By Jake Sutton, Chris Miller, Chad Holmes, Tyler Dawson Jeremy Lippiatt, Ryan Flippo, and Jesse Ulrich
For our 5 readers who might remember our NFL playoff predictions and discussions, you might also remember that long time monotonist Jake Sutton and Tolkien specialist Ryan Flippo used to predict the Division Winners and the entire playoffs all the way to the Superbowl before each season. I loved the idea so much I asked if we could do it for Rant9 and invite so more people to join in. So, I present to you, the RANT 9 PLAYOFFS AND SUPERBOWL PICKS!
Since we are posting this after Week 1, I asked the boys to take a look at their picks after one week of action and tell me what worries them and what they are still confident about, so enjoy watching us be wrong!
Beware! There is quite a bit of adult language when we start talking about the teams we love and the teams we hate.
Jake Sutton Favorite Team: The Green Bay Packers Most Hated Team: The Minnesota Vikings
Picks you are most comfortable with: Sutton: I am pretty comfortable picking Denver in the AFC and Philly in the NFC. I did not see anyone threatening Denver's dominance in the west and the NFC east is a hot mess with Dallas being Dallas, the Washington _____________'s, and the Eli-led Giants with a new offense. Philly is the obvious choice.
Picks you questioned even while making them: Chicago to take a wild card over San Francisco. I know the Bears D is going to struggle this season, they lost many players and they are an offensive team with Smoking Jay dumbface Cutler leading it, in an offense heavy division that has Stafford and Rodgers and Peterson, but I think they stand a good chance of making it. I feel like SF is due for a Jets-like regression after back to back NFC title game visits and that Head Coach is a psychopath, they are bound to implode.
Week 1 thoughts: Everything but KC is feeling good. Seattle came out strong, but the postseason is about who gets it together week 10 and beyond, not week 1.
Making fun of GT and his terrible picks. He actually picked Dallas. He consciously did that and sent it to us to post on the website. That is something that happened.
Chris Miller Favorite Team: The Detroit Lions Most Hated Team: The Dallas Cowboys
Picks You Are Most Comfortable With: Sutton covered Denver and Philly, so I'll just say ditto (no/Swayze). Despite losing, I am still comfortable with Indy winning the South. Luck is better than Locker, Fitzpatrick and Henne combined, even with a Trent Richardson-sized anchor tied to his neck beard.
Picks You Questioned Even While Making Them: Both of my 2 seeds, though New England looked turrible, picking anyone to unseat Seattle in the west may actually be worse. I actually still like most of my playoff teams, though I would love to rejigger the seeds a bit:
The only team I am giving up on for Overreaction Weekend is Baltimore. If the NFL and EA Sports are doing their best to pretend like Ray Rice doesn't exist, the least I can do is pretend Baltimore doesn't exist.
Thoughts After Week 1: Speaking of Overreaction Weekend, we're back!!!!!!
Sorry about your Giants, Jesse. I mean, Stafford looked sharp, Megatron was a monster and the defense looked good (even if they were only playing Ellllllllliiiiiiiiiii). The lack of a running game is a concern, but luckily we play Chicago and Green Bay twice this year to work on it. The division looks more vulnerable than it has in years. The playoffs are not only attainable, but almost seem likely. I can't wait to read this section at the end of the year through tears of bitter disappointment, when the Lions choke away the division and a playoff spot sometime in December.
Making Fun of GT and his terrible Picks: J-U-T-S! Juts! Juts! Juts! Picking the Jets to make the playoffs is only your 3rd worst pick (Steelers over Seahawks? Come on, bro). That is why this section is necessary. D̶allas (get it, because the Cowboys don't have a D) is just the worst. Romo and that Defense managed to make D̶allas more of a dumpster fire than the Giants and Los Pieles Rojas. GT is the D̶allas of this pick segment.
Jeremy Favorite Team: The San Diego Chargers Most Hated Team: The Oakland Raiders
Picks You Are Most Comfortable With: I'm about as comfortable with my picks as I am with staring down a rabid Pitbull, the rapper not the dog, is he a rapper? That said, I think Denver and Seattle are pretty solid again this year. I'm most comfortable with those two. If history repeats itself I'll be way off though, so look forward to this moment.
Picks You Questioned Even While Making Them: Green Bay over Seattle in the Divisional playoffs, I think if they play them again they will profit, but that's if Green bay does well during the season. Everyone needs to stay semi healthy for that to be a thing.
Thoughts After Week 1: Atlanta looked way stronger than I expected, but their receiving core was overhauled so I guess that makes some sense. The Chargers are already in midseason form! Baltimore looked more trashy than last year and Miami looks pretty decent or maybe New England is trash, I have no idea.
Making Fun of GT and his terrible Picks: Ok, let's take a look at GT's Turrible picks. Hahahaha the Juts AND DALLAS?! No fucking way that's a thing that happens while America is still a country. There are better odds of 7 people winning the billion dollar March Madness tournament bracket than that happening. The odds of one person winning were in the one in 4.3 million range. There are better odds of me eating 30 drops of Z Beyond Nothing hot sauce and NOT having fiery shits that scorch my taint for 5 days. There are better odds of Manchester United winning the Super Bowl. Lastly, there are better odds of Apple regaining the smartphone market share.
