The Divisional Round Rooting Guide

Street Talk The Divisional Round Rooting Guide

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A quick recap of Wild Card Weekend:

-Brian Hoyer had 5 turnovers (4 picks, 1 fumble) in a total sleeper.

-Kirk Cousins did NOT like that… but Randall Cobb sure did.

-Vontaze Burfict and Pacman Jones have become public enemies #1 & #2 in Cincy. Both players are still refusing friend requests on Instagram from Chris Boswell and Mike Tomlin.

– Blair Walsh channeled his inner-Cundiff.

They sure put the ‘wild‘ into Wild Card… amirite????

(I have 4 kids, I’m allowed to use corny dad jokes at this point in my life)

While some of the games this weekend should generate no-brainer allegiances (if you root for the Pats, you’re dead to me), there’s still a few others that are a bit ambiguous, so once again, let’s throw some fuel on the fire and get you ready for the Divisional Round Playoff games!

WRITER’S NOTE: Once again, we’ll be offering up more bias than you can shake a stick at, but you’re more than welcome to argue internally that ‘there’s no way that team will win!’ despite the fact that we’re picking winners based on emotions, not fancy things like ‘stats’ or ‘data.’ Vegas doesn’t take emotional bets. They do take your money though, and if you try to run with my logic below and lose, you only have yourself- and likely a pint of vodka that’s required to take this blog as gospel- to blame. I’d also assume you were the person who spent a whole paycheck on Power Ball tickets this week thinking it was a sure shot way to win $1.5 Billion, and also thought Kevin Hart should’ve won Lip Sync Battle this week. ALL HAIL OLIVIA MUNN!!!


Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots

Saturday 1/16 @ 4:35pm

Left - Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid wearing a red hat and jacket and this headset. Right - Bill Belichick with his trademark mug wearing a gray jacket and his headset.

In a laugher of a Wild Card game, the Chiefs trampled all over the Houston Texans. Meanwhile back in New England, Tom Brady sat back on his couch in his super feminine Ugg boots as he rested up whatever fictitious injury Bill Belicheat came up with to try and get into the heads of the Chiefs because, to be blunt, that’s with Belichick does. He tries to skirt the rules, get into the opponents head and gain the upper-hand.

Come to think of it, weren’t there a few ‘unusual’ reports yesterday? Didn’t Chandler Jones ‘mysteriously’ show up at a police station, hands behind his head, acting a fool, but they deemed nothing was wrong? And didn’t Gronk ‘mysteriously’ end up at the hospital getting treated yesterday for some injuries unbeknownst to anybody outside of the organization?

Here’s what I think:

Bill was all like “WOW. The Chiefs just slaughtered the Texans… and the last time we played the Chiefs they slaughtered us 41-14. And I can’t use underinflated balls this time, nor can I use that whole ineligible receiver trickery…. Gronk! You don’t need the practice, go over to the hospital and complain about back pain… yeah, just lay back and catch up on some Days of Our Lives… and Chandler! Go make a total fool out of yourself somewhere to draw negative attention, but don’t break any laws so you can still play. I don’t care what you do, just get the media focusing on you… once Reid’s boys catch wind of all of this drama, they’ll forget all about game-planning and I’ll take over the world! MWAHAHAHAHA!”

Or something like that.

WHO TO ROOT FOR:

Chiefs TE Travis Kelce puts his arms out to the side as he smiles wearing his red jersey with Texans DT Vince Wilfork in the background.

 

Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

Saturday 1/16 @ 8:15pm

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, wearing his green jersey gets ready to throw. Right - Cardinals QB Carson Palmer  wears his red home jersey and prepares to throw short.

So for me, this is a 2-fold personal endorsement for the team I want to see win.

As a youth, BEFORE THE RAVENS CAME TO BALTIMORE, I was a HUGE Brett Favre fan. And being a Favre fan makes you, by association, a Packers fan. So yes, I am a self-proclaimed closet-cheesehead (except when they play Baltimore, then I am 100% black and purple). And as such, of course I’ll be pulling for Green Bay in this game.

But the the big reason I am pulling for Green Bay? The magical James Jones hoodie.

