Tony’s Picks: Playoffs

 48 replies

Tony tells you where to put your money for this week’s NFL games.

Last week: 10-6

Overall: 173-98-1

This week: 6-0

Wildcard Round

Bengals over Raiders

This seems like an easy game for the Bengals. They beat the Raiders by 19 when they played each other in the regular season, and the Raiders are coming off a grueling Sunday Night Football game against the Chargers that went deep into overtime and now have to play on a Saturday. And on top of that it will be outside in the cold, a situation where Carr has historically struggled.

So, yes, all of that points are why I’m picking the Bengals. But the Raiders were actually pretty close in that regular season game. It was a 16-13 game in the 4th quarter until the Raiders started turning over the ball. So there is some sort of something the Raiders can point to for optimism.

Bills over Patriots

Can you imagine how hyped the Bills would be if this game had happened a couple years ago when the Patriots were still at their peak? Now that they’re back-to-back division champs it won’t be quite as exciting, but I’m sure they’ll still be more than happy to knock the Patriots out of the playoffs.

The Bills should win this game. Ignoring the wind game, in their other matchup the Bills didn’t punt a single time and forced multiple Jones interceptions. In the playoffs the better quarterback usually wins, and the Bills definitely have the better quarterback.

The one issue is the Patriots’ run game. Usually I don’t care about the run, but in this case the Patriots have shown they’re able to do so consistently against Buffalo. In the first matchup the Patriots were able to average a very solid 4.8 yards per run despite not even pretending like they wanted to pass. And in the second game they did even better averaging a Jamaal Charles level 5.5 yards per carry. If Jones can get out of their way that could be the Patriots’ key to victory.

Buccaneers over Eagles

Tampa Bay is a big favorite over Philadelphia, and I can understand why. The Bucs have as good of a resume as anybody while the Eagles have mostly feasted on bottom dwellers (they have no wins over playoff teams). But, while it’s true Tampa Bay will probably win, I think the Eagles have a better chance than people think.

In their game earlier in the season the Eagles were killed by Antonio Brown, allowing 9 catches for 93 yards to him. Chris Godwin also did some damage with 43 yards. Neither of those guys will be on the field this time around, meaning the Brady will need to replace nearly have of his passing yards from that game.

If the Eagles can contain Mike Evans and Gronk they have a good chance of pulling the upset.

Cowboys over 49ers

I thought I was going to be clever in saying this is a game that’s on upset alert, but it turns out a lot of people are actually picking the 49ers to win. I won’t go that far, I still think Dallas is more likely than not to come out on top, but the 49ers do look decent on paper.

The 49ers may only be 10-7, but those wins include a sweep of the Rams and wins over playoff teams in the Eagles and Bengals. Those wins are more impressive than what the Cowboys have, as their only wins over playoff teams are their two victories over the Eagles plus a win over the Patriots.

But when picking games it’s usually best to go with the better quarterback, and there is no question who the better quarterback is in this matchup.

Chiefs over Steelers

The Chiefs are favored, by a lot. But Pittsburgh is a sneaky team. They were 5-5 when underdogs this season, and 4-2-1 when favored, suggesting that they aren’t quite as bad as Vegas thinks.

But most of those games weren’t like this. Of those 10 games, only one of them were they underdogs by more than a touchdown. The one exception? The game against the Chiefs where they were also 12.5 point underdogs and got blown out.

It’s always dangerous to be overly confident, but it’s hard to see how the Steelers can win. Mahomes has destroyed them every time he’s faced them, and our defense is god at stopping the very think the Steelers like to do.

Rams over Cardinals

The Cardinals, after beating the 49ers to get to 9-1, looked dominant and like they were the best team in the NFL. But ever since they’ve gone 2-5, including terrible losses to the Lions, Colts, and Seahawks. Like a reverse version of the Chiefs, Arizona just isn’t as good as they were early in the season.

