NFL wild-card weekend Saturday open thread

posted at 2:31 pm on January 9, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Ed: Throw out the record books — we’re now into the NFL post-season, and we have the Saturday games to prove it! Anything can happen now, sort of like, oh … the Eagles asking permission to interview 69-year-old former Giants coach Tom Coughlin. But before we throw out the record books, let’s take a last look at the books for the 2015 regular season. I went 6-1 in the final week, only missing the Vikes’ upset of the Packers, to take my final season record to 81-38 for a 0.681 prediction percentage. Not bad for a man who spent the first few weeks of the season on the road, eh? (I even called the final score on the Denver-San Diego game.)

Jazz: Football? What is this “football” of which you speak? Once the Jets managed to blow what should have been a sure ticket to the playoffs I took up watching curling on the internet again. As far as last week goes, even with my team collapsing and a couple of bonehead long shots that didn’t come though, I still managed to go 4-3, bringing my regular season total to 60-58, barely finishing above the .500 mark as I’d hoped. Considering it took me 14 weeks to come close to a fifty fifty record I suppose I’ll lick my wounds and call it a Better Than Completely Sucking Season. The good news is that the Jets fired their special teams coach (again) which was the only weak spot in a team which otherwise was near the top of the league on both sides of the ball. Who knows? Clean up that mess a bit and we could actually be in the post-season next year. A 10-6 record is nothing to sneeze at. Anyway, I’ll be rooting for the Steelers from here on out.

Ed: The first game up today will be the Kansas City Chiefs at the Houston Texans (4:20 pm ET, ESPN/ABC). After a 1-5 start, the Chiefs ran the table, coming within an ace of taking their division. The Texans have a three-game winning streak on the line as opposed to a ten-game streak, but those three games were against pretty weak talent. The two teams match up well, but the KC offense scores four more points a game on average and gives up almost two points fewer a game on defense. The Chiefs win by a touchdown on the road, 24-17.

Jazz: I lack Ed’s confidence that this game is going to be as close or exciting as it might otherwise have been. The Texans have put up a scrappy fight to get into the playoffs, but it’s been hit and miss for them. Kansas City has a ten game winning streak against several arguably stronger opponents for a reason. Alex Smith is the better quarterback, and while Houston’s defense has been very strong, it won’t be enough to do the job here. Kansas City wins with a dominant performance, 27-14.

Ed: Then we come to the big enchilada — an AFC North division rivalry taken to the playoffs between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals (8:15 pm ET, CBS). The question will be which Steelers team shows up in Cincinnati … the explosive offense and nimble defense that blew out opponents in the second half, or the interception-throwing, burned-secondary version that blew a winnable and critical game in Baltimore? The Steelers don’t have DeAngelo Williams, but the Bengals still don’t have Andy Dalton. A. J. McCarron will make his first post-season start tonight, while Ben Roethlisberger has lots of experience in these tough situations. That’s why the Steelers go into this game as slight favorites, and I’ll go with that as well, even though Pittsburgh’s lucky to be here at all. Steelers 31-24 over the Bengals.

Jazz: The Bengals haven’t won a post-season game since 1990 and some may see that as a curse. It all comes down to the defenses in this game, though and Cincinnati showed Pittsburgh some new looks in week 8. Plus, you get the sense that after so many years of being known as The Bungles, these guys just want it more. The backup quarterback situation is a worry, but I somehow don’t think Big Ben will be gaining a lot of ground either. I’ll be rooting for the Steelers, but for purposes of the competition here between Ed and me I have to keep it interesting and go with where the numbers lead. I’ll take Cincinnati in a battle of the D’s, 17-13.


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Comments

The Colts couldnt even beat the Texans two weeks ago. Chiefs game would be here in Indy if they had. *groan*……

Indiana Jim on January 9, 2016 at 2:42 PM

Steelers? Pfftttt! Seahawks all the way, baby!

HiJack on January 9, 2016 at 2:42 PM

Aren’t all of the Jets’ coaches “special” coaches as they are a “special” team?

I’ve got no rooting interests today.

FCS championship game today. And now it’s fumble, interception, interception.

rbj on January 9, 2016 at 2:44 PM

I’m still trying to figure out how the hapless Vikes ended up in the playoffs

BigSven on January 9, 2016 at 2:48 PM

I’m still trying to figure out how the hapless Vikes ended up in the playoffs

BigSven on January 9, 2016 at 2:48 PM

Just a guess here, but I believe they beat out the other team in their division.

HiJack on January 9, 2016 at 2:59 PM

Go Lions!!!

