative people call him the quarterback of their defense.

When you take all of that into consideration, I see no compelling reason to watch this game. A�Heck, I’m having trouble focusing enough to pick it.

My pick: A�What to you mean I have to pick it? A�Does that mean I have to watch it? A�Dear God, I hope not. A�Okay, I pick the Texans to get annihilated by the Pats round 2. A�Eff the Pats.

Detroit @ Seatttle (-8)

This game promises to be bad, but in an entirely different way. A�Then again, maybe it will have some of the same awfulness. A�Detroit somehow made the playoffs, even though they stink like the Raiders. A�Okay, I guess that’s only one similarity. A�It still promises a terrible game.

Seattle is one of the elite teams of the last 5 years. A�Detroits bores us to death every Thanksgiving Day for some reason. A�Seattle has a Super Bowl winning quarterback. A�Detroit has…a quarterback, I assume. A�I mean, they have to have at least one on the roster, right? A�Seattle has a home field advantage that is so notorious that people think a 7-1 year is akin to 5-3. A�Okay, that last one is a bit of a stretch. A�I know of one person (Cousin Sal) that made that calculus, but quoting “people that know things” is part of this post fact world.

My pick: A�No matter how much of an exaggeration that last “fact” is, Seattle should roll in this game.

Miami @ Pittsburgh (-10)

I usually spare you my pictures with witty captions in these sports article. I’m also not much of a selfie guy. However, this picture approximates my face when I saw that line for the Steelers.

Okay, Pittsburgh is my team. A�I know these guys and their tendencies because I watch them and pay attention. A�You’d think so, right? A�Nope. A�Similar to a trip to Pats (Eff the Pats) training camp a few years ago, I can only name 3 players on the team and one of them only because he inexplicably still plays for them (James Harrison). A�I’ve watched more college than NFL again this year and I was more excited about Pitt’s annual appearance in the Toilet Bowl than the Steelers making the playoffs.

However I did watch the “Christmas Day miracle” against the Rats. A�I kept saying during the game that they’d either lose that one and be eliminated or get destroyed by the Pats (Eff the Pats) in the AFC Championship. A�Recent events have diminished some of that optimism, but Vegas really likes the Steelers and other fans are afraid of them for some reason. A�I think it is all Antonio Brown and his fantasy prowess.

Okay, enough about the Steelers. A�The Dolphins are in the same situation as the Raiders with their starting quarterback. A�The only difference is that their starter is only minimally better than their backup. A�Also, they have the dirtiest player in the game, Ndamukong (I had to Google his name twice to spell it right) Suh. A�Okay, enough about the Dolphins.

My pick: A�I still think the Steelers will win this game, maybe even convincingly, but I’m much more worried about the Chefs round 2 than I was the Raiders 2 weeks ago.

New York Giants at Green Bay (-4.5)

Now we’re talking! A�This is a game that people are excited to watch. A�Not me, of course, but I’ve heard people say that it is the best game of the weekend. A�Eh, who knows. A�Maybe the social media hype will get me and I’ll pay attention to the game.

Chris and I were talking a few weeks ago and I said that it would be funny to see the Giants run the table again so that I could watch Pats fans poop their pants over losing to Eli once again because eff the Pats. A�He isn’t convinced that the Giants will make it that far, but I hold out hope. A�Apparently, the big news for the Giants this week is that Odell Beckham went to Miami or something? A�I have no idea. A�That’s all I could make out from captioned ESPN while I rode a stationary bike at the YMCA the other day.

As far as Green Bay is concerned, they have Aaron Rogers. A�He seems to have taken Peyton Manning’s place as the other guy to Tom Brady’s golden boy. A�He makes a ton of commercials and is still one of the best. A�Um, unlike Peyton, though, Rogers! seems to be doing it with duct tape and paper clips, MacGyver style. A�Other than Rogers!, I can’t name another player on the team, except for “blonde guy on defense who thinks he is Hulk Hogan, but isn’t Kevin Greene”.

My pick: A�I think I’ve picked all home teams, so I will pick this one as my odd ball. A�Giants in a close one. A�Start pooping, Pats fans.

My Completely Ignorant NFL Picks (Division Round Weekend)

(Editor’sA�Note: A�Even though the divisional round is far less random than the wild card, due to popular demand, I’m bringing back the coin from last weekend to pick the games. A�Heck, I kind of like the gimmick. A�I’ll call him George McQuarter.)

