Four Thoughts on the Ballgame
Kansas City Chiefs 24, Philadelphia Eagles 21
Player to Watch on the Philadelphia Eagles.
DeVonta Smith is one of my favorite players in the NFL. Here is what I wrote in the leadup to the 2021 NFL Draft:
I don’t get it.
I’m sure there are scouty/personnel types who will quibble at Smith’s measureables (oh no, he doesn’t weigh enough!) but when you watch him on the field, which is where he actually plays football, you see an NFL star.
In the modern NFL there are very few line-em-up-and-beat-the-corner wide receivers. The game is about matchups and Smith is a matchup nightmare. He’s the best wide receiver in this draft. He’s the best return man in this draft. He’s the best player in this draft.
This season, Smith had 95 catches for 1,196 yards and 7 touchdowns. He’s a star, but on a stacked roster, he’s not treated like one. The Super Bowl has a habit of changing the perception of a player and I think that’s about to happen with Smith. With the deep shots to A.J. Brown made more difficult by Chris Jones and the pass rush, expect Smith to devour the Chiefs underneath.
If the Eagles win the game, it will not surprise me to see Smith win the MVP.
The four best teams in the NFL remain. That’s all we can ask for in the final weeks of an NFL season.
Kansas City 27, Jacksonville 20
Four mistakes cost the Jaguars a remarkable trip to the AFC Championship Game.
A dissertation could be written about the Jaguar approach to Travis Kelce but even with the tight end’s dominant performance, Jacksonville should have won this ballgame. They didn’t. Because of four mistakes.
Eagles 38, Giants 7
It’s not surprising the Eagles won. It is a bit surprising that the Giants – who have been defined lately by their grit – were completely toothless. I came away from this snooze of a game with three thoughts.
Ultimately, I went 7-5 on Wildcard Weekend, completely whiffing on Cowboys/Bucs to finish. (Each of Brett Maher’s FOUR missed extra points kept the game from hitting the over.) Now we enter the NFL’s best weekend, and the league has served us four terrific games. The goal is simply to stay above .500 the rest of the way.
This week’s three-bullet approach will be a point on each team and a score prediction. Again, my picks against the spread and the total are in the final score predictions. All numbers from DraftKings Sportsbook.