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Super Bowl…

…did everyone enjoy the Pro Bowl in the meantime?

Yup, I actually watched some of it…must have been bored.

This year they must have added a new feature.  Two hand touch.  There were actually plays in the game that the player wasn’t actually tackled.  The whistle blew when a guy got wrapped up…and pretty quickly, I may add.

So it was useless as usual, pretty much like any sports’ All-Star Game.  Though in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game it looks like the players actually try.  The NHL one last week was equally as brutal to watch I have to say.

And in the Pro Bowl, Matthew Slater didn’t even get in the box score.  I think we should all be colossally disappointed in that…

As for what we are actually here for, the Super Bowl pick between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, welp, no, I did not forget that I had to make a pick.

Maybe I got a little sad about football season being over.  Maybe I got caught up in all of the “will he go or will he stay” Tom Brady talk, when there is at least a month and a half to go to get the answer on that.  Maybe I just didn’t want to make another erroneous pick in a season full of mediocre picks.  Maybe I felt like that since the New England Patriots aren’t actually in the game, I didn’t care.  Or…maybe I just got lazy.

Whichever one you choose, we are going to skip right to it.

This one is going to be short and sweet.  So if you were expecting a 10,000 word column on the game and all of its matchups and all the minutiae that we could talk about if we wanted to, I suggest you go check out Bill Barnwell’s column on ESPN.

HOLY CRAP!!!

I’m sure the piece is awesome.  It looks extremely detailed with a ton of thought put into it.  Any questions you had about the game could probably be answered just by reading the article.

But I don’t have a week to read that book.  I did skim it, however, so go check it out if you are so inclined.  By the way, looks like 10,462 words by my count.  Not including the pictures and charts and their captions.  Or the ads and links sandwiched in between.  And no, I didn’t actually count the words (thanks Microsoft Word!).  So give or take 100 words, it’s still over 10,000 words.

Barnwell gets paid to write and research all that, so good for him.  I do not.

You’re welcome.

Ok, so enough of all that nonsense…

San Francisco “at” Kansas City (-1.5)

I have not listened to as much of the hype, or read much of it, the last two weeks as I have in past years.  Yes, the big reason is that the Patriots are not in it.  But then again, I don’t care much about what a lot of the “experts” have to say about the game.

Championship Sunday was relatively uneventful.  The Tennessee Titans stayed with the Chiefs, but KC pulled away late…as most expected.  One of the better Blowhard picks of the year, by the way.  We predicted KC 34-24.  It was 35-24.  Just sayin’.  The 49ers ran over the Green Bay Packers in a game that was never in doubt.  The Blowhard pick there?  Let’s move on…

In any event, the hype that I have heard this week has been about how great the SF defense is.  Ummmmmm…don’t we know how great the KC offense is?  And do we already forget about how the New Orleans Saints rolled up 46 points against the Niners in Week 14?  Or the Rams with 31 in Week 16?  Or even the Falcons with 29 in Week 15?

This SF D can be exposed.  And who better to do it than Patrick Mahomes and the KC offense?

I’ve heard a lot about how the Chief defense is atrocious as well.  And that may be somewhat true.  But they have improved as the year went on.  And the 31 the Houston Texans scored against them in the Divisional Round were aided by Houston getting good field position a few times on some KC mistakes.  The Chiefs D was good enough to hold down the NFL’s leading rusher in Derrick Henry in the AFC Championship Game though, no?  Did you know that the Chiefs actually gave up 2 fewer points than the Niners this season?  Me neither.

It’s hard to believe the 49ers will roll up almost 300 yards rushing again.  Raheem Mostert has apparently turned into a legitimate weapon, but will he duplicate his Championship Game performance?  Doubtful.  Tevin Coleman is supposedly “healthy”, but that may be a stretch after seeing what he looked like laying on the field two weeks ago.  And the team is afraid to use Matt Breida all of a sudden because apparently has fumbled too much lately.

This means Niner QB Jimmy Garoppolo will have to throw way more than the EIGHT passes he attempted against the Packers.  Can he be productive?  Sure, he absolutely can.  But I’d rather be the team that has Mahomes throwing a boatload of passes, not Garoppolo.

Not to mention that the Niners and coach Kyle Shanahan feel Jimmy Football can get a little loose with the football when asked to do too much.  So they’d rather have him take a back seat if they could.  I just don’t believe the Chiefs offense will give San Francisco a chance to gain control of the game by getting a nice lead and then running it on just about every play.

Now, I’ve been wrong plenty, as you know.  But the feeling here is that there will be a lot of points scored in this one.  Yeah, I know, I picked the Pats over the Rams last year, 34-30.  And we know it was 13-3.  But the year before I picked 51 total points and it was 74.  And the year before I had NE over Atlanta 38-27, which ended up 34-28.  So there is that.

And I picked against San Fran last week.  Considered doing the same the week before against Minnesota, when I foolishly started believing in Kirk Cousins.  In the end, I took SF, but only by 4, when they demolished the Vikings in the actual game.

So what the hell do I know?

