Football Outsiders
Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis

Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Your weekend viewing plans (all times Eastern): SATURDAY: Indianapolis at Houston, 4:35 p.m.; Seattle at Dallas, 8:15 p.m. SUNDAY: L.A. Chargers at Baltimore, 1:05 p.m.; Philadelphia at Chicago, 4:40 p.m. Win or go home. Use this thread to discuss them all.


249 comments, Last at 21 Feb 2019, 7:57pm

1 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Picks are in:

IND@HOU: this is an even match-up but I'll go with the experienced good QB + better coach (or coach who still hadn't the chance to show his mediocrity on the PO). COLTS

SEA@DAL: I think Seattle is a better overall team and I'll add the same reasoning as above. SEAHAWKS

PHI@CHI: Winter Foles is not getting hot on the road. BEARS

LACH@BAL: another even match-up. I'll go with the home team, but I wouldn't bet any money on this. RAVENS.

6 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I watch betting trends and pick trends. Cowboys opened at -2.5. Early on public betting heavily (70%) on SEA lowered spread to -1. Pickwatch split was about 70:30 SEA. Trend completely reversed the last two days. Betting is now even, spread back to 2.5 and Pickwatch at 55% SEA. All 3 other match ups stable after opening two days.

Wonder if injuries or other info has surfaced that might affect the SEA - DAL game?

My picks: IND by 7; SEA by 7; LAC by 2; CHI by 7.

8 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Deshaun Watson now has the opportunity to show Bill O'Brien why he should have been the week one starting quarterback in 2017.

Ind 38 Hou 35

Sea 27 Dal 24

Lac 20 Bal 19

Chi 24 Phi 14

87 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

"Deshaun Watson now has the opportunity to show Bill O'Brien why he should have been the week one starting quarterback in 2017."

I think Tom Savage did quite enough to show that. Yesterday's game doesn't really change my mind. Watson did the best he could with a bottom 5 offensive line and a gimpy WR1 (supplemented by a bunch of practice squad pass catchers). I still think his future is bright.

10 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Ok, here would be my picks:
Texans over Colts. (Probably wrong, but I'm going with it anyway)
Seahawks over Cowboys.
Chargers over Ravens (But just barely, might as well throw 1 or 2 Phillip Rivers picks countered by the same amount of Lamar Jackson fumbles)
Bears over Eagles.

14 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

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85 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Both games had the visitors up by 14 and with possession at the end of the quarter, so it seems pretty close to me. Jaguars had the ball in their own territory at the end of the quarter, while the Colts were again in opposing territory at that point, so I guess last night may have been slightly worse.

21 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Unfortunately, yes.

Pats v. Ravens 2010 comes to mind.

First play: 83 yard TD by Ray Rice

second play on offense, fumble leads to quick Raven TD.

third drive: INT leads to Raven TD

fourth drive: INT leads to Raven FG.

Down 24-0 by end of Q1.
2nd worst Patriot playoff game I've ever seen.

54 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

The Jets-Bills 81 season wild card game was about as bad for the Jets as that Pats game; fumble returned for touchdown on opening kickoff, long scores, down 24-0 by the end of the first quarter. The Jets did almost comeback, losing by 4 with an interception while driving for the go ahead score. The Dolphins beat that the next week, turning 24-0 at first quarter end into 24-17 at halftime, with the hook and ladder touchdown play. The 81 playoffs were really fun.

23 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Well, not the absolute worst, but they didn't look all that impressive starting out 1-5, with their sole victory over the Redskins.

They gave up 117 points in three games to lose to the Texans, Pats, and Jets!

OTOH, they've been kicking butt and taking names the last three months.

80 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

This really illuminates my suspicion that many of the historically great run defense DVOAs in recent years are in good measure attributable to the fact that so few offenses emphasize running the ball. The supposedly great Texans run defense comes against an oline that does just that, and the Texans run defense gets curbstomped.

28 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Colts individual units all seem to be doing their jobs. OL. WRs, RBs, D top to bottom. Hard to top it. I pray they don’t collapse.

31 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

What’s the review of one of my favorite punching bags in the booth, Jason Witten?
I think he’s actually done well today. Amazing.

32 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Witten has improved considerably over the course of the season IMO.He still struggles to get his point across smoothly, and his overall tone is bland, but you can tell he understands the game. The less said about the rest of this crew the better.

35 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I haven't been paying close attention since halftime, but thought he's been terrible as usual. The biggest thing that stands out to me is waiting until the Texans failed on their 4th down try at the end of the half to start criticising the decision to go for it, even though it was clearly the right call (would it make any difference if it was 21-3 right now?).

The bit about how momentum is soo important, followed immediately about how Watson can lead the Texans back (despite the all-important momentum he was just on about), was also bad.

34 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Seems as though Hopkins is playing hurt, and the rest of Houston's receivers are scrubs. I'd like to have seen Watson use his legs a little more (especially on the 4th downs), but the receiver injuries, combined with the poor blocking, are really too much for him to overcome. A shame.

33 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Haven't watched alot of Texan's games this year, but I know at least in his rookie year Watson made a living off a big plays and the Colts seem to be doing a good job keeping everything in front while leaving a spy to keep him from taking off. The lack of a slot receiver or a tight end to work the underneath or seam combined with some great tackling seems to have killed the Texans offense.