Stafford may be overrated, but he and the Rams are good enough that he should be able to get his first playoff win.

Divisional Round

Cowboys over Buccaneers

Tampa Bay won a close game in the first meeting, but since then have lost two of their top receivers. This game is close, but I give the Cowboys a slight edge.

Packers over Rams

While the Rams aren’t that far off from the Packers, Green Bay has many advantages in this game. Not only do they have extra rest, Los Angeles will be coming off a short week due to the Monday Night Football playoff game. The Rams, who play in a dome in Los Angeles, will also be forced to travel to cold and windy Green Bay.

Add on my go-to quarterback comparison (always go with Rodgers unless he’s playing Mahomes), and the Packers are a straight forward choice.

Titans over Bengals

If the Chiefs reach the AFC Championship Game, and the Titans do not, Kansas City will be the first city to host a conference championship game 4 years in a row. While the Titans aren’t all that strong and are certainly capable of losing, I do think they’re a bit better than the Bengals on average, so unfortunately Nashville will most likely be the next host of the AFC Championship game.

Chiefs over Bills

Normally I’d be very confident that the Chiefs would win this game, as they’re clearly better than the Bills. But that early season game gives me pause. Yes, the Chiefs have made some very real adjustments and are a better team for it, but I’m a big believer in history and that game wasn’t even close.

I’ll still go with the good guys, but I’m not as confident as I should be.

Conference Championship

Packers over Cowboys

The Cowboys having playoff success is an NFL fan’s worst nightmare. The media and their bandwagon fans will be insufferable if they even make it this far.

By the way, how do they still have a bandwagon fanbase? The last time they even made it past the divisional round was 1995. Shouldn’t the bandwagon have moved on by now?

Chiefs over Titans

Another game that I’d normally be comfortable with, but the previous result makes me nervous. But beyond that the Titans have shown flashes of being a legit elite team even beyond that game. Normally I’d say the only team that can beat the Chiefs is the Chiefs, but I do think the Titans are capable of putting together a good enough game to win even if the Chiefs don’t beat themselves.

That being said, when you have Mahomes against Tannehill it’s foolish to go against Mahomes.

Super Bowl

Chiefs over Packers

The only other team besides the Titans who can legitimately say they’re on the same level as the Chiefs, except they do it much more consistently.

If you believe the NFL fixes games then this is the Super Bowl that will happen. The NFL has been desperate for a Mahomes-Rodgers game for years now, and every time they’ve been thwarted. First by Mahomes’ fluke knee injury, then by Rodgers getting covid and the Packers losing in the NFC Championship last year. If Goodell found a magic genie he’d be wishing for a Mahomes-Rodgers Super Bowl before the genie finished the first verse of the introduction song number.

 
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zulu trader
zulu trader
01/13/2022 5:17 pm
upamtn
Reply to  zulu trader
01/13/2022 6:28 pm

just now saw … poor guy, never stood a chance

3rdnlong
Reply to  upamtn
01/13/2022 11:06 pm

He’s the Romeo Crennel of Houston. That is, if Romeo Crennel hadn’t also coached in Houston.

NovaChiefs
Reply to  3rdnlong
01/14/2022 9:21 am

And if RAC had been any good as a HC

NovaChiefs
Reply to  upamtn
01/14/2022 9:22 am

They had “differences”. He wanted to win, they wanted to rake in the money.

NovaChiefs
01/13/2022 5:08 pm

Just looking about this week I concur.
Because I am a life long Chiefs fan, I hold a healthy amount of worry in my heart about this game.
The Jags beat the Colts
The Texans beat the Chargers AND the Titans
And the Bucs did a fine job adjusting to us while we expected more of the same from them.
Learn from history, guys. Please don’t take this lightly until you’re up 35-0.