I think Andy Reid finally gets over the hump here.  KC gets the lead early and doesn’t let SF use its ground game to run the clock.  Jimmy G has to throw a lot and while he will have success, it won’t be enough.

Unless Reid has clock management issues yet again…then all bets are off…

Kansas City 38, San Francisco 34.  

Week (against the spread):  1-1

Week (straight up):  1-1

Lock Of The Week (season, ATS):  10-7

Season (against the spread):  135-131

Season (straight up):  170-96

Conference Championships…

…so it was an interesting Divisional Round weekend.  “Interesting”, meaning, the picks here sucked again.

But then again, who saw the Titans beating the Ravens?  I’m not sure many did.  And if they said it after, I am sure they were lying.  Glad the Ravens players had been working on their Super Bowl plans.  That always goes well.  Sigh…

I guess most people thought the Niners would trounce the Vikings.  I was convinced it would be closer.  But that’s just me being an idiot.

Packers/Seahawks went as expected…for most.  The Pack were 4.5 point favorites and won by 5.  Funny how Vegas hits that number pretty good a ton, eh?

And everyone in the world knew that Houston was not keeping that 24-0 lead against Kansas City for long.  The Chiefs are explosive after all.  And Texans coach Bill O’Brien also predictably wilted.  I know, the Chiefs helped the Texans build up that lead in the first place.  But O’Brien helped the Texans give it back…and then some.

The fake punt call?  Atrocious.  Yeah, it would have been genius had it worked.  And BOB probably knew he had to score as many points as possible to have a chance, I will allow for that much.  But seeing that the Chiefs defender seemingly sniffed it out (the claim is that he didn’t necessarily, but was just trying to be ready just in case and is something he had been doing all year apparently), perhaps a timeout was necessary to change the play?  Or take a delay of game and then actually punt and pin the Chiefs back?  I’m no NFL coach, not even by a longshot.  But once that play happened, I said that is the type of play that changes games (duh!).  Like everyone else said as well.

But holy crap, to offer NO defensive resistance after that?  Seems impossible, doesn’t it?

In any event, looks like we have a couple of good ones on tap for this weekend.

And yeah, it still feels weird that the New England Patriots are not involved in Conference Championship Sunday.  The rest of the country is surely overjoyed at that fact.  But even they have to feel weird the Patriots aren’t playing in the game.

Just sayin’

Tennessee at Kansas City (-7.5)

I am actually not sure we can call this one a “good one”.  I mean, the Chiefs look like the team to beat here.  After they shook off some early rust, they outscored the Texans 51-7.  They overcame a 24-0 deficit in less than a quarter.  To say the Chiefs offense is explosive is perhaps not even doing them justice.  But the Titans are rolling, especially on the ground.  Tennessee QB Ryan Tannehill has thrown, what, like 12 passes in the entire playoffs?  I know, hyperbole.  But it’s probably not far off.  Titans RB Derrick Henry is steamrolling defenses.  And the KC defense, though improved during the year, still kind of stinks.  The Titans are a great story.  But let’s also face it:  The NFL wants no part of this team in the Super Bowl.  Not sexy enough.  That won’t win the Chiefs the game.  But it won’t hurt perhaps having some “extra” home cooking from the zebras.

Kansas City 34, Tennessee 24.  

Green Bay at San Francisco (-7.5)

Seven and a half points seem a little excessive here.  I am not all in on the Packers for sure.  But even with the Niners at home, it’s hard to lay that much against Packers QB Aaron Rodgers I would say.  I also think Niner QB Jimmy Football may be a little bit of an X-factor here.  Big spot for him and the team, who I would guess most of have never been to this point before.  Jimmy G as a starter no doubt.  If the Packers can stop the run and make Garoppolo beat them through the air, that could be a good thing for the Pack.  In fact, this is what I think is going to happen.  I’m guessing SF is going to have to wait one more year to take that next step.

Green Bay 27, San Francisco 24.  

Week (against the spread):  1-3

Week (straight up):  2-2

Lock Of The Week (season, ATS):  10-7

Season (against the spread):  134-130

Season (straight up):  169-95

Week Fifteen…

I didn’t get to see much of the Thursday NFL game between Baltimore and the New York Jets…we could probably say that was by design.  But of what I did see…I, of course, was not shocked.

The most surprising thing I noted was how long Lamar Jackson stayed in a lopsided game.  If he is truly nursing a quad injury, I would have yanked him much sooner.  Yeah, he has like 10 days to rest up now.  And may even get all of Week Seventeen off once they wrap up home field advantage in the AFC.  But no need to have him out there that late against the Jets.

On to the weekend:

Denver at Kansas City (-10.5)

The Houston Texans beat the New England Patriots in Week 13 and then got blasted at home by a bad Denver Bronco team in Week 14, with its rookie QB playing only his second career game.  The Chiefs beat the Pats in Week 14, so does a similar fate await them in their matchup against Denver?  I think not.  Unless Chief QB Patrick Mahomes’ hand is more hurt than they are letting on.  Drew Lock’s play has been good thus far, but let’s not get carried away.  The Chiefs are better than the Texans as well.  I don’t see KC falling into the same trap as many other teams have the week after beating the Patriots.

