It’s playoff time…

…for the NFL Wild Card teams.  Starting a new feature here at the Blowhard…playoff picks!  Never before done in this space (I don’t recall anyway).  But in all honesty it’s a ridiculously easy way to hopefully get back in the swing of things after writing squat the previous six weeks or so.

I’m certainly not going to tout any prognostication skills whatsoever.  Sure, The Blowhard went 160-96 in an online picks pool…without the spread.  The site said we were #3395 out of a gazillion people.  So that must be ok.  Plus, we finished only behind “Coach” Bill Cowher’s 165 wins, as far as the “experts” on the site go.  Not so bad, eh?

However, in another online pool, The Blowhard sported a horrific record of 125-131 (yikes!!) where the spreads came into play (counting ties as losses of course).  Absolutely putrid.

Needless to say, although we were in Vegas back in September, no dough was laid down…smartly.

Without further ado…

Oakland at Houston (-4):

Wow, Oakland’s season sure went down the toilet quick, no?  Step right up, Connor Cook!  Derek Carr breaks a finger in Week 12 and a leg in Week 16 and poof…season over.

But is it?  I believe it is.

The Raiders limped down the stretch, though the schedule helped with that a tad.  Carr is out.  People rave about the Raiders offensive line.  But the left tackle, Donald Penn, is out.  Not sure where the running game went.  Latavius Murray petered out himself down the stretch, though 5 carries in the finale would be hard for anyone to get going.  Matt McGloin is questionable…though no one really cares cuz he stinks too.  They may actually have a better chance with Cook.

We all know Houston also is atrocious.  The talk is they could be the worst team to qualify for the playoffs in recent memory, if not ever.  Brock Osweiler has been a colossal free agent bust.  JJ Watt ain’t walking through that door.  And all that.

But they do have Lamar Miller supposedly ready to go.  And if Osweiler can avoid Khalil Mack on a regular basis and maybe get the ball to DeAndre Hopkins they may have enough.  Supposedly they led the NFL in “total defense”, whatever that means.  And a 7-1 home record has to mean something.

The guess?  Houston, 17-16.  Yup, Oakland does cover.  Let’s see how that one works out.

Detroit at Seattle (-8):

Since Seattle’s win in New England in Week 10, the ‘hawks are an uninspiring 4-3.  Since Earl Thomas got hurt in Week 13, they are an even less inspiring 2-2…with the two wins over the Rams, on a Thursday night when they had just fired their coach and a 2 point win against the embarrassing 49ers at home in the last week.  They also got smoked by the Packers and lost at home to a mediocre Arizona team.  Russell Wilson hasn’t looked particularly right all year (to me anyway).  Their running game is suspect.

So why are they favored by 8?  Because it’s Detroit after all!  The Lions are 0-3 since Matthew Stafford busted a finger.  And in the game that he did it, they barely beat the lowly Bears.  6 of their 9 wins were by less than 4 points.  Only one was by more than 7.  Their running back is some dude named Zach Zenner.  Jim Caldwell is still allegedly the coach.  They are 0-5 versus playoff teams.

The last paragraph really tells the story.  Seattle, 31-13.

Miami at Pittsburgh (-10.5):

The Dolphins beat the Steelers in Week 6 by a count of 30-15.

Though I did not see that game, here is what I know:

That game was in Miami.

Big Ben got hurt in the second quarter and was ineffective thereafter, with the game still in reach.

It was only Le’Veon Bell’s third game back from suspension and he got a mere 10 carries.

Ryan Tannehill was Miami’s QB.  He will not be on Sunday.  You can tell me that he is no good.  I may agree.  But is Matt Moore appreciably better?

No one knew who the hell Jay Ajayi was and he ran for 204 yards.  It appears the Steelers D has improved since then.

That about sums up that game.  Here’s another nugget:  Miami was 8-2 after that game.  The wins?  Bills (twice), Jets (twice), Chargers, Rams, 49ers, Cardinals.  Murderers Row, I think not.  The 2 losses were hammerings by the Ravens and Patriots.

‘Nuff said.  Pittsburgh, 34-10.

New York Giants at Green Bay (-5):

Love Boat II last weekend?  A little weed and Adderall with the Biebs?  Apparently.  No sordid details have emerged (from what I know) that would live up to the Vikings 2005 party cruise though.  But I am not sure it’s a good look.  I know for sure it would have been a better look if someone threw Justin Bieber off the boat and left him stranded.  Ummm…was that out loud?!

As for the game…looks like it is the best one on the docket for the weekend.  Saving the best for last I guess.  Though some frigid temperatures could possibly impact that.

The Pack beat the G-Men back in Week 5 by a score of 23-16.  But those were both different teams.  Aaron Rodgers is on fire now.  The Giants have won 9 of 11 since then.  Maybe they are using the walkie-talkies more, I don’t know.

I’m not sure either of these teams is as good as their recent stretches make them out to be.  The Packers D appears to be porous.  Neither one of them have running games.  The Giants haven’t exactly been lighting it up on offense.  The aforementioned 9 wins were against bad to average teams, outside of one against Dallas.  The Packers’ 6 straight wins have been against better competition, but not necessarily by much.  The coaching has to be considered questionable on both sides.  I could probably come up with more reasons, but I don’t feel like it.

As a Patriot fan, the G-Men scare the bejesus out of me.  No explanation necessary here.  Eli is a big game QB, no doubt.  If he steps up in the playoffs, per usual, combined with the D they could steal this one.

I kind of want to pick the Giants in this game actually.  And…I am going to.  New York, 24-20.  As long as they lose to SOMEONE before they get to the Super Bowl…

About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on January 7, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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