2015 NFL Season Wild Card Weekend – FootballSaturday, January 9, 2016 10:36
NFL Wild Card Weekend picks and analysis.
WILD CARD WEEKEND
WEEK SEVENTEEN SUNDAY
AFTER WEEK SEVENTEEN – 2015 FINAL TALLY
WEEKLY TALLY: 8 – 7 – 1 SPECIALS 3 – 1 O/U 1 – 3
OVERALL: 120 – 127 – 9 = 124.5 – 131.5 = .486
I should note, more than one site instructs handicappers to add a half loss and a half win for each tie or “push” in Gangster lingo. The resulting division either way comes out pretty close to .486. Considering we were 19 games in the hole after Week Thirteen, we made a mini-comeback in the last month.
However, we pretty much killed in our Totals wagers…
2015 SEASON O/U 54 – 41 – 1 = .574
…And were a Winner on our aggregate Specials, almost getting to .500 on The Game of The Week by rebounding with a 5- 2 – 1 mark in the last two months:
SPECIALS 36 – 27 – 5 = .566
GW 6 – 8 – 3 = .441
LW 11 – 6 – 0 = .647
US 8 – 8 – 1 = .500
O/U 11 – 5 – 1 = .676
WILD CARD WEEKEND
As usual, unless a post-season game is labeled a particular Special, our individual tallies may stay the same, however, our playoff picks will count toward our aggregate Special tally.
But, not this week…
LOCK OF THE WEEK
Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) @ Houston Texans (9-7) +3 40 [U]
You know it’s Wild Card Weekend when the game you were considering as a legitimate Upset Special becomes your Lock of the Week.
Explaining how we got from point A to point B isn’t all that hard.
J.J. Watt is probably going to win the DPOY award—again. Although K.C. has as great a pass rush as Watt’s Texans, Watts is one of those Polamalu, L.T., Ray Lewis type talents that can grab a game—especially at home—by the throat and squeeze the will from an opponent.
Don’t get me wrong, Alex Smith will never give any opponent migraines—but he will seldom make a stupid play to cost his team a game. Brian Hoyer recently released from the concussion protocol, has zero playoff experience, as does coach Bill O’Brien—but, O’Brien’s stellar work in deflating the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State disaster, and his team’s 2015 turnaround, indicates the man is cool as they come and shouldn’t be underestimated.
In playoff competition, experience matters, the better QB is usually the safer bet, and home-field isn’t as important.
What is crucial to a low scoring, defensive oriented team like Houston, up against a mirror image like the Chiefs is an All-Pro left tackle to give Hoyer time to hit DeAndre Hopkins before the fierce K.C. pass rush hits him…
Houston’s All-Pro LT, Duane Brown, shredded his quad last week.
I think that ominous development makes it Kansas City’s game to lose. The Under looks almost as certain.
Chiefs 23 Texans 16
GAME OF THE WEEK 5– 8 – 3
Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)@ Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) +2.5 45.5 [O]
Forget Pittsburgh’s 14-2 record at Paul Brown stadium. Forget Andy Dalton’s throbbing thumb, or Leveon Bell’s and, his back up, DeAngelo Williams’, mangled ankles. Forget A.J. McCarron has started only a handful of games; forget the Steelers secondary covers like an old, cheap blanket. Forget Big Ben still waits too damn long to make a decision and has thrown four late game picks in his last two games.
All you need to remember is this one is for history.
Cincinnati hasn’t won a playoff game in 25 years. Marvin Lewis, twelve years into a roller coaster career in the Queen City, has never won a playoff game.
And Mike Tomlin has lost three playoff games in a row.
In Da Burgh, that is unacceptable.
Futility is a matter of context, isn’t it? If you’re hungry because you’ve eaten nothing but bread crumbs for 25 days, it’s a tad different than being hungry because you hurled up that ginormous meatball hoagie and the pint of Jack you guzzled during your most recent three day party binge.
You wouldn’t know the difference if you were an embarrassing large number of racist, mindless Steelers fans.
Mindless? Racist? Am I being redundant? Forgive me.
Most of these fools love to comment on how horrible a coach Mike Tomlin always has been and forever will be.
