Who’s Going to the Superbowl 2020

January 17, 2020 Adam Thomas

Adam’s take:

Last week was tough picks-wise as I went 0-2 against the spread leaving me at 1-3 for this post season which is…not ideal. Those who bet Seattle got an extremely bad beat as they lost by 5 (with a 4 or 4.5 point spread) and would have covered if not for a failed two-point conversion attempt. Not to be out-done, those who bet Houston were probably putting a down-payment on their new beach house by the end of the first quarter only to be auctioning off that same house by the end of the game. What a crazy collapse. But what the hell, you knew all of that information already, no? Let’s look ahead to the final multiple-game weekend of football this year!

Kansas City (-7) vs Tennessee

Great game by Mahomes last week to remind us all that he, and not in fact, Lamar Jackson, is currently the best QB in football. All signs are pointing to KC steamrolling over the Titans but you know what, I don’t believe in signs!  What I do believe in is Derrick Henry steamrolling fools into oblivion. That’s why I’m going with the Titans to not only cover but to defeat the Chiefs and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

Tennessee 34 Kansas City 30

San Francisco (-7.5) vs Green Bay

If you’re a Cowboys fan, it’s gotta be reassuring that the year after Green Bay fired Mike McCarthy–newly hired head coach of the Cowboys–that the Packers look rejuvenated and like world-beaters and like the ONLY problem they had was that Mike McCarthy was in charge. Wait, is reassuring the right word?

Anyway, this should be a great game. Good defenses, great rushing games, hunky quarterbacks, hunkier COACHES, what more could you ask for? I’m going with the niners.

San Fransisco 27 Green Bay 24

Randy’s take:

Can we take a moment to talk about Antonio Brown and his untimely demise?  Yeeeeeeesh.  If you haven’t seen the video of him yelling at the cops, his baby mama, and indirectly at his children… it’s tough to stomach.  The guy is literally spiraling right in front of our eyes.  Not for the faint of hearts.

I only wanted to post that because I drafted him in the second round of my money league.  F that guy.  On to the picks!

Tennessee Titans (-7.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs 

If you would have told me last week in the 2nd quarter down 24-0 that the Chiefs would still cover… I would have said “You’re right! Because I picked them to cover and I’m all knowing!”  But even a blind squirrel finds a nut from time to time.  Not considering the first quarter, that game was all Kansas City.  They just have too many weapons.

I expect more of the same this week.  In spite of the criticism, I’m a believer in Kansas City’s defense.  They won’t contain Derrick Henry (newsflash: no one can), but it still takes longer to put up points with a consistent running game versus a passing game that has the potential to score on every play.  The Chiefs are just going to outscore them, much like the Texans, and maybe have a decent defensive play here and there.

Chiefs 38, Titans 24

Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers (-7.5)

This almost feels like a trap.  I get that the 49ers defense is next-level, but a nearly 8-point spread for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers?  Am I missing something?

Everyone knows that State Farm is already pulling strings behind the scenes to have the Discount Double Check ShitBowl 2020 featuring their two highly-paid spokespersons.  What a corporate dream that would be, right?

Still… this feels like such a trap pick.  My first instinct is to believe that Aaron Rodgers is capable of winning this game for the Packers or at least keeping it manageable.  Seven and a half seems like a very favorable spread in what would likely be a close, exciting, late evening prime-time game.  You know Joe Buck and Troy Aikman don’t call blowouts — it’s in there contract.

So by that notion, I’ll fall for the trap.  I’m taking the Packers with the spread.

Packers 24, 49ers 17.

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2020 NFC Divisional Round Playoff Predictions!

January 11, 2020 Adam Thomas

Man, how sweet are the graphics Randy’s been cooking up lately? You should just stop reading the column now and scroll back up to bask in their glory.

Appreciating the Star Wars graphics is an apt way to start the blog as last week, while I went 1-1 in my picks, I totally whiffed on my Star Wars analogy. Here I thought Titans coach Mike Vrabel was young Anakin to Belichick’s older and wiser Kenobi–the implication being that the young Padawan would eventually be chopped to pieces on Mustafar. I should’ve known that it was more like Vrabel being Anakin to Belichick’s Palpatine! Of course it would be Anakin (aka Darth Vader) who ended up destroying Palpatine and the evil Empire  by chucking the old man’s lightning scared body down a Death Star II reactor shaft, just like it was Vrabel who ended the Patriots empire by, well, winning a football game. Not quite as dramatic but alas, good riddance.

While the Titans beating the Patriots last week (hooray!) was no doubt surprising, I’ve got to think that the Vikings beating the Saints was arguably the bigger upset. I thought the Saints were the team to beat this year and had them going to the Super Bowl to represent the NFC.

So what can we surmise from last week? That every team has a chance to win it all. I am basing my picks solely on the assumption that we are most likely NOT going to get a 1-2 match up in both the NFC and AFC. One of these underdogs has to get through and I think the lower seeds in the NFC are stronger than those in the AFC. So it has to be one of these teams. The hard part is picking which one that will be…

Minnesota Vikings (+7) @ San Francisco 49ers

Looks whose all grownsed up!  Kirk Cousins showed up last week and ‘You like that’-ed all over the Saints! What a thing to behold. Add that to sentences that I never thought I’d find myself typing.

