What’s up guys, it’s your dude. Dude Sports Guy. The NFL Playoffs are finally upon us, and there’s a lot of great matchups so who will win and who will lose? Let’s break it down.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Starting off we have the rematch of the week 16 matchup that decided the NFC West division, Rams vs Seahawks. Honestly, the Seahawks do not instill a lot of confidence in me this year (a sentence I’m sure brings dismay to resident Seahawk fan from Mechanical Anime Reviews). They remind me a lot of the post-Super Bowl Saints and Packers from the past decade. Pete Carroll is a reliable coach and Russell Wilson is as elite of a quarterback as they come. However, the roster just isn’t of the same caliber as the Legion of Boom days.
However, I doubt this matters as the Rams are entering the contest at less than 100%. Jared Goff is still limited in practice after his thumb surgery and if they have to play Wolford again it dramatically lowers their chances. The Rams saving grace is their running back corps, having three backs in Akers, Henderson, and Brown having over 400 yards this season. If the run game can keep the chains moving, the Rams have allowed the least amount of points and yards to their opponents. If the game stays low scoring, then the Rams have a chance to make enough plays late.
Yet, I don’t see it happening. With 2-thousand-yard receivers in Metcalf and Lockett, I think the Seahawks just have too many weapons to not put up enough points. This has the potential to be a real strange game, wouldn’t be surprised if the Seahawks have an unexpected big game from aged veterans like Carlos Hyde or Greg Olsen. I wouldn’t bet against Wilson and it’s as simple as that.
Seahawks 25 Rams 17
Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints
I’m sure the Saints feel a sigh of relief that this isn’t a matchup with their playoffs demons in the Minnesota Vikings. The Saints have been kind of an underwhelming team for a 12-4 record, but still impressive they did so with Drew Brees and Michael Thomas barely sharing the field.
The most underappreciated part of the Saints is their defense. Not the typical takeaway defense the Saints are used to, their biggest accomplishment is allowing the 2nd lowest passer completion percentage. Of course, expect big performances out of the man in the graphic Alvin Kamara. It’s been near impossible to stop Kamara, totaling 1,688 yards this year with 21 total touchdowns he’s been a one-man wrecking ball.
Maybe the Bears have the defense to do it. They’re the 3rd best defense at limiting rushing Touchdowns which could be a game changer. The Bears defense is going to have to show glimpses of the 2018 juggernaut they once were, they still have the talent but just haven’t been on that level. Robinson’s a reliable playmaker, Montgomery can be effective in moving the chains, and Mitch Trubisky has been alright.
Fun fact, this game will be broadcast on Nickelodeon and according to their promos they are going full Bill Nye on the broadcast. Snapchat filter slime and goofy cartoon cameos, I’m sure it will be only slightly more of a meme than the Bears chances of winning.
Saints 31 Bears 13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team
Well, if you wanted to know what effect the turbulent 2020 year had on the NFL then this is the best game demonstrating the side effects. It’s now Tompa Bay as long-time Patriot is now taking the Buccaneers to a potential Super Bowl Run. On the other side the [REDACTED] has risen from the ashes on Dan Synder’s dysfunctional mess and become The Washington Playoff Football Team.
The Football Team is the surprising feel-good story of the year, just of the mere fact that they made it this far. Football Team was supposed to be a joke, as their new name implies with most projected that they’d remain a bottom 5 team. However, Ron Rivera inherited this team and battled the COVID-19 season while also battling squamous cell cancer. Unfortunately, Rivera didn’t want to run The Washington Babysitting Service so the team would ditch young prospect Dwayne Haskins for the veteran Quarterback Alex Smith.
Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury and was fortunate to be able to walk again let alone play football. I won’t post the bloody details, but you can imagine that something that required 17 surgeries was not a fun time. So good on the [REDACTED] for embracing the Football Team story and having some young talent like Chase Young to look forward to.
I haven’t talked about the Buccaneers because, I don’t need to. They’ll be here next week, and I’d be greatly shocked if that isn’t the case. If things play out like I predict than we have a Brady vs Rodgers and Wilson vs Brees weekend to look forward to.
