It’s my favorite weekend of the sports calendar. NFL Divisional round. Four playoff games, eight teams, each of which is thoroughly convinced it is going to win the Super
Seven of them will be wrong.
As the late John Madden used to say, I love the “finality” of it all.
It’s like four country songs. Four teams this weekend are going to lose their (pick one):
So, it’s appropriate that the first of the quartet of games is in Nashville, right?
Love me some Burrow, but I can’t see the Titans losing. Rested. Healthy. King Henry is back on his throne. And Tannehill is woefully underappreciated. He is a good NFL quarterback, and he was glowing hot down the stretch of the regular season. Too much A.J. Brown. Too much Julio, who can still take you down by the schoolyard and embarrass you. Too much Tennessee pass rush.
Tonight, I don’t know how to break it to you. But it’s going to be cold at Lambeau. No joke, single-digit cold. No big deal to Rodgers. Potentially a very big deal for Jimmy G. This will be by a wide margin the coldest game of his NFL career thus far. He actually is a very tough guy, but that biting cold is not going to help a guy with a torn ligament in his throwing thumb and a sprained throwing shoulder.
But, not so fast. The Niners are just nasty. Nasty. Violent. Dripping ‘tude. Physical. And they have owned the Packers in the playoffs. SF will approach this one the same way it attacked the Cowboys. Run it. Run it some more. Stop the run. Get pressure with four. Play zone on the back end. Keep Adams in front of you, and be in position to corral Rodgers when he pulls it down and takes off.
By the way, Bosa is good to go.
And if this comes down to a field goal, who do you trust more right now? Mason Crosby or Robbie Gould?
Obviously, a huge part of me wants to pick the Niners. But I can’t.
Sunday’s games? We’ll reconvene in this space Sunday morning.
Wow. Big Harbaugh fired Don “Wink” Martindale as the Ravens’ D.C. I didn’t see that coming.
And I’m still trying to sort out the NFL’s new testing protocol. No more daily testing for unvaxxed players. Tests available anytime for players (vaxxed or unvaxxed) who display or report symptoms. Players who test positive will have to isolate for at least five days and then be cleared by a doctor before returning to the team. The NFL and the NFLPA say this new policy brings the league in line with current recommendations and “best practices.”
Finally, whoda thunk that Steph Curry’s buzzer beater last night to beat the Rockets was the first walk-off winning shot of his NBA career?