There are lots of exciting sub-plots heading into this week’s playoff action:
– The last time the Kansas City Red and Whites (borderline on their team name) won a playoff game, it was against a franchise that since moved and changed its name. Now they play in a stadium across a parking lot from the decaying Astrodome within which they had their last moment of glory. KC has won 10 in a row. When they beat the Oilers in 1994, that team came into the playoffs on an 11-game winning streak.
– The Houston Texans (that name just reeks of boredom) are 2-0 at home in the playoffs, a stat that makes most KCers mildly annoyed. It’s an odd bird of a team, needing four different starting QBs to win a game in order to make the playoffs (one’s against the Titans, not sure if that counts). The team’s also playing a fantasy nightmare of a RBBC. There’s this Watt guy, you see.
– The Cincinnati Bengals also have their last playoff win against the mythical Oilers. They’ve lost five playoff openers in the past six seasons, and with QB Andy Dalton most likely missing this contest, the streak probably will continue. Can the Bengals play KC one of these years?
– The Pittsburgh Steelers roll in as one of the two “overconfident six seeds”. They were the first six seed to win a Super Bowl, plus their offense is insane. They might be starting a player named Fitzgerald Touissant at RB, with a side of Jordan Todman. That’s OK, they’re just going to throw every down.
I’ll get to the Sunday games after a brief intermission for the show recap. I’ve been lazy with guests lately. Just coming in and chatting with Sharona was a pretty fun way to spend a week but it’s the more, the merrier. When I saw that MFL10 spreadsheet creator and Gronk ugly Christmas sweater owner Mike Margossian was doing some playoff leagues, I had to get going. Live shows are one thing. Doing them on top of a live draft is something else entirely. We decided to organize one of his ten-team playoff bestball leagues (Sharona kept thinking we were doing a baseball league) and do it as a show. Mike had to go, he had a date with a Wookie, so I brought in reinforcements.
Our co-co-hosts on Wednesday night were Lisa London, whose forehead is so proudly displayed on the show’s still, and Nathan Powell, who was a show guest earlier this year. Nathan was on to be my commish support since the ways of the MFL10 commissioner were too foreign for a guy who had been a Zealots league commish for nine years. Lisa drank Patron, Nathan went through a couple of Leinenkegul Big Butt Doppledocks (had to copy and paste that one), Sharona drank wine and I conquered an Orpheus Ferryman.
A playoff draft is a confusing thing. You want players who are going to score lots of points, but you have to consider the team. You’re looking for the best players on the teams most likely to get to the Super Bowl and accumulate those glorious stats. I didn’t really know how players would be valued, what with the black hole that’s the RB position and the bevy of backup QBs. I found out quickly that it’s a QB league.
See all the draft results. I picked second. I went Antonio Brown from one of the two six seeds, which seems bad but the Steelers have a nice road to at least three games. By the time my second pick came up, seven QBs were off the board. I took the Kirk Cousins/Jordan Reed stack, hoping for at least two games out of that duo. In the fourth round I tried to pick someone else and got Randall Cobb. That started a flood of probable “one and done” players. Here’s the roster:
QB: Kirk Cousins
RB: Jeremy Hill, Brandon Bolden, Alfred Blue
WR: Antonio Brown, Randall Cobb, Devin Funchess
TE: Jordan Reed, Owen Daniels
I predict my team will be near the top after week one but will fade by the time we get to the conference championship weeks.
Let’s continue our playoff stroll.
The Minnesota Vikings weren’t told that their opponent has a bye and will show up anyway. This might be our last chance in history to see a Minnesota home game outdoors. It’s going to be cold. I don’t think there’s been one snow game all year. The team has a tough defense, that ADP guy, and a young QB. Hey, he’s no Christian Ponder.
The Seahawks breezed through the second half once they lost key players Marshawn Lynch and Jimmy Graham. That makes perfect sense. They have the experience and Russell Wilson’s trying to make it four years in the NFL with at least one playoff win (Joe Flacco had five). I think we’re all dying to see Seattle/Carolina, well everyone except for Vikings fans.
The Washington team (another nickname that makes me wince to see) are the hot team with the hot QB. They’ve been tearing apart the admittedly terrible NFC East so let’s see what they do against a “real” team. Well, this opponent used to be “real”. The last time they were in the playoffs they had a sub high school field and that was the last time we saw even a partially functional RGIII.
Just about every playoff contender has injuries, but the Green Bay Packers seem to be sputtering like an old car on a cold day because of the lack of Jordy Nelson. They started 6-0 and have been the Colts since then. I think they’re one and done.