Last edited 5 months ago by NovaChiefs
MasterChief
MasterChief
Reply to  NovaChiefs
01/13/2022 5:52 pm

Agreed. A 5 score lead is when the butterflies go away for me.

zulu trader
zulu trader
01/13/2022 4:31 pm

From your lips . . .

gonzangkc11
gonzangkc11
01/13/2022 3:04 pm

CHIEFS win this Sunday, only team that matters 🙂 xoxoxo lol lol

upamtn
01/13/2022 2:13 pm

for 6 teams this weekend …

Somebody is gonna hurt someone
Before the night is through
Somebody is gonna come undone
It’s nothin’ we can do

There’s gonna be a heartache tonight
A heartache tonight I know
There’s gonna be a heartache tonight
A heartache tonight I know

gonzangkc11
gonzangkc11
Reply to  upamtn
01/13/2022 3:09 pm

great tune!

probablyamistake
probablyamistake
01/13/2022 1:22 pm

Well boys, things have gotten serious. All I gotta say to the remaining teams and their fans….

comment image

upamtn
Reply to  probablyamistake
01/13/2022 1:28 pm

LOL

KCChef
KCChef
Reply to  probablyamistake
01/13/2022 2:50 pm

Kyrsten Sinnema ? … ‘Zat You ? … ; )

river
river
01/13/2022 1:04 pm

Be zero at kickoff in buffalo I think that benefits the pats and they win
49’ers hot and go with them

upamtn
Reply to  river
01/13/2022 1:19 pm

zero? as in degrees? I think I’ll pass on going to THAT game …

Tyrone
Reply to  upamtn
01/13/2022 3:02 pm

Also average IQ of Bills Mafia

river
river
Reply to  upamtn
01/13/2022 5:07 pm

That’s what I heard from a fan on the radio this morning. It could be wrong

Budahmon
Budahmon
01/13/2022 11:55 am

Disagree with the Eagles pick. I am 50-50 here. The Eagles can run against that Defense. Earlier this year Tampa jumped out big, but the Eagles manhandled them and put up quite a fight. At 3 minute mark in the 4th it was 28-22 and Tampa had a 3rd and long which they converted. The Eagles, with that IOL, can play keep away and frustrate Brady.

MasterChief
MasterChief
Reply to  Tony Sommer
01/13/2022 1:08 pm

I’d be happy about that.

upamtn
Reply to  MasterChief
01/13/2022 1:20 pm

you and a whole lotta other peoples

3rdnlong
Reply to  upamtn
01/13/2022 11:07 pm

A lot of them Philly fans. And Chiefs fans still hurting from last year.

DenverDonkeyHater
DenverDonkeyHater
Reply to  Budahmon
01/13/2022 1:14 pm

Eagles havent beaten a single playoff team this year. I think this is a building block year for them. I think they get blown out in this game.

I hope Im wrong.

Last edited 5 months ago by DenverDonkeyHater
upamtn
Reply to  DenverDonkeyHater
01/13/2022 1:21 pm

agreed, I also hope you’re wrong

yeah, Eagles just aren’t quite “there” yet … wherever “there” is

DenverDonkeyHater
DenverDonkeyHater
01/13/2022 11:50 am

I really want to pick the Raiders over the Bungals. Just not sure Carr can play at all in the cold.

river
river
Reply to  DenverDonkeyHater
01/13/2022 1:05 pm

Realistic upset possibility

NovaChiefs
Reply to  river
01/13/2022 5:02 pm

Not in the cold. Has he ever won below 35 degrees?

upamtn
Reply to  DenverDonkeyHater
01/13/2022 1:22 pm

you want to WHAT?!?

(head explodes)

[insert “Fuck the Raiders” by Zulu here]

DenverDonkeyHater
DenverDonkeyHater
Reply to  upamtn
01/13/2022 1:28 pm

Well I didnt say I wanted them to win unless of course the Pats win in which case. Go Raiders.

