NFL divisional spherical playoff picks, plus Raiders hearth Mike Mayock and recapping Rams’ blowout win vs. Playing cards


Welcome to the Tuesday version of the Decide Six E-newsletter!

First, I would like to begin issues off right here at this time by apologizing to the Dallas Cowboys. I got here down laborious on them yesterday once I ought to really be thanking them, as a result of in the event that they did not name the dumbest play within the historical past of soccer on Sunday, then this might need gone down because the worst wild-card weekend of all-time. 

Within the NFL, the first-round is called Tremendous Wild Card Weekend, however let’s be trustworthy, there was nothing tremendous about it. I believed for positive that Cardinals-Rams would give us a wild shootout and salvage the spherical, however then Arizona apparently forgot there was a recreation taking place Monday evening. 

Ultimately, we noticed three of six video games within the wild card spherical finish with one group shedding by at the least 20 factors, marking the first time SINCE 1982 that three groups have misplaced by 20 or extra within the opening spherical of the playoffs. After all, nobody goes to recollect any of those blowouts as a result of the one a part of the wild card spherical that anybody goes to be speaking a couple of yr from now could be how the Cowboys known as the worst play of all-time. So thanks, Cowboys. 

Alright, we have quite a bit to cowl at this time, so let’s get to the rundown. 

As all the time, this is your weekly reminder to inform all your mates to join the Decide Six publication. To get your mates to enroll, all it’s important to do is click on right here after which share this hyperlink with them. Nevertheless, you may not wish to share it with any Cowboys fan. I feel they’re nonetheless of their cooling off interval.  

1. In the present day’s present: Recapping the Rams‘ blowout win over the Cardinals

If we discovered one factor Monday, it is that nobody does a late-season collapse higher than the Arizona Cardinals. After shedding 4 of 5 to shut the common season, the Cardinals saved their worst efficiency for final as they acquired blasted by the Rams, 34-11. 

After the sport, Ryan Wilson, Will Brinson and I spent almost one hour speaking concerning the the Rams’ blowout win and I’ve to say: not like the Cardinals, we didn’t have our worst efficiency of the season. 

Listed here are three subjects we touched on through the podcast: 

  • Matthew Stafford lastly will get his first playoff win. Going into Monday, Stafford was getting dangerously near Andy Dalton territory. If the Rams had misplaced, Stafford would have joined Dalton and Y.A. Tittle within the document books for many playoff begins with no win (0-4). Nevertheless, Stafford prevented that destiny because of an almost excellent efficiency. Though he solely threw the ball 17 instances, he made probably the most of these throws with 13 completions for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Stafford will now get to maneuver on to the divisional spherical for the primary time in his 13-year profession. Within the subsequent spherical, the man with one profession playoff win goes to face the quarterback with the most-career playoff wins (Tom Brady). 
  • Cardinals offense falls flat on its face. In what was simply probably the most embarrassing offensive efficiency of this yr’s playoffs, the Cardinals failed in each approach an offense can presumably fail. Within the first half alone, not solely did Kyler Murray throw two interceptions, together with the shortest pick-six in playoff historical past, however the Playing cards additionally went three-and-out on 5 of their eight possessions. General, the Cardinals solely totaled 40 yards throughout a primary half through which they fell behind 21-0. 
  • Ought to Kliff Kingsbury be on the recent seat? In three seasons with Arizona, Kingsbury has improved annually, so that you’d suppose his job would undoubtedly be secure. But when I am operating the Cardinals, I am undoubtedly involved about the truth that the Cardinals have collapsed down the stretch in every of these three seasons. In 2019, the Cardinals closed the season by shedding seven of their closing 9 video games. In 2020, the Cardinals completed 8-8 and missed out on the playoffs after shedding 5 of their closing seven. In 2021, the Cardinals had been the NFL’s closing undefeated group, however they choked away a potential division title by shedding 5 of their closing six, together with Monday’s playoff recreation. Personally, I am not firing Kingsbury proper now, however I am undoubtedly telling him that if there’s one other late-season collapse in 2022, then it is perhaps time to make a change. 

 To take heed to at this time’s episode — and to subscribe to the most effective day by day NFL podcast on the market — make sure you click on right here. You possibly can additionally WATCH at this time’s episode on YouTube by clicking right here.