(getting an early start on the ’16 season and beating Flange to the punch)

307wolverine on January 9, 2016 at 3:01 PM

Go Hawks!

0 degrees In an open stadium? Nice venue NFL. Maybe next year the Dolphins can play the Cowboys in the Antarctic.

WitchDoctor on January 9, 2016 at 3:12 PM

And the Pats are looking “deflated” going in to next week. So this weekend is just a way to mark time. Medical miracles will make next weekend watchable. And the Ponies are a target. Shredded soon enough.

Glenn555 on January 9, 2016 at 3:17 PM

Go Chiefs.

IDontCair on January 9, 2016 at 3:17 PM

Go Lions!!!

(getting an early start on the ’16 season and beating Flange to the punch)

307wolverine on January 9, 2016 at 3:01 PM

…Bishop!

JugEarsButtHurt on January 9, 2016 at 3:20 PM

307wolverine on January 9, 2016 at 3:01 PM

Next year’s the year. Go Lions!

Flange on January 9, 2016 at 3:24 PM

Jazz you should change your allegiance to the Winnipeg Jets.

RickB on January 9, 2016 at 3:27 PM

Bengals over the Steelers. I predict (as I do every week, and am often right) Adam “Pacman” Jones will bust a long kickoff return, and assault a player on the opposite team. We’ll see 3 unsportsmanlike conduct calls, minimum. Sprains, concussions, and broken bones. Count on it. For someone who doesn’t watch much football, this is the most exciting game in a long time. There will be a large bowl of popcorn.

LashRambo on January 9, 2016 at 3:31 PM

Go Hawks!

0 degrees In an open stadium? Nice venue NFL. Maybe next year the Dolphins can play the Cowboys in the Antarctic.

WitchDoctor on January 9, 2016 at 3:12 PM

Most areas in Antarctic are above zero.

http://www.wunderground.com/weather-forecast/Antarctica.html?

IDontCair on January 9, 2016 at 3:37 PM

Go Oilers! Go Seahawks!

portlandon on January 9, 2016 at 3:38 PM

Adam “Pacman” Jones will bust a long kickoff return, and assault a player on the opposite team. We’ll see 3 unsportsmanlike conduct calls, minimum. Sprains, concussions, and broken bones. Count on it. For someone who doesn’t watch much football, this is the most exciting game in a long time. There will be a large bowl of popcorn.

LashRambo on January 9, 2016 at 3:31 PM

and then make it rain at the local strip joint.

RickB on January 9, 2016 at 3:42 PM

Hang in there, Newt!

TarheelBen on January 9, 2016 at 4:08 PM

Congrats Hot Air!

Which of the following do you consider to be the best blog?

Althouse
The Corner
Moonbattery
Newsbusters
The Other McCain
Power Line
Redstate
Vox Popoli
3) Legal Insurrection
2) Ace of Spades HQ
1) Hot Air

IDontCair on January 9, 2016 at 4:08 PM

Link. http://rightwingnews.com/special/2015websiteawards/

IDontCair on January 9, 2016 at 4:09 PM

Well that didn’t take long.

rbj on January 9, 2016 at 4:37 PM

I just turned on the Chiefs game.

What?

IDontCair on January 9, 2016 at 4:40 PM

And the Pats are looking “deflated” going in to next week. So this weekend is just a way to mark time. Medical miracles will make next weekend watchable. And the Ponies are a target. Shredded soon enough.

Glenn555 on January 9, 2016 at 3:17 PM

I saw film of Tom Brady at Friday’s practice. He’s already fully recovered from his ankle injury. And another week of rest can only help.

Del Dolemonte on January 9, 2016 at 5:08 PM

Kudos to the New Orleans Saints for wisely deciding to keep Sean Payton as their head coach.

They obviously looked around and easily concluded that there are hardly any coaches of that caliber to begin with, and most of them are going absolutely nowhere (see Coach Belicheat and Jon Gruden, who was mentioned briefly yesterday as a possible candidate for the Philadelphia coaching vacancy. Gruden’s rumor lasted about 15 minutes).

Del Dolemonte on January 9, 2016 at 5:12 PM

STEELERS!

leader4hru on January 9, 2016 at 5:27 PM

Aren’t all of the Jets’ coaches “special” coaches as they are a “special” team?

rbj on January 9, 2016 at 2:44 PM

As I like to say…making fun of the Jets is like booing at the special olympics.

JetBoy on January 9, 2016 at 5:32 PM

Interception Bowl!

rbj on January 9, 2016 at 5:51 PM

I don’t know nuthin but I think Houston needs to yank that QB.