In our Fantasy Football league GT and I made some bets in the past. We did away with it the past couple of years, or maybe it was me. Last year I got second in our league, it was glorious and I really wish I had bet that asshole something! I'm bringing it back. If GT's Juts make it into the playoffs and are a higher seed than my Chargers (if they make it LOLZ) I will buy him a bottle of Basil Hayden bourbon, the largest bottle available at the liquor store. If the Juts AND the Dallas Cowboys make it in I will also buy him a bottle of Basil. That's two bottles on the table here, but I'm pretty sure they are both safe from GT hands.
Jesse Favorite Team, Oy: The New York Giants Most Hated Team: The New England Patriots
Picks You Are Most Comfortable With: My entire AFC side still seems fine to me. While I would love, I mean LOVE, for the Patriots to actually suck enough to miss the playoffs, I know that won't happen. Why you might ask? Because the God of the Jews is angry, vengeful God. Again, we only saw Week 1, but Denver looked GOOD!
As far as the NFC goes, I totally forgot what a healthy Atlanta team looks like, and they look fantastic.
Picks You Questioned Even While Making Them: I should have known that the Giants would still suck. But you know what? I will survive, why? Because we still ruined the Patriots 19-0 Season, and no amount of Eli Picks can take that away from me. SUCK IT NEW ENGLAND!
Thoughts After Week 1: 1. The problem and the benefit of doing this after Week 1 is that you are reminded and told about situations that you either forgot, or didn't know about. Like Arizona's D. Their secondary is going to be amazing, and if San Fran can't keep their team out of jail, I have no doubt that Arizona could get a Wild Card Spot. 2. We are certainly in a golden age of QBs. Watching Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, Matt Stafford, and Peyton Manning throw these amazing passes over and over again is a joy; and as an owner of Megatron in our Fantasy league, can I just say, seriously, who built him? Where did he come from? He is not human right?
Making Fun of GT and his terrible Picks: Oh GT. The Jets and the Cowboys? Really? Did either team show anything at the end of last year or in Week 1 that really made you think “yeah, I can totally see them in the playoffs.” The answer to that question is no. You are terrible. P.S. OUAT is coming back soon! Time for some Week 1 Gifs!
Chad Favorite Team: The Saint Louis Rams Most Hated Team: The Los Angeles Rams
Picks You Are Most Comfortable With: The only comfortablish picks I have are Cincinnati, Denver, and Seattle. If we were to use the airplane-seating-to-NFL-divisional-power-rankings-comfort-scale I would put Seattle sitting nice and pretty in first class with Denver and Cincinnati getting stuck back in coach but sitting in an exit row so they have that extra leg space.
Looking at the NFC, every division besides the West has serious question marks with who is going to win. North is going to be a shootout, South is going to be a shootout, and the East is, well, remember that shootout scene near the beginning of Total Recall where Arnold encounters his first bad guys on the escalator and he uses the innocent, backpack wearing man in front of him as a human bullet sponge? NFC East is the human bullet sponge. I don’t typically watch AFC games so my predictions from that side are mostly based on gut instincts and apathy.
Picks You Questioned Even While Making Them: Taking Tennessee to win AFC South over the Colts seems stupid but I got a gut feeling about this team. If Locker can stay healthy (first time for everything!) he and the Titans Defense can and will propel this team to the top of the division. That and I also think Luck is overrated from just being in a dumpster fire division his first two years (remember when Brandon Weeden beat him in the Fiesta Bowl? Never Forget.)
My really crazy idea is picking the Chargers to win the AFC. They are my dark horse team and really who better to take down the Bronco’s than their division rival?
Thoughts After Week 1: The Bills defeating the Bears has to be the biggest upset of the weekend. The Patriots losing to the Dolphins isn’t too surprising, trading away Mankins was a big blow to their offensive line and they might not be able to recover from it this year. Brady was sacked 4 times and just didn’t have time to throw the ball down the field in the second half. I think Brady and the Patriots are going to have very rough season reminisce of last year’s Falcons team.
Making Fun of GT and his terrible Picks: Let me ask you something, if every choice you’ve ever made has always manifested itself do you not have free choice? And if every choice you’ve made is an absolutely terrible one do you believe you still deserve the right to make said choice in the first place? GT is an argument against free will.
Flippo Favorite Team: The Pittsburgh Steelers Most Hated Team: Whatever team Jesse is rooting for
Picks You Are Most Comfortable With: Seattle and San Fran to both make the playoffs again. They are officially the new Steelers-Ravens from a few years ago. It's just a question of who will win that division and how high their seed will be. I'm also perfectly content to bet on Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck.
Picks You Questioned Even While Making Them: The Bears to make the playoffs. Seattle/San Fran leaves only one NFC wild card spot available, and I couldn't decide whether to give it to any of the other NFC North teams or ATL. I settled on Chicago, but my uncertainty is why I have them losing their first playoff game.
Thoughts After Week 1: The Pats as the #1 seed does not look good right now, nor does picking anyone other than Seattle to win the Super Bowl. Calvin Johnson may actually be a robot of unfathomable destructive power, capable of singlehandedly laying waste to the rest of the NFC North.
Making Fun of GT and his terrible Picks: Flippo is too nice or lazy to make fun of GT for his picks.