2. Breech’s divisional spherical playoff picks

It is Tuesday, and that may solely imply one factor: It is time for my weekly picks. 

Though the Cardinals choked within the playoffs, I undoubtedly did not. I went an ideal 6-0 with my picks throughout Tremendous Wild Card Weekend, though I will not brag about that an excessive amount of, as a result of I am fairly positive roughly 51% of America went 6-0. All you needed to do was choose each favourite to win aside from the Cowboys. This week, I’m not choosing each favourite to win. As a matter of truth, I am virtually doing the precise reverse. 

With that in thoughts, listed here are my picks for the divisional spherical. 

  • Cincinnati (+3.5) at Tennessee: The Titans are getting again Derrick Henry, and usually, that will be sufficient to get me to select them, however not on this case. My drawback with taking the Titans is that that they had one of many worst passing defenses in soccer this yr, which makes me suppose Joe Burrow would possibly put up some enormous numbers. The Bengals are 10-1 this season when placing up 24 or extra factors and I feel they’ll put up 24 or extra factors. PICK: Bengals 27-24 over Titans. 
  • San Francisco (+6) at Inexperienced Bay: As somebody who lived in California for six years, let me simply say that the final place anybody residing in that state would ever wish to be within the month of January is someplace the place it is 17 levels, and that is what the temperature goes to be Saturday evening. I really suppose these groups are fairly evenly matched, however the one huge distinction is that Aaron Rodgers is far, significantly better than Jimmy Garoppolo and that disparity goes to be the distinction in an in depth recreation. PICK: Packers 23-20 over 49ers
  • L.A. Rams (+3) at Tampa Bay: If Bruce Arians had gotten to select his opponent for the divisional spherical, I am guessing the Rams are the one group that he would have most well-liked NOT to face as a result of this recreation appears like a matchup nightmare for the Buccaneers. If you wish to beat Tom Brady within the playoffs, it’s important to hit him with numerous strain, which the Rams can do. Not solely does L.A. have Aaron Donald and Von Miller, however these two will probably be going up towards a Bucs offensive line that may very well be lacking two starters. I hate choosing towards Tom Brady within the playoffs, however I’ll choose towards Tom Brady. PICK: Rams 30-23 over Buccaneers. 
  • Buffalo (+2.5) at Kansas Metropolis: That is in all probability the most effective recreation of the divisional spherical, and though everybody’s going to be speaking concerning the Josh Allen vs. Patrick Mahomes showdown, I feel this recreation goes to come back all the way down to how properly the Payments protection performs. They’ve had the most effective protection in soccer this yr, solely surrendering 272.2 yards per recreation in a season the place no different protection within the NFL gave up fewer than 300 yards per recreation. I do not suppose they’re going to shut down Mahomes, however I do suppose they’re going to shut him down sufficient to win the sport. PICK: Payments 34-31 over Chiefs

That is proper, I am choosing three underdogs to win and taking all 4 underdogs to cowl. To get my full tackle every recreation, make sure you take a look at my divisional spherical picks by clicking right here

3. Rating the divisional video games by watchability

As you’ve got in all probability seen, we like to rank issues right here and since we do not have our regular Tuesday energy rankings from Pete Prisco, I’ve determined to switch these by rating the watchability of every recreation within the divisional spherical. 