Kansas City 42, Denver 24.  

Philadelphia (-4.5) at Washington

Philadelphia came back from a big deficit and squeaked through with a win against the terrible New York Giants on Monday.  But I am not sure how many bodies they have left with all of their injuries.  The ‘Skins have all of a sudden become a plucky little team with their interim coach and their rookie quarterback.  I usually lean away from the Monday night winner.  Sounds like Washington here, right?  Probably.  But Philly needs it more, as they still have a shot at the division.  Maybe that comeback provides some juice.  Shot in the dark.

Philadelphia 24, Washington 17.  

Tampa Bay (-3.5) at Detroit

Looks like Tampa QB Jameis Winston is going to give it a go with his thumb injury.  That could be good news for the Bucs.  But it could also be bad news.  He is a turnover machine, after all.  Either way, the Lions still stink.

Tampa Bay 34, Detroit 13.

New England (-9.5) at Cincinnati

Hopefully, the league will allow the Pats to use the video they shot of the Bengals sideline last week.  They should need it against this pathetic franchise.  And yes, that was sarcasm.

New England Patriots 27, Cincinnati 10.  Lock of the week.  (Yup…and wouldn’t be shocked at a higher score either).

Seattle (-6.5) at Carolina

The Seahawks only scored 12 points in a loss to the Rams last week.  I cannot see that happening this week in Carolina.  The Panthers fired their coach and then got waxed by a bad Atlanta Falcon team.  It looks like they are ready for vacation.  So much for the Christian McCaffrey for MVP talk.  And are the Panthers really sure they want to unload Cam Newton now, with the recent play of Kyle Allen?

Seattle 38, Carolina 17.  

Buffalo at Pittsburgh (-2.5)

DUCK HODGES!!  I’m still going to ride this train.  Especially if JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner return.  The Bills surprisingly kept it close against the Ravens last week.  But I am still not buying in.  If they beat the Pats in Foxborough next weekend, then I may finally be on board.

Pittsburgh 20, Buffalo 17.  

Miami at New York Giants (-3.5)

FITZMAGIC VS ELI!!  MUST SEE TV!!  Actually, Fitzy apparently has been quite entertaining in recent games.  Eli proved he was washed up by the second half of the Eagle game Monday night.  That’s enough for me.

Miami 24, New York Giants 13.  

Houston at Tennessee (-3.5)

Everything is telling me to go Titans in this game.  Ryan Tannehill and the entire team is on fire.  They are at home.  But something tells me the Texans will rebound from that miserable performance of last week.  There really is no rhyme or reason for this pick, to be honest.

Houston 30, Tennessee 27.  

Chicago at Green Bay (-4.5)

The Pack beat the Bears a mere 10-3 in the NFL Opener way back when.  Seems like last season.  My guess is that more points will be scored this time around.  Most of them will be scored by the Pack I think though.  They should play like they are more interested in a football game, unlike last week against Washington.  Chicago has won three in a row…yaaaaay!  But they have been against the Giants, Lions and Cowboys.  No thanks.

Green Bay 31, Chicago 21.

Jacksonville at Oakland (-6.5)

That Raider playoff push was fun, eh?  6-4, then getting hammered 3 games in a row since then.  But the Jags have been pummeled for 5 games in a row themselves.  Therefore…

Oakland 37, Jacksonville 23.  

Cleveland (-2.5) at Arizona

Baker Mayfield vs. Kyler Murray!!  That may be the only intrigue in this game.

Cleveland 27, Arizona 24.  

Los Angeles Rams (-0.5) at Dallas

Have the Rams finally righted the ship?  Maybe.  Not sure you will be able to tell when they play this poorly coached and underachieving Cowboy team.  The ‘Boys have had a few extra days to prepare for this one.  Will it matter?  It should.  But I’m not counting on it.

Los Angeles Rams 31, Dallas 20.  

Atlanta at San Francisco (-10.5)

One may be able to forgive the Niners for taking this one lightly, what with their thrilling win over the Saints last week and tilts with the Rams and Seahawks on the horizon.  I can’t see it happening, however.

San Francisco 41, Atlanta 27.  

Minnesota (-2.5) at Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers’ smokeshow against the Jags last week doesn’t change anything…they are a colossal disappointment this season.  Adam Thielen apparently will be back and the Vikes need this one.

Minnesota 34, Los Angeles Chargers 23.  

Indianapolis at New Orleans (-9.5)

Indy’s season essentially ended with that horrid loss to Tampa last week.  The Saints lost that aforementioned thriller to the Niners, so they will be looking to get back on track in this one.  They are already in the playoffs but are still fighting for a bye.  One would think they should be pretty focused in this one at home.

New Orleans 45, Indianapolis 27.  

Week (against the spread):  1-0

Week (straight up):  1-0

Lock Of The Week (season, ATS):  7-7

Season (against the spread):  104-105

Season (straight up):  135-74

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