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Football thoughts – Week 20

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on January 18, 2021

Kansas City v Cleveland: This game went almost exactly as I expected. I figured the Chiefs would win; they are the better team. But I also expected Baker Mayfield to take them to the wall, which he did.

In fact, Mayfield had them within range of an upset, until, well, another of my expectations were met, that the referees would make a spectacular, game changing screw up sometime during the playoffs. As it happened, they did it in the first playoff game of the weekend.

The refs failed to call an obvious helmet to helmet penalty that caused a fumble by Cleveland at the Kansas City goal line, which resulted in a touchback giving the ball to Kansas City on their 20. A touchdown there and Cleveland could well have won the game.

I’m thinking again about that numb nuts football commentator who opined that if Mayfield didn’t win the first game against Pittsburgh to get into the playoffs, Cleveland should get rid of him. What a moron! That said, the Browns need a serious upgrade on defense before they can expect to advance much further.

Baltimore v Buffalo:  I expected Baltimore to win this game, but Buffalo upset them, 17-3. The Ravens laid a playoff egg, which is becoming a bad habit of theirs. Lamar Jackson becomes mortal in the playoffs, and the Harbaugh brothers both seem to have trouble getting teams up for a big game.

That said, Buffalo is a good team and deserved the win, which is not to say they can beat Kansas City, but I wouldn’t bet against it.

Green Bay v Los Angeles: The Packers went through the Rams like a hot knife through butter. The score was 32-18, but the game wasn’t that close. L.A.  was never really in it, and the Packers could have scored another touchdown at the end of the game, but Packer coach Matt LaFleur had the Pack take a knee at the Rams’ goal line. (LaFleur and Rams coach Sean McVay are close friends.)

Aaron Rodgers, who has played well all season, is actually peaking for the playoffs. The Packers will have home field advantage in cold, snowy Green Bay for the Championship game, Rodgers very first home playoff game.

Tampa Bay v New Orleans: This was the most anticipated and, in many ways, the best game of the weekend. It was thrilling to see NFL royalty, two certain Hall of Fame quarterbacks, both now over 40, duke it out on the field and also embrace before and the game. The Bucs won 30-20, but this was one of those historic games that almost transcended the score.

I agree with Skip Bayless that the one man in sports you can never bet against is Tom Brady. He can be beaten, but not very often and almost never with all the chips on the table. Brees did not have a good what may have been his final game, but it probably wouldn’t have mattered.

So, after this exciting game pitting two certain Hall of Fame quarterbacks Sunday evening, we will have nearly the same thing next week when Brady faces Rodgers for the Championship at Lambeau Field. The Packers will probably be favored. Want to bet against Brady?

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