  • 1. (3) Payments at (2) Chiefs, 6:30 p.m. ET, Sunday (CBS, Paramount+): For the second straight week, I’ve a CBS recreation on the high of my rankings and for the second straight week, I’ll begin off right here by saying that I am not doing that to suck as much as my bosses, though perhaps I subconsciously am. I do not know. Anyway, we’re getting a rematch of final yr’s AFC title recreation within the DIVISIONAL ROUND. Should you solely have time to observe one playoff recreation this weekend, I would make it this one. 
  • 2. (6) 49ers at (1) Packers, 8:15 p.m. ET, Saturday (Fox): If there is a playoff recreation being performed on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Discipline, it mechanically turns into a must-watch recreation. And primarily based on the forecast for Saturday, the tundra is unquestionably going to be frozen. Aaron Rodgers has an 0-3 document towards the 49ers within the playoffs, and there is no assure he’ll be capable to finish that shedding streak this yr. The 49ers are one of many hottest groups within the postseason, and so they had been additionally the one wild-card group to tug off an upset over the weekend. 
  • 3. (4) Rams at (2) Buccaneers, 3 p.m. ET, Sunday (NBC): Any time there’s an opportunity of Tom Brady shedding a playoff recreation, everybody likes to tune-in, which is why there will certainly be lots of people watching this recreation Sunday. The Rams have performed Brady’s Buccaneers a complete of two instances over the previous two seasons and have gained each video games. If there’s one offense Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles hasn’t been in a position to determine, it is the Rams.  Underneath Sean McVay, the Rams have averaged greater than 30 factors per recreation of their two wins over Tampa Bay. Mainly, this recreation feels prefer it may very well be a shootout, and everybody loves a superb shootout. 
  • 4. (4) Bengals at (1) Titans, 4:30 p.m. ET, Saturday (CBSParamount+): Final week, I had Raiders-Bengals and 49ers-Cowboys each ranked in my high three for many watchable video games, and people ended up being the one two watchable video games of the whole wild-card spherical. I will not be stunned if this finally ends up being the most effective recreation of the divisional spherical. In spite of everything, we’re getting one of the crucial thrilling offenses in soccer (the Bengals) going up towards a Titans group that is going to have Derrick Henry again on the sector. This recreation would possibly function two small market groups that nobody cares about, however you need to undoubtedly nonetheless watch as a result of I feel this is perhaps one of many craziest video games of the weekend. As a Bengals homer, I actually wished to rank this recreation second, however I then I noticed most individuals would fairly watch Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady over Bengals-Titans and I respect that. 

Once I first made these rankings, I wished to place Payments-Chiefs on the high after which have the opposite three video games tie for second, as a result of all of those video games are superior and there is a probability that this might go down as probably the most thrilling divisional spherical ever. This marks the primary time since at the least 1980 that each one 4 video games within the divisional spherical have a degree unfold of six factors or much less. 

4. One factor we discovered about every group within the wild card spherical

Now that each one six video games from Tremendous Wild Card Weekend have been performed, CBS Sports activities’ Cody Benjamin determined to wade by way of the aftermath to determine what we discovered about every group.

This is a have a look at what we discovered about 5 groups: 

  • Rams: They’ve the items to upset the Buccaneers. “Rams followers must be mightily inspired after Sean McVay’s squad rolled over the Cardinals to begin their run. Matthew Stafford was good and comfy in perhaps the largest begin of his profession, Sony Michel was busy early earlier than giving approach to a recent Cam Akers, Odell Beckham Jr. was on hearth out large, and the protection stayed after Arizona all evening.”
  • Steelers: They may very well be in for a protracted offseason. “Pittsburgh hasn’t needed to suppose too laborious about its short- and long-term QB plans for the higher a part of 20 years. Now, with Ben Roethlisberger on the way in which out, maybe the Steelers offense will solely get a little bit faster. However shifting ahead, they can not essentially lean on their protection as a lot as they did in 2021 and count on to be contenders. They want solutions underneath heart, and it is unclear the place they’re going to discover them, or how determined they’re going to be to take action.”
  • Cowboys: They need to rethink their teaching plans“The Cowboys had been 1-3 earlier than Dak acquired harm in 2020 and simply noticed a 12-5 NFC East title run go to waste with a sloppy one-and-done loss to San Francisco. Proprietor Jerry Jones was already contemplating a change, per CBS Sports activities insider Jason La Canfora, though exec Stephen Jones reiterated confidence in Mike McCarthy on Monday. They need to hold contemplating one.”
  • Bengals: This group feels harmful. “Neglect all these Andy Dalton years, this Bengals group is locked and loaded for the brilliant lights. Sneaking by the Raiders does not imply they’re Tremendous Bowl-bound, however Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase have such a seamless connection that it is laborious to not like their possibilities as younger, explosive underdogs. They’ve already exceeded expectations, so that they’re particularly harmful.”
  • Patriots: Invoice Belichick has numerous work to do. “Approaching 70, the longtime coach does not seem like hanging it up anytime quickly, however the Patriots appeared at the least a yr away from true competition of their ugly loss to Buffalo. Rookie QB Mac Jones was overmatched towards a superior protection, and New England may use upgrades at a bunch of spots held by older or costly veterans on either side of the ball.”

