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Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Wild-Card Open Game Discussion
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

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.

3 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Texans 20, Colts 24
Seahawks 20, Cowboys 23
Ravens 16, Chargers 20
Bears 20 Eagles 17

Wouldn't bet on any of these games.

4 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Colts 24, Texans 20
Cowboys 26, Seahawks 23 (OT)
Ravens 24, Chargers 20
Bears 24, Eagles 16

GO BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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.

7 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I also would not bet on these games. OK, maybe Bears to win. But they all are likely to turn on funny bounces and turnovers.

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.

13 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Here are my picks Raiderjoe style:

Clots - 30, Taxens - 21
Shithawks - 24, Cobos - 20
Chargees - 20, Raves - 16
Breads - 22, Eags - 13

14 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

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15 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

"Something about NRG stadium brings out the best in TY Hilton," says the commentator. The terrible opposing secondary, maybe?

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.

19 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

What idiot thought the Colts were the worst NFL team at any point in 2018? All subjective power rankings are worthless.

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.

45 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Like I said, not the absolute worst. But a 1-5 start is pretty bad. They literally had the worst record in the NFL at the time.
Yes, the Cards and Bills had much worse offenses. But they also were playing defense better than Indy.

51 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

The Bills have been out of the running for that title for essentially the entire second half of the season. As mentioned in the latest DVOA ratings, they were only slightly below average beginning in Week 10.

24 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Texans don't look like a playoff team here. Also: Reich is seriously outcoaching the Texans' staff.

25 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

That sound you just heard is people all across America turning off their televisions. Except in Indiana.

27 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

That was awesome and pretty accurate.

This game, for “clots” fans, is almost as good as having the OL highlighted in Word of Muth this week.
Okay. It’s better, but close.
It’s been a good year, mostly, for the horseshoe.

53 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

"They will not be running the ball effectively. At all. The Texans have one of the best rush defense DVOAs of all time."

FO analysis is almost always spot on. But sometimes it's beautiful when it's somehow wrong.

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.

30 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Is the Texans' pass rush totally asleep? Or is the Colts O-Line THAT good? (Just check. 4.4% ASR. Looks pretty good alright)

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.

39 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

That's a touchback

ETA: wow, that's as close as that John Stones clearance out of the goal the other day

37 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

If this TD becomes a touchback, that is the most horrible thing if you're a Houston fan looking for hope.

47 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

That was clearly a TD. Ball crossed the plane before it hit the ground. Didn't come lose until it hit the ground.

Having said that, if I were the coach, I would flagellate any player who did the "extend-and-fumble" move at the goal line. It's a great was to lose possession. And, really, what's the downside of having the ball at the 1 yard line?

41 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I'm late to the predictions thread but I won't cheat, I was picking the Texans.
Chargers. (or is that Chargees?) Love ya Raiderjoe :)

43 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Haven't been paying much attention but Watson seems to feel phantom pressure a good bit leading to bad throws.

Luck on the other hand has been so solid in the face of legitimate pressure.

Stoked to see Deshaun with a chance to do his thing in the final 5 minutes.

50 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Hold on tight, KC!
Here come the Colts!

(But really, the Chiefs should be able to handle the Colts.)

(Not that "should be" has meant much for the Chiefs in recent years.)

81 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I haven't looked at the money line, but it isn't hard to envision the Colts offense (man, is it ever great to see Luck playing behind a good line) pulling off an upset by never getting off the field. Of course, if the Chiefs score tds on their first two possessions, the task become much more difficult, but you could do worse in shopping for a road upset than excellent blocking and quarterbacking against a bad defense.

83 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

This is true. What I can't get a gauge on from the last two weeks is the strength of the Colts defense, and whether they will be able to slow the Chiefs in any meaningful way. Shutting down Blaine Gabbert in week 17 was obviously meaningless, and once it became evident yesterday that Hopkins was in no way healthy, Houston had nothing to offer beyond some Watson scrambling.

Keeping the Chiefs off the field will undoubtedly help, but not giving up multiple massive plays to this offense is still a huge challenge.

52 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

If the Texans had held on against the Eagles two weeks ago they would've been hosting a game in the Divisional round. Instead they are blown out and eliminated a whole week earlier.

Anyway, this result is good for the Chiefs and bad for the Patriots. Ravens and Chargers are both considerably better than the Texans. Colts are better too but I would still put them behind LA and Baltimore.

78 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

But, by looking at long-term scenarios and from Pats' perspective, the Colts are a nice road team (better than Ravens, and you can't trust the Chargers to have a clean PO game) to put an high-score upset in KC and let NE hosting the AFCCG. And I can't see the Pats winning in KC this year.

Yeah, I know there still a divisional before, but that's currently Belichick's problem. :)

55 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Pretty much I see SEA struggling immensely against DAL as it is just a horrible matchup. That said Wilson should be good for 17 points or so.

Dallas could very well completely implode but really if they just take what is there then I think they will win at home.

56 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Red Zone defense already stepping up as expected. Dallas really poor in the red zone, Seattle exceptionally good in the red zone.

