5th and 10: Thoughts from my Couch-Divisional Round


What an interesting would you rather. Would you like be a fan of a team that struggles almost every year since they came into existence like many of my friends here in Jacksonville. Or would you rather be a fan of a team that is good enough to make the playoffs quite often and then rip your heart out come January like the good folks in Cincinnati or Minnesota?


How frustrating for Bengals fans to have the game in their hands. Their first playoff victory in 25 years. And it all falls apart after the whistle has blown on an incomplete pass. Or how about the Vikings fans who were already thinking about where they wanted to watch next weeks game when Blair Walsh missed an easy field goal.


So who would you rather be? My Jaguar friends are pretty excited about the direction of their five-win team and franchise QB. While fans in the Midwest who cheer for the Bengals and the Vikings are probably too heart broken to even enjoy football this coming week. Who am I you ask? I’m a fan of the Denver Broncos who only have 6 losing seasons in the last 30. I know how lucky I am to be a fan of one of the most successful franchises in the NFL. But please believe, I know heart break. My team is 2-5 in Super Bowls. But I’ll take big dreams and huge expectations any day.


Let’s look at this Weekends games in order of how excited I am to watch. Bet you’ll never guess which one I save for last!


  • Chiefs @ Patriots, Saturday 4:35pm. How can this be? A matchup between the defending Super Bowl Champions and a team that has won 11 in a row? This is a great matchup right? Nope. While the Chiefs have been in survival mode since Week 6, doing everything they can to win every game. The Patriots have been preparing themselves for the playoffs by resting players and running the most bland, vanilla offense possible.


  • While Kansas City’s defense is playing amazing right now. The Patriots are finally healthy. Brian Hoyer looked scared to death to be playing in the playoffs against the Chiefs last week. Tom Brady will be more nervous about how his post game suit looks on TV than he will be to play in the game. Get ready for Gronk to explode. And I think the New England defense will completely shut down Kansas City’s offense.


  • It’s been a fun story for all the fans in Arrowhead. But the Pats will dominate this game and win easily. Prediction: New England 38 Kansas City 16.


  • Packers @ Cardinals, Saturday 8:15pm. The Packers ruined the storybook season for the Washington Redskins. The Pack looked like their old selves playing good defense will a little mix of Aaron Rodgers and a running game that the Skins couldn’t stop. But now Green Bay must travel down to Arizona to face the Cardinals who have looked like a better version of the Packers all year.


  • Seattle whooped Arizona in the season finally. This is a perfect situation for any Arizona fan. Any sense the team was getting over-confident and wouldn’t be focused going into the playoffs is gone. I expect that Carson Palmer will take advantage of the best team he has ever had around him and take out the cheese heads (spoiler!)


  • Sorry I was supposed to save the prediction for this paragraph. I do think it will be a good game. Rodgers will not go down easy. Prediction: Arizona 27 Green Bay 21.


  • Seahawks @ Panthers, Sunday 1pm. How freaking lucky can the Seahawks get! They have been pulling stuff like this since they somehow made Calvin Johnson fumble on the 1-yard line and then the refs pretended not to see Seattle punch the ball out of bounds. Russell Wilson is great and the defense is as good as ever. But Football Karma is coming in the form of Cam Newton.


  • This is Cam’s year. He should win MVP. He is an unstoppable football force. The Panthers were glad to take last week off to get healthy and are now ready to unleash on the Seahawks. Look for Greg Olsen to own Cam Chancellor on Sunday.


  • If my prediction is correct (and why wouldn’t it be? I went 4 for 4 in my predictions last week) we will all get the matchup we have been waiting for all season. Prediction Carolina 34 Seattle 28.


  • Steelers @ Broncos, 4:40pm. Wish-washy. Indecisive. Flip-flopper. I’m not talking about Gary Kubiak; I’m talking about me. When coach Kub pulled Brock Osweiler in Week 17 I was furious. Three or four of the Broncos five turnovers were not the fault of Big Brock. But it obviously seemed to jumpstart the Broncos and they won the game.


  • Now I’m all in on the return of Peyton F’ing Manning. The Sheriff is back. His experience and pre snap recognition will take us all the way! I do think he gives Denver the best chance of winning this year. Brock can help defend the title next year. This is Peyton’s team. Peyton will play smart and ride this defense to a win this week. And next week will be Peyton vs. Brady 1,341.


  • Pittsburgh could be without their 3 best players. Although reports are saying Big Ben and Antonio Brown are going to play. But if Roethlisberger can only throw 5-yard screens like he did in the final drive of the Bengals game, he’s going to get his receivers killed.


  • The Broncos are Home. The Broncos are Healthy. The Broncos are ready to complete step 2 of Peyton’s storybook ending. Prediction: Denver 24 Pittsburgh 6.


We have 4 great games this weekend. Please enjoy and join me next week as we preview what could be an epic Championship Weekend.


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