[spoiler title = “TLDR:”] Went 3-1 last week, but 1-3 against the spread. A�George went 4-0 and 2-2. A�This week I have all 4 home teams; Pats, Cards, Panthers, and Broncos. A�George picks Chiefs, Cards, Panthers, and Steelers. [/spoiler]

Well, I didn’t make 50,000 dollars in stupid Fantasy Football. A�I didn’t even make it past the first round. A�I did learn some valuable lessons about daily fantasy football and I’m now obsessed with the math of betting sports. A�My father gave me the advice to never bet on a sport where the ball bounces funny and I’ve always taken that to heart, but I’m a math guy and the math intrigues me.

I went 3-1 straight up last week. A�The Green Bay Rodgers came to life for one game as the Washington team turtled and that game was hopeless. A�I was also 1-3 against the spread. A�I’m not sure how all that translates to betting possibilities, but I’d probably have put together a moneyline parlay with Kansas City and Seattle. A�I don’t think it would have paid much, but I’d have made money, so there’s that. A�Maybe I’ll do this column weekly next year with 200 fictional dollars (enough for 10 dollars each week leading to the Super Bowl and then if I have money at the end, I can use that for the Super Bowl) and see where I end up. A�I could do the same for George, who was 4-0 and 2-2 against the spread, but I’d have to figure out a way to rank George’s confidence without intentionally sabotaging him.

Rare picture of George. After getting this shot, he shouted, "No paparazzi!", and then jumped up, smacked me in the forehead hard enough to leave a mark, and rolled off. I haven't seen him since. He's been texting his picks to me. It's a strained relationship right now.
Rare picture of George. After getting this shot, he shouted, “No paparazzi!”, and then jumped up, smacked me in the forehead hard enough to leave a mark, and rolled off. I haven’t seen him since. He’s been texting his picks to me. Needless to say, It’s a strained relationship right now.

Okay, enough silliness, on to the picks. A�I honestly did no research this week other than look up the lines. A�I didn’t even listen to Bill Simmons and Cousin Sal. A�So, this week might be ugly. A�However, the Divisional Round is traditionally where the playoffs settle back into form after the craziness of the Coin Flip Round. A�This year’s Coin Flip round was especially crazy with all 4 road teams winning, so I see a possible overcorrection happening this week.

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (-5):A� There are a lot of people who are high on Kansas City, especially after they thrashed a very terrible Houston Texans team last week. A�I’m not as high on them because all I keep thinking is Andy Reid on the road against Bill Belichick. A�I don’t care how many Patriots are injured. A�I don’t care that Kansas City is coming off of a huge win in the Coin Flip game. A�I just don’t care. A�Nothing can convince me that the Patriots won’t win this game. A�The Chiefs might, might cover if all of those Pats are actually hurt, but the Pats will win this game. A�George likes the Chiefs 59-41.

Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals (-7):A� The Packers whipped the Washingtons, but that’s not saying much. A�The Washingtons are slightly better than the Texans because they actually have a quarterback. A�Arizona has been the team to beat almost all year and they’re my NFC pick for the Super Bowl. A�The Packers are my crazy pick, so this is the game. A�I can’t pick against Arizona at home. A�They’ll shut down Rodgers and just win. A�George likes Arizona, too, but he’s less confident, 52-48.

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers (-3): A�Seattle escaped by the skin of their teeth last week in awful conditions in Minnesota. A�I’m not as high on Carolina as some seem to be, but I’m pretty sure they can win this one. A�The NFC seems far less wonky this year than the AFC and I have much more confidence in their top seeds. A�George picks the Panthers, too, 57-43.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos (-7):A� The following is a transcript of a text conversation with my friend. A�I had been texting him the night before with updates on my fantasy failure and also grumping about the Steelers/Bengals game and what a terrible game it was. A�I had shut it off when the Bengals intercepted the ball with 1:36 left or whatever.

Him: A�Do you like NFL any better today?
Me: A�Nope. A�(Steelers lost and I’m out of the fantasy running)
Him: A�Steelers going to Mile Hile????
Me: A�How? A�Bungs picked it off with a minute left. A�(I gave up on the game and went to bed).

After that, I went to check the score, saw that the Steelers won and went on to discuss with him that this terrible Steelers team is now two improbable wins from the Super Bowl. A�I don’t think that this Steelers team is any better than they were before, but weird things happen in these Steelers/Broncos playoff games. A�Of all of the games, I’m least confident of this one. A�I’m picking the Broncos, but I’d love to be wrong to see this awful Steelers team playing for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. A�George has the Steelers 51-49, so he’s just as shaky on this one.

My Completely Ignorant NFL Preview (Coin Flip Weekend Edition)

(Note: A�I swore off the NFL, and especially the Super Bowl, about 6 or 7 years ago. I cheated a couple of times by watching the second half of Steelers/Cardinals and the last couple of drives of Pats/Giants II for the schadenfreude.)

