Intro: Mike tells Lance to drop the false bravado, he's terrible at picking games. Mike 4/11 on playoff pick-'em and Lance is 3/11. Also, on our bracket challenge, Lance only got 3 slots total correct, with no possibility of getting any more. Mike has 7 slots correct, with the possibility of one more if New England wins the Super Bowl. And, to keep piling on, Mike absolutely destroyed Lance in playoff fantasy. Lance needs to admit that Mike leads in every major category and is the superior sports brain.
New England Patriots versus Jacksonville Jaguars:
Mike was wrong against spread, but was right straight up. Blake Bortles played really well for three quarters. Mike even commented to his son that Blake was having the game of his career. He'd never seen him so accurate. But, as is often the case in the NFL where elite teams separate themselves from wanna-bees at the QB slot. Having a QB who can make plays (and Mike is not talking about making throws, like completing a third down pass - Lance gets excited about that) is the difference in winning and losing. When Jacksonville needed Bortles to get them a touchdown, he couldn’t do it. Jacksonville with two field goals in the second half, and Patriots with two touchdowns in the second half. All the difference in the NFL world.
Patriots locked down on the rushing attack in the second half and made Blake beat them, which he couldn’t do.
Even with Gronk out, the injured Brady did what everyone except Lance and Scott expected.
New England Patriots with just as many sacks (3) as Sacksonville.
Jacksonville went soft: That was Jacksonville CB A.J. Bouye's complaint after the game: "We just started playing soft. We started calling more zone, and they just knew what we were going to run. We were running back-to-back the same calls."
Brady and Gronk now have two weeks to repair themselves, and Coach Belichick will have a special gameplan for the Eagles.
Scott’s Terrible Take:
Honorary honors should go to Lance for making fun of Scott calling this a passing league. Then, moments later, a passing heavy Patriots team roared back to beat a running heavy Jacksonville team. Then, later, a balanced attacking Minnesota team fell apart against a pass heavy Philadelphia team with the University of Arizona stud Nick Foles putting up 352 yards and 3 touchdowns against the second best pass defense in the league.
Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles:
Nick Foles is the first quarterback in NFL history to have a passer rating over 100 (100+) in his first three postseason starts (min. 30 attempts).
Foles and Joe Montana are the only two quarterbacks in NFL history to have back-to-back games in the postseason completing 75 percent of their passes.
Fact: When the team needed a score, Nick Foles made the throw. The offensive coordinator stayed aggressive and kept the field spread. The offensive line protected their QB. Whereas, when Minnesota needed a play, Case Keenum couldn’t do it. Once the Vikings got outside their scripted plays, Keenum wasn’t effective. Vikings were 0/3 in the red zone.
The defense folded and Keenum was exposed. I’ve said it all year. Keenum was bloated by an easy schedule. When challenged on the road, the team just wasn’t as good (Pittsburgh, Carolina).
Lance and the other Rubes allowed yourselves to get built up on false hope. But, they’ve got a heck of a memory with the Minneapolis Miracle, and now it’s time to watch two effective offenses battle it out.
Mike said last week that the Minnesota Vikings vs Philadelphia Eagles game would come down to turniovers. Lance made fun of Mike's sabermetrics, but Mike said Philly would create them and Minnesota wouldn’t because that’s what the facts support. The result? Eagles with three turnovers and Vikings with zero. Yep.
Defense gave up 71% on 3rd down efficiency.
Philly average gain per passing play was 10.2 yards. This includes incompletions. Vikings? 5.4.
Next up, the Super Bowl.
Also next week, we bring in Dean Grillo, Hockey Agent with O2K Worldwide Management as a guest host. It's gonna be fun.
Rube Sports Radio #24
NFL playoffs reached a climax with an exciting divisional championship round.
Intro – unbelievable Minnesota Vikings finish. The reaction was equally as entertaining. The Rubes discussed how it all went down with the New Orleans Saints versus Minnesota Vikings finish.
Rube Mike discussed how he lost a friend because he made fun of his friend’s vague Facebook status update ways. Lance disclosed that he recently repaired a friendship with his fantasy football commissioner.
Review of NFL games:
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings:
Things Minnesota Vikings should be happy with – put the curse to bed, Case Keenum gets a playoff win.
Things Minnesota Vikings should be concerned about – giving up 17 points in the fourth quarter, the play of Case Keenum (throwing off back foot, lofting passes, was getting hit from a less-than-stellar pass rushing front), inability to run against an average rush defense.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers – crazy game, with the Jags giving up a crap-ton of yards and points.