If you wish to see the one factor we discovered about each different group, you may take a look at Cody’s whole story by clicking right here.

5. Raiders hearth normal supervisor Mike Mayock

Aug 19, 2021; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Las Vegas Raiders normal supervisor Mike Mayock appears to be like on throughout a joint observe towards the Los Angeles Rams.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports activities

When a group will get to the playoffs for simply the second time in 19 years, that often means the overall supervisor will get rewarded, however that is not what it means with the Raiders. The group introduced Monday that Mayock has been fired after three seasons. 

Listed here are a couple of particulars on the scenario: 

  • Issues appeared to get a little bit awkward. On Monday afternoon, a number of experiences got here out that the Raiders had been establishing interviews for his or her GM job, which was seemingly awkward for Mayock, as a result of he was nonetheless the group’s normal supervisor. 
  • Mayock lastly will get fired. A number of hours after it was clear that the Raiders had been on the lookout for a brand new GM, the group lastly introduced round 6:30 p.m. ET that Mayock had been fired. Transferring on from Mayock looks as if a dangerous name, as a result of it is laborious responsible him for the destructive issues which have occurred in Las Vegas. Jon Gruden is believed to have had closing say on most participant personnel points, so it is laborious responsible Mayock for the group’s drafting struggles over the previous few years. That being mentioned, it is fairly clear Mark Davis wished to scrub home. The issue for Davis is that the subsequent GM and coach are each going to be going through numerous strain attempting to enhance upon a group that went to the playoffs in 2021. 
  • Early interviews. In accordance with NFL.com, the Raiders have already scheduled two interviews for his or her GM jobs. A type of interviews is with Patriots director of participant personnel Dave Ziegler whereas the opposite one is predicted to be with Colts govt Ed Dobbs. 

The firing of Mayock means the coach and GM jobs are actually each open in Las Vegas, and primarily based on the truth that the Raiders went to the playoffs this season, it is seemingly going to be one of the crucial coveted jobs available on the market.  

6. Fast-fire roundup

It has been a busy 24 hours within the NFL and because it’s almost unattainable to maintain observe of all the things that occurred I went forward and put collectively a roundup for you. 

  • Cowboys prone to convey again Mike McCarthy. Though Jerry Jones didn’t give a vote of confidence to McCarthy following the playoff loss, Stephen Jones did give him one on Monday, saying that he is ‘very assured’ the coach could be returning in 2022
  • Browns participant arrested for public publicity. Browns defensive lineman Malik McDowell has been arrested in Florida on costs of exposing himself in public, resisting arrest with violence and battery on a regulation enforcement officer. You possibly can learn extra concerning the case by clicking right here
  • Jimmy Garoppolo has a sprained shoulder. Not solely is the 49ers QB coping with an injured thumb, however coach Kyle Shanahan revealed Monday that Garoppolo has a sprained shoulder. It isn’t anticipated to sideline him, however it’s undoubtedly one thing to control with the 49ers taking part in Saturday this week. Garoppolo suffered the damage sooner or later through the 49ers win over the Cowboys on Sunday. 
  • Seahawks dumping defensive coordinator. In accordance to The Seattle Occasions, the Seahawks are anticipated to be parting methods with defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. The long-time assistant had coached underneath Pete Carroll for 9 of the previous 12 NFL seasons. He began because the Seahawks linebackers coach (2010-14) after which was employed as defensive coordinator in 2018 after a brief stint with the Raiders (2015-17). 
  • Dan Quinn interviewing with 4 totally different groups. One of many hottest names on the teaching market is Dan Quinn. In accordance to ESPN.com, the previous Falcons head coach will probably be interviewing with 4 totally different groups this week and people 4 groups are the Bears, Broncos, Dolphins and Vikings
  • Larry Fitzgerald nonetheless not able to return to the NFL. After sitting out the whole NFL season, it looks as if Larry Fitzgerald nonetheless is not fascinated about making a comeback. Though he isn’t formally retired, Fitzgerald informed the Mannings on Monday that he undoubtedly will not be signing with anybody for the playoffs, “I feel it is best for me to be sitting proper the place I am sitting, pulling for my group.” Sadly, his group misplaced, so now, he has nobody to cheer for.  





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