The Unabashed Blogorrhea shaking and stirring while serving up pugnacious NFL playoff picks. Entertainment purposes only. Money back not guaranteed.
Sizzling start to the Super tournament. Can't be better than a perfect 4-0 with all four favorites moving into the second weekend.
In particular the Wild Card forecast for the Kubiak Crew demands review:
Arian re-emphasized in the passing game and piles 140 total yards. Actually it was 140 yards rushing and 174 total on 40 touches. CHECK.
Schaub dumps of a month of putrid and rediscovers some down-the-field precision. And another 100-yard day from Andre with a touchdown. Johnson held to four grabs for 62 yards and shutout from the end zone. Schaub with that could-have-been killer pick-for-six and completions for 19, 22 and two for 20. CHECK MINUS.
The burn unit known as the Texans secondary doesn't allow A.J. Green a T.Y. Hilton-like monster difference-making play. Oh so close, but thanks to Dalton going a bit too long in the final period after ignoring his primo target the entire first half. CHECK.
One sack each from Barwin and Reed with Watt's usual wide array of mayhem. Near sack for Connor with a pass deflected and a tackle for loss. Sack for Reed. Watt's usual wide array includes a sack, two hits on Dalton, two passes deflected, two tackles for loss and five solo tackles total. That's his usual. CHECK.
And by the end it's 27-20 into New England. A more dominate that the score appears six-point knock punches the return ticket and a second straight Divisional Playoff. CHECK.
CHECK CHECK CHECK.
On to the games ...
TEXANS (+10) at PATRIOTS.
The spread can't super-size enough for those forever focused on 42-14. Enough on Round One, Regular Season. Take Two must include Kubiak ditching a playing-not-to-lose game plan. Schaub must aggressively seize on plays down the field. The shaky New England secondary will allow him opportunities. He has to be laser-fixed to find and capitalize. Unfortunately there is nothing much in his big-game performance and make-up to this moment to suggest he can attack and make the Pats pay outside of the play-action game.
Brady has thrown more than 1,200 passes the last two seasons and turned it over but 22 times. The more teams seem to crank the pressure the more he burns them. Wade likely moves Watt to a more outside route to the pocket and away from mountain man Logan Mankins but what else does the defensive maestro conduct to unsettle the same quarterback who piled up 21 touchdowns in the first 20:00 five weeks ago and four touchdown passes for the Monday night with zero interceptions.
The one-time wunderkind quarterback is also 6-6 in his latest playoff roll call after thundering 10-0 out of the gate in racking those three world titles in four years. He's won two straight playoff games at home after losing two straight after winning eight in-a-row. One more knock in the postseason breaks the tie with Montana for most-ever by a quarterback. Brady won't wait for that singular distinction but the outcome is not the landslide popular opinion is taking for granted.
BRONCOS (-9) vs. RAVENS.
If Kubiak Crew is presumably doomed in the AFC Final Four, what possible case can be made for Bahlmer in another rematch from the regular season. After down 31-3 after three periods in the prelim. After 87 defensive snaps the week before and then the travel to Mile High. And then there's the forever Flacco factor who is painted as a patented loser while winning playoff games each and every season of his career. QBs just catch too much crap and it won't stop after a Saturday stomp by the Broncs. And then it's Manning vs. Brady one more time. Just like the pooh bahs demand. And always recommending The Buckhorn Exchange for your greater Denver dining pleasure.
PACKERS (+2.5) vs. 49ERS.
In prime time. On FOX. Rodgers on the road and a rook in his playoff debut after seven career starts. Doesn't seem quite fair. And not just Rodgers already with primo playoff pedigree just one removed from one-and-done flameout one year ago after but one loss in regular season. But the vengeful Rodgers packing a double-dose of payback returning to his own personal Bay Area field of boyhood dreams for first time since his hometown team rejected him as No. 1 overall pick in favor of Alex Smith. Hanging a half hundred won't be enough. Personal. Yet no one is talking about this obvious storyline. Stunning. Justin Smith less than 100% is 100% guaranteed to be negative factor for Niners. Ironically (and, yes, it is ironic) the switch in slingers makes the Harbaugh home team less than the physical pound-and-ground outfit that would be better able to take-out the finesse Pack. Sort of like Week 1 which might as well taken place with Favre and Young. Packers were The Unabashed preseason Super pick in a shoot-out of sorts. In prime time. On FOX. And always recommending Swan Oyster Depot for your greater San Francisco dining pleasure.
FALCONS (-2.5) vs. SEAHAWKS.
Sunday high noon. On FOX. Another bunch in midst of best-ever season that earns them nothing but national disrespect. Rest, home sweet dome, determined after previous playoff flame-outs for ATL + double-dose of cross country travel in nine days, best-pass rusher out, first-year Wilson again on the road = break-through win for Ryan. But just barely. By three. For the cover. But in Seattle or even on a neutral field and it's decidedly Seahawks. And always recommending Holeman & Finch for your greater Atlanta dining pleasure.
TOTE BOARD TO DATE