Things Jacksonville Jaguars should be happy with – Blake Bortles is now a seasoned playoff vet with two wins under his belt, did not have to rely on Blake Bortles to win the game as defense scored and rushing attack was clicking.
Things Jacksonville Jaguars should be concerned about – they gave up a boatload of passing yards (469 yards), they only had 2 sacks, defense couldn’t put the Pittsburgh Steelers away.
Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots – just as Mike said last week, that if the Titans weren’t competitive against the Patriots then Mike Mularkey would be fired. Mularkey was essentially fired. Lance found a way to argue that he wasn’t.
Things New England Patriots should be happy with – offensively, the team is clicking and playing at a high level, Jacksonville Jaguars took out a major threat to New England Patriots and its defense by eliminating the Pittsburgh Steelers, pass defense had a lot of pressure put on Marcus Mariota.
Things New England Patriots should be concerned about – susceptible to the run in the regular season but shut down Derrick Henry last week, though not many rushing attempts. Still a concern. If Leonard Fournette is healthy, New England Patriots will have to get creative. 64% third down efficiency at home against a bad team. Mike would have expected to see this closer to 80%. Also, the Patriots gave up 2/3 fourth down conversions.
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles –
Things Philadelphia Eagles should be happy with – they get an extra day of rest more than the Minnesota Vikings, Nick Foles didn’t give the game away with bad decision making, defense was legit against a prolific balanced Atlanta attack. Next week’s game is at home.
Things Philadelphia Eagles should be concerned about – Nick Foles didn’t make a play to win the game. It feels more like they barely hung on, and if the game had another quarter then Philadelphia Eagles would have easily lost. Not much offensive production against what was a slightly better than average defense during the regular season.
Scotty’s Terrible Take – Scott officially jumped the shark this past weekend, as he refused to admit that Teddy Bridgewater was not on the active playoff roster. It went so far that Scott cheered against the Minnesota Vikings just so he could try to spin that his Teddy Bridgewater take is correct. Sad.
Congrats to our 100th Twitter follower @Honor_the_Vikes.
Upcoming NFL playoff games:
Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots:
Mike: New England Patriots favored by 9 points at home. Some might argue that this isn’t enough. Jacksonville surprised many by beating the Steelers last weekend, but they aren’t going to surprise Belichick who has seen it all. Bill Belichick takes away your strength. Expect to see a lot of exotic pressure on Bortles that will make him check out of rushing plays and keep the ball in his hands. For Jacksonville, I expect they will try to counter Belichick’s brilliance by smashing Fournette at them. If he’s not healthy or the rush isn’t effective, Blake Bortles will melt down. And I expect that will happen. This is the big time, and Jacksonville just isn’t ready. The Jaguars fans will be happy with the season and New England will continue the Brady legacy with another Super Bowl appearance. Take the Patriots and give up the points.
Lance: Take Jacksonville and the points, and he also calls for a Jacksonville win straight up.
Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles:
Lance’s emotional breakdown: Low scoring game. Lance admits his purple goggles are on. He takes Minnesota to win straight up and to cover the points. Mike pointed out that the over/under for the game is 38.5. Lance took the under and Mike took the over.
Mike’s detailed breakdown: Mike declared that he’s all in for emotionally pulling for the Vikings. He is #SKOL. Logically, though - Minnesota Vikings favored by 3 points on the road. The Eagles players didn’t like being underdogs last weekend against Atlanta, who were favored by a greater margin by Vegas. Some players were seen wearing some disturbing animal masks after the game, I thought I was watching a Stanley Kubrick film, like some Clockwork Orange stuff going on. Really bizarre stuff, but I get it. I’m pretty sure they aren’t happy about being underdogs again this week. That doesn’t bode well for Minnesota. Also not good for Minnesota, the Philadelphia Eagles have a statistically similar pass rush as New Orleans Saints, but Philadelphia has a much better rushing defense than the Saints, which leaves even more on Case Keenum’s shoulder. Philadelphia Eagles will make Case Keenum beat them by air. The key for Minnesota is for Keenum to get rid of the ball quickly. Fast decisions and neutralize the Philly front, much like Eli Manning proved was Philadelphia’s achilles heel back in September. If Case hangs on to the ball, expect to see a quick quarterback change to the fast throwing Sam Bradford. With the better decision making and quicker release, Minnesota Vikings win this game if Bradford plays more than one quarter. Otherwise, Philadelphia goes to the Super Bowl in what will be one of the more unexpected outcomes since they lost their franchise quarterback. Take Philadelphia and the points.