This week, he will try to catch lightning in the bottle again on the road against the 49ers. I am so very tempted to take the Vikings here—mainly because of Dalvin Cook and the Minnesota run game against the 49ers weak run defense. But I just can’t. I think the niners get the job done at home, though the Vikings cover.

49ers 27 Vikings 21

Seattle Seahawks (+4) @ Green Bay Packers

It’d be really cool to see the 49ers play the Packers in the NFC Championship—a throw-back to the mid-90s where the two teams faced off in the playoffs in 1995, 96, 97 and 98—but here’s where I think the upset happens. Russell Wilson in the post-season is no joke and I think he makes just enough plays with his legs to ultimately win a cold, low scoring game.

Though the Packers have Aaron Jones, who has been a beast this year, I think Aaron Rodgers makes one big boneheaded play—like a red zone INT or a strip sack fumble late—and the Seahawks prevail.

Seahawks 20 Packers 16

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2020 AFC Divisional Round Playoff Predictions!

January 10, 2020 Randy Neil

Ok. So. Last week didn’t really pan out how I projected and I put up a mighty goose-egg for the wild card round.  Who would have guessed that Kirk Cousins would finally emerge from his cocoon into a beautiful butterfly? Not me.  And definitely not you. But I digress!

We decided to switch it up this week and exchange conferences. I will be doing the AFC and Adam will be coming later with the NFC picks.  Sounds like the Headrush crew is dialed in exactly where we need to be in order to come up with some frothy Divisional Round predictions!

Tennessee Titans (+9.5) @ Baltimore Ravens

There are a lot of things at play here.  The Ravens have won 12 straight games going into the playoffs and were blowing the doors off of people while they were at it.  Strangely, their last loss came to the Cleveland Browns in late September.  They lost by 15.  How silly is that?

The Ravens did end up playing, and beating, the Browns more recently, so it’s not like we can attribute that anomaly to anything — but it does show that almost everything hinges on Lamar Jackson (super obvious).  He threw 2 picks in their loss to Cleveland and only threw for 247 yards.  If anyone has played fantasy against someone starting Lamar Jackson, you and I both know, that’s a mediocre day for him.

Pair that thought with the memory of Jackson’s only playoff appearance where he had 25 passing yards in the first 3 quarters and there were calls to have him get benched for…. JOE FLACCO.  Man, things change so much over the course of a year.

Now that I’m done playing devil’s advocate, I will note that Jackson ended up with 169 yards and 2 TDs in the 4th quarter of that game and nearly led a come back over the Chargers for his first playoff win. He was literally transforming in that game into an elite talent and I expect a whole bunch of the same.

The Ravens will win, but the nearly 10-point spread is what makes this pick hard.  If the Ravens get ahead early, the Titans are likely to abandon their best weapon, Derrick Henry, and sink further into a hole.  The patience and game-planning of Mike Vrabel will dictate how close of a game this is.  My gut tells me that anyone capable of irritating and out-coaching Bill Belichick has some wits about them to keep the game close.  Just watch that video and relish in his anger.

Ravens 31, Titans 24

Houston Texans (+9.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs

Is it possible for two underdogs to cover?  Well… maybe.  The Texans did play and beat the Chiefs earlier in the season, but a lot has changed since the week 6 matchup.

For starters, the defensive line and linebackers for the Chiefs looked much different.  They had a plethora of defensive players out due to injury and the Texans ran for 192 yards! Almost everyone hurt in that game is back and they have added another veteran in Terrell Suggs now.

Patrick Mahomes was recovering/playing-through his ankle injury.  Sammy Watkins did not play in their earlier game and Tyreek Hill had just returned from his injury.

Add all of those players at their prime — combined with a bye week to rest, Damien Williams healthy, and Andy Reid’s record when coming off of a bye.  AND they’re at home.

I don’t think there’s much Deshaun Watson can do to bail out the Texans in this game.  I think the Chiefs will more than cover.

Chiefs 35, Texans 17

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2019 AFC Wildcard Predictions!

January 2, 2020 Adam Thomas

Bills at Texans

In researching this game—and by ‘researching’ I mean Googling ‘Bills vs Texans’ and clicking on the first link that popped up—I was surprised to see that all but one of the experts on CBS sports is picking the Bills. I think that the Texans take care of business at home to earn their annual wild card win, divisional round loss.

This year, heading into Randy’s fantasy football draft, I didn’t want to draft a quarterback early, like Deshaun Watson. I wanted to wait on a quarterback and get Josh Allen late in the draft. I chose Cam Newton instead (Whoops!) and Allen went a few players later. When it came back around, I decided to draft Lamar Jackson as my back up, not knowing that he would turn into the greatest quarterback the world has ever seen. Of course, I ended up losing in the championship to a team that started Kirk Cousins. So next year, remember during your fantasy drafts to wait on a quarterback. There are just so many good ones that Kirk Cousins can literally win you a championship. Except for everyone that plays in Randy’s league with me. Feel free to draft a quarterback with your early round picks.

