You know the drill. The RotoViz writers get together and do a poetry-slam-slash-playoff-prognostication bit. This week we jam on the NFL Playoffs Championship Round.
GREEN BAY AT ATLANTA
Julio Jones sets the NFL playoff record with over 240 yards receiving against the Packers, and in the process ties the NFL playoff record for receiving TDs in a game with three. Toe injury aside, Green Bay can’t stop anyone in the secondary, and now their secondary is even more depleted by injury. We’ve seen Matt Ryan rely on Julio in one high scoring affair already this year to the tune of 300+ yards. I think against another high-powered offense, Ryan will have to throw a lot, so this isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Oh, and the Falcons lose.
The game sets a record for total scoring for the championship round. And after being the hero in the divisional round, Mason Crosby misses a game tying field goal attempt from within 40 yards.
Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combine for 400 yards of offense. Atlanta dominates the time of possession in a rout and MVP Matt Ryan attempts only 25 passes.
Falcons keep rolling. MVP, MVP, MVP. It’s our year. Rise up. I love this team!!!
Final score: 35-24
The Packers will beat the Falcons 35-34. Ho-hum. What will make this game so unusual is that, despite passing for over 300 yards for the fifth straight game, Aaron Rodgers will have zero touchdown passes. Instead, the Packers will win on the strength of two Mason Crosby field goals, one Aaron Ripkowski vulture touchdown, one Rodgers “I’m scoring in this game no matter what” rushing touchdown from the one-yard line, two Ty Montgomery rushing touchdowns of 10-plus yards, and one two-point conversion on a pass from Rodgers to Montgomery.
The Falcons are bad against the run.
As they leave the Georgia Dome after their victory, the Packers will detonate the building. The Falcons will still be inside when the charges go off, talking about next year.
PITTSBURGH AT NEW ENGLAND
Patriots win this one going away. New England manages to stuff the run all evening, while Malcolm Butler shuts down Antonio Brown about as well as anyone can. Pittsburgh fails to score a TD for the second straight game, and we’re left wondering what sort of elixir Ben Roethlisberger keeps at home that he looks like Brock Osweiler on the road.
Pittsburgh continues to struggle on offense as Bill Belichick focuses on stopping Le’Veon Bell. The only Pittsburgh offensive touchdown is scored by Jesse James and they settle for two field goals. New England wins.
Matt Lengel in a GPP.
Antonio Brown takes a five yard slant to the house, but is penalized for an elaborate touchdown celebration where he mimes a prolonged Periscope recording.
When asked about the incident after the game, Belichick says, “I don’t know anything about that Periscope thingamajig, but I am sad to see Vine go.” He winks at the camera and then disappears from the podium.
The Steelers are coming into the game struggling on offense and you can expect the Patriots to put the clamps on either Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell. Without another threat in the receiving corp, Pittsburgh can’t keep up and end up getting smoked. It’s a Blount game.
- Editor’s note: According to Rotoworld at the time of editing, all of Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, and Geronimo Allison could be game-time decisions. So, YOLO. (back)