On average, the Eagles produce 1.94 turnovers per game whereas the Vikings are at 1.18/game. This might be the telling factor in the game, where Philadelphia has had 6 defensive scores this season to 1 by Minnesota. According to Mike, this will be the deciding factor in this game, and the game will go in Philadelphia’s favor as a result.
Introduction – College football championship. SEC battle, Alabama Crimson Tide versus Georgia Bulldogs. Mike talked about how Nick Saban may be losing some ability, as the Crimson Tide seemed less disciplined than in the past. Aside form the silly penalties, Mike talked about Mekhi Brown, #48 Redshirt Sophomore, Linebacker, who took a swing at a coach and then went back into the game. Saban drops on the Respect Ladder.
Rube Lance had a great tweet about Mekhi Brown (kindly pardon the mis-use of 'there'):
In a surprising move, Nick Saban benched Jalen Hurts and put in Tua Tagovailoa. More on this later as Mike draws a parallel to what Andy Reid should have done with Alex Smith earlier in the year.
News broke that the University of Central Florida received four voted in the final AP poll. Mike and Lance argued about UCF declaring themselves National Champions.
What happened in Wildcard weekend:
Game #1: Tennessee at Kansas City. KC had been favored by 8.5 points. I had said take Tennessee and the points, so I was right against the spread but wrong overall. I figured the Chiefs would fold in the playoffs, I just didn’t think they’d do it against a bad Titans team.
Game #2: Atlanta Falcons at LA Rams. Rams were favored by 6. Color Mike surprised, more so with this outcome than the outcome of the Kansas City Chiefs game. There was a lot made of the lack of playoff experience for the LA Rams roster, but Mike figured it was overblown. Apparently not. Atlanta looked like the superior team, and I really feel like experience had a ton to do with it. Do they have the same advantage next week? We’ll see.
Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars. Jags were favored by 8.5. What a snooze fest of a game. The kind of game Lance likes to see. Blake Bortles has a playoff win, and that’s the biggest travesty of them all. 87 passing yards and 88 rushing yards is absurd. How bad will he perform next week?
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints. The Saints were favored by 6.5. Both Lance and I predicted this would be the best game, and it definitely was. Tense all the way. Great TV.
Scotty Terrible Take – John Kiley from Phoenix dovetailed on last week’s STT discussion about Dalvin Cook vs David Johnson. John Kiley on Twitter, in trying to prove how ineffectual Dalvin Cook was at running back for the Vikings, stated the player averaged 91 rushing attempts a game.
Upcoming NFL games:
Lance got confused with the definition of ‘few’ and ‘couple’. Mike cleared it up for him.
NFC games go first each day. Which is good news, because we can all go to bed sooner.
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles: Falcons are favored by 3 at the #1 seed Philly, which must be the first time that has happened.
Lance also takes Atlanta and gives up the points.
Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots: Patriots are favored by 13.5 points. This is a crazy amount for a second-round playoff game, but that’s the nature of the AFC. There’s not much to say. The Patriots have the advantage of this warm-up game before they have to play for the right to go to the Super Bowl. Don’t underestimate that advantage for New England. Mike takes New England and gives up the points.
Lance likes New England, but takes Tennessee and the points.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers - 7.5 point Steelers. Jags beat them earlier this year, surprising the Steelers. They won’t be surprised any more. And if you can’t score points against the Steelers, you stand zero chance. Mike takes Pittsburgh and gives up the points.
Lance agrees, and also takes the Steelers and the points.
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings: Vikings are favored by four, but I think this is the worst-case scenario for Minnesota. Offensively, the Vikings won’t play as well as it did in Week 1 of the NFL season. Defensively, the Vikings are the same as they were Week 1. Kamara, for the Saints, rushed for only 18 yards and was the leading rusher. Saints rushing game is better, and the team is playing really well. Take the New Orleans Saints and take the points.
Lance disagrees and thinks the Vikings are an amazing team. Minnesota will hold the Saints to 21 points or less. He takes Minnesota and gives up the points.
Rube Sports Radio #22
NFL season moves into the playoff realm.