Got a little distracted there—funny how that happens when writing a stream of consciousness blog about the Bills playing the Texans. I like the Texans for the simple fact that they have the better quarterback. I wish I had more analysis for you, but that’s all I got.

Texans 27 Bills 24

Titans at Patriots

Whoa buddy. Now this is a game. Full of all sorts of intrigue and the very real possibility of this being the end of the Brady/Belichick era. Of course, the end of the Patriots dynasty coming at the hands of a jobber like Ryan Tannehill would be too convenient of an end. Everybody outside of New England wants it to happen. We would love to watch Derick Henry run for 200 yards and spike the ball on Belichick’s nuts. But of course, this is the real world. That’s not going to happen. Belichick is going to figure out a way to shut down Ryan Tannehill—something Tannehill has proven adept at doing himself up until this season—they will bottle up Henry and Brady’s old man strength will power them juuuuust enough to win the game.

Another factor is Mike Vrabel going up against his mentor in Belichick. It has a little bit of an Anakin Skywalker vs. Obi Wan Kenobi vibe, no? Of course, Kenobi already has the high ground. Don’t jump, Vrabel. You’ll just end up legless and on fire on the molten world of Mustafar.

Patriots 23 Titans 19

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2019 NFC Wild Card Predictions!

December 31, 2019 Randy Neil

Hot dog, everyone, we’re back!  Adam and I have made a New Year’s resolution to return and give the readers what they have long been begging for: sub-par sports predictions and fodder!  In spite of our long sabbatical filled with marriages, kids, job changes, and peyote benders, we still feel compelled to deliver hard-hitting analysis and predict the future of sport.

I can assure you that in that time span, we have gotten no more wiser, no more humble, and no more accurate with our commentary.  And with that, BRING ON THE FODDER!!

Seattle Seahawks (-1.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles

Holy moly, the Eagles baaaaaarely squeaked into the playoffs thanks to a Dallas implosion down the stretch.  The stat about Wentz throwing for over 4000 yards with no single receiver having more than 500 yards for the season pretty much sums how everything has gone.  That team is a depleted shell of itself and any success can solely be attributed to Wentz and dumb luck.

On the other hand, Seattle is coming off a big loss against the 49ers for the division.  Russell Wilson is having a great season and they are still stocked with receivers ready to light up the Eagles’ secondary. Re-signing Marshawn Lynch is a pretty sneaky play on their part to fill the injuries at running back.  Even if he performs poorly, it’s still a huge morale boost with tremendous upside.  I don’t think it’s anything the Eagles can’t bottle up, though.  The Seahawks were top 5 in rushing yards this year, but injuries and a good Eagles run defense is going suffocate that.

This game comes down to the Eagles depleted O-line and secondary.  The Seahawks are going to be looking to throw and while the Birds’ secondary has had flashes of excellence, they are too easily exploited and get burned on the simplest of routes.  I expect Wilson to have a 300+ yard passing game and the question becomes: Will Wentz have time in the pocket and be able to do the same thing?  He’s throwing to literal practice squad players and I’m pretty sure they just signed my mailman to help add depth at the position.  I wouldn’t count on Boston Scott having another 3 touchdown game.

With all that, I still have to go with my trashy Philly heart:

Eagles 38, Seahawks 28.

Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints (-7.5)

The Saints have really had some gut-wrenching losses in recent playoff history.  I still remember almost choking on my spinach artichoke dip after the Saints secondary let Stefon Diggs catch that miracle touchdown in the 2017 Divisional Playoffs game.  I’m sure the Saints haven’t forgotten either.

The main difference is Minnesota’s quarterback: Kirk Cousins.  There was plenty of QB/WR turmoil that played out this year between Cousins and his receiving core.  Even with the few flashy plays and breakout games from Diggs, the Vikings still ranked 24th in passing.  They are still dysfunctional.

You know who isn’t dysfunctional?  Drew Brees.  The Saints are 4th in the NFL for passing offense.  The Vikings have a considerable amount of interceptions this year but they still allow 65% completion rate.  I expect the Saints wide-receiving core to have a great game.

Saints 31, Vikings 13

Adam is going to have the AFC Wild Card predictions later this week so keep an eye out for that.  Thanks for reading — until next time.

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Secret Spaces for Paracosmos!

September 19, 2017 Randy Neil

Friend and very talented artist Jesse Corinella showcased his Paracosmos exhibit last month in Brooklyn, NY.  Good Vibes Randy was fortunate enough to produce the accompanying music for July’s theme, Secret Spaces!

I’ve always been a huge fan of Jesse’s art, so it was a dream to put together this track as part of the project.

Paracosmos is a community of multidisciplinary creatives who share a passion for world building. Each month, we generate a new theme that unites us as we create our artwork. Our aim is to encourage people to consistently share their work, and in turn, to inspire people to reach out and collaborate with one another.

To learn more about Paracosmos, please visit – http://paracosmos.space/

 

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