The Red Shamrock: Are There Really Only Three Weeks Left In The Season?
I’m convinced the bye week were killers for Kansas City and Dallas. Totally convinced of it. They lost all the momentum they had headed into the playoffs and the two hottest teams in the league made them pay and they are now in the conference championship games. I literally talked myself out of two of my picks on Sunday before the early game and took Green Bay and Pittsburgh over Dallas and Kansas City. Obviously the right play, but I didn’t see it until my column was turned in.
In Dallas, the Cowboys did not look ready for the game until the second half and Aaron Rodgers with whatever drama is surrounding his personal life, proved to me that he is the best quarterback in the game right now. His toss with seconds left to setup a game winning field goal was simply amazing. Rest assured though, Dallas should be dangerous over the next five years.
We also had an exciting game in Kansas City where it looked liked the Chiefs had the same rust as Dallas. If you told me earlier in the week that the Chiefs would only hold the Steelers to field goals and lose, I’d laugh in your face. That was the case however, as the Steelers (aided by six field goals and magnificent running by Le’veon Bell has made the Steelers a dangerous opponent in New England on Sunday.
As for the other two games, Twilight is not the answer for the Texans as New England easily covered (the spread was up to Texans +16 at kick-off) stomping their way to the AFC title game and the Falcons just blew the Seahawks away offensively to make it to the NFC title game. So where does that leave us for this weekend?
NFC (4) Green Bay @ (2) Atlanta (-4.5), Sunday, January 22nd, 3:05 PM FOX
How smart am I? This is what I wrote in last week’s column picking Dallas:
“The Packers are banged up after the Giants game with injuries to Randall Cobb (ankle), Jeff Janis (quadriceps), Jordy Nelson (entire body) and James Starks (concussion). If you are counting up the number of injured Green Bay wide recievers, that’s three. Aaron Rodgers will have a difficult time engineering points in this one and it just feels like it’s Dallas’ year to make it to the NFC title game.”
Yeah, I suck. Fuck all the injuries to the Packers. The experts are predicting a shootout and I agree. Besides, if the Packers can contain Atlanta’s rushing attack, Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers could make this one hell of a show. The Packers might not win in the end, but I expect this game to be very much like the one in Dallas. If anything, I’m definitely playing the over for this game.
The Red Shamrock’s Pick: Green Bay +4.5
AFC (3) Pittsburgh @ (1) New England (-6), Sunday, January 22nd, 6:40 PM CBS
I’m 0 – 1 picking the road team and taking the points against New England. So should I just accept that the Patriots are on their way back to the Super Bowl and will win by 7 just to cover? Heck no. Both teams can run and the Patriots may have the edge on defense. But the Steelers can pass the ball and I expect another shootout here. I couldn’t find any stats on the Steelers offensive performance after being held to 20 points or less (no help from the Google). If you know, please tell me (either in the comments or Twitter). Anyway. I feel the Steelers should be able to hang with New England (the Patriots did struggle in the first half against Texas) and while I’m too scared to pick an outright winner, I am taking the road team and the points for the second week in a row against New England. Plus, I really hate the Patriots more than the Steelers.
The Red Shamrock’s Pick: Steelers +6
Picks (Home teams in CAPS)
Last week: 1 -3
2016 Playoff record: 4 – 4 (0.500)
2016 Regular season record: 126 – 119 – 11 (.512)
2016 Record (total): 130 – 123 – 11 (0.511)
Pat Himes aka The Red Shamrock is a huge fan of sports, movies, poker, and fake sports betting. He is also cohost of The 80/20 Movie Show podcast with Gary Smith, which you can listen to for guy humor, movie reviews, and additional fake sports betting picks at www.fatherhoodrules.com. You can interact with Pat on Chaostrophic by hitting him up on the comments section with him on the threads under his handle, Dalux247.