Buccaneers 38 Football Team 20
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are going to have replace Black and Yellow with this as their anthem the way they’ve been playing:
I knew the Steelers were going to fall a bit off at the end of the year but not off whatever cliff they fell off. 11-0 was impressive but not as much when you consider their schedule. 7 of those wins came against teams with losing record. I feel like any decent team that got to play The NFC East, the Bengals twice, and the Jaguars should have been Playoff bound and that was the case with all 3 teams with that schedule.
That takes us to the Browns, which Browns fans have been waiting 18 years to see their team reach the playoffs again. I’m worried that the Browns are a very emotional team and I can see them riding the momentum of an early lead or getting frustrated and stuck in a rut longer than they can afford. The Browns are at their best when their running tandem in Chubb and Hunt are unleashed and Baker is allowed to fling the ball with confidence. It will be tough against a stingy Steelers D but the Browns have a good amount of firepower to pull it off.
Unfortunately, history does not look good for the Browns. The Steelers are 43-6 in home games against the Browns since the 70s and I don’t see Tomlin getting outcoached to an interim head coach. Fun fact, Mike Tomlin is a future Hall of Fame Coach and the Browns are rolling out there with Mike Priefer, the man most known for allegedly saying “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.” You can decide who’s going to outsmart who.
The other week I did find a blog doing Football coverage that is a massive Browns fan so if I end up being wrong be sure to follow Abby Mueller (Just A Girl From Cleveland)and congratulate them on the win.
Steelers 28 Browns 23
Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans
This is the tightest matchup of the week and it is a close call. Lamar Jackson was last year’s MVP and that’s all fine and dandy but doesn’t mean much if you can’t win a playoff game. What a better way to exercise that demon that to beat the team that knocked you out last year in the Titans.
These two teams are a great testament to the run game not being dead. Baltimore is the #1 rushing team in the league with the Titans not far behind with the #2 run game. If it comes down to who’s rushing attack can be the most effective than it might be in the Ravens favor as they have the 8th best rush Defense, compared to the Titans 19th.
However, it’s not that easy, you can look at the graphic and see the muscles of Derrick Henry a true freak of nature. He is the hardest guy to tackle in the league, so I don’t care how good you are at tackling everyone else, Henry is in a league of his own.
Baltimore has their own enigma in Lamar Jackson who’s electric. However, he’s gotta be careful, as Tennessee is the #1 defense in turnover differential with a +11. This is what did Baltimore in last year and costly turnovers or growing a hole could haunt them again this year.
This is going to be a fun one, trust my gut Lamar is going to put the naysayers away.
Ravens 36 Titans 33
Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills
Full Disclosure I am a Colts fan. I’m sorry but I’ve been hearing the Bills are a “Team of Destiny” and oh boy, are you guys setting yourselves up for disappointment. I feel like everyone has declared the Bills the winners of this game and are placing the odds at like an 80-20 split in the Bills favor but I think it’s much closer than that.
I’m sorry is this not the same team that completely shat the bed last year in Playoffs. Was this the team of destiny when Josh Allen only completed 52% of his passes and settled for 4 field goals. I don’t know Josh Allen has been phenomenal this year, but maybe see if he can go a playoff game without spastically chucking the ball behind him before you start pretending like you’re already moved onto the Chiefs.
Don’t sleep on the Colts, despite haven been horrid over the past few weeks. Colts can likely put that behind them, they are the 1-0 culture. The run game is dynamic, Taylor and Hines have been explosive. The passing game has a lot of weapons, but TY Hilton might have to make magic happen this week. The Colts have a nasty defensive line and studs like Darius Leonard that can make this game a nightmare for the Bills.
In the end, this comes down probably to two things. Stefon Diggs is the key difference between this year and last year and he is an absolutely explosive playmaker that I suspect the Colts sus secondary could falter stopping him. Honestly, I think the Colts have a better chance of the weather stopping the Bills passing game than the defense. Any chance for a repeat of the 2017 Snow Bowl between these two?
I’m not falling for the trap and getting my hopes up but Bills, you might be getting a little cocky. While it does feel very Colture to upset the Bills and then get murdered by the Chiefs next week, I’ll give the Bills a slight edge.
Bills 24 Colts 20
Of course, be sure to let me know how wrong I am or was in the comments. Hope you enjoy some Football and best of luck to those still in running. May the best team win.