Pick Potential

Pick Potential

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  2024 NFL divisional-round playoff picks schedule Bills beat Chiefs in thriller Lions roll (46 อ่าน)

20 มี.ค. 2567 12:16

When it comes to my picks for the wild-card round, I didn't have a great week, but I also didn't choke as hard as the did, so I'm not going to get too down on myself.I went 3-3 straight-up, which wasn't ideal, but I slightly canceled that out by going 4-2 against the spread. I was clearly overthinking things last week, which I can't afford to do this week because the key to picking games in the divisional round is to not overthink anything, Of course, that could be a problem for me because, as we learned last week, I overthink everything. I mean, I still think about the ending of "Titanic" and I haven't seen that movie in 19 years. DID ROSE DIE OR WAS IT A DREAM!? That's my Roman Empire. I can't stop thinking about it.The reason you don't want to overthink things in the divisional round is because the home team usually dominates. Over the past 10 years, home teams have gone 29-11. That means we're getting an average of roughly one upset per year, which means I should probably pick at least one upset this week. On the other hand, maybe I shouldn't stick with what history tells me to do because history also told me that first-time playoff quarterbacks are usually horrible and that the seventh-seed never wins in the playoffs, but both of those things turned out to be wrong in the wild-card round.I literally just told myself not to overthink my picks this week and here we are, one paragraph later, and I'm already overthinking them. So will I actually pick any upsets this week? Let's get to the picks and find out. Actually, before we get to the picks, here's a quick reminder that you can check out the weekly picks from. If you click over, you'll notice that CBS Sports guru Ryan Wilson dominated us all by going 5-1 both straight-up and against the spread during the wild-card round. Wilson had the worst picks during the regular season, but of course he showed up for the playoffs. He's basically the opposite of the Cowboys.Alright, let's get to the picks.Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN)Houston, we officially have a problem and that's the fact that I once again mi sed ANOTHER pick involving the . This is turning into the equivalent of the Joe DiMaggio hitting streak, except if DiMaggio had struck out 56 straight times. I picked the Texans to lose to the in the wild-card round and as you probably noticed, they definitely didn't lose. That means I'm now 4-14 on the season picking Houston's games, but I know Texans fans already know how bad my record is, because they remind me of it every week. 4-14, OUCH. Mac MacKenzie (@MacMacKenzie32) I've been trying to figure out what to compare this streak to and I can only think of one thing: Have you ever been so hungover that you swear you're never going to drink again, but then you drink again that night? Not only does that describe my final two years in college, but it also describes me and the Texans right now. Every time I pick against them, I tell myself that I'm never going to do it again, but then I do it again. I picked against them in Week 18 Enrique Hernandez Jersey (and they won), I picked against them last week (and they won), and now, I'm going into another game with thoughts of picking against them. I know what you're thinking and yes, if I'm going to pick against them, this definitely seems like the week to do it because they're a 9.5-POINT underdog to the . Let me tell you one thing, though, that point spread means nothing to me, because if there's one team in the playoffs that I'm never confident in picking to win, it's the Baltimore Ravens. They're the Cowboys of the AFC.I'll be honest, besides the Cowboys and , there's no team in the NFL that I have le s faith in to win a playoff game than the Ravens. Since took over the starting job, the Ravens have gone 1-3 in the playoffs and they were favored to win in two of those three lo ses. For whatever reason, the Ravens offense has basically no-showed in their four playoff games with Jackson: They've averaged just 13 points per game in his four starts.I keep telling myself, there's no way that can happen again this season, but the more I think about it, the more I think it's at least po sible. Jackson's three playoff lo ses have come to three smart defensive coaches who were able to expose weakne ses in the Ravens' offense (Former Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, former coach Mike Vrabel, coach Sean McDermott). If you look at Baltimore's 2023 season, they went 13-4 with all four lo ses coming against smart defensive coaches (Mike Tomlin x 2, Browns DC Jim Schwartz and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, yes, the same Bradley who designed the perfect defense to beat the Ravens in the 2018 wild-card round). I don't think any of this is a coincidence. If you have a head coach who used to be a defensive coordinator and you're going against someone as electrifying as Lamar Jackson, it becomes a personal challenge to slow him down. A defensive-minded coach is likely also going to be much more involved with the game-plan on defense than an offensive-minded coach. Texans coach spent two years as the defensive coordinator, including a 2022 season where the 49ers gave up the fewest yards and fewest points in the league.The easiest way to win in the playoffs is to come up with a game plan that your opponent doesn't see coming and one that exposes their flaws and Ryans can absolutely do that with the Ravens. Of course, even if the Texans figure out a way to slow down Jackson -- I don't think they'll shut him down completely -- they'll still need a big game from , who will be going up against one of the best defenses in football.The Texans played 10 games this season against teams that finished the year with a winning record and they went 7-3. In those games, Stroud averaged over 300 yards pa sing while also throwing 21 touchdowns compared to just two interceptions. Stroud has e sentially been at his best against good