Jaguars @ Chiefs
The Broncos fan in me wants the Jags to pull off the upset. The mentally sane person in me can’t pick against Patrick Mahomes at home in the playoffs against a young team without playoff experience.
My happy medium?
Hammer the Over.
The Jags have a pretty good defense, but Patrick Mahomes scoring 30+ points in this matchup is inevitable. Additionally, the Chiefs defense low-key kind of sucks. They’ve had their moments against lesser teams and quarterbacks, but don’t fall for it. This defense will give up points to Trevor Lawrence and the Jags offense.
Giants @ Eagles
The Over/Under line is 48???
No analysis needed.
Hammer the Over.
Bengals @ Bills
Sunday January 22, 2023. 3:00 PM EST. 34 degrees Fahrenheit, 80% chance of snow totaling 1”
This time last year I had the privilege to venture deep into jungle for the first time. In the third deck on the north side you’re greeted with a beautiful view of the Ohio river. The fresh Kentucky air blows north through the snow, bounces off the icy river, and nibbles at your nose and ears. Playoff football, baby. I was surrounded by people who were just so happy and so grateful to be there. Two pitiful franchises with the rare postseason bid. None of the fans really had any expectations and nobody knew what was going to happen; we were all there to just drink beer and celebrate the fun seasons that our favorite teams gave us.
This time is different. The Bengals are no longer a pitiful franchise who is just grateful to be playing in late January. They’re no longer celebrating a win over Zay Jones and the Raiders like it was the Super Bowl (I mean no offense to Zay). Zac Taylor and dem boys expected to be right back here and, this time around, they’re back with a new look offensive line, albeit banged up, and playoff experience that can help prevent the squad from turning into a pumpkin at midnight.
Joe Sheisty, boy wonder, lord and savior of all millennials, the chosen one sent up from Athens to unite men and women to agree on one thing: this guy fucks. Buffalo’s offense is as exciting as any team in the league, and Burrow, Chase, Higgins, Boyd, and Mixon can trade punches with any of the other heavyweights. The Bengals have taken on the personality of its leader. They have swagger, they has fun, and this team oozes confidence.
I, and practically every other football fan, also love the Bills. I’m so jealous every time I watch both of these teams. Josh Allen is a true gunslinger out of the wild west, and you can bet that Stefon Diggs will end up behind a safety at least once in this game. The Bills are arguably the most balanced team in the league. Only San Francisco (my favorite to win the NFC) has a better point differential, and 36 points separates the Bills from the third best team.
This is gonna be such a good game.
The health of Cincy’s offensive line is certainly a concern, but Buffalo’s pass rush is has been mediocre since the loss of Von Miller, and fearless Joey B is no stranger to dominating with a crowded pocket. No, this can’t be entirely pinned on their defense, but Bills managed to let Chip Skylar Thompson score 31 last week and make that game a much closer contest than it should have been. Joey was having his way when they met a few weeks ago and I expect him to bring that same fire again.
Like most playoff games, this will come down to red zone execution and turnovers. Cincy boasts the 9th best red zone defense and the Bills have the 9th best red zone offense. That should be fun. However, Buffalo also led the league in red zone turnovers. Per Jay Morrison at the Athletic, of the 32 quarterbacks who attempted at least 25 passes in the red zone, Josh Allen (the quarterback) has the 30th best passer rating (79) barely edging out Derek Carr and a Browns quarterback I won’t waste my time naming. Josh Allen (the quarterback) was incredibly reckless when he first came out of Wyoming, but really cleaned it up last season. Everyone thought it was somehow coached out of him, but it’s back. I can’t tell you if it’s because his elbow is still injured, but he’s been an turnover machine that will cost them the game late in this one.
You should happily take the points, Bengals +5; I’ll even go as far as taking Bengals ML.
The forecast doesn’t scare me either; give me the over. Wait, I actually haven’t looked at what the point total is. One sec…. 48.5? Yeah, hammer the over.
Just win baby.
Cowboys @ 49ers
Sunday January 22, 2023. 6:30 PM EST. 56 degrees Fahrenheit, partly cloudy
No one is going to say it? Not a one? Alright I’ll say it:
BROCK PURDY HASN’T PLAYED A GOOD DEFENSE YET!!!
Coming into this week, Dirty Purdy has started games against two playoff teams; An 8-9 Tamp Bay Buccaneers, and the Seattle Seahawks (who rank 21st in defensive DVOA) the commies, and two teams picking in the top six of the draft. Not exactly a murderer’s row of defenses.
That all changes this week with the Dallas defense.
Dallas’ D has everything it needs to pull off the upset. They have the ability to get pressure with four, a league leading 33 takeaways, and a top tier defensive coordinator in Dan Quinn. It will be fun to see how Quinn will utilize Micah Parsons. Yes he is an elite pass rusher, but Parsons is athletic enough to put the clamps on Christian McCaffrey while Quinn draws up blitzes to rattle Purdy. Purdy has not had much in game adversity and it will be interesting to see how he responds.
The 49ers defense, similarly, are a defense that if they were your favorite teams defense, you’d be excited when your team punted. With all-pro talent at every level, it is tough to find the holes in that unit, yet the 6-11 raiders managed to score 34 points against them to prove the holes do in fact exist. The Cowboys offense has many similarities to the Raiders. Both boast strong running games, with elite wideouts, and quarterbacks who are mobile when they need to be. The biggest difference this week is the mobile quarterback for the Cowboys will be Dak Prescott instead of Jared Stidham. Dak is by far the best quarterback remaining in the NFC (nothing against Jalen Hurts) and he’s got this offense clicking at the proper time. Dak and the Cowboys torched the Buccaneers to the point that their kicker could miss 4 extra points and it not matter for a second. Mind you this is the Dallas Cowboys, a team that has excelled at losing games in the playoffs since the Nineties. If Dak can continue playing like he is, the Cowboys have a real shot at the Super Bowl.
The Niners are a worthy favorite, having won 10 straight games, and Kyle Shanahan has long had success against Dan Quinn defenses. Shanahan’s time as Quinn’s Offensive Coordinator in Atlanta gave him the time to understand Quinn’s tendencies and understand the rules his defenses like to play, but it does not matter what you know when giant blitzers are running at your rookie quarterback. I expect this game to be close, but in the end I see Dak and the Cowboys not just covering, but winning this game.
Cowboys Money line +175
Final score prediction:
Cowboys 31 – 49ers 27
These Sunday picks from Thrillhouse and The Jesster stink out loud.
The Over in Bills-Bengals is rational, but Bengals-MoneyLine? In Buffalo?? Facing a team galvanized by the Demar Hamlin injury??? I wouldn’t put my Loot on it. Sorry Thrillhouse.
And Jesster? You lost me at, “Dak is by far the best quarterback remaining in the NFC.” I’d take Daniel Jones and Jalen Hurts over Dak any day of the week, twice on Sunday. Dallas may win this game, but that comment was wild.
Why feel the need for this Editors Note you ask?
Chaos, that’s why.