Tag Archives: Divisional Round

NFL Divisional Playoffs 2021: A Love(?) Story


I’m cutting this NFL Divisional Playoffs 2021 preview a bit close. I think the first game this week starts in about an hour and a half. I should have this written and posted before then, so it will still count as a preview. Why is this so late? And, where is the CFP National Championship post mortem? What is happening to this page? Is it about to become inactive for a couple of months again?

Never say never, but I’m committed to keeping the momentum, even if it isn’t quite the same momentum as last year right now.

You expect me to say something about school now. While not completely wrong, the story is actually much simpler and less responsible. I started playing Minecraft again on my new laptop and that sucked many hours from my life over the last week. I apologize for my negligence. Let’s talk about the NFL Divisional Playoffs 2021.

NFC Divisional Playoffs

Rams/Packers (Saturday, 4:35 EST): I texted Chris earlier in the week with the question, “Any surprises this weekend? re: NFL” I will save his answer for later because it relates to another game. I responded that the Rams have a great defense this year and they could pull off a win against the Packers. He replied about Jared Goff’s injury and I conceded he was probably right. The Rams might keep the game close, but ultimately I think that Aaron Rodgers and his 89 (seriously) career interceptions find a way to pull out the win.

Bucs/Aints (Sunday, 6:40 EST): During our text exchange, we both agreed this game has the potential to be the most entertaining. Sure, N’Awlins beat up on the Bucs twice this year. But, and this argument isn’t much of an argument, Tom Brady in the playoffs. Also, we can’t forget the Aint’s recent tortured history in the playoffs. Sure, they usually wait until the conference championship to break their fans hearts. I have confidence they can take care of business a round early this year.

AFC Divisional Playoffs

Ravens/Bills (Saturday, 8:15 EST): If Bucs/Aints promises to be the most entertaining, this game might give them a run for their money. The Bills are favored by less than a field goal. Lamar Jackson finally doesn’t have to listen to the dumb narrative that he hasn’t won a playoff game. This whole week, they’ve instead gone with the equally dumb narrative that he’s never won a game in snow. Well, the snow in Buffalo can be brutal, but this storm looks to be mild. I’m rooting for the Bills, but a Rats/Chefs championship honestly sounds more fun.

Browns/Chefs (Sunday, 3:05 EST): Now, for Chris’s answer to my text. He responded with a joke about the Browns winning and him not able to text that with a straight face. I replied, “It’s funny because a lot of the talking heads are picking that game as a possible upset. I think they just did so because there’s literally nothing to lose. You either look like a “genius” or everyone forgets you made the pick. I’m not ready to pick against the Chefs until they give me reason and now that I’ve typed it, I’m jazzed about Rats/Chefs next round.

The Verdict

I said after the Wild Card that I wasn’t as excited about the games as I thought I might be. I barely watched any and tuned out from the Steelers after the first play of the game. However, something about this week’s games must have interested me. I searched for them earlier on Hulu before realizing the games started later today. Good thing they do. I got a chance to write this preview and get even more excited for the games. GB/TB and KC/Bal sound like a fun conference championship weekend.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

2019 NFL Divisional Playoffs Post Mortem


Welcome to my 2019 NFL Divisional Playoffs Post Mortem. For the most part, things went as planned. There was, of course, the Tennessee Tuxedos destroying the Ravens. Other than that, though, there weren’t a ton of surprises. This is reflected in my 2-1-1 (I picked the Seahawks, but knew in my heart that Green Bay would win, so I’m taking a tie for that game.) record for the round. With my 1-3 in the coin flip weekend, that brings me to 3-4-1 for the playoffs so far.

That’s not a great record, of course. But, depending on how I bet the games, I could still be plus money at this point. Then again, I probably would have put a small fortune on Baltimore, so that point it moot. Speaking of Baltimore…

Tennessee at Baltimore

What more can I possibly say about this game? I was so convinced of the outcome that I didn’t bother even tuning in to see how it was going. It was only after Chris texted me several times during the beginning of the game. At least one of them was, “WTF”. So, I tuned in and Baltimore was down 14-0. Well, I thought, LJ is the MVP for this year and there’s plenty of time to come back. Well, about that. The come back never materialized and half of my Super Bowl pick was DOA. Well, both of them were actually dead, but that wasn’t official until Sunday.

Minnesota at San Francisco

This was the least surprising game of the weekend. I thought that San Francisco would roll the Vikings and they did. Sure, Minnesota stayed close for the first half, but eventually, San Fran’s talent just took over and won the game. There’s a reason that they were my close second to make it to the Super Bowl from the NFC.

Seattle at Green Bay

This was probably the other least surprising game from the weekend. I know that makes no sense in a couple of contexts. First, I picked Seattle to go to the Super Bowl. Second, how can you have 2 least surprising victories? Well, technically, you can’t. However, my original statement made even less sense, if that makes, er, sense. I mean, all you have to do is look at that last run on sentence to see where my brain is today. I mean, it was a bit surprising when I saw that Seattle was starting to come back, but not really. Russell Wilson is known for those come backs. So, ultimately, not terribly surprising.