Tyler Favorite Team: The New York Juts Most Hated Team: Isn't being a Jets fan bad enough?
Picks You Are Most Comfortable With: My gut tells me this will be a good year for Minnesota. Their defense is probably the best in the NFC North, which isn't saying much. Also did you see Cordarrelle Patterson? BEAST. But as Jesse will tell you, my gut is almost always wrong so I'm sure some suck dick team like the Lions will win it. Obviously Seattle is still the favorite in the NFC and to be honest I have no witty remark against them because they were kind of scary looking. But the dark horse that everyone is forgetting about this year AGAIN is Arizona. They were the only team to beat Seattle at home last year and I think they have the defensive talent to do it again this year. In the AFC Denver is still the favorite and they looked good until Luck almost lucked (GET IT! Because his last name is Luck!) into another come back win, which would have been hilarious. Then we have the Steelers. Do I think they are the most talented team in the AFC? Not particularly but they have a pretty easy schedule and are the best team in their division. Plus Antonio Brown will drop kick the opposing players to death.
Picks You Questions Even While Making Them: The New York Jets are clearly not a team that should be going to the playoffs but somehow Rex Ryan will go 9-7 with another terrible team and get bounced in the first round. Or maybe they'll Eli their way ass backwards into a victory against the unbeatable Seattle Seahawks (they won't)!
Thoughts After Week 1: Wow, I really whiffed on Dallas. OR DID I?! That division is a dumpster fire and I wouldn't be shocked if the winner even has a 0.500 record. The Jaguars shut out the Eagles in the first half. THE JAGUARS! The Washington Fightin' Snyders and The New York FOOTBALL Giants don't know how to cover wide (open) receivers. Dallas somehow got even worse on defense and Romo derped like only Romo can derp. Worst. Division. Ever. What does Eli have to say about all this?
Well put, Lesser Manning Brother! I couldn't have said it better myself. Well, actually I could have because I bet Eli can't even swear correctly. He probably was intercepted mid naughty word! Haha, classic Eli.
DEFEND YOURSELF!: Hey, screw you guys! I'm thinking outside the box here. First of all, Dallas like I said before: Worst. Division. Ever. Did you guys even watch the games this week? Compared to the rest of the division they are elite! You think they can't beat the Racists and the New York Cowboys? The Eagles had the most gimme match-up of the week and they still barely won. THE JAGUARS! Jerry's Boys can easily go 6-0 in the division while losing the rest of their games and still go to the playoffs. The NFC East is that bad.
Second, are you really going to count the Jets out? Remember this is a team that went to two straight AFC Championship games with Mark Sanchez and came very close to beating the Steelers for a Super Bowl birth in 2010. Last year they had the 29th ranked offense with an average at best defense but somehow won eight games and were in the playoff picture until week 16. They were projected to win like two games and yet here we are. The team is more talented than last year and they might actually move up to a top 20 offense! What could possibly go wrong?
OK, maybe top 25 offense....
And finally the Steelers winning the whole thing. Look I admit, this is a long shot but who else could it be? Let's see, Peyton is a choke artist of epic proportions and lesbehonest that Daniel Snyder'd defense of theirs isn't really that good. Also John “The Worst Coach That Has Ever Been to Two Super Bowls” Fox is is still there. Yeah, the guy who's game plan is always relying Peyton to do whatever he wants and see what happens is going to going to win the Super Bowl. Riiiight! Andrew Luck and a bunch of terrible players aren't going to get the job done. Seriously, can we talk about this for a minute? Can you imagine if Indy put a real team around him instead of a bunch of scrubs? They would be unstoppable. Clearly the Jets aren't up to the task unless Geno Smith sells his soul to Satan like Eli did for a Super Bowl win that they have no business even competing in. New England shipped off one of the best offensive lineman in the league for literally nothing. Gronk will injure himself on an extra point that he's in on for some reason and Tom Brady will probably get killed behind that line. Then Chargers just got Reggie Miller'd by Carson Palmer... I'll take the team with that has a history of getting it done against Seattle. Remember Super Bowl XL? Seahawks fans STILL complain about the supposedly bad officiating like they had a snowball's chance in Hell of winning anyway. Mostly I just want them to think they are going to get revenge only to be beaten by a hysterically awful Fail Mary type touchdown pass to Antonio Brown and lose to the Steelers again. Because fuck the Seahawks. AMIRITE!
So here we are, the Superbowl. One of the few times both number 1 seeds made it all the way to the big game, and even more rare as one of the most historically potent offenses goes up against an epically good defense. So the question becomes does the old adage, “Defense wins championships” hold true in this modern pass happy NFL, with the, at least according to Bill Barnwell over at Grantland, most prolific offense in NFL history. The Seahawks defense, while amazing, is in the top 10 defenses of all time, which is commendable, but how does that compare with the Denver’s offense? Personally I want the Broncos to win, not only so that Peyton Manning will get his second Superbowl win so people can stop talking about that and saying he is the best “Regular Season Quarterback” but because he has had such an amazing comeback and such an amazing year. The fact that he is doing without being able to throw the long ball while barely being able to a spiral is certainly something to see. Also, Pete Carroll does not deserve a Superbowl win, what a toolbag. Unlike most Superbowls in the past, this one, as we all know unless you have been living under a rock, is being played outside in New York in the cold. So who knows what the weather will do to both teams. Does it change how I am going to watch the game, since there is a player and team I care about? The answer is no In addition, since this feels like the first year in awhile that we don’t have a wild card team that got hot in the playoffs and rides into the Superbowl, does this feel like what the actual Superbowl should be? The two best teams in the league? I am curious about what both of you think after this, honestly, fantastic playoffs we have had so far. So let’s hear from Jeremy and Jake.
