The odds are against anyone actually picking all winners of the NFL playoff games ahead without making an error. Don’t make us do the math, but … you get the idea of how hard it is to correctly pick 13 games straight up (let alone against the spread, which we don’t even bother with). But we promised an NFL tripleheader today, so here we go. Enjoy?
Oakland at Cincinnati—Nothing the Bengals do really impresses us, but then there are the Raiders. If you saw that Las Vegas defense cough up fourth-down conversion after fourth-down conversion against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 18, while at home, you should have confidence in Cincy at home here.
New England at Buffalo—The Bills were a trendy pick coming into the season, but they arguably underachieved despite winning the AFC East. The Patriots also upset Buffalo on the road in a shocker late last season, and we cannot see it happening again. The Bills should win this one … even with Cheatin’ Bill Belichick on the other sideline.
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay—We know the NFL loves Cheatin’ Tom Brady, so there’s little chance an upset is going to happen here, especially with Brady playing in front of his “hometown” fans, most of whom are retiree transplants from the Northeast. Follow the money.
San Francisco at Dallas—The Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1995, and the 49ers haven’t won one since 1994. Is either of these squads capable of winning it this year? Hmmm. Dallas is at home and has the better team, and truthfully, San Francisco shouldn’t even be here. We expect the Cowboys to roll in this one, readily. The 49ers should just be happy to be here.
Pittsburgh at Kansas City—This projects to be the most lopsided of the first-round matchups, and after last year’s Super Bowl fizzle, we expect the Chiefs to come out fired up at home against a mediocre Steelers team which almost didn’t make it into the postseason (thanks, Raiders?).
Arizona at Los Angeles—Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has never won a postseason game. He is 0-3, although all starts came on the road with the Detroit Lions. Do we have confidence he can finally win a playoff game? Nope. The Rams should have won last week against the 49ers, and Stafford found a way to blow it. Until he can earn it, we won’t pick him. Arizona wins.
Buffalo at Kansas City—This matchup is the one we all expected to see in the AFC Championship Game (again), so it’s going to be quite crazy at Arrowhead Stadium. The Bills got the short end of the postseason seeding stick here, of course, but they have only themselves to blame after a 6-loss regular season. Consider the Chiefs still on a mission to regain the Lombardi Trophy.
Dallas at Tampa Bay—Who will the NFL choose here? That’s the big question. The Cowboys make money, win or lose. The same cannot be said for the Buccaneers, and guess which team is at home? Look for Dallas to come up short in this one, although we expect it will be close so the Cowboys fans can lament all offseason, once again, about just how close the team came to winning it all.
Cincinnati at Tennessee—We don’t see either team here as high on the pecking order, but three things stand out to us. First, Bengals QB Joe Burrow is very overrated. Second, the Titans are at home with a week of rest. Third and perhaps most important, the Tennessee offense also gets running back Derrick Henry back from injury. So, Cincinnati is doomed.
Arizona at Green Bay—Remember when the Packers used to be a lock at home in the postseason? That myth was destroyed a long time ago. Needless to say, though, this matchup with the Cardinals really favors Green Bay, especially if the weather is crap. Add in the extra week of rest, and we can’t see the Packers dropping this one this time around. Nope.
Kansas City at Tennessee—Haven’t we seen this game before? Yes, in both the 2017 and 2019 playoffs, although the games were on the Chiefs home turf. This time, the Titans get HFA. Will that matter? A little bit, not to mention the extra week of rest. Does that make this a coin flip? Almost. While K.C. may be on a mission, Tennessee should be considered as such, too, sort of like the Bills. Is this the year the Titans break through, though? No. It’s still Patrick Mahomes ruling the AFC roost, but just barely here.
Tampa Bay at Green Bay—We definitely saw this one last year. This is not last year. The Packers are a better team, again, and can the NFL really get away with fixing another SB for Cheatin’ Tom? We don’t think so. If Aaron Rodgers win another title, he probably will retire. Is this the NFL’s storyline? Perhaps. Pack wins, and with a little luck, Brady retires, too. Good riddance.
Super Bowl LVI:
Green Bay vs. Kansas City—Just like Super Bowl I! Yes, we are skeptical here that anything the NFL does anymore is on the level. This sneaky suspicion started more than 15 years ago with the probable fixing of Super Bowl XL in Detroit. We think the NFL wants to be rid of Rodgers, especially after his vaccination lies this season, and retiring him after a championship run is the way to ensure it. Plus, Mahomes is still young, and he can win the next three Super Bowls to establish his own greatness legend.
There you go. We won’t bother checking back to see how we did, unless we do really well, of course.