Friday, January 17, 2020

More NFL Playoff Predictions

Another Packers victory, another week of me bothering to write about the NFL postseason!

* Chiefs over Titans
I hemmed and hawed for quite a while over this one, since Tennessee has serious "team of destiny" vibes going.  Derrick Henry is on the biggest roll of any running back...geez, maybe ever?  In my lifetime, at least?  Unlike the Houston Texans, the Titans aren't idiots, and will absolutely win if K.C. has another nightmare quarter and falls behind by 20 points.  The way Tennessee can control the clock with Henry running, it might even be 10 points.  The flip side of the equation, however, is that while I'm increasingly confident in Tennessee's ability to protect such a lead, I am 100% confident in Patrick Mahomes' ability to wipe out any deficit.  My feeling last week that Mahomes was peaking proved to be correct, as he shook off that nightmare quarter against Houston and proceeded to obliterate the rest of the game.  The Titans' miracle run could absolutely continue all the way into and through the Super Bowl, but narrowly, I'll stick with Mahomes and the Chiefs.  If Mahomes really is the league's best quarterback, which I believe he is, then one can't go against the league's best QB when he's at home in a conference final.

* 49ers over Packers
Let the record show that I don't always pick Green Bay in these things.  The unfortunate part is, those damn Vikings probably screwed things up for the Pack, marking probably the first time in a decade that Minnesota got truly one over on the division rivals.  If the Vikings just lose to New Orleans, that would've set up Saints at Packers, and I'm assuming that the Saints still do their usual fade when outdoors in frigid Lambeau Field.  More importantly, the other NFC semi-final would've been 49ers vs. Seahawks, and I think Seattle was the only NFC team that had a shot at stopping San Francisco based on their always-close divisional games.  Bah!

In short, I don't think the Packers have the horses to keep up with all the talent up and down the 49ers' roster.  Had this been Jimmy Garoppolo's first playoff game, I would've been more confident, but Garoppolo got the traditional first-game jitters out of the way against Minnesota last week (not that the Vikings did anything to capitalize on Garoppolo's early struggles).  I can't shake the fact that San Francisco just crushed Green Bay less than two months ago --- even counting the "it was just one of those weeks" factor, the 49ers so thoroughly owned that game that I can't just chalk it up to an off day.  Unless 2011 Aaron Rodgers magically shows up on Sunday, I'm afraid my team's wonderful season is going to end.

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