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.