NFL playoffs Sunday open thread

posted at 12:31 pm on January 12, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Jazz: First of all, I’d like to remind everyone who decided to bet heavily yesterday based on my advice to take the Colts that Hot Air has a strict no refunds policy. But that was one exciting shootout of a game, even if the Patriots clearly cheated. But let’s be honest… I was a bit worried about Ed’s mental health after last week, so he needed a good pick to catch back up. Today we’ll see if I can’t bounce back and at least match my record from last weekend.

 

Ed: By the end of the evening yesterday, I could hardly believe what I was seeing — and I bet most of you couldn’t believe I could pick two games successfully, either, after my debacle last weekend. Now I have to remember Han Solo’s advice: “Nice shooting! Don’t get cocky, kid.” Both games unfolded yesterday pretty much as I anticipated. Let’s see if I can do as well today, and make Jazz bring the donuts next weekend. To start, I’ll pick the Steelers …. d’oh!

 

Jazz: The first game for Sunday has the San Francisco 49ers visiting the Panthers at Carolina. (1:05 p.m. FOX) This held a lot of promise to be the game of the weekend, and the Vegas line has it as a near toss-up, giving a one point edge to the niners. Everyone is going to tell you about how Carolina has the best defense of any team left standing, and how they play so far above the level of “no respect” that they generally get. Also, home field advantage can’t be overlooked. But even for all that I think San Francisco is due. Kaepernick is supposed to once again have the services of his top receiver, Michael Crabtree, available. That combination, along with the rest of San Fran’s weapons, will prove too much for the often maligned Panthers’ secondary and the 49ers win 35-21.

 

Ed: This may be one of the best match-ups in the playoffs. Take a look at the offense and defense averages for the season, and the 49ers and Panthers are within just a few yards of each other in every category. On top of that, both teams went into the playoffs hot; Carolina won its last three and lost only once in its last twelve games, while the Niners won its final six games. San Francisco has the better offense, but the Panthers only have a slightly better defense. I think this comes down to home-field advantage and a week’s rest. I’ll take the Panthers in a nailbiter, 31-28, possibly OT.

 

Jazz: The late game sees the Chargers traveling to the Mile High City to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos. I really wish there was something more interesting to say about this game, but the nine point spread that Vegas is giving Denver may prove to be a bit of an understatement. San Diego limped in to this opportunity and showed a lot of guts doing so, but Manning looks like he plans on finishing up his career with another Superbowl ring on his finger and San Diego doesn’t seem to be in any position to stop him. I’ll take the Broncos to beat the spread and put the hapless Chargers out of their misery 38-17.

 

Ed: In this match-up, the two teams show similar averages on defense, but Denver has a 64-yard advantage on offense, 69 yards a game on passing.  Even with the close numbers on defense, the Broncos have the slight advantage there. They are playing at home with a week’s rest to gather their senses, while San Diego has to go on the road again after two emotional wins. They finished the season hot, winning their final four to barely squeeze into the playoffs, but it should come down to Denver’s defense and Peyton Manning’s arm. However, Manning has come up short in the playoffs before, so this isn’t a slam dunk. I’ll stick with Denver, though I think it will be closer — perhaps 31-24.

 


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Dear Patriots… thanks for last night… (takes a drag off a cigarette)

dpduq on January 12, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Niners, Broncos.

KCB on January 12, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Have to give the Saints props for not giving up last night. Obviously the weather was a huge factor. If only they had more time…

Have to give a slight edge to SF despite them being on the road. And of course I’m cheering for SD to knock off Manning and the Horsies.

Curious thing about Manning-if you check out his playoff appearances, there are a disturbing number of “one-and-dones”. I’ll talk more about that next week if he ends up facing Tom Brady.

PS, Jazz: In last night’s Patriots-Indy game, both teams got called for cheating the exact same number of times-4.

Del Dolemonte on January 12, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Panthers & Broncos.

22044 on January 12, 2014 at 12:45 PM

And I’m almost through another football weekend without having to worry about the Cowboys losing.

Feeling pretty good ’bout that.

I’m picking Brady and the Patriots to win it all in a close game with SF.

[hooking up tin-foil hat transmitter.....dialing Jerry Jones' frequency......sending message..."Romo hates you....Brady is your man..Tony 'interception' Romo or Tom "More superbowl rings than you' Brady....."]

BobMbx on January 12, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Go Chiefs.

davidk on January 12, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Go Chargers.

joecollins on January 12, 2014 at 12:54 PM

[hooking up tin-foil hat transmitter.....dialing Jerry Jones' frequency......sending message..."Romo hates you....Brady is your man..Tony 'interception' Romo or Tom "More superbowl rings than you' Brady....."]

