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After a season chock-full of entropy, the Divisional Round returned us to normalcy. #1 v. #2, both AFC and NFC.
By the time one had made Q1’s K-Cup of coffee…the early match was pretty much in the barn. Clippers du Merde were playing their second consecutive “10 am body clock” game, and this time it showed. New England beat the tar shit out of King Laserface, the run game was non-existent, and apparently whoever was supposed to guard/tackle JEWKAH was asleep in meetings. Only two, very sad garbage time scores made it look almost respectable, 41-28. But it was 35-7 at the half – and even that was only due to some poor P*ts’ clock management during their 2-minute drill.
Wanna bet that’s ALL Grumblelord could talk about after the win? Anyway, it’s onto Sunday night in (likely frigid) Kansas City, for the Dark Lord to face everybody’s favourite “Nice Guys Finish Last” Andy Reid. I bet the early Chefs moneyline, at -145. The spread has toggled between 2.5 and 3. Should be a fun game.
We got more of a treat in the late window, with the Iggles surprising everyone by running out to a 14-zip lead. The Saints looked half dead – until Sean Payton called a fake punt inside his own 35…and made it. He also went for it on 4th and goal from the 2, making it again.
You can’t just judge the strategy by the fact that it worked. These were calculated moves from a coach who understands the important of leverage and momentum, especially in the playoffs. You put your entire nutsack on the table, or you don’t belong there in the first place.
Anyway, after that I think PHI converted maybe 4 or 5 first downs the remainder of the game. A rejuvenated defense kept them in it (forcing a 52-yard FG that missed, giving Big Dick Nick a shot, down 6 with 3 minutes to play). But move over Cody Parkey, it’s Alshon Jeffrey’s turn in the barrel this week. A pretty easy catch slipped right through his hands and into the Saints’ defensive backs. He didn’t drop it, and Philly couldn’t even get it back for a wacky lateral play. 20-14 is the surprisingly low-scoring final (the o/u was 52.5).
Unlike the AFC, where both winners looked like machines – each NFC participant showed some cracks. One suspects RRRRRRRRRRRAM IT!! can’t just ride CJ Anderson over the NFL’s best run defense. And Saints faithful have to be concerned that the Breesus Machine continues to sputter in terms of producing points. Remember that Two of the Good Ones was on (temporary) IR for the first meeting, back in Week 9. If he can force Drew to look away from Michael Thomas – we might have a good game on our hands early, too. Early spread is 3, but on the verge of 3.5. That seems about right to me. I haven’t bet it, and likely will not.
Just three more games left before Sports Winter’s icy grip. May the good Lord bless us with a re-match of that badass Chefs/RRRRRRRRRAM IT!! Monday nighter from not-Mexico. Amen, hallelujah.