P.S. Broncos 35 - Seahawks 21
Every time I type Super Bowl in my phone it comes up Super Bowel, and sometimes I wonder if it knows something more than I do. I mean on one hand its the pinnacle of all that is American Football, on the other hand its like an Academy Award’s hand job. THESE ARE THE BEST TEAMS IN THE WORLD, stroke stroke stroke. THESE PLAYERS ARE AT THE TOP OF THEIR GAME AND IN ELITE CONDITION, stroke stroke stroke. TODAY WE FIND OUT WHO IS THE BEST TEAM IN THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE FOR THE 2013-2014 SEASON, stroke stroke STROKESTROKESTROKESTROKE STROKE stroke stroke stroke!
Ok that’s a lot of jerking off for something that is named the Bowel. Stay with me here for a minute. While the bowels are great at what they do at the end of the day they deal with a lot of shit. I think sometimes that’s what the super bowl is like, yeah yeah yeah we get it, they are great etc. I mean, who the hell calls themselves a fan of football and doesn’t get jazzed up about the Super Bowl, in so many ways it is fucking awesome. However, its a bunch of commercial shit too, like the whole pavilion thing in Times Square and all of that, its cool but holy hell.
Then there is the cold thing, OH WHY WOULD THEY ALLOW IT TO BE OUTDOORS WHERE FOOTBALL IS PLAYED AND DURING THE WINTER TIME DURING FOOTBALL SEASON!?! What’s the end game in this logic, no northern states get super bowls unless they are covered? Bullshit. This is a game of physicality and playing in weather and cold is a possible situation whenever the season gets into the cold months. Don’t want outdoor and cold weather Super Bowls? I hear Jai Lai could use some fans. Get the snow blowers out on the field, throw some heaters on the sidelines, and get the hell out there and play some football! Everyone gets concerned with the players in these conditions, which I think should have been squashed when the mediterranean climate 49ers came into the frozen tundra and pulled off a win. No one died and you know these guys can’t wait to play football. They are going to be so amped up to be a part of the sport’s biggest spectacle that they won’t be able to feel anything but their hearts about to beat out of their chests due to pure adrenaline. I’m not saying every single Super Bowl should be a cold one, but shit, can we please not whine about it when there is one?
Don’t get me started on the whole Roger Goodell watching it outside thing, quick question, how the hell is this news? This was a whole thing a couple of weeks ago. CBS Sports, USA Today, NY Daily News were all reporting how Roger Goodell is watching the game outside. Is his ass way more precious than the other roughly 82,000 fans that will also be outside? No, and who gives a shit where he watches it? The man makes bank and is responsible for many decisions in the NFL today, he can be in a box with a bottle of Lagavulin 30 year and each thumb up a striper’s asshole and I wouldn’t give two shits.
But Jeremy, you say, he’s on your side and he’s watching it outside and says yay for outdoor Super Bowls and he is making sure it isn’t a big deal to have a cold weather Super Bowl this year. Yeah, is he not making it a big deal, is he really? No, HEY EVERYONE I’M WATCHING IT OUTSIDE OK, BECAUSE IT ISN’T A BIG DEAL, THAT’S WHY I’M MAKING SURE SPORTS OUTLETS ARE COVERING THAT I’M WATCHING IT OUTSIDE OK EVERYONE, is not making sure it isn’t a big deal. Well you know what, he can’t have those strippers on the end of this thumbs anymore now can he? YOUR LOSS GOODELL.
Oh media day, why? I can understand that when the internet didn’t exist how this would be a thing that needed to happen. Let’s look at people answer questions! Uh, Hi, Mitch Cordial with CBS Sports news: “Peyton how great of a season was it this year? Hey Marshawn why don’t you talk to us? Mr. Sherman are you crazy or what’s the deal with that?” Who fucking cares, this shit goes on all season we already know Peyton’s favorite color, the Papa John’s pizza he loves the most, and how happy he is being a badass on the field and how happy he is that his fans and customers are two kinds of high. We have so much contact to the sports world that we don’t need this day anymore it isn’t necessary. Instead do a Google Hangout with the the members of the team or an “ask me anything” on Reddit so the fans can really get in there and make it interesting.
Let’s talk about Marshawn Lynch, but real quick. I respect the hell out of this player, when I got the ESPN text that he got fined for NOT talking to the media all season I damn near threw my phone across the room. ARE YOU SHITTING ME?! WHO CARES THAT HE DIDN’T TALK TO THE MEDIA, GOOD ON HIM. Everyone bitches about these players wanting attention and being Divas, sup Neon Deion. And then if they dare to not talk to the media, that’ll be a fine. Bad form National Football League, more like the National Fineball League. If an NFL player doesn’t want to talk to the media so be it, because for every Marshawn Lynch there are two Richard Shermans.
