Houston Texans 27, Oakland Raiders 14
Nick Bair: The Oakland season was over the second Derek Carr got injured. Saturday was just an extended eulogy. Props to the Texans’ D though for coming to play and taking advantage of a 3rd string rookie quarterback. Houston will probably get smoked by the Patriots, but Jadeveon Clowney and the pass rush might give them a small chance at staying competitive. Clowney is a monster (finally) and can change a game single handedly. The problem is New England is great at scheming against good players. They also have Tom Brady. This was just a play-in game, but again good for Houston.
Randy Haines: I’m pretty happy for Brock Osweiler. He kind of actually looked like he was an above average quarterback, maybe? It will be interesting to see how terrible New England makes him look this weekend, but at least for one week Osweiler looked a starting caliber quarterback. The real question is why is this the night game? I would be shocked if Houston scored more than 16 points this weekend. Can you flex games in the playoffs?
Seattle Seahawks 26, Detroit Lions 6
NB: Seattle took care of business at home. Not a surprising outcome, but it was good to see the Seahawks’ running game get rolling again. Last week, I was saying to watch out for Seattle as a sleeper in the NFC. I stand by that and think they might upset Atlanta this weekend (do you really trust Matt Ryan in the playoffs?). On the other side, Detroit was always playing above their paygrade this year and it finally caught up to them. They will not be back in the playoffs next season.
RH: Another snoozer of a playoff game. The Lions were completely outmatched by what might not be that impressive of a Seattle team and they still haven’t won a playoff game since Bush Sr. was in office. I have my doubt if Seattle will be able to keep up in Atlanta this weekend, I smell a blow out.
Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Miami Dolphins 12
NB: Thanks for showing up Miami. In a weekend of blowouts, this one might have taken the cake. How does a secondary lost Antonio Brown twice in the first quarter of a playoff game? Even Ndamukong Suh didn’t stomp on Roethlisberger. Just a brutal no show all around. The Steelers looked good, but was it more that the Dolphins are that bad? We will find out quickly when Pittsburgh travels to Kansas City this weekend. The Steeler offense is obviously rolling, but the Chiefs are ready for some redemption after getting embarrassed earlier this season.
RH: There’s nothing better than a playoff game that is over five minutes in. Antonio Brown could have has 350 receiving yards if this game would have stayed close. Let’s all raise our glasses and toast to the fact that we no longer have to watch the Miami Dolphins attempt to play football again for another 8 months.
Green Bay Packers 38, New York Giants 13
NB: The one game that looked like it could be competitive quickly turned into a laugher after the Hail Mary to Randall Cobb to end the first half. First off, thanks for doing nothing in fantasy this year Cobb then catching THREE touchdowns in the playoffs. Moving on, the drops by the Giants’ receivers were baffling, but the Yacht blaming by Buck and Aikman (and the internet) was a joke. I really thought the G Men had a chance to win this game, but mental errors and defensive breakdowns ended that hope. Also, you can blame the receivers all you want, but Eli had a pretty garbage showing. I am really excited to see the Cowboys face this Packers’ team. The Green Bay offense is red hot, but the Cowboys have the best formula for stopping him: run the ball, control the clock, and not let Rodgers take the field.
RH: I have had a pretty rough time picking games and projecting how at least half the league would perform this season. I kept buying into teams like the Cardinals, Bengals and Colts thinking this would be the week they would turn it around. One thing I never lost faith in all season even when I looked like a fool was that the Giants are trash and one of the biggest frauds we have had in this league in a long time. Big Blue scored 13 points on one of the worst defenses in football and their defense that was supposed to be their strong point allowed big pass play after big pass play on Sunday. Ben McAdoo made some terrible in game decisions and I don’t even need to mention Odell Beckham’s play (or lack thereof). What a joke.
-Nick Bair & Randy Haines
Photo Credit: The Spokesman Review