Brat on January 9, 2016 at 5:54 PM

KC gets a Special teams TD and four turnovers, yet ONLY leads 13-0 at the half? WTF is up with that? Why does Houston even have a snowball’s chance and not down by at least 30?

307wolverine on January 9, 2016 at 6:11 PM

The Texans are going to rely on Weedon?

rbj on January 9, 2016 at 6:55 PM

Maybe they should have gone to Weedon. 5 turnovers?

rbj on January 9, 2016 at 7:19 PM

Texans = Jeb!

rbj on January 9, 2016 at 7:32 PM

Texans = Jeb!

rbj on January 9, 2016 at 7:32 PM

…The team would have to be called the Houston Mexicans!

JugEarsButtHurt on January 9, 2016 at 8:21 PM

…The team would have to be called the Houston Mexicans!

JugEarsButtHurt on January 9, 2016 at 8:21 PM

It would definitely be an act of love.

307wolverine on January 9, 2016 at 8:30 PM

Four fvckin’ interceptions (shoulda been 6) and a fumble by Dead Arm Hoyer. What a sorry excuse for a QB. Maybe with the Texans losing 30 zip, they’ll wake up and trade for a good backup who could be a starter next year. No way to get someone in the draft as low we will be in the pecking order because of “winning” our division, the low assed AFC South.

Did I mention that we need a new coach? O’brien’s no NFL head coach. Go back to College, Billy Boy.

TXUS on January 9, 2016 at 9:34 PM

Scumbags Cincinnati fans.

frost_ on January 9, 2016 at 10:53 PM

Scumbags Cincinnati fans.

frost_ on January 9, 2016 at 10:53 PM

Yeah, throwing sh!t at a player as he’s being wheeled out on a stretcher cart is a real class act. Whether it was Ben or not, such a low-life crowd.

TXUS on January 9, 2016 at 11:07 PM

It looks like Green jumped too early, and he still caught it.

bmmg39 on January 9, 2016 at 11:31 PM

It looks like Green jumped too early, and he still caught it.

bmmg39 on January 9, 2016 at 11:31 PM

He’s quite an athlete. Now the Bengals just fumbled. It goes on and on.

LashRambo on January 9, 2016 at 11:38 PM

Holy cow, after that hit I thought the pit player was knocked out. Went down like a sack of cement. Cincinnati is making their own luck.

WitchDoctor on January 9, 2016 at 11:53 PM

Bye bye filthy Bengals.

Brat on January 9, 2016 at 11:56 PM

Dumbest thing ever.

bmmg39 on January 9, 2016 at 11:58 PM

Bengals nfl version of BLM. Lol!!!

Indiana Jim on January 10, 2016 at 12:00 AM

GHWB was prez last time ben-gals won a playoff game….

Indiana Jim on January 10, 2016 at 12:02 AM

1990 FOREVER

frost_ on January 10, 2016 at 12:07 AM

If obama had two grown sons, theyd look and act like burfect and jones……

Indiana Jim on January 10, 2016 at 12:16 AM

On NFL Network right now, Deion Sanders is arguing that Burfect was trying to make a clean play, but the receiver’s head then lowered. I’m not sure.

bmmg39 on January 10, 2016 at 12:23 AM

If obama had two grown sons, theyd look and act like burfect and jones……

Indiana Jim on January 10, 2016 at 12:16 AM

Our strengths are also our weaknesses. We wouldn’t have gotten there without them, and we couldn’t go further with them. What a screwup. This was their moment, and it’s gone. Buh bye.

LashRambo on January 10, 2016 at 12:32 AM

Four fvckin’ interceptions (shoulda been 6) and a fumble by Dead Arm Hoyer. What a sorry excuse for a QB. Maybe with the Texans losing 30 zip, they’ll wake up and trade for a good backup who could be a starter next year. No way to get someone in the draft as low we will be in the pecking order because of “winning” our division, the low assed AFC South.

Did I mention that we need a new coach? O’brien’s no NFL head coach. Go back to College, Billy Boy.

TXUS on January 9, 2016 at 9:34 PM

Cleveland can always send them Johnny Football.

RickB on January 10, 2016 at 12:37 AM

Did Pacman hit a ref or a Steeler coach on the field?

goatweed on January 10, 2016 at 1:13 AM

Cincinnati: Classy with their Big Ben Rape alerts, and with losers like Jones and Burfict.

Burfict screwed ASU with his untimely and incessant penalties – and his play tonight shows he still hasn’t learned. This guy isn’t going to live long beyond his NFL years.

