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Divisional Round Observations
I was in Porto this weekend, and the place, a friend’s apartment she had just bought and fixed up was very nice — only it didn’t have internet yet. (The other issue was the street it’s on has a very narrow sidewalk, and buses would zip by all day maybe three inches from the curb. I barely escaped getting run over four or five times and decapitation via the mirror once or twice.)
I mention that to explain why I didn’t see much of the Chiefs-Jaguars game — I streamed some of the fourth quarter from my Portuguese phone eventually, but turned it off when Trevor Lawrence threw the fourth-quarter interception.
The Giants game was on too late for me to watch in real time, something I mentioned on Twitter:
(The reference to “theskeezley” was my dog Oscar’s account which was suspended when I tried to change his date of birth to his real birthday which is July 7, 2020. But Twitter’s algorithm apparently doesn’t allow two-year olds to sign up, so it suspended my account, and even though I contacted support to complain more than a month ago, there has been no response. If there is anything you should take away from this substack it’s that they need to free the fucking Skeezley.)
Of course, opportunists like Greg Ambrosius tried to use this post to destroy my reputation beyond salvage:
Others ruthlessly piled on:
But not destroying my weekend by staying up all night streaming to a tiny phone screen to watch the Giants get destroyed was the right call:
That’s all I have to say about the Giants game. They had a good season, I expect them to retain Dimes and Saquon, add some receivers and be better next year. Also, the Eagles are very good. And my 70:1 NYG to win the NFC is now finally dead.
I watched the Bengals-Bills in real time. I was rooting for the Bengals because I planned my NFFC contest-entry around a Bengals-49ers Super Bowl, and I like watching Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. Here’s my lineup through two rounds:
This seems live to me if we get the Bengals-49ers Super Bowl. The Bills looked like the team that barely beat Miami with its third-string QB last week, while the Bengals seemed like last year’s Super Bowl squad, only with a better offensive line and defense. Which was odd because they were missing three of their starters on the line.
With Patrick Mahomes gimpy and no lock to play, I expect to see the Bengals in the Super Bowl again. (I’d probably pick them even if Mahomes were healthy.) Even more so after hearing Burrow in the postgame intreview, and I’m not talking about the sound byte about Bills fans getting refunds for their neutral-site game. Before that he was asked about the win and said this:
“It was a complete game from everybody. Offense, defense, special teams from start to finish. That’s what we expected. The job’s not finished. We’ve got another big one next week on the road. I’m excited for it.”
I can’t find the extended interview video, but the way he said it was all business. He quite obviously did expect to win, and he wasn’t especially celebratory about knocking off the Bills just to get to the AFC title game.
I watched the 49ers-Cowboys this morning. I thought Dallas outplayed them in the first half, but the Niners got the lead and the running game going late to seal it in the second. Christian McCaffrey runs so hard for a low-BMI back and catches everything thrown in his vicinity. What a physical team between him, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle. No wonder everyone that played them this year lost the following week. And the Niners got a lot of pressure against a good offensive line. But they’ll face an even better one next week.
CeeDee Lamb is really good. Like McCaffrey he breaks a lot of tackles for a skinny player. Brett Maher got off the hook with his two field goals after having his shanked PAT mercifully blocked. What an ignominious postseason for a guy who was 9-of-11 from 50-plus and one of the best kickers in the league this year.
As I said, I love the Bengals this week, but while I’ll be rooting for the 49ers, the Eagles will be tough. I intially thought the AFC was the stronger conference and would be favored in the Super Bowl, but now I’ve changed my mind. (If anyone knows a generic AFC-NFC line for the Super Bowl, I’d be curious.) The NFC teams are better rounded, though if the Bengals play defense in Arrowhead like they did this week, maybe it’ll be a pick ‘em. It also makes you wonder how much ceiling the Ravens had if Lamar Jackson were healthy.