You're kiddin' me.
Baby, I'm not foolin'.
I gotta whole lotta love for playoff action, even if a certain team we don't like is involved. But we'll troll Gino later. And I have a good one for our pal Gino. Watch me work!
Indianapolis Colts (+1) vs. Houston Texans. First, a little housekeeping. Jim Mora has nothing to do with this Colts team. This game is not exciting to me. Yes, I said I have a whole lotta love for the playoffs, but these are two of the most generic teams in the NFL. The Colts were left for dead in October, but they have been red-hot down the stretch. I think the Texans blew a chance at a first-round bye and the Colts are a bad matchup. Colts 21, Texans 6.
Keep it coolin', baby. I'm at best lukewarm about this one myself. It should be a good matchup but I'm still trying to figure out how the Colts are winning. I think the Texans are a better overall team. And since they are at home. . . Texans 28, Colts 23.
Seattle Seahawks (+2) vs. Dallas How Bout Dem Cowboahs? Great. These clowns again. Two of the most obnoxious fan bases in the league and they get the prime-time slot. And two of the coaches we love to hate. It's Rah-Rah Cheat Carroll vs. Jason "Sparky the Sea Lion" Garrett, always clapping his hands. My rule of thumb for the playoffs -- is your quarterback a proven performer. Russell Wilson fits that bill. Dak Prescott? Not yet. I think Seattle will jump out early and take Zeke away, which means Dak will have to win the game on his own. Can he do it? He has about as much chance of that as Skip Bayless has of getting a meal in Green Bay without the cooks spitting on his burger. Seahawks 28, Cowboahs 0.
Mmmm, a bacon cheeseburger with loogie sauce! It might be more palatable than this game, actually. I share Benster's contempt about these two franchises, but I agree with his analysis. The Seahawks have done this before. The Cowboys? Not since Benster had a rattle in his hands. Expect some rattling tonight. Seahawks 24, Cowboys 13.
Los Angeles Chargers (+2.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens. If you're looking for an upset this weekend, this game is going to be the one. The Ravens, for my money, are the best defense in the league. I'm going to be interested to see how the Chargers start, considering it's an early kickoff on the East Coast. I know Lamar Jackson has never started a playoff game, and I'm going against what I've written earlier. If I'm an NFL coach, Baltimore is a team I do not want to see, either tomorrow or down the line. Ravens 17, Chargers 10.
I would love to see Phillip Rivers have one last playoff run to cement his place in history as a great NFL quarterback. He's had a wonderful career, but often he's been away from the cameras, as the Chargers are only sporadically a glamour team. Baltimore is a very tough place to win, though. This Ravens team is nasty and built for the playoffs. They will be too much. Ravens 24, Chargers 20.
Philadelphia Eagles (+6.5) vs. Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck. Gino would like to remind you that his Bears are the NFC North Champions. I would like to remind Gino that he has a namesake who committed this crime against music:
Gino's been lost, living inside himself all season long. But now come the playoffs and the defending champion Eagles are coming to town. Do you remember this playoff game?
That was a weird game. Bears fans, including our man Gino, have been claiming their team is for real all season long. I must admit they are a legitimate team. That being said, they are playing the defending champions. This season won't be a failure for the Bears, but I don't think they can win. Eagles 35, da Bears 31.
I must admit the Gino Vannelli is a nice touch. I'm also glad you spared us all a look at his chest hair. Anyway, this is a matchup that will put hair on your chest for sure. The Eagles were much better down the stretch than they had been, but there's a reason they are a #6 seed, beyond the obligatory Vikings reference. The Eagles aren't consistent. The Bears have been remarkably consistent all season. The key, as is often the case, is can Mitchell Trubisky not lose the game. This week, I think he survives. Besides that, I really want to see a Bears/Rams playoff game next week. Bears 24, Eagles 14.
Clemson Tigers (+5.5) vs. The Crimson Tide of Alabama, in Santa Clara. This is the National Title Game that nobody wanted, but here it is anyway. I'm sick and tired of both of these teams. It was fun the first time, but this is like a cash grab sequel. I would like Clemson to win, since they are slightly less annoying than Alabama. Maybe next year we could have something new and different. Better get rowing that boat, there, P.J.! Clemson 34, Alabama 33.
Do they still make Brylcreem? It seems like a perfect product for the Clemson coach to market. A little Dabo do ya? Well, do ya, Clemson? Alabama really ought to petition the NFL for an expansion franchise at this point. I am with Benster on this one -- it's bad for the game if you have the same two behemoths battling it out every year. As for this game, Alabama is better. Again. Yawn. Alabama 41, Clemson 30.
Well, that's a lot of territory we covered, old dude. And up to now, I haven't even used the word HYYYYYYYYPPPPPPE! But I got it in. Contractual obligation. Ben out!