NFL Wild Card Round-Up

We've finally made it! Wild Card Weekend kicked off with T.Y. Hilton in a clown mask and Jason Witten talking nonsense. Admittedly, Witten has significantly improved throughout the season, but he says a couple things every game that should instantly place him in the concussion protocol. And boom goes the dynamite.

Indianapolis Colts 21, Houston Texans 7

We were hesitant to give the Texans much love during the regular season, despite Bill O'Brien's team almost grabbing a first round bye. Maybe we were right to be cautious, because this team didn't have a chance from the jump. You've heard the big names on the Texans defensive line, but Andrew Luck's neck beard could have grown its own neck beard sitting in the pocket. He had all the time in the world to throw, and he picked the Texans' secondary apart for two first quarter touchdown drives. They tacked on another touchdown in the second quarter to take a 21-0 lead into halftime. Marlon Mack controlled the clock and moved the chains to balance the offensive attack and keep the game out of reach. Back to your Saturday afternoon chores, folks. There's nothing to see here.

The Texans run game looked more pedestrian than the guy on the crosswalk sign and Deshaun Watson was airmailing throws like UPS was a day-late on the vibrator you ordered shipped from Amazon Prime cross-country. It wasn't until Watson went freestyle mode where he started to make chunk plays with his legs and then subsequently through the air. At that point, the game was over. Further, it appears as if DeAndre Hopkins was significantly more injured than he let on during the game. Per reports, he couldn't even lift his arm to shake hands following the game, though that could have just been because the guy who reported that didn't wash his hands after spending a tight 15 in stall two.

The Colts defense deserves much of the credit. Just a year ago, you drafted your fantasy team specifically to play against the Colts. They were the equivalent of the dachshund's dump that Mrs. Emerson refused to pick up at the park and that acted confused when you called her out on it. We all saw Rover fire that off, Susan. Now, get your hands dirty. Two poop jokes in the first segment? That's how you know it's playoff time.

Now look at this defense. They held the Texans offense to seven points, and created three turnovers. I consider a turnover on downs a turnover, and you should, too! (Possible 2020 campaign poster slogan?). They're led by All-Pro and Pro-Bowl snub rookie linebacker Darius Leonard, and have somehow transformed from horrific to competent to elite. They'll get the Chiefs next weekend, and will have to be elite again if they want to pull the upset.

Dallas Cowboys 24, Seattle Seahawks 22

Troy Aikman drew the crowd in looking stoned out of his mind, and was accompanied by his life partner Joe Buck. I get that "Joe Buck sucks" jokes are a big thing, but he's damn good at what he does. Same with Mike Greenberg. Still, there's something about them that makes you just want to put them in a headlock and squeeze to the point that they know you could really hurt them if you want, but then let them go.

Dak Prescott is a grown-ass man, just ask Ezekiel Elliot. I've always been in the Dak is overrated camp, despite him continuously torching the Giants. However, he showed grit leading the Cowboys to two fourth quarter touchdown drives and moving the chains when it mattered most. He out Russell Wilson'd Russell Wilson in this one.

Though this was actually the highest scoring game of the weekend, we have to show love to both defenses, particularly the Cowboys. They've been tough all year, and are only going to get better with their young core. They shut down the middle of the field and make you play on the corners in tight spots. I think they have a real shot against the Rams next week, in basically a home game.

The Seahawks play calling throughout the game was pretty weak. They couldn't get the run going, and the only way they were able to move the ball was when Russell Wilson made magic. Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett each had some incredible catches, as well.

It wasn't enough for Seattle, who had to improvise once Sebastian Janikowski went down with an "injury." Let me debunk this fake injury with three counter-points.

Counter-Point No. 1: Every time you miss in anything, you automatically have to pretend like you got injured. It's like that three-point shooter who airballs and starts hitting his wrist like he got fouled when nobody was near him or the guy who gets his cookies taken and limps back down the floor. You're not hurt, you just suck.

Counter-Point No. 2: The spread on this game was 2.5. If you don't think Seabass had a vested interest in the final score differential, then you probably have a favorite Tide Pod flavor.