I’ve alluded to these hateful people before—last week’s rant being the most recent:
It’s intellectually ugly enough to lack historical, political, and cultural context, or, simply not care to examine why a sports team may be on a down cycle. It becomes embarrassing when people who should be wearing hoods think it’s acceptable to slam a guy, Tomlin, who is on a trajectory that could very easily, if his current success plays out, end up with a speech in Canton.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Pittsburgh. I love everything about it, the way it looks, the poetic visual of the “confluence”—the Neighborhoods, the softball-sized meatball hoagies, the medical centers ‘n’ at—everything from the tunnels to the Tech Centers.
I know, I know, it’s the playoffs…I can’t condemn a city because a few old, white, fools believe it’s okay to hate…
If you’re ever surfing the web and stumble across the websites for Pittsburgh’s two printed newspapers, the Pittsburgh Post –Gazette and Tribune Review, take a gander at any article following a Steelers loss…
I’ll let you be the judge. Maybe living in laid back, diverse, carefree, sunny, Los Angeles has made me impatient with people who have opinions without any foundation in objective reality…
I’m almost hoping the Steelers lose tomorrow so I can link my readers to the comment sections—just to prove my point.
I said, “almost…”
I think Big Ben puts this defensively very flawed team on his back and delays the vitriol against Tomlin for at least a week.
The Bengals futility will inch dangerously closer to its third decade; the Steelers will tie the Cowboys for most all-time playoff victories
And, even then, much too much of what I had always bragged on as the most knowledgeable NFL fan base will still call for Mike Tomlin’s job.
Steelers 33 Bengals 22
O/U OF THE WEEK 10 – 5 – 1
Green Bay Packers (10-6) @ Washington Native Americans (9-7) -1 45 [O]
If I were a Cheesehead, I’d be feeling a little moldy right now. Aaron Rogers has recently gone public about what he needs to do visiting the Nates at Fed Ex Field:
“Maybe I have to adjust my mindset and kind of let it fly a little more because we’ve had some success doing that, throwing the ball down the field, adjusting some routes, making some scramble adjustments and playing a little looser because the urgency is up in those moments”…”Hopefully, we can start the game in that mindset collectively and put together a better performance.”
Yowza! Not what an elite QB should be saying 48 hours before entering a hostile environment.
When you click the link, listen to Kurt Warner’s analysis regarding the importance of confidence—and how badly the Pack’s O-Line is playing, how vulnerable Rodgers is to injuries, and the lack of talent in the Green & Gold’s secondary.
Contrast that mayhem of the mind to what the Nates players might be thinking—if their coaches make the sales pitch”
Hey, nobody’s giving us a shot…We come outta the NFC Least—like beating the Cowboys and Big Blue when it matters is no big deal…Their defense is vulnerable; you saw the tape…We can stop their run dead, press their receivers and make Rodgers nervous…We can WIN this game!
No, I won’t be surprised to see a Green Bay blow out; Rodgers is special—but I’m picking Washington to pull out a squeaker—way Over the Number.
Nates 34 Packers 30
Seattle Seahawks (10-6)@ Minnesota Vikings (11-5) +5.5 39.5 [U]
Anthony Barr, Linval Joseph, and Harrison Smith—three of the NFL’s stud defenders will bolster the Vike’s defense at every level. They were all injured when the ‘Hawks blew Minnesota out in Week 13. Even with Russel Wilson’s coming out party into the VIP room reserved for elite NFL QBs, Mike Zimmer is as good as there is at adjusting after a loss…
Temperatures down to 20 degrees, even 10 are manageable, but when you’re talking minus 20…That’s “sneezing icicles” cold. The Norsemen have been practicing in that weather for a couple weeks now.
Look for a couple big plays on special teams—and not much else.
Vikings 16 Seahawks 14
NFL Wild Card Weekend Game Lines 1/9 – 1/10, 2016
|Date & Time||Favorite||Line||Underdog||Total|
|1/9 4:35 ET||Kansas City LW||-3 U||At Houston||40|
|1/9 8:15 ET||Pittsburgh GW||-3 O||At Cincinnati||45.5|
|1/10 1:05 ET||Seattle US||-5 O||At Minnesota||39.5|
|1/10 4:40 ET||At Washington O/U||-1||Green Bay||45|
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