Friday, January 19, 2024

The FGR Divisional Round Picks

The logic that led to last week's uninspired record of 3-3 ranged from the sublime to the addle brained. One minute I was telling you to run like hell from Mike McCarthy and the next I was touting the regular season record of the Eagles against playoff teams while completely ignoring the fact that they closed the season like Jordan Belfort in a Lamborghini. 

In my defense, it's been a few years since I regularly made ill-fated football picks so I'm a little rusty. I was also a bit blinded by the light of my hindsight love for Joe Flacco. While I wanted no part of him in Baltimore this week, I also didn't want to see him go out like that so I hope he has at least one more run in him. I'm sure I'm a thousand times more worried about it than he is. 

Let's make some picks!  

Baltimore -9.5 over Houston: The Pick - Texans

If a Ravens fan tells you that he or she is experiencing any emotions right now that don't include abject terror, then he or she is lying. We once had a sniper on the loose in these parts and people would crouch down behind their cars while pumping gas. This feels scarier.     

"Nine times . . ."
Much of this fear stems from the fact that the last time the Ravens entered the playoffs as the #1 seed, Derrick Henry steamrolled them for 195 yards and added a touchdown pass as an extra fuck you. Meanwhile, the Baltimore coaching staff had a complete out of body experience and decided to have Lamar Jackson throw 59 passes with 20 carries while handing it to the running backs a total of 9 times. The result was a 28-12 loss that wasn't nearly that close. That hollow feeling from the 4th quarter still lingers.

The Ravens should win this game but my guess is that they're going to start slowly and then put us through a damn wringer of a 4th quarter where Houston will have the ball with the chance to win or tie. As a precaution, I'm going to Ronny-Proof the room by removing everything breakable and/or throwable from a ten foot radius. Furthermore, the dog has been advised to stay clear.

San Francisco by 9.5 over Green Bay: The Pick - 49ers

If you take out the Rams game which meant nothing and the Ravens game where they just got their doors blown-off by a bunch of out of town thugs, the 49ers won their last seven games by an average score of about 33-15 with the closest being a 28-16 win over Seattle. They're too healthy and well-coached not to drop a reality check on the upstart Packers who now have the false sense of security that comes with opening the playoffs against Mike McCarthy.  

Detroit by 6.5 over Tampa: The Pick - Bucs

I have no idea what to make of this game. Tampa has one win over a playoff team all year and there's no way I'm counting last week's against an Eagles team that looked like it wanted to be there about as much as I want to be in a Trader Joe's produce aisle getting jostled for position by an angry over-caffeinated soccer mom who drives a Subaru with a ☮ sticker on the bumper. ("Oh I'm sorry Moonbeam, were you trying to reach the organic carrots?") 

"You screw-up just this much, you'll be
driving the Sooner Schooner full of
rubber dogshit out of Norman."
At first I was going with the Lions here because it felt like beating the Rams last week was a huge confidence builder and they're one of the highest scoring teams in the league. But then I switched to the Bucs because they had one of the stingiest defenses in the league and they're "gritty" which means that they're still going to be trying to score down 13 points with 17 seconds left. 

This just feels like one of those Top Gun moments where "I gotta do something here, I still can't believe it." I'm going with Baker Mayfield.

Buffalo by 2.5 over Kansas City: The Pick - Bills 

This match-up is a shell of the 2022 Divisional Round game when the Chiefs outlasted the Bills 42-36 in an epic overtime game that saw Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes combine for over 700 yards passing and 7 touchdowns. Then Mahomes turned into a carnival barker and Allen turned into Jameis Winston so here we are.  

Both of these teams drew gifts in the first round to help them get here but the Bills have by far the better late season resume with five straight wins including one at Kansas City. Meanwhile, the Chiefs just kind of suck. They closed the season 5-5 including a meaningless win over the Chargers and last week they let the Dolphins hang around for three quarters of a game that they clearly would've left at halftime if someone had offered them a tunnel out of the locker room. If Kansas City wins this game, then they probably have to go play in Baltimore and the vibe they're putting-off right now is "I don't know man . . . seems like a lot of work."    

Last Week's Picks: 3-3

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1 comment:

lee ho fook said...

Brownie? This is Blackie. Cancel all the bets, I'm coming home!!