- Gary Porpora
2020 DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
WEEK 19 DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
LOCK OF THE WEEK
L. A. RAMS (10-6) @ GREEN BAY PACKERS (13-3) -6.5 45.5 [O]
My readers—thousands of ‘em, I tell you, thousands—know I’m taking Green Bay and their improved defense, although not as improved as some fans think, over All-Galaxy DE Aaron Donald and the Big Horns.
Donald has a rib issue; it really didn’t look as serious as it seems to have become. I’m sure a well-aimed injection will find its mark and rocket A.D. to his normal greatness—but he can’t do it alone and doesn’t have to go through Rodgers’ Luca Brasi aka, David Bahktiari, to find the Green Bay QB.
Green Bay’s five-time All Pro LT will watch the game with a season-ending knee injury.
We also have to give the Sheep’s impressive trio of CBs their due. Some pundits offer up slot corner Darious Williams as being the best of the bunch; I’d still take Jalen Ramsey, a true shut down corner—and Troy Hill is no slouch.
I’m also pretty much resigned to LA’s Cam Akers running for big yards a few times during the game—but c’mon, folks, Jared Goff’s has had psyche issues for over a year. At one point his confidence was shot.
Now, two weeks removed from a busted thumb, he’s going to outduel the hottest QB in the game and arguably the best technical QB this side of Dan Marino?
I’ve been betting Green Bay all year and I’ve lost twice.
I’m putting my money on Rodgers using his tight ends and RB, Aaron Jones to mute LA’s aggressive corners and light up yet another defense on the way to the NFCCG.
Goff will have a regrettable day and the Pack wins by double digits.
Packers 31 Rams 19
BALTIMORE RAVENS @ BUFFALO BILLS -3 50 [O]
There are a lot of pundits who say the Magpies better not get behind the Bills in this one—because, get this, “they aren’t equipped to fall behind, they don’t have the tool box to comeback from a large deficit.”
They must have been watching a different game.
Last week, trailing by 7 against the well- coached Titans who had stymied the Crows for the first quarter and a half, Lamar Jackson ran up the middle and through the Titan’s defense for a 48-yard touchdown.
I never saw a human being run faster, not Barry Sanders, not Dionne Sanders, certainly not Larry Sanders.
The Titans looked like they were wearing snowshoes.
I’m taking nothing away from the Bills, HC, Sean McDermott and QB Josh Allen will be in the Lombardi conversation for the better part of the next decade and beyond.
The Bills 2020 defense, due to injuries and Covid, was not as good as advertised. Buffalo’s ground game recently lost Zack Moss; the heavy lifting will have to be done by rookie Devin Singletary.
Consider the following:
· Baltimore’s scoring defense is #1
· 6th overall & against the pass 2nd in YPP surrendered
· 7th versus the run
· Buffalo is as excellent or better in nearly every offensive category
I’m leaning to the Magpies because of Buffalo’s weak linebacker performance throughout the year. It’s telling the Bills had no defensive answer for Indy’s tight ends. Jackson will have a field day feeding TE Mark Andrews a couple of TDs—not to mention 303 lb. fullback, Patrick Ricard—and while Buffalo’s linebackers are trying to cover those two guys, the field opens for the best rusher in the NFL to run to daylight.
Defensive edge to Baltimore, QBs are even, and as good as McDermott is, John Harbaugh is 6-0 on the road in playoff competition—adding to already legit HOF credentials.
This one could very well come down to a late field goal—where the Ravens have the edge in one of the best ever, Justin Tucker.
Either way, the Crows Cover; both offenses are too good to be held down; play the Over.
Ravens 30 Bills 26