Counter-Point No. 3: Janikowski is used to playing on Sundays. It was freaking Saturday, bro. Janikowski just wanted to get a jumpstart on that Saturday Dallas nightlife. Mad chicks. You've just been lawyered. Either way, we were forced to watch drop kicks the rest of the night because apparently Michael Dixon can't kick off a tee. Good onside attempt, bro.

And I have some beef with Mike Davis. In the third quarter, the Seahawks scored a touchdown to take the lead, and with Janikowski smashing Fireball, they were forced to go for two. Mike Davis converted it and then proceeded to perform a touchdown dance. After further review, that is not allowed. Obviously, you're allowed to celebrate after a two-point conversion, but Mike Davis pulled out his top dance move when that dance was clearly scheduled to be performed following six. You got to tone it down for a conversion dance. You have a strike ball and a spare ball, you know?

No? Well, I guess I'll move on then.

Los Angeles Chargers 23, Baltimore Ravens 17

Why did Microsoft Word red underline Los Angeles? "Did you mean San Diego?" Wherever they're from, the Chargers would rather not be there. They are road warriors, and continued that hot streak in Baltimore on Sunday.

This is the type of game that makes you question everything. Lamar Jackson was 6-1 as a starter going into Sunday, though by the third quarter, Baltimore fans were calling for Joe Flacco. They never got him, possibly due to Action Jackson waking up in the fourth and almost leading a comeback, but I bet the Ravens will still be second-guessing whether he's their quarterback of the future. Remember, Tebow won a wild card game and still got the boot.

The Ravens just have a very exact game-plan. If things go off-script, it's tough for them to fight back. They need to get an early lead, control the clock, and play good defense. Their defense is still phenomenal, and you could feel them hit the ball carrier through the television, but the early deficit was too much for Baltimore to overcome.

Philip Rivers is a guy I'm cheering for. The fertile flame-thrower has lost so many close playoff games throughout his career, and he finally has a team that has a legit chance to win a Super Bowl. Foxborough in January is always a tough test, though the Chargers may be able to pull it off if they have a healthy Melvin Gordon. We don't talk about how multi-dimensional and important Gordon is for Los Angeles.

Philadelphia Eagles 16, Chicago Bears 15

We all just got double-doinked. And here come the death threats on Cody Parkey's life. That's a reasonable response, Chicago fans.

You have to feel for Parkey. This guy has seen the crossbar this year more than Katt Williams has seen the back of a police van. And the city of Chicago is absolutely crushing him after he missed the would have been game winning field goal that would have been good if it didn't get tipped at the line of scrimmage. And how about Philly fans hitting Parkey with some cash on Venmo? That's a classy move. Parkey can spend some serious coin at the mall next Sunday when Philly is getting smacked by New Orleans for the second time.

Not so fast, though. The Eagles lost 48-7 to the Saints in Week 11 with Carson Wentz under center. Nick Foles is a different animal. And I'm sick of the Wentz worshipping, despite what recent evidence has shown. It's time to admit that he just flat out hasn't been the same player since his injury. There's more story left to write, and Wentz is still a good player, although I don't understand the blind backing of Wentz over Foles by the majority of Philly fans and the organization outwardly when Foles has just refused to lose come playoff time. I'll gladly take him in New York next year. Foles made some mistakes in this one, but who doesn't against the Bears? What he did do is get the win, putting together a perfect drive in crunch time. All hail Nick Foles and his abnormally elongated package.

On the other side, there is only so much this historically good Bears defense can do. They needed help from their offense. Matt Nagy has gotten a lot of praise because he was birthed by Andy Reid, though he's both looked and acted like James McAvoy in Split. This offense can be explosive at times, though they go through droughts where they look absolutely anemic. Let's get Tarik Cohen in space, why don't we. Maybe then they wouldn't have to leave it to an obviously shaken Parkey. At least Mitch Trubisky had a beard that would make Osama Bin Laden nod in approval.

This Eagles' secondary has been lackluster all year. But, give them praise; they are gelling at the perfect time. They're going to need more than Dr. Scholl if they want to upset the Saints next Sunday.

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