One and Done?

The guys and gals who cover the NFL are not giving the Eagles much of a chance to win a game, let alone multiple games in the NFL playoffs.  Of course, the media also felt that the Chiefs and the Rams would win their wild card games.  The Chiefs were favored by 9 and the Rams were favored by 6.  Both lost.  Andy Reid, once again, could not put a winning game plan together and get a playoff victory at home.  The Rams are young with a young head coach and could not deal with the experienced Falcons.

On the other hand, two teams who were favored – the Saints and the Jaguars – won their Sunday wild card games. So it is off to the AFC and NFC semifinals.

Based on what we have seen so far, it is hard to be comfortable with Nick Foles at quarterback for the Eagles. The Eagles certainly can run the ball with their stable of outstanding backs, but if they are forced to rely on Foles to win the game, my confidence sinks way down.  I do like the Eagles’ defense and I like Doug Pederson at the helm.  Do I like them enough to pick them?  Go to “Gary’s Guesses”.

Most think the Eagles will lose this first round matchup which will give the Vikings the home field advantage throughout. If, and it is a big IF, the Vikings can beat a very good Saints team with an outstanding quarterback in Drew Brees.  The Vikings have proven to be good enough to win the NFC title, but are they good enough to beat the Saints? The Vikings have an outstanding defense and an adequate offense.  It would be a shock if the Vikings did not get to the Super Bowl.

Everyone is anticipating a Pittsburgh-New England AFC championship game with the votes split on who would win it. New England won a couple of weeks ago when the famous no-catch rule came into effect.  The Steelers’ Antonio Brown should be back for this one and running back Le’Veon Bell should be healthy.  New England, if the match-up occurs, would be the home team, but weather-wise, playing in New England or playing in Pittsburgh in January should not make much difference.

Now all both teams have to do is get to the championship game. The Jaguars are no match for the Steelers and New England will beat Tennessee.  Of this, I am certain.

 ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS) 

  1. A number of “so-called” experts have Saquon Barkley being drafted by the Cleveland Browns as the fourth overall selection. I, for one, hope not. This town just held a mock parade “celebrating” Cleveland’s 0-16 season. The Giants and the Colts would have a chance to beat Cleveland to the punch. I hope they do.
  2. The story going around the Patriots is that Tom Brady was happy to see his backup QB, Jimmy Garoppolo, go to the 49’ers and Bill Belichick was not. Again, supposedly, owner Robert Kraft ordered Belichick to trade Garoppolo. Now rumors are saying Belichick is ready to move on to the Giants as head coach. Sounds like a great soap opera.
  3. Eagles’ fans – are you feeling a bit uneasy about playing the Atlanta Falcons next weekend? The Falcons upset the Rams 26-13 and looked very good doing it on both sides of the ball. QB Matt Ryan is a Philly native, playing high school football at Penn Charter High School. The Falcons, as you know, are trying to get back to the Super Bowl. Without Carson Wentz, the top-seeded Eagles are the underdog.
  4. If you want the best example of an overbearing parent, look no further than LaVar Ball. His oldest son, Lonzo, is a member of the LA Lakers and Lonzo said this week no one on the team wants to play for or respects the head coach of the Lakers, Luke Walton. This is the same father who took his other two sons LiAngelo and LaMelo out of college and high school to Lithuania to play professionally because, you guessed it, he did not like the coaches.
  5. AAAAAA high school basketball in District XI is up for grabs. No one team looks to be the favorite to win it all at the end of the season. With Beca (AAAA), Central (AAAAA), Pocono Mountain West (AAAAAA), and a wild card, the EPC playoffs, which will mix up the classifications, and should be even more entertaining than the Districts.

 

Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 2-2; OVERALL – 166-93 – 64%)

 DIVISIONAL ROUND

PHILADELPHIA

NEW ENGLAND

PITTSBURGH

MINNESOTA

 

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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