Wildcard Weekend 2017

The regular season is finally over, and after a horrible schedule of boring games to close it out last weekend, we are on to the playoffs. Playoffs?!?! Yeah, here were for Wildcard Weekend 2017, and it is on to the games:

First up is Tennessee at the KC Chefs. The knee jerk is to say the Titans don’t have enough scoring potential to keep cooking with the Chefs. But KC has lost every home playoff game in the supposed ultimate home advantage of Arrowhead Stadium in the last 24 years (seriously, the last win there, the Chiefs had a QB by the name of Joe Montana). That is not good. KC also has some injury issues, especially as to returners, and will likely have to use star receiver Tyreek Hill in the fraught return game. Titans have their own injury problems with starting RB DeMarco Murray out with an MCL sprain. But they still have Derrick Henry, who is very good, but may be overworked. Injury problems at CB too for the Titans. You will be shocked to hear that the game will come down to which QB protects the ball better and gets yardage downfield, but Smith has Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce for that. Hey, Aaron Rodgers he is not, but I will take the experience and calm of KC’s Alex Smith over young and talented, but sometimes erratic, Marcus Mariota.

Late game for Saturday is Falcons at Rams. There are a lot of smart people, for one Mike Wilbon, thinking the edge here goes to the Dirty Birds because of their, and their quarterback’s, superior experience in the playoffs. I don’t know that that is wrong. By the same token, nothing seems false about the Rams. They already had a great defense, with true studs like Aaron Donald etc. The turnaround this year was the offense, and if Jared Goff gets past the original early game jitters, they are really solid on that side of the ball too. Todd Gurley is the serious beast we all thought he would be coming out of Georgia. Goff has bee steady, and at times spectacular. And, while there is no Julio Jones on their roster, the trio of Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins and Cooper Kupp gives Goff solid targets across his read. I have no real reason why, but will go out on a limb and take the Rams, even if I do not feel good about it.

Early game Sunday is Buffal at Jacksonville. The Marrone Bow, because Jax coach Doug Marrone walked out on the Bills and landed as the current coach of the Jaguars after a stint as OC. The Jags also have Tom Coughlin in the front office, but he seems to be quite involved in the field work too. The combo has worked for the Jags. Blake Bortles has even looked like an upper half NFL QB lately. The Bills are a great story getting back into the playoffs (not since 1999) – finally – after a long drought. But they did it by the thinnest of reeds in tie breakers. Frankly, I think the Chargers would have been a harder out at this point. But here the Bills are. Shady McCoy looks like he will play for the Bills, but his ankle clearly is not in optimum condition. And the Jacksonville defense, led by the awesome Calais Campbell, is quite stout. I’ll take the Jags, Bortles and Leonard Fournette here, plus, of course, they are at home.

Last game is the Sunday late game of Carolina at Saints. Fittingly, it is last in the Saturday queue, because it is probably the best and most intriguing game. Both teams have experience in the playoffs. Cam Newton versus Drew Brees, two vastly different, but awesome QB’s. Nawlins won both head to head match ups this year in the NFC South. And, no, I do not buy that “you can’t win three games in a season against the same team” baloney. It may or may not be true, but it is a trope that came out of ACC basketball, not the NFL. The Saints defense is MUCH improved. Drew Brees is still Drew Breeeees. And he has a young and ridiculously dynamic running back in Alvin Kamara. Kamara may well be on the field in kick return situations too. I think this is too much for the Panthers, especially in the Superdome. Great game though.

Okay, there you have it. You all have good stuff to say, let it rip in comments. Music this weekend is by Willie Nelson. Willie is fucking great, and I went to see him again last Wednesday night. My wife had never seen him before, and her eyes were opened. Yes, it is not just his voice, but his guitar playing too. Really great. Have a great weekend folks.

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.

26 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I agree about Willie, first rate. Be careful what you say about KC. The mayor is a former Marine MP; despite the broad smile and the bow tie, Sly James is not to be dissed. He’s also very good, despite his litigation background. Good luck to all your teams.

    • bmaz says:

      You know, funny thing is, I have no teams in these playoffs this year. Unless you count the Patriots,which I adopted because of the absurdity of law and science that was “Deflategate”.

      Marcy swears that is not legitimate though, and I am limited to the Packers and hometown Cardinals. That may be slightly fair I guess. The whole thing this year does seem to kind of be open though. Which is different and a little exciting.

  2. Pete says:

    Hey bmaz,

    Were you gonna do a Trash just for the SEC Championship redo – I mean the CFP Championship game ?

    I’m going with the Dawgs cause, we’ll, they’re Dawgs and dogs are cool. Woof.

    Pete

    • Trent says:

      @pete
      I’m with Pete ‘cause well, Pete’s cool.

      SEC champ game was the revenge game for UGA v. Auburn.

  3. Trent says:

    Willie is pure class. He’s still got it too. Caught him in 2016 at a small outdoor amphitheater. The final encore was Will the Circle Be Unbroken with Kris, Jimmy and Rosalyn joining him onstage.
    Blew the lid off it with Georgia on My Mind right before the finale.

    Go Falcons!!

    And Bmaz, there’s a big game on Monday too.

    Sic ‘em Dawgs!!!!

    One other note. I saw that Rookie KC kicker play football and soccer in high school. He could thump the round ball from a goal kick to the other penalty area. Team played them similar to corner kicks.

    • bmaz says:

      Willie played Georgia the other night, but not Circle. That would have been great. Did play Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die though, and that was killer.