So is my phone right? Is the Super Bowl REALLY the Super Bowel, yes it is. I mean its an impressive bowel, the kind that Kings dream of in their weekly sex orgies that get weirder and weirder as the years go on.
Meanwhile back on King Island…..Next week the king needs two goats, a parrot, a fat old woman, a fat young woman, two male or female Venezuelans, and an elderly woman from the Bronx, now he says you can you decide on the size of said woman but she must have hairy armpits, oh and make sure all of their bowels are clean.
Annnd... we are back. In reality is Super Bowel a fair name? I think so, but at the same time we all revel in its beauty and majesty. It’s a bowel that we can appreciate and love as though it were the greatest American bowel in all of existence. It’s a spectacle, it is a massive achievement, and its a huge game, but at the end of the day shit is going to flow and a winner will prevail so the world can crown a new leader in the greatest American sport.
Broncos - 34
Seahawks - 23
I’m worried about Jeremy, I think we need to put him on a 24 hour suicide watch, or at least maybe you should stop watching ESPN and listening to sports radio for awhile.
Is the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday yet? I mean, they spend more per commercial during the Super Bowl than what many cable networks spend on an entire series episode. Big Business USA has identified this to be as important as other holidays, and clearly more important than most (do you see them spending this much to continue to commercialize valentine’s day? no. Labor Day? no.) They all create special commercials just for this occasion, just like they do when they tell me Santa wants me to buy a Lexus. Let us have Monday as a nation each year to reflect on the great weekend that just was! It’s not like most of us are any use that day anyways. We just spent ten or more hours eating like its Thanksgiving and drinking like it is “the bender” all over again (that story should be told, Jesse!).
*I would like to get future jobs, so sadly no stories of “the bender.”
SB48. The ‘experts’ are drooling over this one and already hailing it as one of the best games ever played, or yet to be played ...as it is. It is the game that we all hoped for (once our rooting interests were knocked out of the playoffs) and it is exactly what some of us predicted in the preseason. We get “Record Setting Offense” against a Defense that in any other Era may be one of the greatest ever….. but I cannot get over thinking this will be more like those 1990’s Super Blowouts that were over hyped because everyone was ignoring what was (is) right in front of them. People: Peyton Manning has decoded the matrix and he was not even hiding that he did it. You know that he will come into this game hot and throw his wobbly ducks into the only windows that are available and we will all think it is magic. What you may not also realize is that the Broncos are a pretty good running team and their defense is not too shabby either. The Seahawks on the other hand, are feast or famine on offense and Wilson is inconsistent. They’re not winning games on his arm and cannot be expected to. When Manning gets rolling…. and he will… the Seahawks will not catch up. I see this as Broncos 27, Seahawks 20. However, I will not be surprised if it is 40-20 Broncos. For the sake of my own entertainment as I eat smoked briskets and drink cold beers, I hope that the front line of the Seahawks can harass Manning into quicker throws in which the ‘Hawks secondary has covered up so this one stays close enough to remain interesting. But what I really believe is that Manning will Omaha into several running plays throughout the game, not getting many yards but ripping valuable seconds off the clock while cataloging every counter-adjustment made by the defense. He’ll control the game, score when he needs to and prevent any hope of a miracle comeback by taking a 14 point lead into the 4th quarter. The Seahawks will get a junk TD or two but Manning will put them away and collect his trophy and secure that Legend Status.
Have you all watched the Lynch media day videos? For a guy not wanting to talk to the media or be in the limelight, dude has cornered the market and will cash in, win or lose. It’s a trainwreck but fun at the same time.
So, my official prediction: a feel good Manning-fest, with him legitimately winning MVP* and the game 27-20. Manning throws 4 TD’s and maybe a pick, but tops 300 yards.
*Rhodes got robbed back in SB41… 247 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT does not an MVP make… Rhodes was 21 for 113 and 1 TD with a long of 36. He was the difference in the game. Not Manning.
What makes both College and Professional Football great is their short seasons. Every game matters. In the NFL at least you don’t have to win every game to make it to the Superbowl, which, personally is why I think it is better than College, but I digress.
The NFL playoffs are upon us. The Rant9.com staff all have an NFL team we root for (for me it is the New York Giants, so at least I can be objective this year) so it is time for us to predict the first round of the playoffs. Join me, Jerms and Sutton as we predict the future!
Game 1: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts, 4:35 EST
Jboose: RED TEAM VERSUS BLUE TEAM!
I find it interesting that both teams are 11-5 and both Quarterbacks threw 23 TD passes. The Chiefs played in a harder division and were very close to winning their division. The Chiefs had one of the best turnarounds the NFL has seen for awhile after getting a new coach and a new Quarterback. Personally, I am happy for Alex Smith, you have to feel good for a guy who should not have been picked number 1 in the draft and then had to deal with multiple coaches and offensive coordinators, getting a second chance to show what he is, a game manager.
The Colts were not supposed to be doing this well so early. Andrew Luck is a fantastic QB and somehow the Colts D with Robert Mathis has been doing a decent job of keeping the Colts in games.
I don’t think the Colts offense has enough weapons to really challenge the Chiefs D, they have not done well offensively since Reggie Wayne was injured, and the Chiefs, which whatever their record has been the past few years, have been drafting some great defensive players. I am saying Kansas City, 28-21. But let’s turn it over to some fellow Rant9ers who watch much more football than me.
