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NFL Playoff Picks and Predictions

**The views expressed here are for “entertainment purposes only.” Don’t blame the author or Guerrilla Cross if you lose. If the author were 100% on these, he’d be writing this from his yacht**

  It’s that time again for the NFL’s second season. Where the cliches are only outdone by the social and news media overreactions. My personal favorite part of the yr, if you take away the other two parts(October and March, duh). Breakdown time:

HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 01: J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans walks off the field after defeating the Tennessee Titans 57-14 at NRG Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Buffalo Bills vs Houston Texans(-2.5; 43.5)

I used pics of players that I consider the storyline of the game and JJ Watt fits perfectly here. He’s one of 2 players attempting to comeback from his type of injury during the same yr(the other we’ll talk about next week). The old story goes that “defense wins in the playoffs” and “defense travels” and whatever cliche people will use after the fact to explain what they couldn’t foresee beforehand. Yes, that was redundant. So on the surface Buffalo is a prime and becoming a pretty popular upset pick here. However, a deeper dig finds that first time QBs in the playoffs over the last 3 years, and yes I only went back 3 years because I have a life, are 4-8 straight up in the playoffs with one of those matchups being *two* QBs with that description playing in the same game. I’m going with Watt being as close to 100% as humanly possible, therefore, making Houston a defensive team as well. I’ll take a close low scoring battle with the home team and better QB taking it.

Houston 19-17

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill looks for a receiver during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Tennessee Titans vs New England Patriots(-5; 44.5)

One of the more intriguing games of the weekend. Patriots are tried and true. They’re like hood conspiracies of crisis actors: they never go away no matter what evidence to the contrary. And with good reason. I’ve thought the Patriots were done for 3 yrs. They’ve made the Super Bowl all 3 of those and won two. So why does this one seem different? The Pats are reeling. Brady is reeling. Belichick is reeling. Losing a game coming into the playoffs that they *never* lose forcing them to play a first weekend playoff game that they almost *never* have to play. The Titans are the shiny new toy, you know, like the airpods you bought your kid for Christmas that they loved for seven minutes only to go bank to being the same child that stuck their face in their phone for eight consecutive hours just like before they opened their gift. So why the picture of Miami Ryan Tannehill? Because whether or not he stays this runaway train or reverts back to his horribly coached and underperforming Miami self is the story. I can see a little bit of both here. I can see them being way too talented for this Pats team between the 20s then Belichick taking over. *BUT* if this is the new Tannehill it could be a long and embarrassing day for the Pats. I’ll bet Belichick with Brady scraping together just enough points to edge out what is an under the radar poor Tennessee pass defense because of not enough pass rushing. You know, that thing we all want our teams to have but still get mad at cornerbacks for not being able to overcome? That thing. Thinking that will chew up with clock to stifle Tennessee at their own game. Also, Gilmore bouncing back like Bane. You see what I did there.

Pats: 27-19

Minnesota Vikings vs New Orleans Saints(-7.5; 50)

  Sunday stats with the big boy’s conference. Put away the sparkling cider, kids, the adults are here. Bring out the egg nog auntie brought in her purse. She winces everytime she takes a small sip for whatever reason.

  People will try and make this about the Minnesota Miracle. Teams don’t just win because they got more mad sometime. The *real* story of this game is the battle that’s been going on in Minnesota for a long time. The internal battle. It goes WAY back. I mean FAR back. How far back? So far back Birdbox was a thing. That battle is the one between the defensive coach that wants to be a run at all cost offense and the QB who wants to let it fling to his pro bowl receivers. New Orleans comes in with their defense as vulnerable as it’s been in this newest 3 year of contention, but with the offense humming along as smoothly as it has since Drew Brees first showed his Gorbachev like kisser in Louisiana. Therein lies the rub, with the Saints defense being vulnerable, as well as Minnesota’s, by the way, Zimmer wins out and they open up conservatively, best believe New Orleans won’t. Which could find them in a quick 14-0 hole switching the entire gameplan up. Or they go the throwing direction and Primetime Cousins shows up and get the same result. I’m gonna go with either way it’s high scoring and N.O. gets the win.

Saints 34-23

Seattle Seahawks vs Philadelphia Eagles(+1.5; 45)

  Before the year this was thought of as a possible playoff matchup. With Philly having home field like they do now. Except projections had it in the 2nd round with Philly being one of the NFL elites. But, as per the storyline pic above, attrition has hit these teams at the worst possible time. Even the guys on the field are one tackle away from seeing us again next September. The difference in these two teams are One team’s fan base is saying “OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE THESE INJURIES! WOE IS ME!!!” The other is saying “next man up. Next gameplan up.” Philly has steered into this thing like Ricky Bobby. Except they’re not first, or last, or second, or even eighth. But they won their division so here we are. They’ve responded by adjusting to the talent on the field. Wentz has gone from a let out fly guy to an efficient take-what-they-give-me chain mover that protects the ball and keeps his defense off the field. And now with Ertz unlikely to play that same guy will probably show to and give Philly their best chance to win.

  Sounds I’m picking Philly, right? Not a chance. Not falling for that nonsense again. I expect the same vanilla Seattle in the first half and second half Russ to do second half Russ things. And Philly is too decimated to keep up. Setting up a rematch with San Francisco that is sure to take enough years off my life to wonder if I’ll make it to next week’s article.

Seattle: 27-20 

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Kareem Muller
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