NFL Divisional Round: Chargers are still alive!!

PLAYOFFS!!!!!  WHOOOOOOOO!!!  CHARGERS!!! I'm sure I'll come up with some rational analysis (for at least three of the games), but I'm going to take a few more minutes to stay excited.  You know what the best feeling is?  Playing with house money.  Being the big underdog and winning.  Barely scraping in via luck and still being alive after a week.  And since I made a few HUGE predictions (Melvin Ingram was getting great pressure and running all over the place, in the first half I texted other Chargers fans that he was going to make a big play in the second half), I will use my powers for good and make a few more predictions to benefit the Chargers.

New Orleans @ Seattle (-8):
So the Hall of Famer Drew Brees, who owns half or the eight 5,000 yard passing seasons, goes into Seattle to face the best pass defense in the NFL.  I mean, this pass defense is being considered as one of the top pass defenses EVER.  You know what?  I think Drew Brees kind of wins out.  Well, He throws for at least 200 yards, has more touchdowns than interceptions, kind of winning out.  I'm saying Brees does well enough against the Seahawks vaunted pass defense that the Saints could win if the rest of the team plays well.  This is where we look the other way.  This game will be decided by how the Saints defense performs against the Seahawks offense.  And here, Russell Wilson is going to out-short-QB Brees.  He's going to make some very creative plays running and throwing and the Saints defense (which is coordinated very well by Rob Ryan) and he's going to look/sound good in interviews and win over a few significant others.  Also, these guys are awesome.  Interception likelihood says the Seahawks will prevail.  Drew Brees will throw two or three TDs and only one interception, but Wilson doesn't throw any.  But it will be closer than 8.
Saints +8.

Indianapolis @ New England (-7.5):
I'm fairly confident the Seahawks will win, even though I'd taking the Saints against the spread.  I'm not so confident regarding the Patriots.  They are slightly more likely to throw an interception than the Colts, but it's basically even.  The Patriots are better and they are at home, but I feel much more comfortable taking the Colts and the points.  The bigger question is whether I think the Colts win outright?  After long internal deliberation (seriously, there was about twenty minutes between these sentences), I'm going with New England.  Home field advantage and Tom Brady will be better than Andrew Luck against Bill Belichek.
Colts +7.5

San Francisco @ Carolina (0):
This game opened with the Panthers as a 2 point favorite and is now down to a pick'em.  Lots of SF fans forgetting the Panthers actually have a better defense and a young mobile quarterback of their own and that the game is in Carolina (I'm guessing the Northern one?), not California (definitely the northern half).  This game would be awesome if it was measure by QB rushing yards.  But it's going to be something like third downs rushing by QBs.  And Cam Newton is much more likely to convert a 3rd and 1 than Kaepernick.  Rushing QBs and linebackers.  That's what this game is all about.  With no segue... (does that count as a segue?) the Saints are the most likely team to throw an interception this weekend.  The Panthers are second most likely and the 49ers are third most likely.  I expect both teams to throw at least one interception, it will be the team that scores a TD off the turnover that wins this game.  I say it's the team with home field advantage.
Panthers +0

San Diego @ Denver (-9.5):
Ok, ready for the specific predictions that could be overcome and still result in a Broncos victory, but are all leaning towards key breaks that the Chargers will need to win the game?  Peyton Manning is throwing for 300 yards this game.  I don't see how the Chargers defense is going to stop him. But he will throw one interception and Philip Rivers will not.  Wes Welker will have a drop on a key third down in the second half.  Rivers may not throw for 250 yards, but he will throw three touchdowns.  It wouldn't surprise me if Ryan Mathews has a big catch in a situation where the Broncos defense would be expecting a run.  The Chargers will run the ball much better than the Broncos, which will actually be the overall theme of the game.  Peyton keeps getting faced with 3rd and 7 while Rivers keeps facing 3rd and 2.  The Chargers will convert more third downs than the Broncos.  Peyton Manning will actually play great, but the rest of the Broncos around him (including the defense) will have trouble executing and Peyton gets unfairly blamed for another early playoff exit.
Chargers +9.5


  1. More thoughts on the Chargers, under the category of things they can do that will work against the Broncos AND will be unexpected. Less running the ball, but still a big emphasis on maintaining long drives (seems a little counter intuitive). Several deep passes early to take advantage of Broncos weakened pass rush, put field position in our favor, get an early lead, etc. Maybe on an early 3rd and 1, with Ryan Mathews in the backfield and lining up like it's going to be a power run, throwing out of that set. I'm guessing Mathews either picks up a key block or catches the ball for the first down OR Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates draw attention from the safeties and Ladarius Green makes a big catch for a huge gain. It will be the flip of last week. Throwing a lot early to give us a lead and lots of running in the second half.

  2. $55 on Colts +7.5, Car +0
    $44 on SD +9.5
    $33 on NO +8

  3. Didn't the game open Niners -2? And has been bet down to a pick'em? I'm terrified that we entered this game as the favorite. Here are my picks:

    $44 on Colts +7.5, Broncos -9.5, Saints +8
    $33 on Niners -0

  4. PS Those are all wild ass guesses. I have on clue at this point.

  5. Royce didn't want to make a pick on the Seahawks-Saints game.

    Royce, whatever happened at that birthday lunch during the Chargers playoff game?

  6. Only game I felt super duper good about the line was the New England -7.5 line, but I didn't make my bet in time.

    At the lunch, we got a table facing directly at the TV. It was IDEAL. Well not for people trying to talk to me; but great for watching the game.