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 They shut down the Chiefs offense for much 
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Beitrag They shut down the Chiefs offense for much
Saturday final scoresThe first day of the divisional round is a wrap. We opened with the Kansas City Chiefs rolling the Indianapolis Colts to advance to the AFC title game. The Chiefs jumped out to a 17-0 lead and looked ready to roll. The Colts blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown , cutting the lead to 17-7 and seeming to swing the momentum. The Chiefs responded with a touchdown and then the Colts missed a field goal to close out the half. It was a bad omen. They shut down the Chiefs offense for much of the second half, but just could not consistently moved the ball and eventually lose 31-13. The Chiefs host the winner of Sunday’s matchup between the Chargers and Patriots.The second game of the day saw the Los Angeles Rams hold off the Dallas Cowboys late. Dallas fought the Rams close in the first and fourth quarters, but the Rams ground game dominated in the second and third quarter and built a lead the Cowboys could not come back against. The Rams won 30-22 and will face the winner of Eagles-Saints in the NFC title game.Preview, picksThe 2019 NFL playoffs continue on Saturday with the division round getting underway. Divisional round football is usually the best weekend of the playoffs. You get the top two teams in each conference back in action, and we often get more competitive action.Last weekend’s wild card matchups brought three road upsets and a narrow win for the fourth home team. The Colts, Chargers, and Eagles all went on the road and sprung upsets, while the Cowboys beat the Seahawks by two points. Underdogs are 14-1 ATS in the last 15 playoff games, so we’ll have to keep an eye out for upsets. I ended up going 1-3 against the spread, missing out on .500 thanks to Sebastian Janikowski injuring his hamstring.The Chiefs host the Colts to open the divisional weekend. Patrick Mahomes is the favorite to take home the MVP award at the NFL Honors program the night before the Super Bowl, but he faces a tough test this weekend. The Chiefs are five point favorites, but it’s worth noting that dating back to 2013, quarterbacks making their first career playoff start at 4-10-1 against the spread and 4-11 straight up. The first time starter on a favored team is 3-3 straight up, but still just 1-5 against the spread. The Chiefs offense is better than the Colts Weston Richburg Jersey , but the Colts defense is significantly better than the Chiefs. I’m going to take the points, and am still considering a moneyline wager.The second game on Saturday features the Rams hosting the Cowboys. Dallas is a seven point underdog, and the public money is coming in on Dak & Co. They finished the season fairly well while the Rams stumbled a bit. LA’s defense has not lived up to its preseason billing, but is still middle of the pack and has Aaron Donald. On offense, they’ll have Todd Gurley back. The public has done well thus far, but I see the Cowboys running into a wall in this one. I’m going to lay the points with LA.On Sunday, the Chargers look to continue their strong run as they head east again to face the Patriots. New England is a four point favorite, with the largest percentage of public money on LA. It brought the spread down from five to four, and continues to come in. Normally sportsbooks are rooting against New England, but that’s not going to be the case this weekend. And I’m sticking with the public on this one. The Chargers have been more efficient both on offense and on defense. Road games are never easy, but I think we see them give the Patriots a rough time at Foxboro. An upset would not be shocking, but they’ll at least cover.The weekend wraps up with the Saints hosting the always dangerous Nick Foles-led Eagles. This game brings the biggest spread of the weekend, with the Saints sitting at -8. A majority of the public is riding the Eagles once again, which brought the line down a point to a point and a half Cassius Marsh Color Rush Jersey , depending on your sportsbook of choice. The Saints are the very clearly better team, but the Eagles remaining perpetually scary. I think I have to buy into the narrative and take the points.Watch via Online Stream: NBC and CBS will be streaming their games online for free. FOX will stream their one game, but will require users to have a subscription. All times PTNFL Divisional RoundSaturday, January 12AFC: Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs (NBC, 1:35 p.m.) - Chiefs -5NFC: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams (FOX, 5:15 p.m.) - Rams -7Sunday, January 13AFC: Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots (CBS, 10:05 a.m.) - Patriots -4NFC: Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints (FOX, 1:40 p.m.) - Saints -8Championship roundSunday, January 20 NFC: FOX, 12:05 p.m.AFC: CBS, 3:40 p.m.Super Bowl 52Sunday, February 3NFC champion versus AFC champion, Mercedes-Benz Stadium , Atlanta, GA (CBS, 3:30 p.m.) There’s a weird kind of showdown set for Sunday’s 10am (PST) game: the NFL team with the most giveaways (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), against the team with the fewest takeaways (San Francisco 49ers). It’s like an old Chinese legend from the 3rd century BC book Han Feizi. A weapons dealer was selling a spear that (he said) could pierce any shield; but he also sold a shield “that could block any spear.” A potential customer asked, what happens if you throw your spear at your shield? He had no answer.Sunday’s game will be the opposite. What if you throw a spear that can’t pierce any shield — basically a wet, crumbly dirt clod — against a shield made of tissue paper? We’ll find out soon.It’s easy to get discouraged about the turnover situation with this Niners team, and there’s no reason not to. They’re terrible. This squad has only two interceptions and three fumble recoveries all year, a total of just five total takeaways in ten games. Meanwhile, they’ve given up 12 interceptions and eight fumbles, for a turnover differential of -15.The odd thing is that Tampa Bay is a lot worse: only one INT and five FR, but they’ve given up 23 interceptions and six fumbles, for a stunning differential of -23 (50% worse than SF).Both teams are on pace to set all time NFL records, as Chronicle columnist Eric Branch pointed out. (If it really is him; Twitter refuses to verify his identity. Maybe “Eric Branch” is just a sock puppet for Jim Tomsula! Can you prove he isn’t? I didn’t think so. ) My point is, the Niners are projected to grab just eight combined takeaways in this entire season , well below the current low water mark of eleven. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers are on target to crush the record for bad turnover differential with -37, far worse than the mark set by the 1965 Pittsburgh Steelers, at -30.What will happen head to head? Will the Bucs just drop the ball on the turf, where it will sit, neglected and lonely as the clock runs out?There are reasons to be optimistic about this battle of the basement, and reasons to be glum.On the plus side:1) Nick Mullens is a big improvementIt’s true that he threw two interceptions against the Giants, both deflections, but his INT rate (3.3%) is still much lower than Beathard’s (4.1%), and even slightly below Jimmy G’s (3.4%). Perhaps more importantly, Mullens has zero sacks in two games, which does wonders to reduce the rate of strip sacks. The Niners have only one fumble in those two games, a flubbed handoff by Mullens to Breida which the RB recovered anyway. Compare that to eight fumbles lost in the previous eight games.2) The way the ball bouncesFumble recoveries (as a percentage of balls on the ground) vary wildly from year to year, which makes sense given the odd shape of the ball and resulting randomness of its bounces. So far this year San Francisco 49ers Customized Jerseys , the 49ers luck has been bad; they’ve recovered just 3 of their 8 forced fumbles, while their opponents have forced 14 fumbles and recovered 8 of them. That ratio will almost certainly revert to the mean.If you want to be pessimistic, though, there’s also lots of evidence for your side of this debate.The Bucs have been tearing up the league with a powerful passing game — marred by tons of interceptions. The Niners are very weak on interceptions and pass breakups, which suggests that Tampa Bay might be able to have their usual big passing day while avoiding the INTs that destroy their scoring machine.In the end, the result of this game may boil down to one matchup — Bucs QB Jameis Winston vs. Niners CB Richard Sherman.Winston is struggling this year with a rash of INTs, while Sherman may have skewed the stats by intimidating opposing QBs. They just don’t test him that often, which makes it hard for him to intercept passes.But Winston makes bad choices when throwing, as evidenced by his soaring interception rate this year, and those choices might include throwing at the wily veteran cornerback, who has 32 career INTs. Sherman has basically shut down his side of the field this year — or perhaps, quarterbacks have shrewdly calculated that throwing at the other side of the field makes a lot more sense than going in Sherm’s direction.If this game boils down to a head-to-head matchup between Winston and Sherman, it should be a very enjoyable day for Niners fans.

Mi Jan 15, 2020 4:03
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