Go Bolts! Wait, wrong section. However, go AFC West! I'm going division all the way. We have three AFC west teams in the playoffs and I'm happy to see that. I'm impressed with the Chiefs, it's been awhile since we've seen a team be so awful then so amazing with so few personnel changes (49ers, 6-10 in 2010, 13-3 in 2011). I'm really happy fat Post-Philly Andy gets to show that he's still worth a damn even if he couldn't get rid of his hard-on to start Vick.
What is the Chiefs winning potion? Simple, some really good players. We know the Chiefs have depth and we know they have healthy weapons at their disposal on offense. They can throw the ball and run it and do both well. Charles can make anything happen with the ball. Their defense has depth and they can make great plays when needed. Sacks, fumble recoveries, and pick 6's are the main ingredients in their spicy run to the playoffs and its fun to watch as long as it isn't your team they are playing. This second hand team has shocked all of ESPN week in and week out, then again ESPN loves to be surprised. As a Chargers fan I won't be mentioning last weeks Ref issues, I will ignore that and later thank the Refs for their situational blindness.
Colts, oh Colts. You know, the post Manning era really hasn't been as bad as I had expected. It's been a great run this year and with some more of that neck beard magic they might have a chance. But they'll need a lot of that, and I'm not sure if it has run out or not. They don't have the weapons KC does and they don't have the defense KC does, so I'm not sure how this will pan out for them. I haven't watched them play much, but I know they can be stopped and forced off the field. It was cool of you to make it Colts, but the LUCK stops here! NAILED IT!
Who wins? Kansas City Chefs
Why? Number of weapons on both sides of the ball for the Chiefs and I'm an AFC West homer.
Chief and Colts. At the beginning of this season, I thought Alex Smith and Andy Reid were a perfect fit for the Kansas City Chiefs. It always seems to go well for a talented roster to gain a creative head coach, add to that an expert game-manager like Smith and I figured they were good for 9 wins. I picked them for a Wild Card team, which turned out to be accurate. However, I had no idea that they would be this good and win 11 games. They’ve been bad for so long, I’m happy for them.
The Colts are what they are. They are a team that is well coached and has a talented and developing young QB who appears to be a good leader as well. Their defense is completely different than the Colts we are used to. Gone are the speed-focused days that was designed to play from a Peyton Manning points lead. Now they have the make-up of a more traditional playoff defense. Unfortunately, they are horribly inconsistent. They were blown out this season by the Rams and the Cardinals yet beat the Broncos, Chiefs and Seahawks. This makes me believe that they can get extremely motivated for “big games” while let themselves down in games they should win.
My prediction: Honestly, I like the Chiefs, but I just do not see them winning this one. I see the well-trained fans of Indianapolis with a motivated team whose second year QB has playoff experience, winning a close one against a Chiefs team who are just happy to be there. The Chiefs have enormous talent across their entire roster, but they are very beatable and on the road and lost to the Colts already (yes, the Chiefs are 6-2 on the road, but those wins are against the Gabbert-led Jags, Pryor-led Raiders, Vick’s Eagles (and Andy’s old team), Fitzpatrick’s Titans, Tuel’s Bills, and the game where RGIII was benched for good in D.C. … think about that!) Also, this Chiefs D has allowed an enormous amount of points per game vs playoff teams (169 of thier 305 allowed: 55% in only 6 games. They went 1-5 in those games losing to Denver twice, San Diego twice and the Colts in Arrowhead 23-7); and also their yards per game defense ranked 24th for the season. I see this as a 38-31 Colts win, but I would be happy if I were wrong.
New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 8:10 EST
Oh man. This game should be amazing. Two fantastic offenses, two barely decent defenses. I am so in. I am still in shock that Nick Foles is somehow a good QB, I am still pissed I did not pick him up in Fantasy. Drew Brees and the Saints offense has been great for years now, but they have not done well on the road this year. On that alone, I have to go with the Eagles. Also, does it not make everyone happy that the Cowboys fired Rob Ryan and he helped turn the Saints D around? I know Jerms and Sutton will have more to say and hopefully have some actually information to share, but I have a feeling this game is going to fun to watch and high scoring. Eagles 45-Saints 31
Saints and Eagles, I hope your dicks are ready America because there is no stopping this high scoring dick jerking thrill ride of a game. Foles is the Quarterback we didn't know had this amazing ability and with him starting they are 9-1, not too shabby. So much better than the constant return of the last dog fighter. The Saints have been having a good season as well, they got their coach back and everyone is playing at a high level, unless it is away from home... I love Brees and Jimmy Graham for fantasy football reasons and get pissed at them for the same reasons.
The Saints will come marching in, but I'm pretty sure they'll be whimpering off the field in this one. How did they get here? Well they've got one helluva an offense even on a bad day with Brees makes plays happen and getting key players the ball. He keeps his shit together and typically makes solid calls and works the defense like a finger puppet. But, BUT, not always. Their defense can make stops, they are the 4th ranked defense in the NFL. They typically don’t allow for a lot of scoring so it always keeps their offense in the game. Their offense is what makes this team good and I’m not sure if the Saints defense can handle the CHIP KELLY OFFENSE, that's why this is going to be a shootout.