[spoiler title = “TLDR:”] A�Pats/Cards in the Super Bowl. Steelers/Packers in the Crazy Bowl. A�Chiefs, Steelers, Seahawks, Redskins for this weekend. A�Hopefully I win 50,000 dollars in stupid fantasy football.[/spoiler]

Last year, I started what I hoped would be an annual tradition. A�As with most of my plans, this one got lost somewhere between planning and implementation. A�I wrote an article called “My Completely Ignorant NFL Preview” to basically show that the blowhards on TV and the internet every week have no better idea than anyone else as to how the NFL is going to unfold in any particular season. A�I picked how each team would finish in their division and then made a Super Bowl prediction. A�The division picks were a mixed bag. A�Then again, I never thought to check how I did compared to the “expert” (Dr Z? A�Is he still a thing?) I fashioned my article after, which would have been a good follow up. A�Oh well, good intentions and all that. A�However, I came within 5 seconds and a crazy sequence of events from winning my Seahawks over Patriots pick.

If I was a gambling man, this would have been me. I would have specifically asked my bookie to deliver the money in this fashion. He would have most likely responded to this request with a pair of cement shoes.

If I was a gambling man, this would have been me. I would have specifically asked my bookie to deliver the money in this fashion. He would have most likely responded to this request with a pair of cement shoes.

I also only lost two picks in the entire playoffs, including that stupid Super Bowl. A�Eff the Patriots. A�Nevertheless, emboldened by that success and my fantasy football championship, I present to you the second annual “Completely Ignorant NFL Playoff Picks”. A�Before I pick the Coin Flip, er Wild Card, games, I’m going to talk a little about the Super Bowl. A�Obviously, I didn’t get to make preseason picks and I can’t go back in time–not even virtually–to make them, so I’m limited to doing it now. A�In keeping with tradition, the only research that I’ve done is listening to Bill Simmons and Cousin Sal discuss the NFL from a degenerate gambling point of view, so I will follow their lead in this article. A�In that spirit, here are the Super Bowl odds for all of the playoff teams as of 1/8/2016.

Super Bowl Odds
Panthers, Patriots, Cardinals (9/2)
Seahawks, Broncos (5/1)
Steelers (8/1)
Bengals (20/1)
Chiefs (25/1)
Packers (30/1)
Redskins (40/1)
Texans (60/1)

As you can see, there is no clear favorite this year. A�Usually, by this time of the year, everyone has jumped on the Patriots bandwagon. A�They’ve looked so bad over the last month or so that people (well, not technically people, gamblers) are spooked. A�The biggest surprise to me is that the Steelers are so heavily favored, but that might be because I’m a Steelers fan and they are a terrible team that passes for decent in today’s watered down National Football League.

If you want to sound like a professional commentator, you have to say things like "National Football League". Also, by including this picture, I may now be sued by the National Football League. Whatever. Maybe my bad boy image and devil may care attitude will finally lead to my big break as a writer. Hey, it worked for others in "The Biz".
If you want to sound like a professional commentator, you have to say things like “National Football League”. Also, by including this picture, I may now be sued by the National Football League. Whatever. Maybe my bad boy image and devil may care attitude will finally lead to my big break as a writer. Hey, it worked for others in “The Biz”.

With all of that being said, they are my outside pick for the AFC team in the Super Bowl. A�More on that in a moment. A�i’m calling this the Coin Flip round. A�That’s only partially a joke. A�Like almost everyone else (or maybe more so given my absolute ignorance on the subject), I am clueless as to how this playoff season will unfold. A�I honestly have no good feeling, even, about any of these games ore team. A�How, then, am I supposed to pick two teams from this hodge podge of 12 as a proper Super Bowl match up?

Well, then, to be safe and increase my odds, I’m going to pick four. A�I will pick an obvious match up and I will also make an “off the rails” pick that could conceivably happen if things go just right for the teams involved. A�Let’s start with the obvious picks and build suspense on the NFC “outsider” pick. A�To be fair, I’m also putting that one off because I don’t have a good one yet.

I really need to stop getting my crystal balls at Wal*Mart.
I really need to stop getting my crystal balls at Wal*Mart.

Sure, they’ve looked terrible lately, especially over the last two games, but they might have just been playing possum. A�Plus, I always lead with eff them, but until someone proves that they can eff them, I have to pick the Patriots. A�Many think that Carolina is Cinderella and they’re all waiting for the coach to turn back into a pumpkin. A�(Oh, come on, that was a good pun and I didn’t even mean to do it.) A�I am among them. A�I have no faith in the Panthers, so I’m going with the Cardinals in the NFC.

