NFL

2016 NFL Match-Up Mania: Divisional Round

As we prepare for the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, can someone tell me what the heck that mess was we had this past weekend that we’re being told were the Wild Card games?  I haven’t seen this many blowouts in a NASCAR pit.  Moreover, I will officially refer to the 2016 season’s Wild Card round as a giant car wreck so I can show this video from the Blues Brothers:

All the hype I was ready for — I even evoked a Don Cheadle Playoff commercial. . . For that?  We as fans were all hosed and all that we have to listen to in analysis are old media guys griping about Odell Beckham posing for a fake album cover picture on a boat in Miami.

On with the Divisional Round volume of the MuM:

Texans vs. Patriots

It seems to me that the carry over from last week’s Mild and Marred round of the tournament exists here.  The first in a series of formalities in New England’s entitlement of an AFC Championship is subduing not only Houston’s Head Coach and former Patriot staffer, Bill O’ Brien, but also O’Brien’s starting-quarterback-turned-back-up-turned-starter-again, Brock Osweiler.

Head Coach Bill Belichick will prove why he earned the Student of the Game’s selection as Coach of the Year as he and Tom Brady likely drive home from the stadium having won by either three touchdowns or three points. (It is a Brady postseason game after all).  Either way, I imagine Belichick’s domination of Houston looking something like this:

We’ll check back in with the Patriots as they finally host a game worth watching for the first time this campaign thanks to this season’s schedule.

Packers vs. Cowboys

Everyone seemed so sure that Green Bay would be stopped in the previous round that many fans were hoping for a round three rematch between the New York and Dallas.  Instead, the Giants softened the Packers removing Jordy Nelson with a rib injury in their relentless defense’s season finale.

Aaron Rodgers started slow last week  before breaking the game open late in the second quarter during his four touchdown performance.  A luxury he won’t be afforded if Dak Prescott doesn’t repeat his previous post-bye play when he came out flat himself after TMZ sports reported that he is a human being that goes out on the town on a night off.

dak-prescott

At any rate, should the Dak Attack come out thundering, Ezekiel Elliot will easy reprise his roll as the Zeke Streak in support and severely limit the Packers time of possession.

The true unknown here is Christine Michael. As a former Seahawk who burst on the scene and through New York’s D-Line after being cut earlier this season, he neutralizes any concerns on Ty Montgomery missing this contest.  Michael represents a player running inspired by vengeance and that vengeance provides balance to the NFL’s  best passer at current.  They might be missing Nelson, but Devante Adams and Randall Cobb are still formidable threats . . . when they are on the field.  The forces of the Dak Attack and Zeke Streak will melt away the Cheeseheads’ time of possession and lift the Cowboys to the conference championship.  Should Dallas fail that, look for more Wisconson-ers attending confession to ask forgiveness for losing faith in their savior under center.

Steelers vs. Chiefs

So I don’t know what exactly was put in the Steelers’ water jug in their dominance of the 10-win Miami team they hosted last week, but to see quarterback “Big” Ben Roethlisberger, running back LeV’eon Bell, and top wide receiver Antonio Brown firing at a high level all at the same time against a formidable Dolphin Defense makes me concerned for Kansas City.

alex-smith

On the other hand, the Chiefs don’t have a backup under center, and the path to sacking Alex Smith to force a fumble is far better protected.  Pittsburgh needs to have an answer for Tyrek Hill and Travis Kelce for not only their defense to thrive, but for their offense to have the necessary time of possession to keep from being dominated themselves.  Big Ben in a walking boot is a secondary concern to the flashes of lacking discipline on both sides of the ball.  Two interceptions on silly plays is the kind of shenanigans that will make Arrowhead Stadium the season-ending stop for the Sons of the Steel City.

Seahawks vs. Falcons

This rematch is the premiere offering of the 2016 season’s Divisional Round.  Since then, the Seahawks have suffered the injury of Earl Thomas at the safety spot as they travel to Atlanta’s Georgia Dome which will all work to support Matt Ryan and Julio Jones throwing the ball all over the yard so long as they line up on the opposite side of the infamous Richard Sherman.

Julio+Jones+Tennessee+Titans+v+Atlanta+Falcons+DBdeMOHiy06l

However, it’s Russell Wilson and Thomas Rawls that will play their part to keep this game close.  But the laws of physics conclude that objects flying can move far faster than that travel on the ground. Advantage: Falcons.

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