Unfortunately, there will be no more Indianapolis Colts football this year after they were eliminated from the playoffs in week 18. Some fans will retreat into darkness unwilling or unable to stomach watching football that doesn’t include their favorite team. For others, the playoffs still bring plenty of interest and reason to watch. For those fans of the NFL in general, who is a lock to move on this weekend and what underdog will pull off the upset?
When looking at the playoffs, you have two types of “underdog” situations. There is the spread and there is seeding. For the purpose of this article, I am going to ignore the spread and look only at seeding. Based on that logic, here is my lock and upset.
The Steelers head to Buffalo to take on the Bills. This is an interesting one because just a few weeks ago the Steelers looked like they had no chance to make the postseason while the Bills were lingering closer to the seventh seed than the second. The Bills have caught fire, however, winning their last five with the biggest being their road win in Miami to secure the division. After beating the Chiefs, Cowboys, and Dolphins over this winning streak, this is not a team I would want to run into right now. On top of that, should the Steelers even be here? You can decide that, but they don’t particularly look like a team that is postseason worthy. Take the Bills here to crush the Steelers.
I love me some Browns and Joe Flacco in this one. (Can’t believe I said that...) Anyway, these aren’t the “days of old” Browns. Throw out the give away game against the Bengals, and the Browns have won four in a row with one of those wins being a beatdown of the Texans in Houston. Yes, C.J. Stroud didn’t play, but I really don’t care. He doesn’t play defense, and that unit gave up 36 points. It was 36-7 until late in the fourth with Flacco having 368 yards. Yes, Joe Flacco had 368 yards. The Browns are hot, and the Texans are probably overseeded here thanks to two teams melting down to allow them to take the division. Give me the Browns to continue the NFL script, so they can head to Baltimore to take on the team that was stolen from them with a quarterback that the Ravens tossed aside. You gotta love it.
Playoff football is a different beast than the regular season. Teams tend to slow things down and value possessions even more. The under becomes a popular bet, and whatever happened during the first 18 weeks isn’t always an indicator of what is to come. With that said, I feel comfortable that my two picks are going to get it done. If not, oh well. I have no love for any of them!