57 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

3rd and 2 seems like the perfect time to go play action with Davis or Carson. Don't get that empty backfield.

62 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

And Lockett makes an amazing catch to maintain the perfect Wilson to Lockett passer rating. 158.3
They're Nadia baby.

64 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Even if Seattle hangs on to win this one, it's hard to see them having very good chances going forward without a FG kicker.

65 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

There are a lot more guys who are good at play-by-play than there are good "color" announcers, yet Fox has a terrible color guy paired with a terrible pbp guy. I think Aikman has been having a relatively good year, compared to his usual suckitude, but Buck has been horrible too.

"Prescott keeps it," Buck informs us, as the QB is clearly on a designed bootleg as he's throwing the ball…

69 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I'd probably put Aikman as more slightly below average (I mean there are a lot of bad color guys), but Buck is possibly the worst play-by-play guy in football, and then he's even worse at baseball. And yet he somehow remains Fox's top broadcaster for some reason. It's baffling.

66 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Good God, Seattle’s offense is awful. Whoever came up with this game plan should be fired immediately.

68 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Seattle has been second best all day and is lucky to be this close. If they manage a stop here they still have some hope left though.

71 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Well, that game was just frustrating to watch if you were cheering for the Seahawks. Terrible offense from Seattle.

76 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Absolutely hilarious way to cover a 2.5 point spread: have your kicker get injured early on so when you get a meaningless TD in garbage time you have to go for two to make it 24-22 instead of 24-21. Funniest and most unlikely win I’ve had for my limited betting career

153 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I think going for two makes more sense there anyway. If you miss, you can still go for a TD to win. Make it and a FG lets you escape with a win in a game you had no business winning. Plus, if you are down two and the other team scores a quick TD and misses the XP, you can tie the game with a TD and two point conversion. You're unlikely to win the game anyway, so you might as well go for broke.

79 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

so far what I got from sat games:
a) Watson is totally innacurate...he'll win games in reg season, then when pressured or
even without it, he's a liability to that team
b) if you can stop Seattle's run game, they are toast...RW is great guy but can't carry a team
(needs run game and great D to make it)...hey even Trent Dilfer won a SB
c) Dak & the boys will lose next game (Dak holds onto the ball too long)...doesn't see field well
d) Colts are good this year & possibly great next year...Luck(y) benefited greatly wi/HC..he
used to call on his genes & be like his dad (Oliver) & tuck 'n run too quickly but now is
efficient QB-possible SB pick next year & even this year!

91 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

a) Watson is not, and probably never will be the most accurate QB. But the overall package of extreme elusiveness and arm strength still makes him a very dangerous opponent. Last night Hopkins was playing through a serious knee injury, and they were already down to practice squad players at the other receiver positions because of injury. The offensive line has been bad all season long. It was too much for almost any QB in history to overcome. Labeling him a liability is ridiculous.

b) If you can stop Seattle's run game and they continue to relentlessly run the ball anyway then yes, they are toast. There is no defense for Seattle's gameplan, and refusal to adjust yesterday. Wilson has shown many times he can turn it loose and win games on his own. Mentioning him in the same sentence as Trent Dilfer is beyond nonsensical.

c) Agree that the Dallas offense is not good enough in terms of personnel or coaching to win a road game in January with any degree of likelihood. Barring a truly exceptional defensive effort, or random opponent meltdown, they will lose next week.

d) The Colts coaching staff/FO deserve credit, but they have also been lucky that Andrew Luck appears to have almost fully regained his physical prowess, which for a long time appeared very unlikely. Luck also won multiple playoff games under Chuck Pagano, so whilst Reich has undoubtedly done a good job thus far, I'm not ready to hail him as the next coming of Belichick just yet.

229 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Watson insights will prove out (to my way of thinking)-give it time. Yes he's dangerous, but
50/50 dangerous in a good way/bad way, doesn't bode well for the overall arch of success.
BTW I threw in Dilfer because a fair QB that doesn't turn it over & a unbelievable defense can do it-Wilson apparently
needs that type of D (and hfa-home field advantage)...its shown (over time) to be true
Cowboys will lose next week, they have better personel (you don't think so but I do) but they'll lose...Dak
is/was a good college QB & he still is
Its pretty hard to see someone compare Pagano to Reich..night and day. Anyone worth their salt, in
NFL knowledge should be able to see that, even at this early stage. Most do. They are my SB pick for
next year. You see I *saw* Luck's father play in the NFL (ducked 'n ran WAY too much)....his son played
much the same for years, but now he's just a real NFL QB...pre-reads, stays in pocket & slides/vs run, goes
thru progressions, gets rid of ball is approx. 2-3 seconds (not 5-6 like Dak/Watson/Wilson et al), looks off safety.....
those qualities have proven time 'n time and TIME again, to be what a QB needs to get to (and win) the SB...yes there
are exceptions to the rule but 95% of time, its the proven path.

82 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

And what I learned from your comments (especially the first two) is that coming to conclusions on players and teams based on single games, rather than entire seasons or careers, is just maybe not the best method. Russell Wilson is Trent Dilfer? LOL. Wilson is probably on a HOF track.

