2016 Conference Championship Sunday

Let me start off by saying, thank God for last Sunday.  Before the Packers took on the Cowboys last Sunday, 6 Playoff games had been played.  In those 6 games, the average margin of victory was 18.3 pts.  AWFUL!  Fortunately, we were all saved by the Packers winning on a last second field goal, and a kicker’s delight game in Kansas City, which saw a total of 7 FGs!

So here we are.  The Final Four.  Arguably the best Final Four QBs that the NFL Playoffs has ever produced.  Brady vs Roethlisberger.  Rodgers vs Ryan.  This should be a heck of a day of football.

Sunday, January 22nd:

#4 Green Bay Packers at #2 Atlanta Falcons

  • I’m going with the Green Bay Packers, and not just because I’m a shareholder.  Rodgers has been on an absolute legendary tear, ever since talking of “running the table” back in the regular season.  The Packers haven’t lost a game since November 20th, and I don’t see the Falcons defense stopping the train now.  It’s going to be a high scoring game, with two high powered offenses, but I have to give the nod to Green Bay, simply because of their QB.  Packers win 38-35.

#3 Pittsburgh Steelers at #1 New England Patriots

  • I predicted before the season that Pittsburgh would be in the Super Bowl, and I’m not changing my mind now.  Everyone in the AFC knows that the road to the Super Bowl, goes through Foxborough.  This season is no different.  Brady has had one of, if not the best, seasons of his historic career, and is trying to get to an unprecedented 7th Super Bowl.  However, I don’t think he has the parts to help him on defense.  Roethlisberger has the help of arguably the best RB and WR in the NFL.  Steelers win a tough one, 24-19.

To recap, my picks:

  • Green Bay
  • Pittsburgh

My Record: 172-90-2 (.6578)

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2016 Divisional Playoffs

The NFL, its fans, and everyone on the planet, is hoping that this weekend will be more exciting than NFL Wild Card Weekend.  This weekend should be full of competitive games.  This weekend traditionally is the most exciting weekend of the Playoffs, but we’ll see.  Here we go!

Saturday, January 14th:

#3 Seattle Seahawks at #2 Atlanta Falcons

  • Seattle beat Atlanta back in October, 26-24, in Seattle.  Atlanta is the better team, and has been all season.  Seattle’s inconsistency, especially outside of Seattle, will ultimately be their downfall.

#4 Houston Texans at #1 New England Patriots

  • This one feels like such a sure thing, that people are beginning to be skeptical of calling it for the Patriots.  That being said, I won’t be trapped.  Houston stands no chance against New England, even in Houston.  Tom Brady is going to another AFC Championship game.  Write it down.

Sunday, January 15th:

#3 Pittsburgh Steelers at #2 Kansas City Chiefs

  • Pittsburgh blew out Kansas City earlier in the season.  Pittsburgh is the better team.  Kansas City has the home field advantage in this game, but that’s the only advantage that they have.  Hopefully, this game is competitive.

#4 Green Bay Packers at #1 Dallas Cowboys

  • Two weeks in a row, where the Green Bay Packers will be in the game of the week.  In my opinion, the winner of this matchup is going to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.  No one can discredit what the Cowboys did during the Regular Season, but when it comes to the Playoffs, they have very little experience.  This game could come down to the final possession at the end of the game.  Aaron Rodgers has now thrown 4 TDs and over 300 yards in three straight games.  If he continues that run, no one will be able to stop the Packers from walking into Houston in February.

To recap, my winners:

  • Atlanta
  • New England
  • Pittsburgh
  • Green Bay

My Record: 168-90-2 (.65)

2016 Wild Card Weekend Picks

It’s Playoff Time!

Wild Card Weekend is the weekend where we tend to see teams shock the world…for one week. A wild-card team has won the Super Bowl 6 times since 1970. Chances are, the 5 and 6 seed teams aren’t doing much, beyond this weekend. But hey, they made the Playoffs, so anyone has a chance! Here we go!

Saturday, January 7th:

#5 Oakland Raiders at #4 Houston Texans

  • Houston and Oakland both are bad teams. Oakland would have had the 2-seed and a bye, had their star QB Derek Carr not gone down in Week 16 against the Colts. My pick, Houston’s defense is too much for Oakland. Houston’s offense will do just enough to lock in a likely matchup with New England.

#6 Detroit Lions at #3 Seattle Seahawks

  • I may get burned on this one, but that’s the name of the game. Seattle has been very inconsistent this season. With a battered defense, going up against a Detroit Lions offense that has been throwing with the best of them, I believe that Detroit will upset Seattle.

Sunday, January 8th:

#6 Miami Dolphins at #3 Pittsburgh Steelers

  • This one is straight forward. While Miami did whip Pittsburgh earlier in the season, in Miami, the Playoffs are different. Mike Tomlin, LeVeon Bell, Ben Roethlisberger, and Antonio Brown will be too much for Miami, especially in Pittsburgh.

#5 New York Giants at #4 Green Bay Packers

  • This is the game of the week easily. Either team could win this game. Both teams are playing Super Bowl contending football. I have to give the nod to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, especially in Lambeau. Don’t sleep on the Giants though.

To recap, my picks:

  • Houston
  • Detroit
  • Pittsburgh
  • Green Bay

My Record: 165-89-2 (.6484)

Indianapolis Colts: New GM/Coach?

It’s time.