BobMbx on January 12, 2014 at 12:47 PM

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BdxeGKZIgAEyn7J.jpg

davidk on January 12, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Why does it have to be San Diego? I’m never comfortable when Manning has to go against friggin’ San Diego.

While I like the Broncos, I just want somebody to get through at some level that can beat the Patriots, and strong enough to include the margin of fraud.

Gingotts on January 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

San Diego matches up with Denver seemingly better than any team except for maybe the Patriots. SD split the regular season with Denver and won in Denver. They also slowed Denver’s offense like no one else. Forget the stat sheet and look at how they actually played against each other. I think the Chargers take it from overhyped Peyton Manning.

Bitter Clinger on January 12, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Nice wins by Seattle and New England.

I think the San Fran and Carolina game will be another close game that either team could win but my heart tells me Cam Newton will have the better game and Carolina will be visiting Seattle next week.

Denver versus San Diego, I figure the referee’s will find a way to help Peyton win, but he does have history of gaaking up all over his shoes in big games so it wouldn’t be too surprising to see the Bolts visiting New England next week.

The NFC’s remaining QB’s are all new skewl young bucks;

Newton, Kapernik and Wilson

AFC’s remaining QB’s are all old school wily veterans;

Brady, Manning and Rivers

That will make the remaining games and especially the Superbowl that much more entertaining. Will the young bucks prevail or due experienced guys show them who’s the boss?

And Jazz, get over it will ya. Superbowl III was a long time ago but I’m sure Namath will commiserate with you over some white wine spritzers. ;-)

D-fusit on January 12, 2014 at 1:09 PM

due = do damnit!

D-fusit on January 12, 2014 at 1:13 PM

It’s gonna be a Seahawks/Broncos Superbowl. Etch it in stone.

But that was one exciting shootout of a game, even if the Patriots clearly cheated.

Cheating cheaters “NE Asterisks” should be flogged along with their fans. Often.

JetBoy on January 12, 2014 at 1:13 PM

San Diego matches up with Denver seemingly better than any team except for maybe the Patriots. SD split the regular season with Denver and won in Denver. They also slowed Denver’s offense like no one else. Forget the stat sheet and look at how they actually played against each other. I think the Chargers take it from overhyped Peyton Manning.

Bitter Clinger on January 12, 2014 at 1:08 PM

San Diego may indeed win (forgetting everything else, the fact they’ve been fighting for their playoff lives for weeks and have nothing to prove is huge), but it’s absurd to call Manning overhyped. We witnessed one of the greats put up record numbers, at 37 years old and after four neck surgeries.

changer1701 on January 12, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Why does it have to be San Diego? I’m never comfortable when Manning has to go against friggin’ San Diego.

While I like the Broncos, I just want somebody to get through at some level that can beat the Patriots, and strong enough to include the margin of fraud.

Gingotts on January 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Indeed. If the Broncos lose, I go into ‘anybody but the Patriots’ mode.

changer1701 on January 12, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Go Niners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAGonzo on January 12, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Jazz the Pats CRUSHED the Colts and aside from one accidental tripping, they just ran all over the Colts, so stop yer whining.

49ers Broncs today.

dogsoldier on January 12, 2014 at 1:43 PM

changer1701 Jan 12, 2014 1:27 PM

Whatever. I’m sick of everyone slobbering all over Manning. He’s a regular season stat ladder but a post-season choke artist.

Bitter Clinger on January 12, 2014 at 1:50 PM

*stat padder (damn autocorrect)

Bitter Clinger on January 12, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Who knew Bitter Clinger and I would ally on football. Broncos need to go down.

libfreeordie on January 12, 2014 at 2:01 PM

It’s gonna be a Seahawks/Broncos Superbowl. Etch it in stone.

But that was one exciting shootout of a game, even if the Patriots clearly cheated.

Cheating cheaters “NE Asterisks” should be flogged along with their fans. Often.

JetBoy on January 12, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Wouldn’t that be something? Time was, you would never see those two play each other outside the regular season – they were in the same division. A bit of a rivalry, too.

Jeff Weimer on January 12, 2014 at 2:25 PM

libfreeordie Jan 12, 2014 2:01 PM

I just threw up in my mouth.

Bitter Clinger on January 12, 2014 at 2:29 PM

libfreeordie on January 12, 2014 at 2:01 PM

They even troll the NFL threads? Definitely the end of America as we know it, “fundamentally transformed”.

“Don’t tread on me!”