Introduction: there has been a ton of controversy this NFL season over our locks of the week. Through it all, we lost track of the records. So, Mike spent time this weekend going through it all, and the records are in. These are the cumulative stats for this NFL season’s Locks of the Week:
Lance – 24/22/4
Mike – 24/25/1
The Rubes have tied, even though Rube Lance pays for special access to a number of specialized websites to broaden the depth of his sports knowledge. Rube Mike just uses his innate sports acumen.
Also, we had a question from Rube Anne who asked: “Is your podcast going to continue after football is over?” The simple answer is yes. The more in-depth answer is that Lance and Mike are bursting with sports knowledge that needs to be released throughout the year.
Lance said there were only two relevant games this past weekend, and he completely disregarded the University of Central Florida. The fellas argued about this, and Lance hold the position that UCF should schedule some big dog from a Power Five conference next year. Mike explained how collegiate scheduling works, and that these commitments are made many years in advance.
The most exciting game of the postseason was the first semifinal, Oklahoma against Georgia. Of course, my take was correct and Georgia pulled it out, but what a double overtime classic. Mike’s champion is still in the mix.
Alabama/Clemson: Lance’s champion (Clemson) was eliminated. Lance now picks Alabama to win it all. Mike is sticking with Georgia.
University of Central Florida: Mike thinks they deserved to be in an 8-team playoff (if there was one). Took down an SEC powerhouse. It’s a shame that a team like they had wasn’t given more credibility.
Divisional review predictions:
The first few shows of Rube Sports Radio were divisional previewed where the guys picked the finishing order of the various divisions. The results are as follows, showing THE NUMBER RIGHT/THE NUMBER WRONG.
Mike = 2/4 Lance = 1/4
Mike = 2/4 Lance = 4/4
Mike = 2/4 Lance = 0/4
Mike = 0/4 Lance = 0/4
Mike = 6/16 Lance = 5/16
Mike = 1/4 Lance = 1/4
Mike = 4/4 Lance = 1/4
Mike = 2/4 Lance = 4/4
Mike = 1/4 Lance = 0/4
Mike: 8/16 Lance = 6/16
Mike = 14/32 Lance = 11/32
Mike wins again.
Scotty Terrible Take – Big head Drew gets on the board with his first Terrible take of the year. The honor was bestowed on him for comparing the loss of the Arizona Cardinals’ David Johnson with the loss of the Minnesota Vikings Dalvin Cook. Comparing an All-Pro with one of the greatest Running Back seasons of all time with a rookie that played five games, and saying the loss of Cook was more significant, made him worthy of this honor.
Mike got his shot in the dark correct last week, and Lance didn’t. If you’re keeping track, this is the third thing Mike got right and Lance got wrong.
NFL Wildcard Preview playoff games:
Lance – Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (-8): Kansas City will win the game. The Titans are a worst team than Baltimore, so it’s a surprise the Titans made it. The Chiefs play good defense at home. Take the Kansas City Chiefs and give up the points.
Mike - Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (-8): I’m not even a teeny bit of a believer in the Titans. Mariota has failed to progress as a player this season, and if this team were in the NFC it wouldn’t have sniffed the playoffs. However, Kansas City typically never fails to disappoint. And relying on Alex Smith is like relying on a rusty hinge to not squeal. This rusty hinge should have gotten oiled with some Patrick Mahomes early in the season, but Andy Reid screwed it up. Take Tennessee and the points.
Mike - Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams (-6.5): I can’t believe the Rams are only six point favorites, but then again Atlanta finished the year well and they are defending NFC champions. I don’t like that the Rams blew off last week’s game, whereas Atlanta stayed sharp. Matt Ryan has been on this stage before, but Goff’s star will shine the brightest. Rams to cover. Give up the 6.5 points.
Lance – Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams (-6.5): Lance agrees with Mike, but feels Atlanta has some momentum. It’s just that Atlanta’s defense is so bad. It’s going to be a close game. Take the Falcons and the points.
Lance – Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars (-8): Lance was behind the Bills making the playoffs, but Jacksonville is a good team and McCoy is hurt. Take Jacksonville and give up the eight points.
Mike - Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars (-8): is this even a game? Lance’s darlings who he predicted would win the AFC East barely nudged their way into the bottom playoff spot and he creamed himself. That’s okay. Fanboy Lance comes back to reality as his team is obliterated and he’s left with nothing but shattered dreams. Take Jacksonville and give up the points.