Eagles will play a game of throw the ball down the field to some impressive receivers, some of them a little more redneck than others. Its impressive how much better this team got without Vick. Lots of great options in the CHIP KELLY OFFENSE, whatever the hell that means. You know, I'm tired of hearing that, its similar to the ANDY REID OFFENSE except no dog fighters slinging the ball around. The Eagles have an amount of defense, but I'm not super impressed. Either way its going to be one fuck of a game so tune in and get your dick ready.
Who wins? Philadelphia Eagles
Why? The Saints are not playing at home and I'm not convinced their defense can stop the Eagles.
I think disclosure is required before I begin explaining my thoughts on this one. I am a Packers fan who lives in Charlotte and attended the Fail-Mary game in Seattle last season. If the Saints win this one and the Packers finally figure out the 49ers and win, then the Packers come to Charlotte next week and do not have to go back to that blatant-back-to-back-penalty-no-call logic-defying-hell-hole of Seattle where you lose a game even though you clearly won it. So, having said that.
Saints win this one.
The only teams to allow more yards per game this year than the Eagles are the: Bears, Vikings and Cowboys… and I’m pretty sure the Cowboys stopped playing defense for the rest of the season beginning at halftime of the Packers game. So I’m saying the Eagles are the 3rd worst in yards allowed. That should not come into play, though, because you have a hapless offense coming to town, right? No, you don’t. You have the cyborg-arm Brees-led Saints offense who has their riverboat gambling head coach play caller coming to town with a point to make. Also, they have the underestimated Ryan brother as D-coordinator with a chip on his shoulder. This whole team is pissed about last season and the Eagles will be the team they take it out on. Chip Kelly’s offense will not keep up with Brees and the Saints and I’m expecting Rob Ryan to have some nasty play calls up his sleeve for Foles and Chip (Saints rank 4th best in YPG allowed, in case you were wondering).
Both offences are top 5, so it’ll come down to Defense and Special Teams. No one wants me to break down Special Teams, so I won’t. Other than to say that the Saints brought in a fresh leg outdoor kicker just in time for this playoff run.
I say 41-24 Saints win. Look for Jimmy Graham to have a great day.
San Diego Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1:05 EST
Jboose: While I can’t wait to hear what Jerms thinks about this game, I honestly don’t know how to judge these two teams. The Chargers literally had a 5% chance to make the playoffs a month ago, but here they are. The Bengals seem to rise and fall depending on their competition. The Chargers who have beaten some of the best teams in the league have also lost to some of the worst teams in the league, while the Bengals lose games they should win and never seem to raise to their level of talent, also their QB is ginger.
I am going to say the good Chargers show up and embarrass the Bengals.
Chargers 31-Bengals 14
GO BOLTS! YES! We fucking made it somehow! (the refs in that last game, yes I know that is how.) You know what, I don't think it matters. The Chiefs had nothing to gain or lose by winning or losing that game so it isn't a HUGE deal. But yes, please complain about how things are unfair and the refs suck, I'm still busy doing the happy dance because we are in the playoffs. This game comes down to which Bengals show up and which Chargers show up.
I'm saving the Bolts for last on this one. Last week the Bengals were one of my favorite teams, as I needed them to take down “elite” quarterback Joe Flacco, this week I hope they continue their streak of losing in the first round of the playoffs. I watched HBO Hard Knocks this season and thought, man this team looks like they've really got their shit together. They've got some great players on offense and defense, I’m thinking they'll do well this year. Now all I can think of is how much I hope their top two tight ends remain out again this week. The Bengals can get it done on both sides of the ball and thats what makes teams Super Bowl contenders. Good luck Ginger QB and crew, please lose.
I'm not sure if anyone watched the Chargers vs. Chiefs game, it was a great game at the end, but up and down for the Chargers during. We seem to love to do a few three and outs in a row randomly throughout the game and I have no idea why, MOVE THE GODDAMN BALL. It has been another agonizing season of losing to shit ass teams like the Texans and then telling the Broncos, no more horse shit, we win. We win games when Rivers makes long sustaining drives that lead to touchdowns. We keep the defense happy and rested when we do this and they can focus on stopping the other team quickly and effectively. We need to do this again, take away their weapons and make long sustaining drives, that's why it'll be a low scoring game.
Who wins? San Diego SUPER CHARGERS
Why? We played them recently, we know what they do and what they don't do and we can capitalize on this knowledge. Also, Bengals don’t do 2 rounds of playoffs, just the one.
