All of the divisional round games went as expected. No surprise upsets or anything. Didn’t really pay as much attention to the NFC games because they bored me.
Seahawks: 23 Saints: 15
The main thing I want to talk about is Russell Wilson. He is the most overrated QB in the entire league bar none. People talked about him in MVP discussions. People act like he’s a great fucking QB and he’s pretty much as mediocre as it gets. 9/18 with 103 yards is fucking embarrassing. Now his WR core is terrible so there’s that. Percy Harvin was a shining beacon of hope until he got concussed right out of the game. The Saints really didn’t put enough emphasis on stopping Marshawn Lynch and Drew Brees didn’t find out how to get first downs until late in the game. Hopefully this Seahawks team beats the 49ers because they are incredibly one dimensional and are a much better matchup for the Patriots.
49ers: 23 Panthers: 10
It boggles my mind when NFL Offensive coordinators are on the goal line and just call run play after run play getting stuffed and pushed back. They just keep doing it though. Carolina had two great goal line situations and ran the ball 3 or 4 times and then kicked a field goal or turned it over. You can’t fucking do that in the playoffs. Call a bootleg and let Cam make a play with his legs if he has to. Spread the receivers and exploit the 49ers secondary. But you can’t just get stuffed repeatedly and try it again like an insane person. The 49ers showed they are a pretty well rounded team. Their front 7 are the best in the league without question. The Panthers probably have the 2nd best front 7 but its a big drop between talent. Willis, Bowman, Brooks, Aldon Smith, Justin Smith. Its out of control. The Pats run game is good but against that personnel group you just can’t run it. The Panthers halfbacks had 33 yards on 13 carries. Not a good look. The 49ers offense still seems pretty vanilla to me but when you hold your opponent to 10 points it doesn’t really matter.
On to the games I actually give a shit about:
Broncos: 24 Chargers: 17
If the Broncos play like that against the Patriots we will beat them no questions asked. People are acting like the Broncos defense played a great game. They most certainly did not. The Chargers just played one of the worst games I’ve seen offensively. They had more neutral zone infraction penalty yards than passing yards. Until the 4th quarter, their offense was unable to do anything. Their defense did a good job keeping the Broncos offense in check, which bodes well for the Patriots because the Chargers defense is definitely worse than the Patriots. During that final drive, I don’t know how on 3rd and 17 you let Julius Thomas get wide open for a 21 yard gain. I just don’t know but that was embarrassing and put the nail in the coffin for the Chargers comeback. I like the Patriots odds against the Broncos right now. No Von Miller. Sign me up.
Patriots: 43 Colts: 22
So basically everything I talked about happened. Luck was contained in the pocket and had 1 rush for 5 yards. The Patriots are one of the most disciplined teams in the league and this shows in the defensive line. The containment broke once or twice from what I remember and Luck was able to scramble and make a play. One specific play was to T.Y. Hilton for 46 yards, unfortunately. Other than that we forced him to stay in the pocket, and that resulted in interceptions. Four of them to be precise, because contrary to popular belief Andrew Luck is not as great as people say. T.Y. Hilton had 4 catches on the day and 103 yards. So he was basically shut down all game. Brazill had two touchdowns off two great throws from Andrew Luck. I think this highlighted the potential Luck has to be an outstanding QB. Robert Mathis did have a strip sack but luckily the Patriots recovered it so not as much damage as done. The Colts rush defense was quite poor and the Pats game plan was basically to jam it down their throats, which we did with ease. Brady made throws when he needed to and got the job done.
49ers win 23-19.
Patriots win 35-24.
I think the only reason this game is close is because of Julius Thomas. I think the Patriots are going to be able to run the ball effectively against the Broncos and I think without Von Miller Tom Brady is going to have a lot of time in the pocket to find receivers. Without Gronk, Brady’s field vision has gotten better in my opinion. I think he dials in on receivers pre-snap less and looks for openings based on the coverage. The run game has helped out substantially by forcing teams to load the box and play single coverage on the Patriots receivers. The deep bomb to Amendola off a play action highlights what the Pats running game has done for their passing game. The Patriots defense is looking pretty fantastic, particularly Alfonzo Dennard and Jamie Collins. Collins roll in handling Julius Thomas is going to be huge. Hopefully, he’s up for the challenge. Dennard being as good as he is gives us a lot of flexibility to man him up with whoever we want. Talib, Dennard, Arrington and Logn Ryan give the Pats a lot of wiggle room against Decker, Demaryius, Welker, and Thomas.