2021 Wildcard NFL Picks
All I have to say is: VICTORY!!
It is official. I obliterated Concret3Cowboy in our first annual NFL Picks here at BO Blogs. I’ll save you the breakdown, but I’ll give you the final numbers.
Blind Owl: 148-121-3
The regular season over and the Cowboy finally conceding the race, we come to the NFL Playoffs. We’ve decided to start fresh and see if I am like Peyton Manning and can only win in the regular season. Can the Cowboy put the dreadful regular season behind him? Or can I carry my dominance into the playoffs.
Not so fast my loyal readers. Another challenger has thrown his hat in the ring. Fellow BO Blog contributor Brendawn of the Dead (who acted as our peacekeeper for this whole process) literally said in a text thread, “I want in.”
I’m sure the Cowboy is dreading another opponent that will probably destroy him in this competition. I, on the other hand, welcome the opportunity to take another former college football player to task at picking these games.
So, let’s see how the 3 of us do on Wildcard weekend.
LV @ CIN: CIN -5.5
Blind Owl: This game gives the Cowboy a bit of a stiffy. His new man crush Joe Burrow gets to go against a not so good Raiders team. I was hoping last week that the Chargers and Raiders would allow a tie, but I didn’t get my wish. The Raiders come into this game with some momentum after beating LA in overtime. The Bengals rested Burrow in the final week and lost to the Browns. I am a person who believes in rhythm, so I think it will be a slow start for the Bengals. Not to mention the fact that Joe Burrow is starting his first playoff game. I am so tempted to pick the Raiders just to piss off the Cowboy, but I have to be smart. I think the Bengals will win easily after a sluggish start.
Concret3Cowboy: Cincinnati took care of the Raiders very decisively early in the season, more through Joe Mixon than Joe Burrow. That game was even in Vegas. I’d expect about the same outcome.
BrendawnoftheDead: Joe B Wankenobi has been on fire as of late. Meanwhile the Raiders got in by the skin of their teeth. The Bengals are the better team across the board, but the Raiders will play them tough. The Bengals pull away late because Vegas doesn't have the offensive firepower to keep up for four quarters. Cincy by 7.
NE @ BUF: BUF -3.5
Blind Owl: Here we go. It is round 3 of a true AFC East Heavyweight battle. The first round went to the Patriots in an ugly football game. They won a war of attrition in nasty weather. Round 2 went to the Bills in a downright beating. The Pats have not looked good for a while now. They lost in embarrassing fashion to the Dolphins last week. The Bills on the other hand took care of business against the Jets. That being said, there is nothing better than experience when it comes to the playoffs. The Bills need to listen to the wise words of Ric Flair, “To be the man, you have to beat the man.” Like it or not, Belichick and the Patriots are the man in the NFL playoffs. I am picking the Patriots simply with the points. It is going to be a close game, and I honestly think the Bills will probably win, but I can’t pick against the Pats as the underdog.
Concret3Cowboy: That crazy weather game the first time, the one the Pats won with throwing 3 passes, can’t really be looked at. I mean maybe some aspects like, the Pats run the ball better and Belichick knows how games will play out, but that’s about it. The Bills have a better roster, but they’ve also been hot and cold this year. Give me Bills.
BrendawnoftheDead: Simply put, the Patriots cannot score enough points to beat Buffalo without a monsoon. Jakobi Myers, Kendrick Bourne, and Hunter Henry are nice players but don't instill fear in anybody. Mac is the QB of the future, but he isn't ready to beat a team of this caliber without help... yet. The Patriots will run effectively but ultimately fall too far behind. Bills by 8.
PHI @ TB: TB -8
Blind Owl: All year, I have hopped right on the Tampa Bay bandwagon. The Cowboy continuously pointed out that they are one of the worst teams against the spread. All I have to say to him is (checks top of this article) SCOREBOARD! Kind of like what I said about Belichick, it is really hard to bet against Tom Brady in the playoffs. Even though the Bucs have all kinds of injuries on the offensive side of the ball, Tom is still putting up good numbers and wins. Meanwhile, the Eagles just got blasted by the Cowboys in the season finale. I have to go with the defending Super Bowl Champs here. Got to go with what brought me to the dance.
