Tag Archive: playoff predictions

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


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


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.


His Edge Is Back, He’s Right on Track

January 19, 2012 Randy Neil

Well haven’t I learned my lesson? I mockingly decided to post something about the 76ers a few days ago during their 9-0 home win streak. I say mockingly because the last time the Sixers were on a streak this season, I published something and that very evening they lost. I mentioned this during the second post and then it happened again! My posts are killing the Sixers’ streaks! Should I just never post about them again?? Does this count as a post about them now?? This vexes me… I’m terribly vexed.

As promised, I will deliver this week’s conference championships’ predictions with unbridled assuredness. Let me reach down into my crystal ball…

Sunday @ 3:00 – Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots (-7)

Not much of a surprise the Patriots are favored here. As mentioned before, the Ravens’ offense came to an absolute stand-still last week after the 1st quarter. The Patriots offense comes to a stand-still basically never. The only thing that doesn’t have me frantically yelling take the Patriots with the spread is Baltimore’s defense. It’s still pretty decent, but Ed Reed looked like a dinosaur last weekend.

Well, that’s an unfair simplification. He got injured repeatedly and looked like a dinosaur. Get some Just For Men Ed! Your gray facial hair has put you in a rocking chair! Your beard is weird! Your stash is trash! “Ooohhhhhhhhh, it’s baaaaaaaaad.”

I think it’s more likely the Baltimore defense will slow down, rather than slow the Patriots down. Unless Joey Flacco decides to have a miracle game, I could see this thing getting out of control.

Patriots 34, Ravens 17.

Sunday @ 6:30 – New York Giants @ San Francisco 49ers (-2.5)

I think this game has a lot more potential. I certainly didn’t pick the 49ers and Alex Smith to make it pass the Saints, but they did. This will be the second team in a row New York will have to visit and beat. It’s a tough task. You’re looking at two really good defenses that maintain consistency, and they both have peaking offenses to boot. If it wasn’t for Alex Smith having a break-out season, I would take the Giants in this one, but I gotta think my man Smith will pull the unexpected again. No Pats/Giants rematch.

49ers 27, Giants 24

Happy gambling.


2011 MLB Playoff Predictions!!!

September 30, 2011 Randy Neil

It is that time of year my friends. October baseball. It’s cold, you’re going to drink a lot, and you’re certainly not going to have a life outside of baseball.

2 years ago, I made a pledge to lose 10 lbs. in the month of October. The Phillies were in the playoffs. Guess how well that worked out?

This year, I’m a little older, a little wiser, and I’ve accounted for the time that October baseball will consume.

These playoffs stand to be some of the best in recent years. The final day of the regular season was about as epic as it could get. You watched the Red Sox absolutely crumble, the Braves implode, and the Rays do something pretty miraculous. The Cardinals, however, were basically handed the Astros and a few extra wins.

I didn’t foresee such an epic turn of events, but now that we have our line-ups, let’s get to predicting!!

Adam’s Picks:

NLDS St.Louis v. Philly

Cardinals over the Phillies in 5

NLDS Milwaukee v. Arizona

Diamondbacks over Brewers in 5

ALDS Detroit v. New York

Tigers over Yankees in 5

ALDS Texas v. Tampa Bay

Rays over Rangers in 4


Arizona over St. Louis in 6


Detroit over Tampa Bay in 7

World Series

Detroit over Arizona in 5

Randy’s Picks:

NLDS St.Louis v. Philly

Phillies over Cardinals in 4

NLDS Milwaukee v. Arizona

Diamondbacks over Milwaukee in 5

ALDS Detroit v. New York

Yankees over Tigers in 4

ALDS Texas v. Tampa Bay

Rays over Rangers in 5


Phillies over D-backs in 5


Yankees over Rays in 4

World Series

Phillies over Yankees in 7

*Playoffs begin on Friday, September 30th.