Divisional Round!!! Not a lot of Covid news. The Seahawks were the only team to go without a single positive Covid test. The Brownies get a couple of important defensive players, and likely their head coach, back off the Covid list. Pretty quiet, which is good.
Most of the news is about non-playoff teams getting their staffs in order. The Bears bring back (heehee) Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy. Broncos get a new GM (George Paton) to replace the completely not-fired John Elway. And a bunch of assistant coaches on winning teams are getting interviewed. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. I expect Robert Saleh and Eric Bienemy to be hired as head coaches, but who knows.
And 85 years of football will be on display when Brady and Brees face off this weekend. Speaking of the actual games, here you go:
Saturday, Jan. 16
Los Angeles Rams vs. Green Bay Packers (-6.5, 45.5)
Baltimore Ravens vs. Buffalo Bills (-2, 50)
Sunday, Jan. 17
Cleveland Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-10, 56)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints (-3, 52)
All the games should be great watching. The Browns/Chiefs game may be a blowout, but I expect the others to be one score games going into the last drive of the game. I am a bit surprised that the Packers are such big favorites. With Aaron Donald healthy and without All Pro David Bakhtiari, the Packers’ offensive line will be under a lot of pressure all day. But they did pretty well against Mack, Hicks, and Quinn last week, so there is hope. A lot will come down to who will be playing QB for the Rams. Hopefully the Packers D will be able to take advantage of some questionable play there.
Ravens/Bills should be a fascinating game. Good defense against a good offense. I still question Josh Allen’s abilities in tense situations, but he’s had a helluva year. And but for one great run last week, the Ravens offense can be stymied at times. It should be a good watch.
While most of us have a soft spot for poor Browns fans, I really don’t see how they can beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead. Sure there’s always turnovers, run game, special teams scoring. But head to head, the Chiefs are a much better team. I don’t expect much of a game from this one, but a strong running game/ball control offense can slow the Chiefs down.
And finally the Bucs/Saints. Another interesting game, that will come down to which defense will play better. Brees hasn’t been Brees, and the short passing game might not be enough to counter the weapons on the Bucs offense. But the Saints defense is no joke. I think I might take the under on this game. Now watch, it will be a complete shootout.
The playoffs are here. The football watching is better. The teams are better. There’s a lot to like in the games this weekend; a little something for everyone. Enjoy them. And Go Pack Go