If I understand how odds work (and there’s no guarantee of that) and my math is right (there’s a much better chance that is true), then that gives 29.25 to 1 odds of this happening according to what Vegas says. A�And, that’s the sure thing this year. A�There’s just no rhyme or reason in today’s National Football League. A�If I had more of a production budget, I could have made a cool graphic like the robots fighting or helmets crashing into each other, but all we have is the image below. A�Enjoy.

There's your Super Bowl 50 (because the National Football League presumably didn't want Super Bowl Large to come 10 years after Super Bowl Extra Large) match up. Place your bets now. Or, probably don't, because, honestly, who the hell knows?
There’s your Super Bowl 50 (because the National Football League presumably didn’t want Super Bowl Large to come 10 years after Super Bowl Extra Large) match up. Place your bets now. Or, probably don’t, because, honestly, who the hell knows?

I’ve already told you that I think the Steelers have an (extremely) outside shot of going to the Super Bowl this year, but that requires beating the Patriots and that’s something that they’ve never been able to do reliably. A�Especially this year, of all years, they have a crap defense and the Patriots are susceptible to the rush due to a patchwork offensive line. A�Oh well, here’s how I see it happening. A�Steelers beat the Bungles, which is possible because the Steelers hurt another Cincinnati quarterback earlier in the year. A�First Carson Palmer and now Andy Dalton. A�It is slightly less likely now because D’Angelo Williams is hurt. A�Look at how smart I look at missing my own deadline. A�Anyhow, if that happens, they’d play the Broncos. A�Peyton Manning usually folds against both the Steelers and Patriots, but again, this isn’t my father’s Pittsburgh Steelers. A�Finally, the Steelers would have to beat Patriots, who would easily dispatch of the Chiefs or Texans. A�Highly improbable, and that is why I don’t understand how they are only 8 to 1.

In the NFC, the Packers could beat the Redskins. A�That would put them against the fraudulent Panthers in the second round and then they’d have to defeat the Cardinals in the Championship to get to the Super Bowl. A�Both of my outsider teams would have to beat my sure thing teams and that’s insanity. A�It shows in the numbers. A�The sure thing was about 30 to 1. A�This one is nearly 10 times that at 278 to 1. A�Both of these logos have letters in them, so they look weird when flipped. A�My Steelers bias would rather have the Packers look weird.

Your Super Bowl 50 match up in an alternate universe where I am a gambling savant and a gajillionaire.
Your Super Bowl 50 match up in an alternate universe where I am a gambling savant and a gajillionaire.

Okay, now finally on to the picks for those of you who didn’t take advantage of the TLDR. A�Since this is coin flip weekend, I will give you the coin’s take on it first and then my own.

Chiefs (-3) at Texans: A�The coin picks the Chiefs by a score of 59-41 in 100 coin flips. A�I have to agree with the coin on this one. A�The Texans have limped through the season as the best team in the worst division in football. A�The Chiefs aren’t a sexy team, but they are a great team to be fodder for the rejuvenated Patriots in the next round.

Steelers (-3) at Bengals: A�The coin is fairly certain of this one, too. A�Steelers win 58-42. A�I’m less certain. A�As I said, so many people love the Steelers, but I think that is fantasy football bias. A�The Steelers have sexy fantasy guys and that doesn’t always translate. A�Even with Williams out, I think the Steelers have enough to beat AJ McCarron and the Bengals again.

Seahawks (-5) at Vikings: A�The coin thinks this one will be closer, but it picks the Seahawks 51-49. A�I’m more confident in this pick. A�The Seahawks tend to turn it on in the playoffs. A�Like the Steelers, their defense has taken a step back and their running back is injured, but it’s the Seahawks. A�Like the Patriots, you can’t count them out until they’re out.

Packers (-1) at Washington: A�Well, the coin thinks it is going to be a road sweep this weekend. A�Packers win this one 52-48. A�I didn’t want to pick all road teams and I think this game is the one that will be most wide open. A�The Packers are Aaron Rodgers and a bunch of other guys right now and Washington might have finally found a quarterback in Cousins.

I don’t think that I will come close to my record from last year and this weekend could be a disaster picks wise. A�Oh well, thankfully I’m not a gambling man, but I did take a free entry into Yahoo Sports daily fantasy playoffs contest, so maybe I’ll somehow luck out and win $50,000 dollars to help heal the pain of looking completely foolish. A�I’m pretty sure that’s how the pros deal with that aspect of the job.