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!

No, you’re just uptight.

And Nick is Rookie of the Year.

Nah, I just don’t like illegal blindside blocks that knock guys out of a game.

Defensive Rookie of the Year. Yes. Asshole. Yes. Not mutually exclusive.

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.

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.

Same here. I’m hopeful that they’ll have a shot, but I’m also realistic. :slight_smile:

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.

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.

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.

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. I’m 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.

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.

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.

I’m rooting for whoever emerges from the AFC against whomever emerges from the NFC.

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.

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!

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.)

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?

Well, it would be mildly amusing to see a rematch of the original AFL-NFL championship game of a couple years back.

Chiefs DE Fred Clark on Ten RB Derrick Henry:

How cool it would be if Henry rushes for 200 yards and Ten uses him to control the clock and defeat KC.

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.