teams. Yes, one of those three lo ses did come to the Ravens, but that was back in Week 1 in a game where Stroud was making the first start of Mike Piazza Jersey his career. Although the final score ended up being 25-9, it's worth nothing that the score was only 7-6 with 10 minutes left to play in the third quarter.The Texans have never made it to a conference title game, they've never won a road playoff game and I never pick their games correctly, so this seems like a good time for all three of those streaks to end.The pick:Texans 23-20 over RavensRecord picking Texans games this season:4-14 (Worst record picking any team)Record picking Ravens games this season:8-9 Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (Fox)This will mark the third time in five seasons that these two teams have faced each other in the playoffs, although I'm gue sing that fans probably don't remember the first two games because they've spent the past four years talking to a therapist who has helped them repre s those memories along with all memories of ' final season with the team (The 49ers won both games).For the second straight week, the Packers are a huge underdog and for the second straight week they'll be facing a head coach that they're very familiar with. Last week, it was Mike McCarthy. This week, it's Kyle Shanahan, who is very close friends with Packers coach Matt LaFleur. The two spent a total of six seasons together at two different stops (Washington from 2010-13 and Atlanta in 2015 and 2016) and each guy is very familiar with the football philosophy of the other guy. When the Packers beat the Cowboys last week, the biggest surprise to me wasn't how well the Green Bay offense played (I predicted a shootout), it was that their defense actually looked good. The Packers absolutely shut down the Cowboys offense, which is somewhat surprising when you consider that this same defense gave up 30 points to the in Week 16.Although the Packers were able to shut down the Cowboys last week, I don't think we'll be seeing that again this week. For one, the Cowboys were basically a one-dimensional offense: They weren't very good at running the ball, which means if you were able to fluster , you could slow them down. The 49ers definitely are NOT one-dimensional.The 49ers had the third-most rushing yards in the NFL this season (mostly thanks to ) and the fourth-most pa sing yards. There is no easy way to stop this offense. If the Packers defense has one huge weakne s, it's stopping the run It's a weakne s the Cowboys weren't built to take advantage of, but the 49ers are. The Packers gave up the fifth-most rushing yards in the NFL during the regular-season, and now, they have to go up against Christian McCaffrey, who led the league in rushing yards this year (McCaffrey finished with 1,459 yards in a season where no other running back even had 1,200). This feels like a game where the 49ers are going to be able to move the ball at will, so the only question is whether the Packers are going to be able to keep up.When you look at Green Bay's offense, LaFleur definitely stole some concepts from Shanahan and the 49ers usually seem to be well aware of that. When these two teams play, it sometimes feels like the 49ers are so familiar with Green Bay's offense that the 49ers defense knows what the Packers are going to do before the Packers know what they're going to do. That might explain why the Packers are 0-2 in the playoffs against the 49ers while scoring just 15 points per game in those two lo ses. has been one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL over the past nine weeks with 21 touchdowns compared to just one interception since Week 11 and if he keeps playing like that, the Packers could certainly pull off an upset. I feel like Love can turn this game into a shootout, but I'm going to have to roll with the team that has won five straight playoff games at home. The pick:49ers 34-27 over PackersRecord picking Packers games this season:9-9Record picking 49ers games this season:11-6Sunday, 3 p.m. ET (NBC)The most famous movie ever set in Detroit is definitely "Robocop," which is kind of fitting this week, because that movie is about a guy who gets a second chance and this game is going to feature two quarterbacks who are both making the most of a second chance (And just so we're all on the same page: Getting shot and almost killed and then getting turned into a robot police officer counts as a second chance, right? Right. Glad we cleared that up).On one side, we have quarterback , who was selected by the with the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, but they David Freese Jersey decided they didn't want him, so they traded him away to Detroit. On the other side, we have quarterback , who was selected by the Browns with the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but they decided they didn't want him, so they traded him to a spot where QB careers go to die (Carolina). Both quarterbacks were vindicated over the weekend: Goff got revenge on his old team by beating the Rams and Mayfield has now advanced farther in the playoffs this year than the Browns, who got beat down in the wild-card round.One of these two quarterbacks will be playing in the NFC Championship game and I'm starting to think it's going to be Goff. The problem for the Buccaneers is that they gave up the fourth-most pa sing yards in the NFL during the regular season. That didn't really hurt them in the wild-card round, because they were facing an team that couldn't take advantage of that because they forgot how to play football at some point in December. This week, though, they'll be facing a Lions team that averaged the second-most pa sing yards in the NFL this year.Goff averaged 269.1 yards per game on the season, which was second in league behind only . Goff was even better at home, where he averaged 280 yards per game. He also threw 19 of his 30 TD pa ses at Ford Field. I think what I'm trying to say here is I feel like the Lions are going to light up the scoreboard and I have a hard time seeing the Buccaneers keep up.Since the start of the era in 1966, the Lions have NEVER won two playoff games