Concret3Cowboy: I’m gonna reach here. It’s supposed to be absolutely shitty in Tampa on Sunday. Philly is very good at running the ball. Both these teams have about 15 guys on their injury report. Minus probably the Arizona and Rams game, we’re all probably going to pick the same teams so let me be different.
BrendawnoftheDead: Jalen Hurts has won me over. I didn't like watching him play until he lost his job to Tua. Since that benching, he learned to be an effective passer. The Eagles have garbage talent around him, but he finds ways to win. The Bucs have played down to the level of their opponents lately and their defense is suspect. The Eagles will NOT beat the Bucs, but they will score late to cover the spread. Bucs by 6.
SF @ DAL: DAL -3
Blind Owl: This game was the toughest to pick in my opinion. I hemmed and hawed over what to do with this one for a while. The Cowboys have been dominant in games they won. They’ve had a few stumbles here and there but they ended the season 12-5. That’s pretty good. In almost stark contrast, the 49ers have been up and down all year. They played in the toughest division in football and came out with a playoff opportunity. San Fran even got a big OT win over the Rams in the regular season finale. See what I mean? I couldn’t make up my mind. Like any good American, I made my decision while on the porcelain throne. I have to go with the hot hand. The 49ers have big game momentum and the Cowboys coasted into the playoffs. Give me the 9ers.
Concret3Cowboy: San Fran is a scary dark horse. Even though I don’t remember the San Fran/Dallas games of old, they are an iconic part of NFL history. But back then it was “Whoever wins this game is going to win the Super Bowl'' and now it’s more like “Meh.” The Cowboys beat up on the JV squad of the Eagles team last week and just barely got beaten by the Cardinals. Give me the Cowboys here.
BrendawnoftheDead: While he is handsome, history shows that Jimmy Geesus doesn't play well (or at all) hurt. The Cowboys have more weapons and the better quarterback to distribute the ball. Deebo Samuel will make this game close, but the Cowboys will force 2 turnovers and win by a touchdown. Them Boyz by 7.
PIT @ KC: KC -12.5
Blind Owl: Like most of America, I was hoping for a tie between the Chargers and the Raiders to kick the Steelers out of the playoffs. But the Raiders don’t seem to like fun. As much as I would have liked to see Ben Roethlisberger’s career end with a tie, a wildcard loss would be a good consolation prize. Before I pick this game I have one question. Can anyone else smell a blowout? The Chiefs are going to obliterate the Steelers. KC may win by more than 30 points in a playoff game. Which is the best way for Ben Rape-lisberger to end his career.
Concret3Cowboy: I mean… The Steelers shouldn’t even be here. KC still stinks though.
BrendawnoftheDead: This is an uncomfortably high spread for a KC offense that has been far less consistent it's previous iterations. With that out of the way, Big Ben is cooked and doesn't have the arm to pull this off. KC gets explosive plays and Travis Kelce gets his 8 catches for 110 and a touchdown. KC by 14.
ARI @ LAR: LAR -4
Blind Owl: In the first ever Monday Night playoff game, we have two more divisional opponents squaring off for the 3rd time. Just like the Bills and Patriots, they split the two games in the regular season. We get the rubber match for all the marbles in the Wildcard round. Kyler Murray and the Cardinals started hot and eventually started to cool off as the year went on. The Rams had their ups and downs as Matt Stafford and others on the team had to fight through some injuries. I thought the Rams were rolling into the playoffs until the 49ers beat them last week. The Cardinals also lost to a divisional opponent last week, letting Russell Wilson end his Seahawks career with a win. This is 100% going to be a close game. In close games, I am always afraid to take the favorite. So I’ll be smart and take the Cardinals with the points.
Concret3Cowboy: The Rams got the dog piss knocked out of them the first time against the Cardinals, but then redeemed themselves the second matchup in the desert. Rams back at “home” because LA will never really be a home field advantage. But I have to roll with my Super Bowl pick.
BrendawnoftheDead: Kyler Murray hasn't been great since coming back from injury. Arizona's defense really hasn't been good all year. Stafford has been throwing the ball to the wrong team too much. These are all facts. Cooper Kupp gets his. This is also a fact. The Cardinals can't cover Kupp and Sony Michel gives the Rams enough of a run game to win a close one. Arizona is too one dimensional and that dimension hasn't been getting it done lately. Rams by 5.