When we last left off, Bokolis was scratching my head, wondering why the Seahawks didn't run the ball into the end zone. I've decided that these coaches- and players, for that matter- like to outsmart themselves, seemingly to rob the other side of the satisfaction.
Between thinking that Seattle had that game done and dusted, had blown it, then that catch put them back in prime position to pull it out, combined with having watched the game as part of a party hosted by a Pats fan, it was a lot to take. The upshot was that Bokolis ended up with a 7-5 postseason, rather than a stellar 8-4, but secured a 5th consecutive year of coming out ahead.
We now move to the postseason following the 2015 season. The league was top-heavy, so we we had a good idea of the participants well before the end of the season. While there was hierarchy in the league, there is little hierarchy among the playoff teams.
The AFC is wide open, as the top two seeds have serious questions. Tom Brady figures to be recovered from the thumping he took in the season finale, but he's waiting on a reliable WR to surface. Denver dusted off P. Manning, back himself from injury, to rally a listless offense. While he succeeded, this was more a function of the Raiders, who put up enough fight, staring at the pinstripes. Peyton's arm didn't suddenly get stronger.
This makes the other teams live money. The Chiefs are on a 10-game winning streak, yet will have to overcome that their last playoff victory (against the Houston Oilers) came back when Joe Montana and Marcus Allen were playing out their days. The Bengals might have the best team, other than at QB, but will have to overcome an even longer drought than the Chiefs (last victory...against the Houston Oilers!). The Steelers are not much more than a QB and a deep threat, but that could be enough to take out a few teams.
For a change, Bokolis would like to put up a respectable wild card weekend- not easy when everyone's a dark horse. As always, keep in mind that this is worth what you're paying to read it. Let's go.
Chiefs (-3) over TEXANS - Bokolis doesn't think that the Texans will be a pushover, but this is the type of game that fits the Alex Smith typecast. He shouldn't be under pressure to produce many points, so he can be what we say he is.
BENGALS (+3) over Steelers - You should probably go shopping for a half point, even if you have to buy it. Fully realizing that the Bengals have been absolutely shit in the playoffs, working with a QB with no experience may not be a bad thing. Bokolis never had any faith in Dalton as it is, and Pittsburgh's weak secondary should yield enough points for the Bengals to pull through. On the subject of enough points (under 46), they won't make it. With both their proven running backs on the shelf, establishing a running game will be a problem, and I can't see the Steelers moving the ball without a running game.