2017 NFL playoffs have arrived!
It’s time to throw your New Years resolutions out the window and allow yourself to feast all month long on all the nachos and chicken wings your heart desires.
As I have admitted in my blog bio I am a fair weather Vikings fan and pay attention to NFL football simply for the gambling and fantasy football reasons. I can barely watch football without NFL Red Zone these days but here we are in week 18.
AKA the Playyyyyyyyyyofffffffffffs!?
Most of you reading are probably in some kind of bracket/pickem pool or maybe you have a fantasy football playoff pool. I’m in both so here’s my quick uneducated analysis that went into how I made picks for the wild card weekend.
Houston Texas vs. Oakland Raiders
What a fucking Dumpster fire of a game this is going to be. The winner of this game should be awarded a trash can to parade around the field at the end of 60 minutes. There isn’t going to be much to analyze here folks but I’ll share the bullet points. Houston wins their weak ass division with a 9-7 record with one of the worst starting Quarterback performances from overpaid chump Brock Osweiler (who happened to cost me a fantasy football pool by the way). Houston received sub-par performances from most of their money players this year, Hopkins, Miller and an injured JJ Watt, yet they somehow win their division by week 16 due to the team’s defense holding up surprisingly well in the wake of Watt’s season ending injury back in September.
The Oakland Raiders were the NFL’s Cinderella story of 2016. The Raiders hadn’t played any meaningful football in a well over a decade yet this year they put together a high flying offense led by a young Derek Carr under centre and some great backs such as Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and Latvius Murray. Everything then came to a screeching halt in week 16 where Derek Carr breaks his fucking leg. Only in Oakland does that seem appropriate and they will now start rookie Connor Cook to lead the team to victory.
So going into today’s match up the Raiders are playing a rookie QB against either Tom Savage/Brock Osweiler. Let it sink in… one of these teams is going onto the second round. Fuck.
I’m not sure how much of this game I will want to or be able to physically watch so here’s an idea for you fans who NEED your football fix today. I’m proposing a drinking game: one swig for every incomplete pass, 2 swigs for every QB sack, 3 swigs for every punt, and down an entire beer for every interception. You will probably be gassed by half-time and will pass out before this game mercifully ends. You’ll thank me later unless you get alcohol poisoning in the process.
Prediction: Houston wins 16-13
Houston edges out Oakland in one of the ugliest playoff games of all time.
Fantasy Football Predictions: Latvius Murray gets the ball a lot and generates a TD. Everyone else is a garbage. Houston’s kicker, Nick Novak, kicks three field goals for the win. Avoid everyone else.
Seatle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions
Former Superbowl champs, Seattle Seahawks, set to face the Detroit Lions at home in Saturday night’s matchup. This game could be a low scoring affair or could be a complete blow out as predicated by Vegas betting lines.
The Seahawks were somewhat inconsistent this year. The team’s defense was still stingy as ever but cracks have begun to show in a banged up secondary. The offense however is the true wild card for the Seahawks.
Quarterback Russel Wilson is one of the games most versatile talents, but something just seemed amiss this year. If you drafted Wilson in fantasy football this season then you were probably pretty let down by a meager offensive showing week to week. To be fair the running back game was a bit of a mess with Beast Mode retiring and heir apparent, Thomas Rawls, missing most of the season. Outside of Wide Receiver, Doug Baldwin, and aging Tight End, Jimmy Graham, there wasn’t a lot of offensive tools for Wilson to play with.
The Lions predictably managed to stumble out of the gate this year starting out 1-3. However, something clicked offensively and they went on a tear to win 8 of 9 games in a row where they would eventually become the division leader for a period of time. Matthew Stafford showed he could still hum the football as good as anyone if given the time, and weapons and the defense made some key plays in big games.
The Vikings showed their true colours and squandered a hot start, the Packers stumbled most of the season and the Bears just simply sucked. The division should have been the Lions for the taking at that point.
Then somehow they revert to being the enigmatic Lions and lose three in a row to lose the division but still retain the last wild card spot. Any time a team trends the wrong way like this going into the playoffs I feel like they are going to be dead in the water.
There’s no doubt Seattle has the playoff experience to beat Stafford and The Lions, but the big question I have is will they be able to execute offensively in a must win game. The Lions have quietly had a much improved defensive effort and especially in some mid season big games. If Stafford is given enough time he may be able to exploit a banged up Seattle secondary. Given what I’ve seen over the past three weeks I am not counting on it but there is some upset potential here.
Prediction: Seattle wins 24-17
Seattle plays a solid but unspectacular defensive game. They will get some pressure on Stafford and stop the run. The Seattle defense is going to win this game single handedly while Wilson and Rawls kill a lot of clock on offense.
Fantasy Football Predictions: Russel Wilson throws for 1 TD and scrambles for 50+ yards. Thomas Rawls cracks 100 yards rushing with 1 TD as well. Matthew Stafford will play a solid game in the first half but will be sacked several times and likely throw a couple of key interceptions. The Detroit running game will be non-existent.