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Old 01-14-2020, 11:05 AM
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NFL - PLAYOFFS - CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME of Thrones


Fascinating games this past weekend. While I'm a huge fan of having a good defense and a strong running game, I did not think that the Titans had a real shot at beating the Ravens, but they did. How cool is that? And the comeback by the Chiefs was really something to behold. They looked great on offense. The Niners did the Niners thing, play defense, rush the passer, and run the ball. And the Packers, and Aaron Rodgers, showed a bit of life in their win against the injured Seahawks. Fun weekend of games.

I think the hate has gone way to far on Lamar Jackson. While he isn't the QB I would want when my team has to come back from a large deficit, this weekend's game wasn't the end of him. People saying the NFL has figured him out now and that he's a piss poor passer are way overstating the case based on one bad game. He's the damn MVP, he has a career passer rating of 104.7, and, while he has some flaws, he'll be a "must gameplan for" player in the NFL for at least a few years.

Other bits of news: Browns avoid hiring Josh McDaniels, Nick Bosa is an asshole, and Joe Burrow will be the #1 pick of the draft. Welcome to Cincy Joe!

Here's your games:

Sunday January 19th, 2020

AFC Championship (3:05 p.m. ET at Arrowhead Stadium)

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs

Spread: Chiefs -7.5; Over/Under: 52

NFC Championship (6:30 p.m. ET at Levis Stadium)

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers

Spread: 49ers -7; Over/Under: 45


Looks like we've reached the wheat/chaff; contender/pretender; cream rising part of the NFL playoffs. The Chiefs and Niners both looked dominant in their wins, the Packers just survive, and nobody truly believes in the Titans. I didn't think the lines would be so high, though.

While I love the story/gameplan of the Titans, I do think the Chiefs are the much more talented team. If the Titans can control the clock, keep the Chiefs offense off the field, and win the turnover battle, they can win. I just have a hard time seeing it happen in real life.

And while my hopes and wishes are for a Packer win, the Niners look really good too. I do like the Packers chances better after this past week. They Pack were able to stop the run (granted it was against a decrepit Marshawn Lynch, so that might not be worth much), and Davante Adams/Aaron Rodgers looked amazing on offense, so I feel much better about their chances. I'm thrilled that Davante can line up anywhere, so he can avoid Richard Sherman (who is still on the best CB's in the league), but the real test will be the Packer offensive line v. the amazing defensive front of the Niners. The only way I foresee the Packers winning is if the offensive line and gameplanning can neutralize, at least for chunks, the Niners pass rush. They certainly didn't in the earlier meeting, but hope springs eternal.

Also, I fear Kyle Shannahan is so much better prepared for a Championship game than Matt LaFleur.

Still, GO PACK GO.

Enough of my blather, let's hear from you now!
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:01 PM
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...Nick Bosa is an asshole...
No, you're just uptight.

And Nick is Rookie of the Year.
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:13 PM
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No, you're just uptight.
Nah, I just don't like illegal blindside blocks that knock guys out of a game.
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Originally Posted by garygnu
And Nick is Rookie of the Year.
Defensive Rookie of the Year. Yes. Asshole. Yes. Not mutually exclusive.
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:31 PM
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With Bulaga returning, the Packers O-line will be healthier, which will definitely help the offense. Keys for the Packers will be:

1. Getting to the QB. The Smith brothers will need a big day.
2. Establishing the run.
3. Finding a second receiver who can step up and take some pressure off of Adams.
4. Shut down the 49ers running game and make Garappolo beat them thru the air.

Despite being a hardcore Packers fan, I will be surprised if they beat the niners.

Last edited by Hrnac; 01-14-2020 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:02 PM
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3. Finding a second receiver who can step up and take some pressure off of Adams.
Allen Lazard has been showing some flashes over the second half of the season. He was knocked out of the Seahawks game when he aggravated an ankle injury, but it sounds like he should be able to go for Sunday.

At the same time that Lazard started to show up, Marquez Valdes-Scantling seemed to become invisible, after a nice rookie year in '18. And, Jimmy Graham has clearly seen better days, so I'm not sure who else could step up.

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Despite being a hardcore Packers fan, I will be surprised if they beat the niners.
Same here. I'm hopeful that they'll have a shot, but I'm also realistic.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 01-14-2020 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:11 PM
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The problem with Adams (if there can be a problem) is that Rodgers tends to fixate on him too much at times. A review of targets per game by receiver will bear this out. If I am game planning for the Packers, I focus on taking away Adams and make the other receivers beat me.

As for a possible number 2 receiver, Lazard and Kumerow would be my picks in that order.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:13 PM
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The problem with Adams (if there can be a problem) is that Rodgers tends to fixate on him too much at times. A review of targets per game by receiver will bear this out. If I am game planning for the Packers, I focus on taking away Adams and make the other receivers beat me.