Who is John Galt on January 12, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Niners, Broncos with the Niners going over the Broncos for the title.

njrob on January 12, 2014 at 2:58 PM

NINERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

El_Terrible on January 12, 2014 at 3:56 PM

My goodness, was worried in the 2nd quarter. Go Bolts, Go Niners!

El_Terrible on January 12, 2014 at 3:57 PM

No Cowboys, so not relevant to this universe.

paulsur on January 12, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Go Niners!!!!!

JAGonzo on January 12, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Magic 8 Ball says:

Archie Manning will get no TDs today.

SparkPlug on January 12, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Bucking Froncos got lucky 55 times this year. Pure luck.

Luckiest QB in history.

SparkPlug on January 12, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Got my game face on. Does Axe have his game bucket on?

SparkPlug on January 12, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Bucking Froncos got lucky 55 times this year. Pure luck.

Luckiest QB in history.

SparkPlug on January 12, 2014 at 4:38 PM

One lucky TD for Peyton so far… :)

GOPRanknFile on January 12, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Ramsey>The 1/12th Man

I love you, Ramsey.

Christien on January 12, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Puke. Libfree talking about going down.

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 12, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Peyton is just completely controlling this game so far, even before the ball is snapped.

GOPRanknFile on January 12, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Broncos! Seahawks! If you come from an enlightened badass land that luvs weed u the winnas!

Daikokuco on January 12, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Rats, there goes the shut-out.

rbj on January 12, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Peyton was magnificent today, and was incredibly clutch. And this despite his receivers dropping six passes.

New England at Denver should be great.

GOPRanknFile on January 12, 2014 at 7:54 PM

rbj on January 12, 2014 at 7:00 PM

They won, that’s the most important thing!!!!!!

Barred on January 12, 2014 at 7:57 PM

I’m coming to the conclusion that there’s no point to watching these games until the last 10 minutes. That’s when the scoring starts.

flataffect on January 12, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Jazz did well with the margin for the Niners game, but Ed was more accurate for the Broncos game.

GOPRanknFile on January 12, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Good games today!! Better games next weekend, especially in Seattle…

Khun Joe on January 12, 2014 at 8:21 PM

1/12th Man, 11/12 Mouse Mouth: Seattle Chickenshits ban sale of tickets to anyone from California.

Christien on January 12, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Repost from QOTD

Manning had a below-average QB rating today (93.5). Rivers had a 115+.

On the other hand, last night Tom Brady had a 78. something QB rating. But he and his team scored almost twice as many points as Manning and his team did today, in far worse weather.

(Ducks for cover behind LeGarrette Blount)

Del Dolemonte on January 12, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Del Dolemonte on January 12, 2014 at 10:14 PM

93.5 is not a below average passer rating (maybe for Peyton’s standards). Average passer rating nowadays is about an 85. To put it in context, only 8 QBs had over a 93.5 passer rating this season.

Interceptions hurt your rating quite a bit. That pick wasn’t even his fault. If that was a TD (which it should have been) instead of a pick, his passer rating would have been 117.1. Let’s not forget about the 6 dropped passes, especially a Welker one which very well could have been another TD. He played a lot better than his 93.5 rating would indicate.

GOPRanknFile on January 12, 2014 at 11:13 PM

…Go Lions!

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2014 at 1:13 AM

Number of points scored by Carolina in the second half?—-0. Number of goal-line stands by the 49ers keeping the Panthers out of the end zone? 2 The amount of time the Panthers used up on one drive and ended with two consecutive sacks, and failed to score any points? Over 8 minutes. Number of times Steve Smith was pounding his chest, (during his four catches on the day), instead of returning to the huddle so his team could continue their “drives”? 2 or 3. I lost count, but they were impressive spectacles of individual display.

Bottom line, the Forty-Niners’ defense shut out the Carolina offense cold after the Panthers scored their field goal with 3:41 left in the first half, leaving Newton and company with only 10 points for the entire game. The Niners eventually put 23 points on the board against a good Carolina defense. Late in the game, I noticed a Panther player getting into Kaepernick’s face after Kap had lost six yards on the Carolina 15 yd line, keeping the Niners from scoring another TD. All Kap did, (in retaliation), was point to the scoreboard. Classic.

Rovin on January 13, 2014 at 4:24 AM

I just want to point out that the “terrible, awful” Tebow took the Broncos this far in the playoffs too without the great team support and protection “the greatest quarterback ever”, Peyton has.

Redglen on January 13, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Redglen on January 13, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Did Tebow’s Broncos’ D give up a 70-yard TD with 30 seconds left to force the game into OT too?

GOPRanknFile on January 13, 2014 at 12:34 PM