The NFL has fined Dak 25-large. “Credit to them then.” Dak had it coming. To his “credit,” he has owned his unacceptable post-game remarks and apologized for them.
No tv announcers going to the Beijing Olympics. I’ll promise you those announcers are elated.
OK, Paul. Quit stalling…
Bengals at Titans, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Being a top seed and getting that bye is a big deal. The Bengals are about to find out how big a deal it is. Tennessee is rested, and King Henry is back on his throne. Nashville is one of the absolute best homefield, game day environments in the league, and Titan fans will be ready to rock. I’m a huge fan of The Babyface Assassin, Joe Burrow. But the day will belong to Tannehill, who will hit some vertical shots to Julio Jones and A.J. Brown. Cincy is a nice team, with a bright future. But Burrow is the most-sacked QB in the league, and he’ll spend some time tomorrow looking up at the Nashville sky. No Music City Miracle required.
Titans 34 Bengals 21
49ers at Packers, Saturday, 7:15 p.m.
The Packers and their fans have every reason to be nervous. Rodgers is 0-3 against the Niners in the playoffs, and the Packers have been physically abused in those games. (Green Bay did win the regular season game over the 49ers 30-28 back in September.) SF is fully capable of postseason punking GB again. Just ask the Cowboys. There is no guesswork required to predict the Niners’ game plan. They will run the rock, brutally. They will stay ahead of the chains, burn clock, keep A. Rod on the sideline and try not to let Jimmy G. give the game away. After starting the season strong, the Packers’ defense has really declined over the back half of the schedule. Defensively, the Niners can get pressure with their front four, without big blitzes. That will allow them to play a lot of zone on the back end and protect their shaky secondary. San Francisco allowed more “explosive” pass plays of at least 20 yards than any other defense in the league. The Cowboys should have been able to take advantage of that last week, but failed. Rodgers will need to hit some vertical shots when he has the opportunity. Unlike Dak, he will. This is a shaky pick, but….
Packers 27 Niners 24
Rams at Bucs, Sunday, 2:00 p.m.
The Rams are gonna get ’em. Total seat of the pants pick on my part, and I admit it. Too many injuries and too many distractions for the defending SB Champs. Yes, nobody gets the ball out his hands quicker than Brady does, but Aaron Donald and Von Miller are going to hit him. Cam Akers is healthy. OBJ appears to have his head on straight. Matthew (don’t call me Matt!) Stafford finally got the playoff monkey off his back.
Rams 31 Bucs 28
Bills at Chiefs, Sunday, 5:30 p.m.
The Main Event, from where I sit. Holy moly! Can you imagine a better divisional pairing? A better venue? Two more exciting teams? Two more exciting QBs? A better coaching chess match? This will be a game of “runs,” like a fast-breaking NBA matchup. The Bills’ offense literally played the most flawless game in NFL playoff history last week, scoring TDs on its first seven possessions before kneeling down to end the game and the Patriots’ season. The Chiefs’ O got off to a slow start against the Steelers, but then floored it like a top-fuel dragster. Both defenses will make big plays. There will be turnovers. The Bills will commit the last one. If this game were in Buffalo I would see it differently. But it’s not.
Chiefs 31 Bills 30