88 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Echoing what the posters above said, I'm having hard time seeing how you're blaming Russell Wilson for this loss. He averaged over 8 Y/A. It's not his fault that his coaches chose to keep trying to run the ball when it clearly wasn't working.

89 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Three fumbles inside of 8 plays and 5 and a half minutes of playing time. Amazing in a very bad way.

90 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Well, I said that LAC and BAL would have an equal amount of turnovers, but BAL would be fumbles and LAC would be INTs, 2 or 3 to be specific. Half of it just became true.

92 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I'd like to see Jackson run out of bounds two yards sooner, rather than running into a hit to get every last possible cm.

93 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

This is awful offense from the Ravens. I do wonder if they would be better off with Flacco in. He has a much better DVOA, although it's possible that's missing out on the benefit to the Ravens rushing game provided by Jackson.

94 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

The Chargees have a guy named Damien Square, wearing #71. I really wish he had the #64 jersey, which would have made my morning. 64 is currently taken by a Cole Toner.

95 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Who to blame, Jackson for trying to fit that there, or the receiver for failing to bring in a pass (high, Jackson's fault but the only way he could catch it ) that hit him in the hands?

100 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

BS. BS! How is THAT not false start?! Pouncey moving his head is drawing the offsides and neutral zone infractions!

102 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Same as two weeks ago. Ravens DBs getting away with as much contact as they want. Oh, and Rivers getting tackled (after releasing the pass on the Allen drop) then landed on by the DL with his full body weight on top of him...but I can't remember the last time he drew a roughing the passer...NFL 2018/19

108 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Uhhh ... hmmm ... that incompletion looks more like a fumble. Also, Baltimore Special Teams making up for the kick return by denying points.

110 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Oh, come on. You should force yourself to keep up, not caring about the ball when it's fourth down and a turnover it's irrelevant.

116 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Just imagine if the only two football games you ever saw were the KC-LAR game earlier this year and then this one. Almost like watching a baseball game and then a cricket match.

117 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Even if the Chargers are held to a FG here, Flacco has to come into the game. It's very hard to come back from multiple scores down in the fourth quarter in any circumstances, but even more so when your QB's primary strength is his rushing ability. Baltimore has 7 net yards passing in this game, you can't stick with the QB responsible for that.

118 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Uh, wow, that call seems definitely wrong to me. Hope the Chargers score and make that questionable decision irrelevant.

119 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

... Would coaches stop running backwards 7 yards then 7 forwards and use the QB Sneak in 1st/2nd/3rd/4th and goal at the quarter of an inch line? Also, LA TD?

120 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I don't really care about what's actually the right call on this second play, since the Chargers should already have scored last play. Hopefully the refs uphold this play, whether or not that's actually correct.

121 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Also, the refs allowed the return. They NEVER allow that for some reason, but this time, sure why not.

122 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

And the fact that the ball was left two full feet short of the goal line after the erroneously upheld call costs the Chargers a touchdown a second time. Well done all around.

123 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

LOL, and finally, two whole plays and two lengthy reviews later, the Chargers get the TD they deserved. What a bizarre sequence.

148 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Horrendous officiating.

The initial catch was a TD- broke the plane before he was touched.

The run was just short, but how did they think the nose of the ball was at the half-yard line?!!

Given the possible fumble, why did they blow the play dead before the return?

And these are supposed to be the best officials doing the playoffs!!!

124 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Something is wrong with defenses covering Chargers 2 point plays. Why they always leave a receiver to hang around on his own with so much end zone around him?

129 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

If Flacco comes in and leads them to a comeback win, I might just give up on football. Although I don’t know why he isn’t in.

127 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Flacco still not going in??!! I mean... if it were a choice between not Jackson and Flacco, but Jackson and RGIII, I'm pretty sure I would still be going with the backup. This has been an incredibly bad game for Jackson. Don't know what Harbaugh is thinking.

128 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Geez. The whole stadium booed Jackson taking the field. Understandable for any point. On the other hand, the run game boost provided by Jackson is moot right now. Flacco is more efficient passing. They should put him in if they want this.

130 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

You know things are bad when a Sam Koch punt goes out on Baltimore's side of the field, and Justin Tucker missed a FG already. Now, really, did Harbaugh gave up on the game already? Or he thinks Jackson will break out and start doing magic? Or he's taking care of Jackson's (apparently battered by the crowd) confidence? Whatever it is, I don't see a reason to not go to Flacco other than the Flacco offense being old and everyone needing to get in tune with it. Hell, the classic offense of chucking it up and hoping for a DPI might just work.

132 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Everyone looking forward to years of Jackson-Mayfield matchups might want to calm down a little. I recognize that this is just one game, but if the Chargees are establishing a roadmap for handling Baltimore, other teams will notice.

140 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Other teams don't have 3 all-pro defensive backs good at run support that can play LB plus two pro-bowl pass rushers.

But this is a copycat league, and other teams can use different personnel with similar tactics to slow Jackson down.

133 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Crowd is getting restless with Jackson. Would Flacco keep Melvin Ingram from sacking him better?