in the same postseason, but after watching them end their 32-year drought without a playoff win, it's starting to feel like they're going to be ending a few droughts this year.If the Lions win this game, the city of Detroit might need to put Robocop on duty just to make sure things don't get out of hand while the city celebrates.The pick:Lions 31-17 over BuccaneersRecord picking Buccaneers games this season: 10-8Record picking Lions games this season:11-7Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)It took two years, but we're finally getting a playoff rematch between the Bills and . The last time we saw these two teams on the same field together during the postseason came back in January 2022 when the Chiefs took exactly 13 seconds to send the entire Bills fan based into a deep depre sion.And you know what? I don Logan Forsythe Jersey 't have anything to do right now, so let's go ahead and re-live that entire thing by watching a full 10-minute segment on it from NFL Films. The craziest 2 minutes (and 13 seconds) in NFL history. Relive the game before the rematch NFL Films (@NFLFilms) Sorry, I made you re-live that Bills fans, but it was for the best. You need to overcome your fear of facing the Chiefs in the playoffs. You have to overcome your greatest fear or it will turn to anger, which will lead to hate and suffering. At least that's what Yoda said in one of the "Star Wars' movies. I have no idea if that's actually true. Fear is the path to the dark side!! Divine Fitne s (@Divine_Fitne s_) The crazy thing about these two teams is that the Bills have actually beaten the Chiefs pretty regularly, but no one remembers those wins, because they always happen in the regular season. The Bills have won three straight regular season game against Kansas City, but they've lost two straight playoff games to the Chiefs.So is this finally going to be the year where they get over the hump?Ever since the 13-second game, it seems like the Bills have been building their roster with one purpose only: To beat the Chiefs.Everything the Chiefs do well, the Bills are built to neutralize it. When it comes to stopping the pa s, the Chiefs defense surrendered the fourth-fewest yards in the NFL this year and a big reason for that is because they racked up 57 sacks, which was the second-highest total in the league. The problem there for Kansas City is that is good at avoiding sacks, he can run if he has to and he thrives when he's forced to go off-script.Although the Chiefs have been good at stopping the pa s, they've struggled to stop the run this year, which could be an i sue considering the Bills ranked in the top-eight in the NFL in rushing yards this year. This Bills offense is built to move the ball on the Chiefs defense.Of course, if the Bills are going to win, they're going to have to figure out a way to slow down . The Chiefs are 1-3 this year when Mahomes is sacked at least three times, which means if Buffalo can ramp up the pre sure, they can fluster Mahomes and when his accuracy is off, their entire offense falls apart. The Chiefs went 2-6 this year when Mahomes completed le s than 65% of his pa ses.Another layer of drama here is that this will be the first true ROAD game of Mahomes' career.The past five meetings between these two teams have been played in Kansas City, but this one is being played in Buffalo and I think that's going to be the difference. In a city where the fans jump off snow drifts on to flaming tables, they might set the entire stadium on fire if the Bills win. GO BILLS Mark (@marKUSguetta) Please don't set your stadium on fire, Bills fans, because you might need it to host the AFC Championship, at least if my Texans-Ravens prediction turns out to also be true.The pick:Bills 27-24 over ChiefsRecord picking Chiefs games this season:13-5Record picking Bills games this season:15-3Best pick: Last week, I said that there was no way a team from Florida was going to win a game that was being played in sub-zero temperatures and that ended up being about the only thing I was definitely right about during the wild-card round. People in Florida only own one coat, they never spend any time in temperatures below 63 degrees and snow is a myth to them. You can't win if snow is a myth to you. got so cold in the game that going back to Florida wasn't even good enough to warm him up. Instead, he's going to Cancun. Jammed my ahh to Cancun Ty Hill (@cheetah) Max Muncy Jersey I'm gue sing he'll be spending at least the next 11 weeks there, because that's how long it takes to thaw off after playing in sub-zero temperatures.Worst pick: I picked the Cowboys to win last week, which was easily the dumbest thing I've done all month. Anyone who has ever watched the Cowboys play a single game in the postseason knew there was a 500% chance they were going to blow this game. There is no team better at choking in the playoffs than the Cowboys and I clearly didn't take that into account when making my pick.Mike McCarthy always melts down in the playoffs, but you can't blame him for the lo ses, because Dak Prescott is usually worse. Dak had a meltdown against the Packers, but I don't even feel comfortable calling it a meltdown, because that's too much of an understatement. The word hasn't been invented yet for how badly Dak played, but it's roughly 417 notches worse than meltdown. Worst playoff record by QB -- History (minimum 5 starts)Dak Prescott -- 2-5Alex Smith -- 2-5Billy Kilmer -- 2-5 Jeff Kerr (@JeffKerrCBS) Dak has the WORST record in NFL history of any QB with at least five playoff starts, and yup, I still picked him to win. The twist here is that Lamar Jackson will be at the top of this list by the end of next week if he loses to the Texans, which is why I had to pick the Texans. I will no longer be supporting quarterbacks to win in the playoffs if they've proven to me that they can't win in the playoffs.Picks recordStraight up in wild-card round:3-3SU overall in playoffs:3-3Against the spread in wild-card round:4-2ATS overall in playoffs:4-2Final 2023 regular season recordStraight-up:164-108Against the spread:137-125-10

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