Thursday, January 02, 2014


Welcome back to "Bitterness"! After bit of hibernation, we hope to have a "Bitterness" filled 2014 just for you, all seven readers. The year kicks off with some footyball. It's playoff time in the NFL, folks! So let's take a look at those Wild Card weekend matchups.

CHIEVES @ COLTS (-2)- How good are the Chieves, exactly? For that matter, how good are the Colts, exactly? To many, KC has yet to prove themselves, mainly because they didn't play well in those "big" games, aka versus Peyton Manning and the Broncos. They were not blown out by the Broncos, sure, but they were 1-5 against this year's playoff teams including going a combined 0-4 against division foes Denver and San Diego. They even lost to the Colts in week 16 at Arrowhead, by 16.

Now aside from the Colts already beating the Chieves fairly convincingly on the road, they also 6-2 at home including a win over the Broncos in primetime. Plus the Colts had three straight solid wins (although competition was not so stiff) to finish the regular season, while KC just kind of sputtered on in, losing their last two regular season games. Granted the Chieves did not play their starters in the finale, but coming off the loss at home to the Colts, you'd think they would have wanted to get a little momentum going into the playoffs, right?

Now the general consensus is that playoff teams that rest their starters for the final regular season game come out flat in the playoffs. Now here is where some background statistics would probably help make some sort of point, but I am just too darned lazy to dig into that too deeply. I am not so sure that will factor into outcome anyways. I think the Colts are just a better team right now and with the home field advantage, I think the Chieves playoff losing streak continues. COLTS 21-13

SAINTS @ EAGLES (-2.5)- Not too long ago the Saints were being mentioned in the same breath as the Seahawks and 49ers as the class of the NFC. But then, all of a sudden after a 5-0 start they kind of fell off, going 6-5 the rest of the way whilst losing every big road game along the way. Now they have to head into Philly and face the Eagles and that ever welcoming Philly fan base.

Now let us factor in the Eagles finishing strong and being darned good at home. Oh and were you aware that the Saints have only won one playoff game away from the Superdome. Ever. That game? Oh, that was when they won the Super Bowl. So really, they have never won a true road game, as in not on a neutral field. How much does that matter? Very little, in my mind, but the fact is this Saints team is not very good on the road anyways, going 3-5 this season. Oh and those three wins were against the Bears, Bucaneers and Falcons, oh my. Now the Bears one is legit, but the Falcons and Buccos were both 4-12 this year. That could matter.

Now to me the Eagles are still an enigma, wrapped up in a riddle, and smothered in red hot mystery sauce. I don't know what that last part means either, but you're catching what I'm throwing here, right? No? I don't know what to make of the Chip Kelly's Eagles, is what I'm saying, here folks. They won a week division and have a head coach and QB who are making their first NFL playoff appearances. They are a very complicated case, folks. You know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs, a lotta what-have-yous. And, uh, a lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Now, after much consternation, I just think the Payton-Brees combo wins out. SAINTS 38-31

CHARGERS @ BENGALS (-7)- Dalton versus Rivers. That is what it comes down to for me. I am just not sold on either as a big game clutch quarterback. Dalton has not fared well in his two career playoff games, with no touchdowns, four interceptions and sub 50 QB rating. Granted this was against a tenacious Texans defense both times and they were on the road and an underdog both times. This year they are favored and the Chargers defense is not the Texans defense of the past two seasons. Plus, there's Philip Rivers.

Rivers is a the definition of a wild card. The talent is there, but so is a fair share streakiness. Rivers is consistently inconsistent. Rivers is on a hot streak and has been flying high for several weeks now, but the Cincy defense in Cincy? Well that combination could be just the ankle weights that bring him down off of cloud nine. The Bengal defense will in just be too much for Philly Rivs. BENGALS 34-24

49ERS @ PACKERS (+3)- It has been a long time since Colin Kaepernick's week one shredding of the Packer's defense through the air. It has been an even longer time since Kaepernick's playoff shredding of the Packer's defense with his scrambling ability. But has it been long enough? I mean, in theory, there is no other way for Kaepernick to shred their defense. Well, unless Kaep just shreds them with a balanced attack of both, I suppose. That is an ever growing possibility with no Clay Matthews for the Pack. All signs point to the 49ers being able to win their third straight shootout against Green Bay. Or does it?

Here's what the Packers have going for them. The game is in Green Bay. Now, the Niners are good. Darned (pardon my French) good, if you ask me. They've won six straight and they have proven they can win at home and on the road, but they will not just be playing on the road, they will be playing on the tundra. The frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Yes, it is supposed to get up to a high of 17 degrees. That's right, a high of 17 degrees. But even that may be optimistic as it should be more like zero degrees for most of the game and it is supposed to feel like twenty below with the wind chill. That could be just the slight edge the Packers need. After all, warm weather teams do not generally do so hot (see what I did there?) in cold weather games. Is that enough? I'm leaning towards "no" on that one. 49ERS 31-27

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