NFL Betting – Wild Card Weekend Roundup
One can only hope that this week’s NFL Divisional round matchups come close to the amazing lineup of games and outcomes we saw on Wild Card Weekend. Anyone catch the games this weekend? I’m trying to remember…did anything crazy happen?
Wildcard Weekend Recaps
Seahawks 41, Saints 36
…I’m at a loss. If you saw this result coming and bet the money line, you probably got rich over the weekend. Sure, 11 points was a big spread for the Saints to cover on the road, but did anyone expect them to (a) surrender 41 points and (b) lose the game outright?
Somehow, the stars aligned. At 7-9 entering their Wild Card playoff, the Seahawks were arguably the worst team ever to make the big dance. But Matt Hasselbeck turned back the clock. And the Saints had a truckload of injuries. And Marshawn Lynch went into Beast Mode like never before, etching himself in YouTube’s history books with an epic 67-yard touchdown run during which he tossed every Saint, referee, blade of grass and atom aside to take the ball all the way.
Jets 17, Colts 16
I know the Colts found some success down the stretch by recommitting to the run, but did they go overboard against the Jets? Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes combined for 27 mostly ineffective carries. Peyton Manning attempted at least 40 passes 10 times this season but threw only 26 balls on Saturday night, tying his lowest total of the year. When you don’t put the ball in your future Hall-of-Famer’s hands, you may have trouble winning, Indy.
If we thought Rex Ryan did a lot of talking last week – what will he do leading up to the Jets’ showdown with New England this week?
Ravens 30, Chiefs 7
As this game approached, more and more bettors realized that this wasn’t going to be a close one. The Chiefs won our hearts this year but really didn’t play anyone of consequence. They weren’t ready for a polished, veteran squad like Baltimore.
Also – they panicked. They looked the part of the young team that didn’t know how to win a playoff game. Case in point – Matt Cassel’s interception late in the third quarter (one of three on the day). At the time, the Chiefs were only down by nine points. But Cassel shuffled his feet nervously, desperately searching for an open man, and forced a Derek Anderson-esque throw into coverage. It was the kind of throw you make when you’re down by 23 points late in the fourth – not when you’re down by a touchdown and field goal with more than a quarter left.
As much as the Ravens beat the Chiefs yesterday, the Chiefs also beat themselves.
Packers 21, Eagles 16
Be afraid, NFC. Be every afraid. The only thing supposedly holding the Packers back from being an elite team this season was supposedly their lack of a running game. Then, out of nowhere, James Starks sets a franchise rookie record by gashing the Eagles for 123 yards on 23 carries.
If Starks can sustain that type of performance, the Pack could crusade to a Super Bowl berth. Their defense was good enough to keep Michael Vick in check and Aaron Rodgers managed three touchdown passes on a day in which his receivers couldn’t catch anything. It’s scary to wonder what this team is capable of in its indoor date with Atlanta next week.