Saturday, January 14, 2017

Divisional Playoffs 2017

Welcome back, everybody!!! Hope you are enjoying your weekend!!! It's is time for the Divisional Playoffs!!!

Last weekend, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Green Bay, and Houston won their Wild Card matches to advance to the Divisional round. Now, we are eight teams away from the Super Bowl, and while their Super Bowl dreams are still alive many NFL teams are at home preparing for next year. Two will begin their new seasons in a home.  The San Diego Chargers officially became the Los Angeles Chargers this week, and the Oakland Raiders are on the verge of filing paper work to make Las Vegas their home.  Meanwhile, the NFL coaching vacancies are starting to fill. Jacksonville made Doug Marrone their official coach and hired Tom Coughlin as president of football operations.  The Denver Broncos hired Vance Joseph away from the Miami Dolphins.  After much speculation, including a possible trade for New Orleans head coach Sean Payton, the Los Angeles Rams made 30-year-old Sean McVay the youngest coach after he spent three seasons as the offensive coordinator with the Washington Redskins. Finally, Anthony Lynn left the East Coast for the West Coast to become head coach of the newly minted Los Angeles Chargers.  

Well, to the picks. Last week, I was a perfect 3-0, but I expect no perfection this week. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017
Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons (4:35 pm EST on FOX):  Seattle.  I really have no faith in the Falcons. I want to pick them to win because they should win. They don't have a great defense, but Matt Ryan has been playing out of his mind this year. Russell Wilson's team has the better defense. That said, I just can't trust the Falcons.  They are like my Braves. They get riiiiiiiiiight there and find a way to lose. Remember, Tony Gonzalez wide open three years ago?  Remember, the 2 point game against New York?  That's what I'm saying.

Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots (8:15 pm EST on CBS):  New England.  I'm not going to spend a great deal of time here. We are all thinking it. IT is a forgone conclusion. Tom Brady wants revenge after his four game suspension...Blah-blah-blah, MVP, blah, blah, blah, Bill Belichick, yada-yada. Houston has Brock Osweiler who had a meh game over a meh Raiders team. I wish the Texans the best, but yeah, Brady should win this...easily...

Sunday, January 15, 2017
Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys (4:40 pm EST on FOX):  Green Bay.  Yes, I know Prescott and Elliott have been balling out of control all year. Yes, I know that Tony Romo is ready just in case the rookie slips up, but the way Aaron Rodgers has been playing the last few weeks has me thinking of the Giants from a few years back who ran the table then beat the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl.  The Cowboys should win, but I'm sticking with the Packers.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs (8:20 pm EST on NBC):  Kansas City.  This was supposed to be the first game on Sunday, but due to the ice storm that is headed Kansas City's way, the NFL made the move change the time of the game from 1:20 pm to 8:20 pm.  This should be the coldest game of the weekend, and these teams really don't like each other.  The Pittsburgh Steelers have had the upper hand on the Chiefs for the last few meetings including the 43-14 beatdown earlier this year, a game James Harrison claims to not remember playing. I did not want my team to play the Steelers.  There, I said it.  My brain tells me this is the time of the year when Ben Roethelisberger plays his best and my Chiefs, much like the Falcons, turn into the Atlanta Braves. Yet, I soooooooo want this to be the year for the Chiefs. My brain tells me that Pittsburgh is going to win, but my heart is with the Chiefs, so that's my pick, and I'm sticking to it.

Enjoy your games this week!!! Until next time, in Honor of Dr. King's Birthday on Sunday, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Wildcard Weekend 2017

Hey, everybody!!!! Sorry I'm a little late with my picks, but with Fear The Ice Storm hitting our local area, I had completely forgotten about today's games.  Clearly, so did the Raiders who lost in the first game 14-27 to the Houston Texans.

Congratulations to my Kansas City Chiefs who via the Broncos win and Raider loss last week became the AFC West Champions for the first time since 2010!!!  Not only that, they received the #2 seed behind New England which means a bye this week and at least one game in the friendly confines of Arrowhead Stadium. They also prevented Antonio Gates from breaking Tony Gonzalez's touchdown record as well. Gates tied the record at 111 TDs, but was unable to capitalize on a late toss in his direction to put himself over the top. You guys, know it gives me nothing but pleasure that he has to wait until next year to hopefully get it. Pity...

Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers whose win over the Detroit Lions made them the NFC North Champions.

Sunday saw the usual see ya' wouldn't wanna be you from some NFL Teams.  The  49ers fired GM Trent Baalke before the game and coach Chip Kelly after the game.  Mike McCoy was relieved of duty after the Chargers lost to the Chiefs. The Broncos sent their coach Gary Kubiak out with a win as the decided to retire after the game. Although the Saints are exploring trade options for coach Sean Payton, Payton seems certain that he will still be on the Saints sideline next year.