      As to the CFB Championship, yeah will probably do a brief standalone post for that Monday afternoon. Go Dawgs!

  4. scribe says:

    And suddenly the Patriots are a dumpster fire on Peyton Place, and responsible media outlets are publishing speculative – but not far-fetched – articles that Cheatin’ Bill will be the next Lions head coach.
    http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2018/01/05/amid-patriots-unrest-rumors-swirling-about-belichick-to-lions/
    The spontaneous combustion in Foxborough is, like any other spontaneous combustion, not something that happens overnight. The heat, pressure and fuel are there for a while, building up, until one day it erupts.
    Mwahahaha.

    • bmaz says:

      Naw, the speculation is that if Bill Bel laves it would only be for the Giants. But he is going nowhere.

  5. 4jkb4ia says:

    Because I have been gleefully thinking about trolling bmaz on this since Week 3, here is <a href = “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wBTdfAkqGU”>California Love</a>. If I was persona grata here I would probably have requested Bob Seger’s “Hollywood Nights” and not gotten it. I will now pretend to be listening to Steve Savard and DeMarco Farr call the game.

    Drake’s Achievements in Billboard Year In Music 2017

    Top Artists #3 (behind Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars)

    Hot 100 Songs “Passionfruit” #65, “Fake Love” #37 (This year’s list was extremely top heavy)

    Hot 100 Artists #5 (probably due to guesting on everyone else’s record)

    Hot 100 Songwriters #9  (I am not going to judge whether he actually wrote all of them)

    Radio Songs(Hot 100 Airplay) “Fake Love” #33

    Digital Song Sales “Fake Love” #37

    Streaming Songs “Fake Love” #32

    Billboard 200 Albums “More Life” #5

    R&B/Hip-Hop Artists #1

    R&B/Hip-Hop Songs “Fake Love” #18, “Passionfruit” #31

    R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay “Fake Love” #6

    R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales “Fake Love” #13, “Passionfruit” #31

    R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming Songs “Fake Love” #23, “Passionfruit” #39, “Portland” #47

    R&B/Hip-Hop Albums “More Life” #2

    R&B/Hip-Hop Songwriters #7

    Rhythmic Artists #1 (This is an R&B-Top 40 mashup of a format)

    Rhythmic Songs “Fake Love” #5, “Passionfruit” #23 (I would count “I’m The One” as the first certified white person on this list at #9)

    Social 50 Artists #16 (This measures social media fan activity. Shocking absolutely no one, BTS was #1 here.)

     

  6. bmaz says:

    This is bogus! I love Bob Seeger and even 2Pac. Can’t troll me with that! But it is good to see you again. Very much so.

  7. Bay State Librul says:

    Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and Robert Kraft released a joint statement calling an ESPN report about the New England Patriots’ organization “unsubstantiated, highly exaggerated or flat out inaccurate.”

    Interpretation:

    After the Super Bowl, Belichick will flee to the NY Giants, Tommy will be named player-coach, Robert will give his keys to son Jonathan, and Bobby’s other sons Daniel and Josh, will sue to break up the Family Trust.

  8. Bay State Librul says:

    The cold snap is stilling snapping, but next Saturday night’s game will be in the 50’s (at least based on today’s forecast).

    So, Titans or Bills?

    According to this writer, it doesn’t mean shit
    “The Titans were the second-place team in the AFC South behind the Jacksonville Jaguars and the #5 seed this postseason. With Sunday’s game between the #3 Jaguars and #6 Buffalo Bills on the schedule, the Patriots will face either the Titans or the Bills.
    Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers will likely have to face the Jaguars or the Titans. The Patriots have the much easier draw.
    So it doesn’t matter anymore for the Patriots whether the Jaguars or Bills are victorious on Sunday because the Chiefs were the team New England had to worry about in the divisional round. And now they’re gone.
    The Patriots should be huge favorites over both the Titans and the Bills. The question is now whether they want the Steelers to have the more difficult road against the Jaguars, or if the Patriots want Jacksonville’s defense and running game out of the postseason altogether.
    And that’s a much more favorable question than wondering if the Patriots can stop the Chiefs next week.” Steve Hill

  9. Bay State Librul says:

    Stupid me.
    I’m watching the Titans v Chiefs, minding my own business, when the Tennessee QB goes for a two point conversion, trying to make it 24-21. Suddenly, the KC fans go wild, The QB fumbles, and they return it making it 23-22 (oops the Ref said he was down and dirty)
    In any case, I was unaware that the defense could score at all. I thought is was dead ball
    (In 2015, the Saints blocked an extra point, scoring the first defensive 2-point conversion in NFL history).
    My question is this: Why didn’t the Titans coach have one person lined-up in back of the QB, in case something went wrong?

    • Rugger9 says:

      It will join the tuck rule in bad zebra lore.  The ruling was that Mariota gave himself up from trying to advance the ball and therefore the play was over.  That’s not what I saw.

      The safety from a returned conversion is also in the college game (my Cal Bears were one of the first victims against the Fuskies of UW who illegally kicked the ball downfield on that play, not that I’m bitter or anything) and it was put in precisely because there was no penalty for screwing up on TD conversions.

  10. scribe says:

    By way of footnote, Mariota managed to prove Giselle wrong yesterday.  Turns out one can throw and catch the ball at the same time.

  11. Trent says:

    Go Dawgs!!! I mean Oh Gawds!!! What the hell are we gonna do with a 13-0 lead at halftime? We’re better underdawgs but I trust the adjustments we’ll make at halftime.

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