Friday, January 04, 2019

PIGSKIN 2018: Wild Card Weekend


Week Eleven
Thanksgiving Day
Week Twelve
Week Thirteen
Week Fourteen
Week Fifteen
Week Sixteen
Week Seventeen

Week Seventeen Record:  7-9
Overall Record:  95-122-10
Schmear of the Week:  9-7
Bagels in the Basket:  -39
*Starting this week and through Championship Sunday, each game is now worth three Bagels apiece.

Friday Line ~ NYP

Colts +1 1/2 (TEXANS)
I hate going against the Texans whom started the season 0-3, then steamrolled to an 11-2 record in their final 13 games.  However, they enter the playoffs just 2-2 over their last four games.  And despite fielding one of the better defensive units in the league, the Colts have tightened up their defense as well.  After starting the season just 1-5, Indy finished the season winning 9 of their last 10 games.  In the final analysis, who do you trust more: Andrew Luck or Deshaun Watson?  Las Vegas doesn't seem to be giving the Texans much respect as the home team.  I think they're right.  These teams faced-off just four short weeks ago at Houston where the Colts won by three.  Back in Week Four, Houston won by three points at Indy.  I see no reason to go against this trend; Luck looks sharp as ever; take the road dog and the points.
WIN; 21-7 Colts  

Seahawks +2 (COWBOYS)
Let me just come right out and say it: this is when Jerry's World comes crashing down, again. Winning the NFC East does not impress me the slightest bit.  I'd even argue it was gifted to them, as the Cowboys were met with little resistance within their division, evidenced by a 5-1 record. Both these teams finished the season with identical 10-6 records, but Seattle's season strikes me as the greater achievement.  Like the Houston Texas, Las Vegas seems to agree.  This spread suggests that if the Seahawks were home they'd be favored by five.  Both teams rush the ball well.  Therefore the onus is on head coach Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson vs. Jason Garrett and Dak Prescott.  Which pair is likely to mismanage a particular situation or the game itself?  My money is on the Cowboy combo.  Russell Wilson has been through this before, and as a former Super Bowl winner he's been carrying the team like leaders can, and do.  Dak Prescott is still the grasshopper.  One mistake from him is all Seattle needs.
PUSH; 24-22 Cowboys

Saturday Line ~ NYP

RAVENS -3 (Chargers)
I've been calling the Los Angeles Chargers a paper tiger all season.  Now we'll see how right or dead wrong I've been.  Two of the AFC's top defensive teams (Jaguars, Titans) didn't even make the playoffs, while another top defensive team (Texans) just got eliminated by the Colts.  The Chargers defense may be on par with still relevant New England's, but they're no where near as good as the AFC best Ravens - the only AFC team to allow less than 300-points this season (only the Bears have allowed fewer, and not by much).  The Ravens have been a run intensive team ever since the benching Joe Flacco in favor of Lamar Jackson.  If they continue creating daylight with effectiveness and thereby control of the clock, Philip Rivers stays put on the sidelines.  However, easier said than done.  Lamar Jackson must reward what should be a supreme defensive effort his defense.  The Ravens defeated the Bolts in Week Sixteen, limiting them to just ten points at Los Angeles.  Now the Bolts come east for an early game, or should I say 10:00am California time.
Loss; 23-17 Chargers

BEARS -6 1/2 (Eagles)
Nick Foles throws a monkey wrench into this whole equation.  Once considered a fluke, the Eagles are proven winners when he's in the game.  Were it not for him, Eagles perhaps do not make the playoffs.  Now what?  For starters, the Bears field the best defense in football, and were one of five NFC teams to eclipse 400-points scored this season.  The Bears are also 7-1 at home.  This is Mitch Trubisky's time to shine.  Lets see what he can do.  Otherwise, Philly getting this far is a nice story, but it ends at Chicago.
Loss; 16-15 Eagles

Wild Card Weekend Record:  1-2-1
Overall Record:  96-124-11
Bagels in the Basket:  -45

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