NWelcome back to Bagels & Locks! This week, we tackle NFL Championship Weekend picks.
Why is the line in the Niners-Packers 7? To me the difference between the two teams in infinitesimal. They both finished 13-3 and neither one of them had dominating performances in the first round of the playoffs.
The Niners won 27-10, but it was against a Vikings team that nothing left in the tank after an epic victory the week before on the road against the Saints. The big question about the Niners heading into the post season was how would QB Jimmy Garropolo hold up under the bright lights of the playoffs? Well, Jimmy GQ went 11 for 19 for 131 with a TD and a bad pick… that is a stat line that doesn’t answer questions, it raises more.
Over at Lambeau, the Pack were able to hold on and beat the Seattle Road Warriors (OK Seahawks, but they were some tough Birds on the road this year) in a spirited battle. The Pack raced out early and held on late with white-knuckle drive that allowed them to run out the clock. Aaron Rodgers completed two monster 3rd down passes that let them keep the ball in their hands and out of Russell Wilson’s. Most coaches with most QBs would have run the ball into the line and watch the clock click away without taking the chance of stopping it with an incomplete, but Rodgers and Coach Matt LaFleur threw the dice and came up winners.
So as we head into Sunday’s NFL Championship game which one of these QBs would you rather ride with? Obviously Mister Safe Driving Discount. If you give me the better QB and the points in big games I won’t win every time, but I guarantee that I’m not going to end up in the poor house.
THE PICK: PACKERS +7
I’m usually a pretty logical guy when it comes to the numbers on a game and I can be flexible in my picking. I can start looking at a game with a strong feeling to one side, but after doing my homework and seeing the numbers I can be very amenable to switching the side I’m backing.
Andy Reid is 1-5 in NFL championship games. Andy Reid is 1-8 lifetime against the Tennessee Titans.
The Kansas City Chiefs have won 7 games in a row and the last game they lost was to the Tennessee Titans.
The way to beat the Kansas City Chiefs is to run the ball and keep their offense on the bench, in the Titans win Derrick Henry ran for 188 yards and 2 big TDs.
Teams getting 7+ points in the playoffs cover 57% of the time.
All of the ingredients that I usually put into the soup to come up with a pick point to me taking the Tennessee Titans. Yet I am picking the Chiefs in this game and I think it’s going to be a blowout.
Why You Should Be Weary of the Titans
I love Mike Vrabel and I made good money on the Titans last week in their not so shocking win over the Ravens, but I do believe both of their playoff wins shine a little brighter than the actual should.
First, the Pats were an awful team the second half of the season and terrible offensive team the entire season. They had the Dolphins at home to clinch a bye and home field, and couldn’t beat them. A win over them is no giant feather in your cap (this year).
You don’t want to play your worst game of the year in your biggest game and that’s exactly what Lamar and the Ravens did last Saturday Night. They were awful, they were -3 in the turnover battle, missed on two big 4th down conversions (statistically very similar to fumbles) and Lamar’s throws reminded of a Trump press conference (they could go anywhere). The Titans still played a really-really good, smart football game, but it was more Ravens ineptitude than the Titans being titanic that factored into the upset.
And long as we’re throwing shade on the Titans, let’s throw a little on their victory over the Chiefs earlier this year. The game was Patrick Mahomes’ first one back off of his injury, the game was in Tennessee not KC, the Chiefs outgained the Titans by 179 yards and quite shockingly dominated time of possession by 38-22, the Titans needed a last-second 4th down TD to pull out the game and the Chiefs still would have won if their kicking team hadn’t screwed up two field goals.
Enough shade on the Titans, the real reason I’m betting on KC is that they are by far the best team left in the tourney.
Their offense is unstoppable. They ravaged the Texans scoring on seven straight TD drives, an NFL postseason record. They have too many weapons that create mis-matches all over the field. It’s impossible to “match-up”, no one has enough freakish athletes to cover all the possibilities that Mahomes and his Mahomies put out on the field. They are going to score points and lots of them.
Arrowhead’s gonna to be rockin’, the tomahawk’s gonna be choppin’, and the Chiefs are going back to the Super Bowl since the days of Hank Stram, Lenny Dawson and Otis Taylor with an emphatic blowout over the Titans in this NFL Championship game.