Hill60 on January 10, 2016 at 1:14 AM

Living in the Valley I saw plenty of Burfict at ASU. He has not changed. He left school early for the NFL because ASU didn’t want him anymore because he was too much of a problem.

The Notorious G.O.P on January 10, 2016 at 1:59 AM

Did Pacman hit a ref or a Steeler coach on the field?

goatweed on January 10, 2016 at 1:13 AM

For pushing Joey Porter during Antonio Brown’s injury timeout.

You can watch him cry about it here or listen to his philosophical take of the situation on his Instagram here.

frost_ on January 10, 2016 at 2:25 AM

When a player single handedly, via personal fouls, looses a game, he needs to be looking for a new job next year. I was rooting for the Steelers, but had seen the writing on the wall. Big Ben was making progress but was running out of time. Then it was handed to them.

TfromV on January 10, 2016 at 6:32 AM

The Bengals–snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

I just heard my Sunday Cincinnati Enquirer being delivered. I grew up elsewhere, so I have little invested in the Bengals. But I’m interested to see Mike Brown’s reaction to last night’s game. The Brown family has no problem keeping Marvin Lewis, though he can’t win a playoff game, as long as the team makes them money. But the Brown family couldn’t enjoy listening to Nantz and Simms criticizing the team’s conduct and the fans’ conduct near the end of the game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Burfict and Jones gone very soon. Beyond that, it seems Lewis is too much of a doormat to deal with players like Burfict and Jones.

Although it could have been worse, last night’s game seemed to illustrate much of what’s wrong with inner-city black culture–a lot of thuggish play coupled with an absolute unwillingness to yield to authority. Nantz and Simms were right: it was a disgrace.

BuckeyeSam on January 10, 2016 at 8:21 AM

NFL Network right now, Deion Sanders is arguing that Burfect was trying to make a clean play, but the receiver’s head then lowered. I’m not sure.

bmmg39 on January 10, 2016 at 12:23 AM

I like Sanders but on this, he’s crazy.

CWforFreedom on January 10, 2016 at 9:02 AM

LashRambo on January 9, 2016 at 3:31 PM

Almost a perfect prediction, however, that last unsportsmanlike conduct call gave the game to the Steelers. It was a popcorn worthy game.

PrettyD_Vicious on January 10, 2016 at 9:36 AM

For pushing Joey Porter during Antonio Brown’s injury timeout.

You can watch him cry about it here or listen to his philosophical take of the situation on his Instagram here.

frost_ on January 10, 2016 at 2:25 AM

Cincinnati has decided that having a team full of unhinged, out of control ghetto thugs is edgy. Good for them.

Jaibones on January 10, 2016 at 9:55 AM

Jaibones on January 10, 2016 at 9:55 AM

Ha ha ha. This has to be one of the all-time playoff meltdowns in the history of sport.

And looking at the video again, Pacman pushed through a ref to get to Porter and that is why he was flagged.

frost_ on January 10, 2016 at 10:21 AM

Scumbags Cincinnati fans.

frost_ on January 9, 2016 at 10:53 PM
Yeah, throwing sh!t at a player as he’s being wheeled out on a stretcher cart is a real class act. Whether it was Ben or not, such a low-life crowd.

TXUS on January 9, 2016 at 11:07 PM

…was Kasich at the game?

JugEarsButtHurt on January 10, 2016 at 10:23 AM

Jailbones. Lol!! The bengals make the raiders look like a den of webelos. :-D

Indiana Jim on January 10, 2016 at 10:27 AM

Once the Jets managed to blow what should have been a sure ticket to the playoffs I took up watching curling on the internet again.

Ha ha ha, Jazz.

Rex has managed to keep the Jets out of the playoffs for five seasons in a row now.

I’m so happy the Bills kicked the Jets’ asses last weekend, especially after your lame-ass Cruz ethanol post last week.

Pain Train on January 10, 2016 at 12:34 PM

LashRambo on January 9, 2016 at 3:31 PM

Heh.

Pain Train on January 10, 2016 at 12:38 PM

I like Sanders but on this, he’s crazy.

CWforFreedom on January 10, 2016 at 9:02 AM

Feel the Bern.

Wait, what?

Pain Train on January 10, 2016 at 1:11 PM

I like Sanders but on this, he’s crazy.

CWforFreedom on January 10, 2016 at 9:02 AM

I saw that interview, and there was a Steelers player who basically said, “it’s the rule,” but in his opinion it shouldn’t be a foul, because it’s not so easy to get out the way in that situation.

I saw the play and it was not so obvious that it was a deliberate dirty hit. The receiver did duck his head down, which may have intensified the collision.

JannyMae on January 10, 2016 at 1:24 PM