I noticed it back in a game in November, then it continued to linger into December by the time I realized he was keeping the hoodie on every game (at that point, it was all over the social media universe). Jones now says the hoodie has become good luck, and the numbers don’t lie:

With the hoodie: 5.3 receptions and 78.2 yards

Without the hoodie: 2.3 receptions and 45.6 yards

With that hoodie in mind, I went to the NFL Shop on Twitter back in December to pose an extremely vital question:

UPDATE: The correct department has not contacted me yet, but the deeper the Pack go into the playoffs, the more likely they produce this jersey. And if they do make a Jones hoodie jersey, I better be seeing some royalties!

If my personal happiness isn’t enough to steer you one way or another, perhaps I’ll just remind you of the absolute joke of a call on the Chris Johnson play against Baltimore this year? Yanno, the one where he was sitting down of Brandon Williams for like an hour, then gets up and runs and the officials are like “eh, why not let it count?”

And also- Olivia Munn.

WHO TO ROOT FOR:

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers walking with girlfriend, actress Olivia Munn.

 

Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers

Sunday 1/17 @ 1:05pm

Panthers QB Cam Newton does his Superman stance (right). Seahawks S Kam Chancellor shows off his muscles.

I still stand my ground about loathing the Seahawks, but just to recap my animosity, I’ll list my qualms:

1. The 12’s are your typical Seattle resident- obnoxious, entitled and self-righteous.
2. Richard Sherman is an over-hyped, trash talking fool who only covers one side of the field, never the best receiver.
3. Cheat Carroll.
4. Marshawn Lynch is a diva who thinks talking to the media is beneath him.

But all of those things aside, just look at how last week’s game ended and judge for yourself. Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh totally Cundiffed his chip-shot field goal that sent the Seahawks home victorious. As a Ravens fan, I not only feel remorse for Walsh and the Vikes, but watching the Seahawks jump around and carry on post-game just reminded me of the Patriots after the Cundiff shank and suddenly, I start to see fire in my eyes and go all Bruce Banner/ Hulk (or General Thunderbolt Ross / Red Hulk for those Marvel aficionados)… then I calm down, and pull for a 15-1 team led by the clear-cut league MVP.

WHO TO ROOT FOR:

Panthers QB Cam Newton does the dab.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos

Sunday 1/17 @ 4:40pm

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is carted off the field (left). Broncos QB Peyton Manning gives the thumbs up (right).

Say what you want about Joey Porter… no seriously, say whatever you want. He had no business being on the field, he did a poor job of acting as if he wasn’t out there with the intention of stirring the pot while he backtracked away after talking trash to Bengals players, and then after it was all said and done, he refused to talk to the media. That’s so Steelers, isn’t it? A coach on the field when he shouldn’t be… refusing to admit wrongdoing… and a victory that should have been a loss.

On the flip side, I am a rare fan of the game that pulls for Peyton Manning. Sure he’s getting up there in age, but after recovering from his plantar fasciitis issue during the home stretch of the regular season, Manning stepped into the game in Week 17 to relieve a disparaging Brock Osweiler effort, only to connect on a whopping 5 of 9 passes for 59 yards!!!

Okay, so that means nothing. But that’s what makes me pull for Manning even more! Everybody counts him out. They say he throws ducks, and his arm strength is gone, and he crumbles under the slightest bit of pressure, and he just needs to retire… and if the Steelers lose to that kind of QB? All the better.

Also the Steelers are going from Big Ben- Antonio Brown- DeAngelo Williams to 50% Big Ben (which I suppose makes him Broke Ben?)- Martavis Bryant- Fitz Touissant. Against the top defense in the NFL.

Yeah… enjoy that Pittsburgh.

 

 

WHO TO ROOT FOR:

A rear shot of Broncos QB Peyton Manning raising his fists in his orange uniform.

 

 

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Adam Bonaccorsi

About Adam Bonaccorsi

Known by his fellow 227ers at M&T Bank Stadium as “Are You Kidding Me?” Adam is a vocal and opinionated Baltimore sports fans, who appreciates thinking outside of the box and offering far-fetched perspectives that tend to leave readers left wondering ‘what if?’ or sometimes 'seriously bro?' and occasionally, 'I'll have what he's drinking!' Or just 4-letter expletive-laden responses. Those are the best. More from Adam Bonaccorsi

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