As for a possible number 2 receiver, Lazard and Kumerow would be my picks in that order.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:15 AM
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The problem with Adams (if there can be a problem) is that Rodgers tends to fixate on him too much at times. A review of targets per game by receiver will bear this out.
It's true, though I also think that, over the past two years, Adams has clearly been far better than anyone else on their receiving corps. They've had other clear #1 receivers earlier in Rodgers' career (e.g., Nelson, Driver), but I think that the gap between those #1s and the rest was smaller then.

For this season, the number of targets by receiver for the Packers (as per Pro Football Reference):
Davante Adams 127
Aaron Jones 68
Jimmy Graham 60
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 56
Geronimo Allison 55
Allen Lazard 52
Jamaal Williams 45

Adams had nearly twice as many targets as the next guy on the list (Jones, their starting RB), despite the fact that Adams missed four games with a turf toe.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 01-15-2020 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:05 AM
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One of my favorite players to watch just announced his retirement. Luke Kuechly won't be playing NFL football anymore. He's only 28 and still playing at an elite level, but he, very smartly, made enough money to be financially sound for life and he wants to protect his body. Good for him. Bad for fans of elite linebacker play. By most accounts, Kuechly was a good teammate and a good guy. Here's hoping he stays happy and healthy.
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:16 AM
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One of my favorite players to watch just announced his retirement. Luke Kuechly won't be playing NFL football anymore. He's only 28 and still playing at an elite level, but he, very smartly, made enough money to be financially sound for life and he wants to protect his body. Good for him. Bad for fans of elite linebacker play. By most accounts, Kuechly was a good teammate and a good guy. Here's hoping he stays happy and healthy.
I feel really bad for Luke, such a talented guy who was just rocked by concussions. Im glad he got out but I worry if too much damage was already done and he is already facing serious long term consequences. I hope not.
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:20 AM
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My sole mission now in the post season is to see the Packers and Mr. Arrogant Rodgers bite the dust! Then I can actually enjoy the Super Bowl.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:46 AM
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San Francisco to beat Green Bay in the N.F.C. championship game although I wouldn't mind one bit seeing Aaron Rodgers with another shot to win a S.B. In the A.F.C. I find it difficult to pick against the team that knocked off the defending champions and the #1 seed in their conference on consecutive weekends. Add to that the Chiefs tantalizing us all with good teams over the years that fail to get the job done when it really matters and, well - I'm sticking with the Tennessee Titans to win the A.F.C. championship next Sunday (although I'll be perfectly happy if I'm wrong about that). As fun as it would be to see the two "State Farm buddies" (Rodgers and Mahomes) in this year's S.B. I think they are both going to fall at the next-to-last hurdle.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:53 AM
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I'm rooting for whoever emerges from the AFC against whomever emerges from the NFC.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:29 PM
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and nobody truly believes in the Titans
The Tennessee Titans who got to this point by defeating the reigning Superbowl champs, then defeated the team with the best regular season record; both times on the road? I believe in them.

The Titans mostly run the ball, which eats up a lot of clock. Mahomes is great. but he can't score when the Chiefs are on defense.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:15 PM
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The Titans also ended the season with a must-win play-in against the already-division-winner Texans. Granted the Texans rested starters, but still, it's pretty cool that from week 17 on, the Titans faced four consecutive must-win games against the four AFC division winners, and so far are 3-0.

With no rooting interest for any of the four remaining teams, or even any specific star on any of them, the Titans have easily won me over to their camp. Go Titans!
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:25 PM
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I'm rooting for Titans too. Always for the underdog. I think they'll beat KC. As Eagles fan, I've had ten years of Good ol' Andy. Great coach, but SO damn conservative in the playoffs. A fourth and one in the red zone will always be a field goal, never an attempt.

I think Playoff Aaron will surprise the 49ers. SF is an incredible team, healthy, tight defense, but they remind me of other teams that are so perfect they mess up. (Ravens, Pats, even Dodgers on the baseball side.)
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:42 PM
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My final word on Lamar Jackson: sure, he put M.V.P. numbers up this season, but so did Cam Newton back in 2015 and what, of note, has he done since?
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:38 PM
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Well, it would be mildly amusing to see a rematch of the original AFL-NFL championship game of a couple years back.
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Old 01-19-2020, 01:52 PM
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Chiefs DE Fred Clark on Ten RB Derrick Henry:

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"He's not hard to hit," Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark told NFL Network on Friday. "He's just a big guy. 240, 245, 250 [pounds]; honestly, he should be running harder at his weight and at his size. I don't see no difficulty in tackling him ... He's just easy to me up front because I don't look at any running back like they can't be tackled. He's not one of the best guys at breaking tackles to me, honestly."

Henry has rushed for no fewer than 180 yards in each of his past three games, a string that includes surprise road playoff victories over the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots.
How cool it would be if Henry rushes for 200 yards and Ten uses him to control the clock and defeat KC.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:27 PM
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Great game so far. Kansas City is selling out to stop the run (3.9 ypc for Henry), which has made play action dangerous; Titans playcalling has been great. Titans defense playing OK, but the KC offense is really fun to watch. While I'm a fan of "play defense and run the ball", I find myself rooting for KC because of Andy Reid.

