NFL Wildcard Weekend

The NFL playoffs begin this weekend with Wildcard Weekend. Before we get to a preview of the games, let’s take a look back to Week 1 and how I thought things were going to pan out this season. NFC Playoff Picture I was 50% on my predictions for the NFC, with only two division champions … Read moreNFL Wildcard Weekend

NFL Week 17 Preview

In these weekly previews, I’ll highlight the results that I found shocking from the previous week, as well as preview the game I am most looking forward to from the weekend ahead. As we get later into the season, I may add some other sections to this, including playoff positioning and a look forward to the upcoming draft. 

The Top Games From Week 16

New Orleans Saints 31 – Pittsburgh Steelers 28
The Saints clinched a first-round bye with the victory, while the Steelers fell out of the playoff picture after the loss, falling behind the Baltimore Ravens (for the AFC North title) and the Tennessee Titans (for the second wild card), who had both won Saturday.

The Steelers entered the fourth quarter, leading 28-24. And for most of the fourth quarter, that lead remained in place, with the Steelers failing to add points, while the Saints went 3-and-out and had a blocked field goal. After that blocked field goal, the Steelers were holding onto the ball, trying to get a first down to run some time off the clock. On 4th-and-5, the Steelers seemingly lined up to punt, only to fake the punt and come up a yard short.

The Saints took control of the ball with 4:06 left on the clock at the Pittsburgh 46 yard line, and unlike their opponents, they were able to run down the clock, driving the field and scoring a touchdown with 1:25 left on the clock. This left the Steelers with plenty of time left to score, and after a converted 4th-and-15 (upheld on review), the Steelers were on the drive to at least attempt a game-tying field goal. Instead, JoJo Smith-Schuster fumbled after a reception, allowing the Saints to fully run out the clock and earn the victory.

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NFL Week 8 Preview

In these weekly previews, I’ll highlight the results that I found shocking from the previous week, as well as preview the game I am most looking forward to from the weekend ahead. As we get later into the season, I may add some other sections to this, including playoff positioning and a look forward to the upcoming draft. 

Surprising Results from Week 7

This week went pretty much as expected, but there were still some results that were unexpected based on my personal preseason expectations. These three scores stood out to me during the sixth week of the season:

New England Patriots 38 – Chicago Bears 31
I was a little off in my score prediction (I thought the Pats would win 30-24), but it was just as exciting as I expected the game to be. The Bears jumped out to a 17-7 lead after a Jordan Howard TD, but Cordarrelle Patterson returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards to pull the Pats within 3. A James White touchdown reception before the half put the Pats in the lead at 21-17, only to see the Bears open the second half with a touchdown drive to retake the lead. The Pats then scored 17 unanswered points, seemingly locking up the game, only to hold on down the stretch as the Bears faltered on the game-tying drive as time expired. The Pats look secure in first place in the division (as always) and a game against Buffalo this week may be a nice respite from the past two weeks against top clubs. They also may not need to score in the 30s to win in Buffalo, either. 

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NFL Preview – Playoff Predictions

The NFL season officially started on Thursday night, with a sloppy game that was eventually won by the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles (which is still hard for this Patriots fan to type). We spent the bulk of last week breaking down the divisions (with predicted records) and this will be the post about how we think the playoffs will shake out, including our Super Bowl LIII prediction.
Here are the playoff participants from the NFC:

  1. Green Bay Packers (12-4) (NFC North champs)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) (NFC East champs)
  3. Los Angeles Rams (11-5) (NFC West champs)
  4. New Orleans Saints (11-5) (NFC South champs)
  5. Minnesota Vikings (11-5) (Wildcard #1)
  6. San Francisco 49ers (10-6) (Wildcard #2)

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NFL Preview – AFC North

With the NFL season kicking off this Thursday with the Philadelphia Eagles opening up the defense of their Super Bowl LII title against the Atlanta Falcons, what better time to preview the season, especially now that rosters are mostly set after a mostly ignored preseason.
These previews are going to feature a quick look back at last season, any major personnel moves that may affect the upcoming season, and a prediction for how we think each division is going to play out. At the end of the week, we’ll post a separate post that combines them all and predicts the playoff participants, as well as who we think will be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta on February 3, 2019.
Our second division in the AFC will be the AFC North, which recently has been the domain of the Steelers, though all but the Browns have won division titles since the NFL went to the eight division format for the 2002 season (Steelers – 8 titles; Ravens – 4 titles; Bengals – 4 titles). The Ravens have the most recent Super Bowl from the division, winning Super Bowl XLVII after the 2012 season, and the Steelers have two themselves since 2005 (Super Bowls XL and XLIII). The Bengals are still looking for a playoff victory this century, and the Browns… well, they’re looking for their second win in three seasons.

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