I was talking who I thought would win. Raiders are on a roll. Carr for all his faults is a veteran guy. Burrow is not. Nor is the Bungals coach. Bassacia is obviously not an experienced HC either so probably even in the HC department. Bengals have a tendency to turn the ball over. If the raiders can get Burrow off his game, I think they win.

upamtn
Reply to  DenverDonkeyHater
01/13/2022 1:33 pm

valid points

I dunno … if I’m like most peeps, i go with “the Best QB Meme” and that’s Burrow hands down, and let’s face it: the Raiders and their coaches have no playoff experience whatsoever (except last game against Chargers was their play-in game, not to mention a win in Arrowhead a year ago and well-earned Victory Lap, but I digress)

On the road in Cincy, I just think it’s all uphill for Vegas and can’t see ’em stopping Burrow and his gang

upamtn
Reply to  DenverDonkeyHater
01/13/2022 1:34 pm

oh, and I could care less you picked the Raiders … was just surprised … I simply don’t think they have what it takes, we’ll see this weekend

DenverDonkeyHater
DenverDonkeyHater
Reply to  upamtn
01/13/2022 1:41 pm

Theyve beaten a few playoff teams this year. Down the stretch theyve beaten a bunch of just missed playoff teams. Hell even the donkeys when they played them still had a shot at the playoffs. To be fair theyve also lost to some of the worst teams in the league.

They seem like a team with something to prove. The bungals seem like a team on their high horse after beating us.

Just dont trust Carr.

ArrowFan
ArrowFan
01/13/2022 11:39 am

I don’t disagree with your picks. As much as I would like Cinn. to have to come to Arrowhead I doubt it will happen. But the Pats Bills game could go either way as it will be the third time they have played and Bellacheat could pull an upset.

DenverDonkeyHater
DenverDonkeyHater
Reply to  ArrowFan
01/13/2022 11:49 am

Just feels like Bellicheat is going to figure out a way. I would say this is a defining game for him. Can he win without Brady?

upamtn
Reply to  DenverDonkeyHater
01/13/2022 1:25 pm

he got a team with a raw rookie QB to where they are … yes, he CAN win w/o Brady

if you’re asking “can he win big games and playoff games and go to the Super Bowl w/o Brady” the answer is … we shall see, he ain’t goin’ to the SB but he MIGHT just get his team past the Bills (depends on which Bills team shows up)

upamtn
01/13/2022 10:41 am

for BRaG … it’s SCIENCE!

Jurassic ‘discovery of a lifetime’ — a sea dragon — unearthed in dried-up British reservoir

https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2022/01/13/uk-sea-dragon-ichthyosaur-fossil/4821642072198/

hoosierchief
Reply to  upamtn
01/13/2022 11:57 am

maybe thats the new mascot and name for the Washington team. Notice I didn’t say football, because they don’t seem to play much of that.

DenverDonkeyHater
DenverDonkeyHater
Reply to  hoosierchief
01/13/2022 12:19 pm

I thought they were going to be the Admirals

Nasrani
Nasrani
Reply to  DenverDonkeyHater
01/13/2022 1:07 pm
Last edited 5 months ago by Nasrani
MasterChief
MasterChief
Reply to  DenverDonkeyHater
01/13/2022 1:10 pm

Yes Sir! They are.

upamtn
Reply to  hoosierchief
01/13/2022 1:27 pm

or maybe when the NFL expands to England …

The London Ichthyosaurs

Nasrani
Nasrani
Reply to  upamtn
01/13/2022 2:36 pm

There may yet be such a team one day.

upamtn
01/13/2022 10:34 am

save your gambling money and instead place it on a REAL winner …

‘Puppy Bowl XVIII’ to feature 118 adoptable dogs

https://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2022/01/13/Puppy-Bowl-XVIII-dogs-Sesame-Street-Super-Bowl/8621642087618/

upamtn
Reply to  Tony Sommer
01/13/2022 1:29 pm
DenverDonkeyHater
DenverDonkeyHater
Reply to  upamtn
01/13/2022 1:33 pm
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