Administrative Note: We’ll resume our postseason positional analysis columns on Monday with running backs, Tuesday with wide receivers, Wednesday with tight ends & Thursday we’ll wrap up the offensive side of the ball with our analysis of the line. (Defense will come after the division round.)
Am I willing to embrace the notion of Brian Hoyer winning a postseason game? No, I’m not. Am I willing to cast my support unabashedly for Andy Reid in a postseason game? No, I’m not. But since I picked the Chiefs to make the Super Bowl in August I might as well continue seeing red. And on a football note, the Chiefs don’t look to throw the ball downfield so their short passing attack should be able to neutralize the Houston’s greatest asset: Watt, Whitney and the pass rush. Chiefs 20, Texans 13
Here’s what I keep hearing from folks analyzing the wildcard round: nobody wants to play the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here’s my follow-up question: why? The Steelers controlled their road to the postseason and lost to Marc Trestman and Ryan Mallett! (And the game wasn’t particularly close.) Then in Week 17 the Steelers were horrible against Cleveland, with Big Ben throwing ugly picks to second-rate linebackers. If Austin Davis weren’t starting for the Browns and they didn’t decide to fumble away the second half, the Jets would be in the playoffs. So is Pittsburgh just going to turn it on? Bengals 24, Steelers 22
The Bears have hit a wall. They overachieved for the better part of this season and there seems to be very little left in the tank. Injuries and lack of talent have finally caught up with them. When a game is this lopsided there’s little reason to dissect the minutiae but here comes rapid fire nevertheless…
8-8 is still on the table. 3-3 in the division is still on the table. Neither remains there if the Bears lose in Minnesota Sunday. I don’t think a John Fox team ever lacks for motivation and this one has no reason to.
“Shall fair ladies never learn that I,
from blows me shielding, backward turned me;
nor shall ever Ingibiorg taunt me,
in Sigtuna sitting, that from sword-blows I fled.”
-From the Old Norse poem, Hialmar’s Death Song
Three. And. Oh. Much needed.
Chiefs are a good defensive team. And here is an amazing excerpt from an ESPN piece about the Baltimore Ravens:
Quarterback Jimmy Clausen didn’t get the win Sunday. He didn’t lead a touchdown drive.
If James Clausen beats you, you get beat.
Bears margins of victory/defeat since Jay Cutler returned from injury: 2, 1, 3, 3, 3, 24, 2, 6, 3. Is there really any reason to believe this game won’t come down to the final few moments and be decided by a field goal or so? Taking the points with the Bears seems the astute move.
Lions v. Rams hit 35 points on Sunday. And the Rams have a terrific defense and putrid offense. The Saints, by comparison, have a potentially prolific offense and putrid defense. And both teams have nothing to play for so this could be one of those, “What the hell, let’s go for it on all the fourth downs!” games.
Season Record: 23-17-2
Hit a three-team, money line, Thanksgiving parlay for substantial cash yesterday so feeling good today. This week I’m rolling the dice and picking with my hopes and dreams and not with my mind or wallet concerns. What do the Bears need this weekend? These…
Bears would trail the second wild card by a single game with a Vikings win. So I’m predicting a Vikings win.
Bears need to catch and pass the Seahawks in the standings due to James Clausen’s embarrassing performance. A loss to the Steelers would put both teams at 5-6. It happens.
You want a football reason? I don’t have one. Go Colts!
Season Record: 17-14-2
Can’t complain about my picks a week ago. Saints flew by their number. Packers never approached theirs. And the Bears / Vikings game was a coin flip. 2-1. Four games over .500 on the season. This week…
One team I think is very good. The other team is the Minnesota Vikings. And if Teddy Bridgewater struggled against the Bears defense, what is he going to do against one of the best defenses in the sport?
No comment. Well one comment. Where are all the people who argued the Packers wouldn’t miss Jordy Nelson? They seem awfully quiet to me. The Packers are consistently credited for having magnificent drafts and an unending basket of talent. But it’s never been true. They have an all world quarterback. But even he misses his best and most reliable weapon.
Season Record: 13-9-2
Three picks last week. Rams beat the Browns easily. Patriots barely scraped by the 28.5 number. Colts decided to spot the Saints about 70 points. Mediocre week but I knew it was coming. This week, I rebound.
Packers haven’t been convincing offensively in a month and the Broncos are one of the better defenses in the game. What scares me about this bet? I could very easily see Peyton Manning throwing points the other way. (I can’t believe that’s where we are with Manning.) I’m betting on Gary Kubiak committing to the run game, keeping Rodgers on the bench and still losing 20-17.
The Bears have been a covering machine, even if I had an early line and pushed with them two weeks ago. Having seen enough of the Vikings I’m simply not that impressed. Love Cutler’s record against Minnesota, especially at home.
Giants last three opponents were quarterbacked by Colin Kaepernick, Sam Bradford and Matt Cassel and they surrendered 27-27-20 points. Drew Brees is hot right now and I don’t think the Giants defense can withstand this onslaught.
Season Record: 11-8-2