Great fun to warch.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:29 PM
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Wow. Mahomes is something else.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:36 PM
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Wow. Mahomes is something else.
He is, but that was also some pretty bad tackling by the Titans defenders.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:48 PM
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Wow. Mahomes is something else.
Hes really, really good. A real franchise QB.
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:52 PM
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How can a fake punt be allowed to work there? Why do you even put the punt return team out on the field? Just play normal D and if they want to punt it over you, fine.
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:53 PM
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Hoping for Super Bowl I rematch; Chiefs-Packers.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:04 PM
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Hoping for Super Bowl I rematch; Chiefs-Packers.
Sorry, the Niners are going to ruin that for you.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:08 PM
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Congrats KC Chiefs and Chiefs Nation!
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:10 PM
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Sorry, the Niners are going to ruin that for you.
I'm guessing that's the case, too. The 49ers have been slightly better in terms of line strength than most of their opponents and Jimmy G has been a play maker. But it's hard to bet against Aaron Rodgers.

We could be looking at the State Farm Bowl.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:16 PM
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I was pulling for KC and am doing so for the Packers; mostly because that is the Super Bowl I want to watch of the Final Four teams. In the bowl -------- I like the Pack but Mahommes really is my favorite of the players. The rest of the night could be interesting.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:17 PM
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"Yeah let's just keep matriculatin' the ball down the field, boys"

The first of about 8,000 times you're going to hear this in the next two weeks.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:24 PM
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65 toss power trap! HA HA!!!
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:25 PM
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I'm not a fan of the York family but having lived out in the Bay Area and Central Coast California for a while, I became a Bay Area sports fan. Go Niners!
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:59 PM
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Some interesting stats from the AFC championship game:

Time of possession was basically even: Titans: 30:10, Chiefs 29:50.
No turnovers in the game.
Chiefs had 112 yards rushing; Titans 85.
Derrick Henry had 69 yards rushing; Patrick Mahomes had 53.
Chiefs had 404 total yards; Titans had 295.
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:12 PM
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And the Titans' backup QB had one rush for 5 yards.
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:19 PM
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Figured packers would lose but not as bad as the last time they played SF. Doesn't look good for the pack.

Brian
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:39 PM
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But it's hard to bet against Aaron Rodgers.
This year its not that hard.
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:44 PM
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Man, the way the 49ers can just run the football is a sight to behold.
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:50 PM
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Fox just showed a stat: so far, Rodgers has dropped back to pass nine times. Of those nine, he's been sacked twice, and knocked down three other times.

The Niners are putting on a clinic, and the Packers are looking totally outmatched.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:05 PM
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The Packers and 49ers have played 6 quarters this season: 49ers have outscored the Pack 64-8.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:15 PM
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Man, the Packers don't even appear to be putting up much of a fight in this one. Lookin' very much like it'll be Kansas City vs. San Francisco in two weeks!
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:40 PM
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160 yards rushing for Raheem Mostert – in the first half.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:43 PM
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As a fan of neither team, at what point do I turn it off?
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:01 PM
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Is it me, or is Rodgers missing more open receivers this year than in the past?
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:01 PM
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The physical, hard-nosed 49ers vs. the explosive offense of the Chiefs. Should be a great one in two weeks!
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:22 PM
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Mahomes is scary, but so is the 49er defense.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:23 PM
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That was akin awesome.
Bless all the knees. See you in two weeks, Chefs
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:51 PM
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The way the 49ers run the ball is like the 1966 Packers. The offensive line and TE block with absolute precision and the running backs hit their holes. Minnesota and GB couldn't stop them. Maybe KC can, but they're a different type of running team than the Titans.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:59 PM
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Is it me, or is Rodgers missing more open receivers this year than in the past?
His accuracy is definitely down compared to the past. In his prime (say, 2010-2015), he was completing 66% to 68% of his passes; he's been around 62% the past two seasons.

When a QB misses an "open" receiver, it's also a question of whether the receiver was where he was supposed to be, and I think that's something that's hard for a viewer to suss out tell while watching a game. I do think that Rodgers's accuracy isn't what it was, but I also know that he's had to work with a lot of young receivers the past few years, and that may also be playing a role.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:13 AM
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I'm torn b/c I kinda want to see KC get their first title in 50 years and Andy Reid get his first title ever. But I'd love to see a modern day NFL team win with power running over the spread.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:52 AM
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As a die-hard Packer fan I cant say I was very surprised by the outcome. Green Bay has been inconsistent to lousy over the past months and made the playoffs from a really crappy NFC north this year. I think most Packer fans, while upset by the loss, probably didnt really feel it was our year anyways.
Same for the Vikings. Mediocre team that got a lucky game against a New Orleans team that had a crappy game.
49ers are legit this year as well as the Chiefs. Should make for a good game.
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