It is the Divisional round and I went 4-0 during Wild Card Weekend. That was easy right? A home team usually gets tripped up but this time it did not happen. So how was the Wild Card Weekend?
Home Teams Were 4-0
The playoffs got off to a rousing start with The Houston Texans defense led by former number one overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney causing chaos and Brock Osweiler throwing BBs. Oakland really missed Derek Carr and Houston triumphed at home 27-14. Next up those New England Patriots.
The Detroit Lions visited The Seattle Seahawks and saw a 10-6 deficit to start the 4th quarter just get away on the way to a 26-6 loss. Note that Detroit lost their last 3 games of the season after forfeiting their rights to a home playoff game. Seattle now heads to Atlanta.
Miami traveled to chilly Pittsburgh and just could not handle the weather — or so it appeared. QB Ben Roethlisberger along with Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown dominated the stat sheet and Pittsburgh prevailed 30-12. Next up for Pittsburgh is a trip to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs.
The last game of the week saw a vulnerable Green Bay Packer team host The New York Giants. QB Aaron Rogers threw a Hail Mary just before the half for an outrageous touchdown for a 14-6 lead. The Giants tried to hang in there but missed opportunities down the stretch, combined with Aaron Rogers heating up on the frozen tundra, ultimately was the Giants undoing. Final score Green Bay 30 and New York 13. Green Bay heads to Dallas to face the Cowboys.
Now for the final 8 at the adult table.
A Table For 8 Please
The Divisional round begins with the “Sleepless when I am not in Seattle Seahawks” taking on the “Hello we are the Atlanta Falcons and we believe our QB Matt Ryan is the real MVP of the league.” This is the battle of two apex bird predator mascots. Seattle has a difficult time on the road and Atlanta was the highest scoring offense in 2016 by a wide margin. Matt Ryan however is 1-4 in his playoff career but Atlanta breaks through this time. They have to right?
Next comes the “We have Tom Brady but no Rob Gronkowski but still Bill Belichick” – New England Patriots against the “Oh yeah? Well we have…umm.. Brock Osweiler? OK but our defense is fantastic – Houston Texans.” If Brady throws for a QB rating of 75 or less, the Patriots STILL win this. Houston needs turnovers and a lot of them. But in Brady I trust as the Patriots win at home.
On Sunday the “My big 3 B’s in Ben, Brown, and Bell are all that” as the Pittsburgh Steelers visit “I am the most dangerous and enigmatic team in these playoffs” – Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City could win. Kansas City could lose. Can Kansas City scheme the 3 B’s? As long as the 3 B’s stay healthy…no! Pittsburgh rolls on.
The most anticipated game of the playoffs to date will be the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Green Bay Packers in a rematch of last year. This time Dallas has a two headed rookie monster in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. How will they react? Green Bay is H.O.T. hot-hot-hot but Dallas is not playing the New York Giants. I will take the Cowboys as Dallas is better than most and Green Bay’s defense against the run is vulnerable.
Divisional Round Notes
The most important part about this round is time management. If you can run the ball and hold on to it and score 7 points on a 8 minute drive followed by a 3-and-out by your opponent, you have shortened the game. Houston needs to do this and Dallas has done it all year. Eventually a team succumbs to the lack of opportunity until all that remains are chances and when you take too many chances, you get burned with turnovers.
Special teams do offer the unknown and sometimes they sway the outcome. But home teams usually manage to prevent this from happening against them.
Watch out for ghosts and serendipitous bounces of the leather spheroid.
Tim can now be reached at email@example.com and welcomes your opinions on the Diary of a Fantasy Virgin Articles.