Wudder Sports Weekend Update: Football Final Four Edition
We are rapidly approaching the conclusion of the 20SickDream/2017 NFL season.
There are three games remaining on the postseason docket, unless you somehow count an unwatchable exhibition game in Hawaii.
Of the eight playoff games played thus far, only one could objectively be called good. That game (Cowboys/Packers) was better than good, it was great. One for the history books, featuring another water-to-wine level miracle by GODgers and the 21st consecutive year of the Dallas Cowboys failing to make it out of the divisional round of the postseason.
Works for us!
We can only hope that at least one of the next three contests can measure up to the standard Packers @ Cowboys set last weekend.
Your man Nostrabombus, for those keeping track or counting bank, resides at 6-3, with three money-line outright upset specials when including the National Championship game. This guarantees at least a .500 postseason prediction record, but we’re greedy and have our eyes on 9-3.
Despite only one entertaining game out of eight, on the heels of one of the more lackluster and least watched NFL regular seasons in more than two decades, we have high hopes for the pair of Conference Title Games this Sunday.
The remaining four teams represent the squads with the four best quarterbacks in the playoffs, with three of those four having already won at least one ring, and collectively boasting seven Super Bowl titles.
So, without further ado, let’s get into these two matchups and try to pick out a pair of winners for our beloved and loyal Wudder Sports readers:
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons (-6)
3:05 PM Eastern/12:05 Pacific on FOX
The last NFL game to be played at the Georgia Dome. What’s your favorite Georgia Dome memory? Was it the time Gary Anderson of the Vikings missed the field goal that would have sent one of our favorite childhood sports heroes, Randall Cunningham, to his first Super Bowl? Oh wait, that was in the Metrodome.
Was it the time that Mike Vick shocked the prime Brett Favre-era Green Bay Packers in a Saturday night playoff game in the snow? My bad, that was in Lambeau.
Was it the time Brian Dawkins nearly decapitated Vick about ten yards short of a goal line the Falcons would never reach in the 2002 NFC Division playoffs? Hold up, I was at that game, that was at The Vet.
So, I suppose the moral of the story is, a moment of major NFL significance by the Falcons in the Georgia Dome, hasn’t really happened yet.
Will Sunday afternoon be the first?
We can’t, in good conscience, say yes.
That would require a level of faith in the Falcons as a franchise, and a lack of faith in GODgers, that we just can’t commit to at this time.
Make no mistake, the Falcons are a better all-around team, particularly if we’re talking about offensive skill position players, except of course, quarterback. That’s despite the fact that there’s a strong possibility that Matt Ryan, the Penn Charter High School boy done good, is this season’s MVP.
And despite the fact that, with Jordy Nelson and DeVonte Adams out, we’re not even sure we can name the Packers starting receivers left to line up. Randall Cobb and then who? Who cares. It’s GODgers, maybe the best quarterback we’ve ever witnessed, getting six points in the midst of a two-plus-month superhuman tear, playing in optimal dome conditions. Against the Atlanta Falcons, possessors of a nondescript current defensive unit and franchise winners of absolutely nothing, ever. For whatever other advantages, elsewhere up and down the roster, we just can’t get past that. We’ll continue to ride with the guy who’s one of the best to ever pass it.
Nostrabombus Picks: The MACK-aroni with The Cheese
Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots (-6)
6:40 PM Eastern/3:40 Pacific on CBS
We’re not sure why this game scares us so much but it does. It’s tough to imagine that the Patriots, playing at home, don’t have a better-than-a-coin-flip chance to head back to the Super Bowl for an absurd seventh time, in fifteen tries, during the Brady/Belasterisk run.
This game is sort of a line-in-the-sand moment for Ben Rapelessburglar. He has been, so far, the weakest link out of the Final Four QB’s heading down the homestretch of this postseason. He’s got a supreme skill position weapon advantage over Tommy Boy, especially with that Cro-Magnon-Beast-On-PCP, GRONK, out there trucking thru the Steelers secondary with the football.
On the defensive side, Bill Belasterisk typically schemes his defense up to take away your best player or your bread-and-butter.
Thing is, the Steelers could surrender that, and still leave a just "aight" New England defense left to deal with either a Top 3 wide out or Top 3 running back in addition to Big Ben. So, Ben’s gotta live up to the name he’s been assigned and be Big. Because we’re guessing that daring the Steelers to shred them with the passing game, is going to be the poison that the Patriots pick here, on a chilly night under the lights in late January.
Nostrabombus Picks: BlackandYellowBlackandYellowBlackandYellow
Editor’s Note: We bookend this post with some old-school shots of our DAWG, in honor of Andrew Laganella aka LAG aka Nella aka Lagger aka Little Louie. Much love to the whole Lag family, especially his wonderful mother Bernadette, a loyal Wudder reader, incredibly cool lady, and whose words you can check out over at Haddon Musings.
Peace and Love,