So, this week the Patriots, Chiefs, Cowboys, and Falcons have a bye and are waiting for the results of Wildcard Weekend.  I finished the regular season 164-89 record.  Let's see how I do with the remaining games. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017
Detroit Lions vs. Seattle Seahawks:  Seattle

Sunday, January 8, 2017
Miami Dolphins vs. Pittsburgh Steelers:  Pittsburgh
New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers:  Green Bay (This game is the toughest to pick. I'm going with Green Bay, because they are really coming in hot, but this is time of year when Eli Manning starts to play like a mad genius.)

That's all, y'all!!! Until next week, Stay warm and remember, "We must become more comfortable with probability and uncertainty."-Nate Silver

Sunday, January 1, 2017

NFL Week 17: Happy New Year?

Happy New Year, everybody!!!! May all your dreams and wishes come true in this new year!!! Cleveland won a game!!!! It is the last week of the season, and we are a few games away from having the playoff picture set.  The AFC has all of its teams in order, and it is a forgone conclusion that New England will retain the number one seed, but if New England loses and Oakland wins, Oakland will get home field throughout the playoffs. Oakland and Kansas City are currently fighting for the number 2 seed and the AFC West title.  Denver and San Diego can play spoilers though. Pittsburgh, Houston, and Miami are more or less set for the playoffs, but Miami could throw a wrench in New England's playoff plans.

The NFC side is a bit more complicated.  Dallas is set at the #1 seed with home field throughout the playoffs. Atlanta is currently the #2 seed and can clinch the #2 with a win.  Now, Seattle has a chance at #2 if Atlanta loses, and they win.  Green Bay and Detroit are fighting for the NFC North today, and one of them may end up at the house for the playoffs.  Washington and Tampa Bay still have a chance to make the playoffs, but Tampa Bay needs about a thousand dominoes to fall correctly for that to happen.  New York has clinched a berth and can prevent Washington from entering the playoff fray with a win today.

It's not all good news around the NFL this New Year's Day.  Some cities may be losing their teams, looking at you San Diego and Oakland. Other teams are just losing their coaches.  Buffalo fired head coach Rex Ryan and his twin brother Rob.  The Saints may be playing their last game under Sean Payton's tutelage.  Gary Kubiak is likely to step down today in Denver due to health issues.  There are a number of NFL coaches keeping their fingers crossed that their names will not end up on  pink slip tomorrow. Good luck, guys.  

The Raiders are going to be without their starting quarterback Derek Carr for the near future as he broke his leg during last week's game. I hate Oakland, but I don't wish injuries on anyone. I prefer my team to beat them at their best, as they have, twice this year.  Marcus Mariota and Tyler Lockett also broke legs ending their seasons as well.  Good luck, gentleman!!

Did you see the Denver/Kansas City game on Christmas night?  Oh, man...Denver's defense, normally one of the best in the league, were...did they even get off the plane?  Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce had a night, both ripping off 70 yard and 80 yard TDs respectively.  Even, Alex Smith scored a touchdown in the game. But the pièce de résistance occurred in the waning minutes of the game, when the Chiefs brought in Dontari Poe for what most thought would be a run.  Poe instead lined up in shotgun formation and did a jump shot pass to Demetrius Harris for a touchdown. Andy Reid calls it the "Bloated Tebow Pass," but I call it the nail in Denver's coffin. Now, both teams from last year's Super Bowl have been eliminated from the playoffs.
Many fantasy leagues finished up their playoffs last week, including my two leagues.  Lucille Swings, my #1 team, spent most of the year in first place, but like the real NFL, any given Sunday, a team can be knocked from its top spot, as was the case with Lucille Swings.  Lucille swung and missed as I was upset by a forth place team.  122 points were not enough to overcome Brett's team (he put a lot of effort in that name), especially with Cam Newton and Larry Fitzgerald having lackluster days, and Spencer Ware leaving the game with a rib injury.  Brett's team had a field day thanks to Andrew Luck, Ezekiel Elliott, Le/Veon Bell, Doug Baldwin, and Jordy Nelson. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce tried, but Lucille Swings ended the year in second place.  My dumpster fire team Lochte and Loaded surprisingly won the consolation bracket and finished the year in third place. No championships this year, but I'll take a 2nd and a 3rd place.

Last week, I had a pretty decent pick week, and had San Diego and Tennessee did their one job, it could have been better, but I'll take 11-4.  My current tally stands at 153-84. Let's see how I do on this final week of the season.

Sunday, January 1, 2017
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals;  Baltimore
Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans:  Houston
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts:  Indianapolis
New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins:  New England
Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings:  Minnesota
Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets:  Buffalo (Reggie Bush needs at least 3 yards to prevent him from setting a dubious record today.  He currently has -3 yards on the season.)
Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles:  Dallas
Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers:  Pittsburgh
Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Tampa Bay
Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos:  Oakland (although for the first time in probably ever, I'm rooting for Denver.)
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons:  Atlanta
Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers:  Kansas City (San Diego is playing for pride, but keep Antonio Gates out of the endzone. There is no need for him to break Tony Gonzalez's touchdown record today. NONE AT ALL!!!)
Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers:  Seattle
Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams:  Arizona
New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins:  New York
Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions:  Green Bay

That's it, guys! Enjoy your New Year's celebrations and all the games!!! Until next week, "Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten."-Natasha Bedingfield