One year ago today, Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson were resigned as Head Coach and General Manager of the Indianapolis Colts, despite everyone believing that one, if not both, would be sent packing.  Today, following an 8-8 season from the team, and another wasted season of Andrew Luck’s career, many are calling for change.

I’ve compiled a list of several people, for each position, that I think Jim Irsay should go after for the jobs.  These are in no particular order.

Head Coach Candidates:

  • Jim Harbaugh, HC of University of Michigan
    • Harbaugh is at the top of everyone’s list.  Harbaugh seems to make every team that he touches immediately better.  Harbaugh groomed Andrew Luck at Stanford, and has since made a Super Bowl appearance with the 49ers, and more recently led Michigan to one of their best seasons in recent history.  The biggest problem with Harbaugh is that it isn’t very realistic.  He has said that the University of Michigan job was his dream job.  Publicly, he has expressed no desire to leave.  I chock Harbaugh up as a dream.
  • Pete Carmichael, OC of the New Orleans Saints
    • While Carmichael has never served as a Head Coach, his record on the offensive side of the ball is impeccable.  He has been the Offensive Coordinator of the Saints since 2009.  His offenses have never been lower than 6th in total yards.  His passing offense has never been lower than 4th in yards, and has been Top 10 in passing TDs in every season.  The only question about Carmichael, is whether those statistics are more on Sean Payton, or Carmichael.
  • Josh McDaniels, OC of the New England Patriots
    • Josh McDaniels has experience dealing with Hall of Fame-caliber QBs.  I believe that McDaniels could come into Indianapolis and finally get the Colts stagnant offense up to where it should be.  He has Head Coaching experience in Denver back in 2009-2010.  He never had a quality QB during his time in Denver, having to deal with Tim Tebow while he was there.  While coaches that are groomed under Bill Belichick have not historically faired well elsewhere, I believe that McDaniels has a future as a Head Coach.
  • Kyle Shanahan, OC of the Atlanta Falcons
    • Son of Mike Shanahan, Kyle has been an Offensive Coordinator since 2008, being a part of 4 teams during that time.  The past two seasons, he has been with the Atlanta Falcons.  Turning there offense around and into one of the best in the NFL.  It is only a matter of time before Shanahan gets an opportunity as a Head Coach, and in Indianapolis, with Andrew Luck, now may be the time.

General Manager:

  • Peyton Manning, Retired NFL QB
    • Fans want this.  The owner wants this.  However, it remains to be seen whether or not Peyton wants this.  Manning has shown to be an extremely intelligent person, and one day could be a great GM.  That being said, I don’t think he would want to just step into such a high profile role.  He, himself, has said that he would want experience before taking over.  The best idea for Peyton to become GM is for him to come in and sit behind a GM for a year or two, then step into the main role.  That is possible, if the Colts would resign Bill Polian for a short term contract, to have Peyton groom and learn behind one of the best that the Colts have ever seen.  If Manning were hired to step directly into the GM role, I fear that he would be in over his head.
  • Eliot Wolf, Director of Football Operations
    • Wolf is the son of legendary Packers GM, Ron Wolf.  He has been working within the Packers organization since 2004, progressively gaining more and more responsibilities.  Last offseason, teams started showing interest in signing him as GM of their team, but the Packers denied requests for interviews.  Wolf is being interviewed by numerous teams this offseason, and the potential of him being a quality GM is high.  If the Colts want to sign someone who could step in, with experience, and start on Day 1, I believe that Eliot Wolf is the best option for that.

There are other options for each position, but I feel like these guys have the most upside and potential to turn the Colts franchise around from the past two seasons.  The Colts organization is still keeping all its fans in limbo, keep quiet about what they will do.  For now, this is all speculation, but we’ll all know before long.

 

2016 Week 17 NFL Predictions

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  What better way to celebrate a new year, than with NFL football?  It’s finally here, Week 17.  For most teams, it’s the end of a long season, and the beginning of an even longer offseason.  For others, their season is only getting started.  Anything can happen in the Playoffs, but first, you must get to the Playoffs.  Let’s go!

Sunday, January 1st:

Baltimore Ravens(8-7) at Cincinnati Bengals(5-9-1)

Houston Texans(9-6) at Tennessee Titans(8-7)

Carolina Panthers(6-9) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers(8-7)

Cleveland Browns(1-14) at Pittsburgh Steelers(10-5)

Dallas Cowboys(13-2) at Philadelphia Eagles(6-9)

Buffalo Bills(7-8) at New York Jets(4-11)

Chicago Bears(3-12) at Minnesota Vikings(7-8)

Jacksonville Jaguars(3-12) at Indianapolis Colts(7-8)

New England Patriots(13-2) at Miami Dolphins(10-5)

Kansas City Chiefs(11-4) at San Diego Chargers(5-10)

Arizona Cardinals(6-8-1) at Los Angeles Rams(4-11)

Oakland Raiders(12-3) at Denver Broncos(8-7)

New York Giants(10-5) at Washington Redskins(8-6-1)

Seattle Seahawks(9-5-1) at San Francisco 49ers(2-13)

New Orleans Saints(7-8) at Atlanta Falcons(10-5)

Green Bay Packers(9-6) at Detroit Lions(9-6)

To recap, my winners:

  • Baltimore
  • Houston
  • Tampa Bay
  • Pittsburgh
  • Dallas
  • Buffalo
  • Minnesota
  • Indianapolis
  • New England
  • Kansas City
  • Arizona
  • Denver
  • New York Giants
  • Seattle
  • Atlanta
  • Green Bay

My Record: 153-85-2 (.6569)