Houston at Kansas City

I went for a walk through the Quabbin with Christine. I came home to no less than 5 texts from Chris again. Again, at least one of them read, “WTF.” So, I went to check the score of the game and it was 28-24. I thought that was the final. Nope, halftime. KC continued to pour it on after halftime and Mahomes seems to have finally reached his final form. We will see if Andy Reid can prevent himself from Andy Reiding all over the AFCC, but I’m excited for the prospect of Mahomes in the Super Bowl. Doesn’t even matter who they play. But, that is a discussion for the next article.

The Verdict

Thanks for reading my 2019 NFL Divisional Round Post Mortem. I texted Chris the other day that 9 times out of 10, Baltimore wins that game. We just live in the worst timeline. Oh well, at least Mahomes is still alive and chucking it. As long as that’s true, I’ll pay attention. So, hopefully, the timeline is fixing itself as we speak and I’ll get to see him in the Super Bowl.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

Completely Ignorant NFL Divisional Round Preview

A Note about the CFP Championship Game: 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. I thought I was going to go home to get some sleep because I had a substitute job the next day. 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. I then watched the missed FG and overtime.

The final play of the game got me off of my couch and cheering. 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. I texted my friend asking how he felt about it. 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). He accused me of being an Alabama fan due to my excitement about the win. Hey, I’m just happy that I got something right in football after doing rather poorly in the Wild Card round and CFP semifinals. Can’t wait until next year and the Return of the Jedi.


You will just have to trust me that I wrote this last night and only got around to typing it today. It might looks a bit suspicious when I go 4-0. I went 2-2 last week. I got the Jaguars and Saints right, but missed on the Rams and Chiefs. George went 3-1, kind of lending some credibility to my habit of calling it coin flip weekend. He only missed on the Panthers, but they almost came back. We are going to retire George for the rest of the season since this is when things start to go more according to expectations. 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): 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. Chris and I were texting and, in our not so professional opinion, Tennessee has absolutely no chance of winning this game. 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. I already thought they would win the Super Bowl again this year, but now it is virtually certain. Dammit. Alabama and New England in the same year?

Jaguars at Steelers (Sunday at 1:05 pm): Buffalo was only in the playoffs because the NFL decided that six teams is the right number for their playoff format. Jacksonville was only in the playoffs because there has to be a winner in each of the 4 divisions in the playoffs. They showed last week that they are quite possibly the 2 least qualified playoff teams in recent memory. 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. I get to watch the Steelers get blown out by the Patriots in the AFC Championship game again. Yay for me.

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

Saints at Vikings (Sunday at 4:40 pm): I said last week that I’d have liked to have seen Panthers/Saints as an NFC Championship game. We now have a good possibility of two NFC South teams making it. The Vikings are good but they, too, are starting a backup quarterback in the playoffs. I’m less confident in Case Keenum than I am in Nick Foles. 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. Many people are actually calling for it. Granted, it might be a compelling game for most, but I have no interest in watching it. 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.

My Completely Ignorant NFL Picks (Division Round Weekend)

(Editor’sNote: 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. Heck, I kind of like the gimmick. I’ll call him George McQuarter.)

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

Well, I didn’t make 50,000 dollars in stupid Fantasy Football. I didn’t even make it past the first round. I did learn some valuable lessons about daily fantasy football and I’m now obsessed with the math of betting sports. 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. The Green Bay Rodgers came to life for one game as the Washington team turtled and that game was hopeless. I was also 1-3 against the spread. 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. I don’t think it would have paid much, but I’d have made money, so there’s that. 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. 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. I honestly did no research this week other than look up the lines. I didn’t even listen to Bill Simmons and Cousin Sal. So, this week might be ugly. However, the Divisional Round is traditionally where the playoffs settle back into form after the craziness of the Coin Flip Round. 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): There are a lot of people who are high on Kansas City, especially after they thrashed a very terrible Houston Texans team last week. I’m not as high on them because all I keep thinking is Andy Reid on the road against Bill Belichick. I don’t care how many Patriots are injured. I don’t care that Kansas City is coming off of a huge win in the Coin Flip game. I just don’t care. Nothing can convince me that the Patriots won’t win this game. The Chiefs might, might cover if all of those Pats are actually hurt, but the Pats will win this game. George likes the Chiefs 59-41.

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

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

Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos (-7): The following is a transcript of a text conversation with my friend. 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. I had shut it off when the Bengals intercepted the ball with 1:36 left or whatever.

Him: Do you like NFL any better today?
Me: Nope. (Steelers lost and I’m out of the fantasy running)
Him: Steelers going to Mile Hile????
Me: How? Bungs picked it off with a minute left. (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. 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. Of all of the games, I’m least confident of this one. 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. George has the Steelers 51-49, so he’s just as shaky on this one.