There’s at least one person who is thrilled with the re-seeding element to this year’s NFL playoffs: me.
That allows me to weasel out of picking the whole postseason bracket in one shot, not knowing what the matchups will be in the conference semifinals.
The No. 1 AFC Kansas City Chiefs and No. 1 NFC Green Bay Packers not only benefit from being the only teams with wild card round byes, but they also get served on a silver platter the bedraggled lowest remaining seed out of this weekend’s mosh pit, whoever that might be.
So the pressure on me to figure out what to do with the Buffalo Bills is confined to just one decision, Saturday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. That pressure comes from being from western New York, and even though I’ve been a Miami Dolphins fan since 1970, the Bills are entry 1A on my fanboi list, and there’s a lot to unpack when calculating how the Bills will do this year.
There’s some … history.
Save that for later.
For now, I’ve got the Bills beating the Colts, although I expect Indy to be as tough an out as a No. 2 seed could expect from a No. 7.
A few months ago, my Bills insider scout did a deep dive on quarterback Josh Allen and observed that “he’s out there like he’s playing in the street,” referring to Allen’s resourcefulness and his pure command of a game.
Another bullet point on my scout’s report is that Josh Allen is cute, and … OK, fine, it’s my mom.
As for the other two AFC games this weekend, I’ve got the. No. 3 Steelers over the No. 6 Browns, and the No. 5 Ravens over the No. 4 Titans.
As much as you hate to have to introduce a COVID component into just about everything you write these days, there’s no escaping it.
I wanted to pick the Browns over the Steelers, despite the fact that Cleveland barely beat Pittsburgh last week while Ben Roethlisberger was held out.
But the Browns are wrestling with a rash of COVID positives that includes head coach Kevin Stefanski and haven’t been practicing.
If the 8:15 p.m. Sunday game goes off as scheduled, the Browns will be a compromised team. No matter what, I hope it doesn’t get postponed, because the Steelers shouldn’t be penalized for their opponent’s inability to keep their coronavirus house in order. There is scant wiggle room on the calendar.
Ravens-Titans was a tough nut to crack, unless you’re placing that nut between Derrick Henry and the first person who tries to tackle him.
Nevertheless, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is playing well and hungry for a playoff win, and the Titans defense is shaky, at best.
On the NFC side, let’s go with the No. 2 Saints over the No. 7 Bears; No. 3 Seahawks over the No. 6 Rams; and No. 5 Buccaneers over the No. 4 Washington Football Team.
Chalky, yeah, but there’s no way Drew Brees gets beat by a banged-up Bears team.
I have little faith that Jared Goff’s thumb will squeeze the Rams past the Seahawks, despite the fact that L.A. has sacked Russell Wilson 11 times this season (dial on the Ugly Index will go to 11 on this game).
And WFT won’t score enough points to win, even if Chase Young gets what he wants.
Looking forward to the Buffalo game this week and formulating an opinion after breaking down how they survived a difficult Colts team and how they match up against their opponent in the AFC semifinals.
I’ll be watching the Bills game with my mom.