Mike - Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-6.5): This is the cream of the crop of Wildcard games. Sure, it’s a divisional matchup that we’ve seen twice already this season. The Panthers dropped both games in a non-competitive manner. I don’t think Cam can do it all by himself, he needs more offensive tools around him. I have no reason to believe this is going to be any different. Take New Orleans and give up the points.
Lance - Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-6.5): Lance doesn’t like that he agrees so much with Mike lately. Mike pointed out that his secret ambition was to bring Lance into the fold of sports brilliance with him. Lance has the same pick, and this is a sign that Lance is starting to figure out how to be brilliant in sports. Take New Orleans and give up the points.
The Rubes completed their complete NFL playoff brackets. Look for them on the main page of the website! Enjoy the playoffs.
#BlackMonday is coming.
Hosts: Lance Nelson and Mike Paulus
Scott Kimman is with us today. A banner day. Scott is the brain trust behind the Scott’s Terrible Takes segment. We are pleased to have him with us.
Introduction: Rube Mike starts the show with a public service announcement. Rube Sports Radio is known for PSAs, and this week is no different. It’s a PSA about Fence Sitting, the technique someone employs when they feel like their take isn’t strong, and they want to wait for something to play out before committing, then claiming they were right all along. Lance does this frequently, and the show has been excellent helping him along. Employ this technique with your friends: Lance, previously we’ve proven your fence sitting ways with regard to your take that the Bills would win their division after the Patriots traded Garoppolo, we held your feet to the fire and got you to state clearly that you do not like the Teddy bridewater pick, and now you need to be pressed for a firm position on what avenue the Patriots should have taken with Garoppolo: sign him top money to be a backup (possibly making more than Brady), trade Brady, or do what they did and trade Jimmie G? Clearly state for the record. Mike and Scott would not ease up on Lance until he answered the question, which he finally did:
LANCE’S RESPONSE: I’d wait until the end of the season and see how it plays out, but then I would trade Tom Brady.
Mike made a hot take that the Patriots would win more MVPs and Super Bowls in the next three years than the San Francisco 49ers will in the next decade.
Mike reminded Lance that Mike stated at the time of the trade that Garoppolo would lead an NFC West resurgence, but Lance claimed that take was his.
NFL week in review – free for all:
Scott’s Terrible Take – a rube reached out to me on Facebook private message and inquired about the possibility of changing the name of this segment to Lance’s Dreadful Takes.
The fellas reviewed every Scott Terrible Take we’ve had to date. It was a great review, and one of the best bits of our podcast so far. A must listen.
Before we talk NFL – we need to remind listeners that the prime chunk of College Bowl Season is upon us. Other than the exciting Purdue against Arizona Wildcats in the Foster Farm Bowl Wednesday night, there’s the college football playoffs. Let’s get predictions for the final four matchups:
Scott: he admits that he doesn’t watch any college football other than Minnesota Golden Gophers. He then says that University of Central Florida deserves to be in the playoffs.
Final Weekend Preview:
Get your final coaching picks in: thought that there are 13 coaches on the hot seat. As Black Monday approaches, who will lose their job. So, the fellas did a Black Monday preview:
NFL playoff update – Lance is finally wrong with his Bills take of them making the playoffs and he’s finally right about the Cowboys.
One of the worst takes of the year was Lance saying the NFC North would have 3 playoff teams, and in reality they have only one!
We get Scott’s playoff predictions since he’s here:
Shot in the Dark: Lance and I both miscalculated our shots from last week, each screwing up.
Locks of the week:
Both Mike and Lance went 0-3 last week!
The guys do a roundtable where they select which game the other needs to pick.
Lance: Dallas at Philadelphia. Dallas is favored by 2.5. Take Dallas and give up the points.
Mike: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver. Neither team has anything to play for. Will Parks for the Broncos could be key. Denver is favored by 3.5. Take Kansas City and the points.
Scott: Carolina at Atlanta. Atlanta is favored by 3.5 points. Take Carolina and the points, but the Panthers win straight up.
Scott: Oakland at Los Angeles Chargers. Chargers are favored by 7.5 points. Chargers will win and cover, give up the points.
Lance: Arizona at Seattle (-8). Arizona won’t win, but take the points. AZ with 8.
Mike: Jacksonville at Tennessee (-5.5). Jaguars will be primed and ready to play. Take Jacksonville and the 5.5 points. The Jags don’t want to go into the playoffs having lost two straight.