Jerms said it already: which Bengals team shows up and which Chargers team shows up? These teams played each other already this year, and the Bengals came out on top 17-10 in San Diego, but I can’t draw anything from that because these two are so inconsistent. Frankly, this one is a coin-flip. The Bengals and Chargers have both destroyed people at points this year, yet they both have been embarrassed all the same. Whoever wins this will lose the following week unless they go on a Raven-like run where a slightly above average team wins the big game. I’ll pick the team who is 8-0 at home for this say the Bengals win 27-9. Also, I hate watching Rivers throw the ball. He throws if from his chest in more of a pushing motion that defies physics because he seems to be powerful and accurate that way. Have you ever watched the non-athletically inclined friend/cousin/neighbor throw a football? It’s embarrassing and awkward but he somehow manages to get it to you so you don’t say anything and keep playing catch with him? Watching Rivers play is like that. It’s also very much like this:
San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers, 4:40 EST
Oh man. I know Sutton will remember this game from year. It was amazing and depressing at the same time. As much as I love running QBs (especially in Madden) I would be a Green Bay Packers fan if I was not a Giants fan. They are great organization to root for, I mean they are owned by the city, how awesome is that? The 49ers, having to play in what is probably the hardest division in the NFL, have a good offense that has been getting injured players back in the past few weeks, and a pretty decent defense. The Packers just got Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb back, but their defense has been pretty terrible this year. I know Kapernick has not had the season that was predicated before the year began, but he has a strong arm, and fast legs, and won most of the games this year with no WRs to speak of. The Packers, getting Rodgers back in time to ruin the Chicago Bears season, are primed for a good playoffs, starting with a game at home. The reason why I can't pick the Packers is their coach, I just don't have faith in him, he just seems to lose these types of games, and Jim Harbaugh, who I love, is a fantastic coach. So the question becomes who will take advantage of the matchups and who can change their gameplan on the fly if the game is not going well? I think we know the answer to that question, and I feel like the 49ers will again dominate the Packers, but the Packers will keep it close.
Final Score: 49ers 31-Packers 28
What a familiar game! This matchup took place earlier this season and in the postseason last year, with losses being handed to the Packers in both, but how does it end this round? What a wonderful question. These are two really good teams when all members are healthy. Kaepernick can make things happen with his sling shot arm and robot legs and Rodgers might be the clutchest QB in the league. Its raw youthful talent versus a hyper cooled number destroying super computer. The Green Bay defense is very beatable though considering the losses we've seen this season.
The 49ers have an amazing division with so much talent. Three of the four teams with 10 wins or more, that’s a difficult division for sure, but a beatable one. With only 4 losses, the 49ers fall 2nd in the NFC West, but good enough for a wildcard spot. They’ve only lost to some of the best teams in the NFL, all of whom are in the playoffs. We know they play at a high caliber on offense and defense. Kaepernick can fire laser balls and run like a zombie on bath salts, this guy is legit. Their defense is the 5th overall and not as great as the Saints defense, but I just feel like they’ve done a better job. Oh well, winning is winning and the Niners are damn good at it.
So the Packers get Aaron back and its like a holiday miracle. He wins the game and the playoff spot all while giving the Bears the nudge out. What a great ending to a season that can best be described as meh. At the beginning of the season, I thought the Packers were a fully developed team unit, like the ones that won the Super Bowl a few years ago, yeah I was wrong. Rodgers goes down and so does that team, man what a shit fest during mid season, thank God Lombardi Rodgers came back for that last game. Weeks 9-13 were just terrible losses and a damn tie, crazy!
Who wins? Green Bay Packers
Why? Rodgers isn’t done yet, he wants to play more football this season. He’s fresh, ready, and he’s looking to score some 49er gold!
The Packers are hosting a playoff game and are having trouble selling all the Tickets? What is this the Twilight Zone? or Sliders? (Editor's note: Sadly it is not Sliders, they have not FOUND THE GATEWAY!!) They’ve packed the house for 300+ games straight. Wisconsoners need to get it in gear and buy those seats and defend the sanctity of Lambeau Field.
They will. They will.
Okay so the 49ers are coming to Green Bay. They have not had trouble winning against the Packers, having beaten them already Week One and obviously who could forget the million rushing yards Kaepernick racked up in last year’s playoff game in SF, which was a 45-31 Niners win. The Packers spent several draft picks in 2013 getting long and fast linemen to rundown the read option QB’s that gave them so much trouble last year. Then, 2013 hits and they focus so much on stopping the read option that they completely forget to cover the middle of the field all year long. Tight-ends and Slot Receivers made themselves millions of dollars this year against the Packers. The only teams that allowed more fantasy points to WR’s and TE’s this year were the Vikings and Eagles. Take if from a guy that watched every down, the majority of those points came from the middle of the field. A.J. Hawk is the only consistent player for Green Bay and he cannot cover everyone. The outside linebackers are out of position seemingly on every play. Also, this team cannot tackle, and they allow almost 8 yards per play.
On a brighter note, it will be freezing cold in Green Bay on Sunday. Last year, the 49ers were at home. They’ve beat the Packers earlier this year in Green Bay, yes, but that was in September. This will be January. In Wisconsin. Have you ever tried to breathe in that frozen air for 4 hours with California lungs? Good luck! I see the 49ers coming out strong and looking like they will dominate only to wimp out and get rocked by the weather and a physical running attack in the second half. The Packers running game has been amazing the second half of the season. I think I heard Fox Sports tell me that Eddie Lacy is the #3 running back in the NFL since week 8. Now you have Rodgers back with a fresh arm and Cobb with a new leg, Jordy Nelson is catching balls like Calvin Johnson and the offensive line is coming off of three 4th down conversion confidence boosters in Chicago. The 49ers haven’t seen these Packers and definately have not experienced this environment. They may just get their asses kicked. I’ll say this goes to the Packers and they win 49-35.
Join us next week when we will discuss how wrong we were as well as discuss the next slate of games.