Quick Reaction to the NFL Divisional Round Playoffs

Back again for another week of NFL coverage. We are winding down to the end of the season, and the thought of going through the remainder of my Audit busy season without football is quite depressing. Not really sure what I’ll be doing on weekends after the Super Bowl, but I’m certain it won’t be anything as fun as watching football.

As for these playoffs, the past two weeks have been a blast to cover, and the divisional round left us with a couple surprises. I don’t think anybody predicted the Titans making the Super Bowl, but here they are, one game away from the big stage.

Alright, let’s get into these matchups.

Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The first game of the weekend was the Niners against the Vikings, and this game was a pure disappointment to say the least. It got off to a hot start with both teams scoring on their first drives. Kirk Cousins had a nice touchdown dime, once again showing how elite he can be. And I think he targeted Diggs early just so Stefon wouldn’t throw his helmet again. The game started to slow down a bit in the second quarter. Both teams have pretty good defenses, so I didn’t expect this game to be a shootout by any means. But I did expect more from Kirk Cousins and the Vikings. The Niners did a great job bottling up Dalvin Cook, who had been so great all season. He finished with just 18 yards on nine carries, and I’m no ESPN analyst, but I’d say that’s not very good.

I just knew that at some point, the panic was going to set in for Captain Kirk. The trio of Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, and DeForest Buckner was just too much for him to handle. The Niners sacked Kirk five times, and things really went to shit for Minnesota in the second half. I don’t know the stats behind this, but a team that scores zero points in the second half usually won’t win the football game. I’m just assuming that scoring no points is correlated with losing. Maybe not though.

The Niners have been bullying other teams with their great run offense and incredible defense all season. And Saturday was no different. Richard Sherman even had an interception, so you know he had to talk about it a lot after the game. But yeah, the Niners are cooking right now, and I expect them to kick Green Bay’s ass next week. We’ll see though.

It’s Derrick Henry’s world and we’re all just living in it. Tractorcito had another dominant performance on Sunday, and the Titans shocked a lot of people with their win against Baltimore. Props to Tennessee and how they came up swinging in the first half. As much as I want to rag on Tannehill for replacing Mariota, I have to give him some credit for Saturday’s win. He made some big throws in the first half, and although he has only combined for 160 yards in two playoff games, he’s just enough of a passing threat for defenses to think that the ball might actually be going to someone besides Derrick Henry.

I think the Titans have found their perfect system, and it goes to show that you really don’t need an elite QB to win football games. Just look at the Niners with Jimmy G. As long as your defense is solid, and you can run the ball effectively, you are in pretty good shape to win a game. (The Broncos with Peyton is another good example). The Titans also just have the luxury of having a 6’3”, 240 pound running back who can run a 4.5 second 40 yard dash. And he can also throw jump passes??

Cito finished the game with 195 yards rushing and a passing touchdown. My only critique is that he should have hit Mariota on that pass play. He’ll learn though.

The Titans play the Chiefs next Sunday, and they’ll have to play at this slow pace if they want to stop Mahomes and Big Red.

As for the Ravens, I was upset to see all the Lamar Jackson slander on twitter. All of the confederate flag owners came out from the shadows and were typing away, saying all that they could about this year’s MVP. And that’s how we do it in America. We build people up just so we can eventually tear them down when things go south. Just look at Chris Brown.

But when it comes to Lamar, first off, the dude is 23, and he just had one of the most unique seasons that we’ve ever seen. My man had 43 total touchdowns, and over 1000 yards rushing as a Quarterback. The Ravens couldn’t get it done on Sunday, and sure Lamar could have played better. But I will not sit here and listen to people hating on a man who works as hard as he does and is as good of a person as he is. If you want to slander Aaron Rodgers then be my guest. Anyway, I think the Ravens have a bright future and you know Lamar will be fueled by this playoff loss.

With the Ravens now out of the playoffs, people are calling the Chiefs the new AFC favorite. We’ll see what the Titans have to say about that.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The Texans / Chiefs game had probably the craziest first half I have ever seen in a football game. Just about everything went wrong for the Chiefs in the first quarter, and I imagine Andy Reid was playing out all of the scenarios in his head of how he’d be getting fired. After a series of poor special teams plays, Kansas City went down 24 – 0 in the first, and after the Titans had just upset the Ravens, I think every sports fan was like, “what the hell is happening.” I didn’t get a chance to watch this game, but I was shocked like everyone else when I checked the score again at half time to see that the Chiefs had come back to take the lead at half.

And it was a complete slaughter in the second half. Mahomes was rolling and he made it look like he was playing in the Big 12 again. The reigning MVP finished with over 300 yards and five TDs. Business as usual for Kermit. The Chiefs were the first team in NFL history to win a playoff game by 20 points after previously losing in the same game by 20 points.

I could not imagine being a Texans fan right now. You have that small glimmer of hope where I’m sure everyone was like, “holy shit look what we’re doing to the Chiefs” and then within a quarter you watch the entire lead slip away. I’m guessing there was no motivational speech from Bill O’Brian at half time. What do you even tell your guys after blowing a 24 point lead in less than a quarter? The Texans had no answer for Mahomes, as I’m sure Houston had grown accustomed to playing a Josh Allen type QB who will just beat himself for you. Not the case with perfect Pat.

The Texans have a stud in Deshaun Watson, but they’re going to need to beef up their defense if they want to take it up a notch next season. J.J. Watt screaming on the sidelines won’t be enough unfortunately.

I hate to say it, but Aaron Rodgers deserves a ton of credit for Sunday’s win. Terrible body language and all, A-Rodg made the throws he needed to and it helps when you have a top receiver in Tae Adams. 160 yards and two receiving touchdowns isn’t a bad day, and as much as people want to go with the narrative that Rodgers doesn’t have enough help, he’s got some damn good offensive weapons by his side.

What upsets me the most about Seattle losing is the fact that we won’t get the Seahawks vs Niners NFC Championship matchup. I think the Seahawks would have been a much bigger threat the Niners too. Now we’ll watch the Packers try to piece together a game against San Fran, after we saw them get absolutely dominated earlier in the season.

As for Seattle, I don’t know what the deal is with Marshawn Lynch, or what the future holds for him in the NFL. He’s still as reliable as ever on the goal line, as we saw with his pair of touchdowns on Sunday. I really think Pete Carroll is just trying to rectify his poor decision making from the 2015 Super Bowl.

I don’t know what Marshawn’s plan is now, but I do know that he gave us an all time quote in his post game press conference. Lynch had some advice for young players in the league, saying “take care y’all bodies, take care y’all chicken, take care y’all mentals.” Pretty sound advice if you ask me. And he better trademark the “Take care y’all chicken” phrase before Popeyes or KFC try to turn that into an ad.

All in all, next weekend should hopefully have two exciting matchups. And if the Chiefs and Packers win their respective games, we know that this whole playoffs has been rigged by State Farm.