- Gary Porpora
SUPER WILD CARD WEEKEND - SATURDAY
Updated: Jan 17
NFL 2022 – TALLY SHEET
WEEK EIGHTEEN = 8 – 8
FINAL REGULAR SEASON OVERALL = 134 – 130 - 7 = .508
0/U = 0 – 4 O/U CUMULATIVE 57 – 55 – 1 = .508
SPECIALS 2 – 1 SPECIALS CUMULATIVE 38 – 31 – 1 = .545
GAME OF THE WEEK 8 – 8 LOCK OF THE WEEK 6 – 10 – 1
UPSET SPECIAL 13 – 4 O/U OF THE WEEK 9 - 8
PREMIUM PICKS CUMULATIVE 95 – 86 – 2 .522
NFL SUPER WILD CARD WEEKEND GAME POINT SPREADS
Seattle Seahawks (+9.5) @ S.F. 49ers 42.5 [O]
L.A. Chargers (-2.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars 47 US [U]
Miami Dolphins (+12.5) @ Buffalo Bills 43.5 [O]
New York Giants (+3) @ Minnesota Vikings 48 GW [U]
Baltimore Ravens (+7.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals 40.5 [O]
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45.5 LW [U]
Not sure the above slate of games is as impressive as it should be.
· Each game is a rematch of a regular season contest—and 8 of the 12 quarterbacks, if Lamar Jackson can’t play against Cincy, will be playing in their first post-season games.
· Five of the 12 Head Coaches are playoff virgins….
In short, that means anything can happen.
Seattle Seahawks (+9.5) @ San Francisco 49ers 42.5 [O]
This is a playoff matchup the Seahawks have precious little hope of winning outright—at least that’s what the punditry wants us to believe.
Your humble handicapper agrees to a much lesser degree. Yes, the Gold Miners have a stark advantage in talent and in almost every category in which Seattle is mediocre or worse, San Fran is downright excellent.
For example—culled from TeamRankings.com and VSIN.com:
· San Francisco is 6th in third-down conversion percentage on offense and the Seahawks are 27th in third-down defense.
· The Niners are 4th in YPP on offense. Seattle is 21st in YPP allowed on defense.
· The 49ers rank 10th in sacks per game of opposing quarterbacks. Seattle’s offense ranks 22nd in sacks allowed.
· The Niners are 3rd in yards per point on offense. The Seahawks rank 20th in yards per point on defense.
· San Francisco is fourth in yards per pass attempt. The Seattle defense is 16th in yards per pass attempt allowed.
Also, this little nugget from Michael Nania from jetdxfactor.com
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith struggles against the blitz and plays like a star when he is not blitzed. Few quarterbacks in the NFL see a larger drop-off in productivity when blitzed than Smith.
When faced with four pass rushers or fewer, Smith has produced 0.06 EPA (Expected Points Added) per dropback this season. That ranks 11th-best out of 42 qualified quarterbacks (min. 100 pass attempts).
· When faced with 5+ pass rushers, Smith is averaging a lowly -0.17 EPA per dropback, ranking 33rd out of 42 qualifiers.
The -0.23 drop-off in Smith’s EPA/dropback when blitzed is the sixth-largest decline among 42 qualified quarterbacks:
· Marcus Mariota, ATL: -0.53 (0.11 unblitzed, -0.42 blitzed)
· Justin Fields, CHI: -0.49 (-0.06 unblitzed, -0.55 blitzed)
· P.J. Walker, CAR: -0.39 (-0.12 unblitzed, -0.51 blitzed)
· Mac Jones, NE: -0.39 (-0.06 unblitzed, -0.45 blitzed)
· Jalen Hurts, PHI: -0.29 (0.15 unblitzed, -0.14 blitzed)
· Geno Smith, SEA: -0.23 (0.06 unblitzed, -0.17 blitzed)
If you would rather see this exemplified by a more traditional statistic, the story stays the same. Smith ranks third-best with a 107.7 passer rating against four pass rushers or fewer, while he ranks 29th with a 91.0 passer rating when blitzed. That’s a 16.7-point decline, ranking fourth largest:
· Brock Purdy, SF: -64.3 (121.7 unblitzed, 57.4 blitzed)
· Marcus Mariota, ATL: -29.7 (97.8 unblitzed, 68.1 blitzed)
· Mac Jones, NE: -19.7 (88.6 unblitzed, 68.9 blitzed)
· Geno Smith, SEA: -16.7 (107.7 unblitzed, 91.0 blitzed)
· P.J. Walker, CAR: -16.3 (82.0 unblitzed, 65.7 blitzed)
· Colt McCoy, ARI: -15.3 (80.4 unblitzed, 65.1 blitzed)
Note the staggering, and league leading, – 64.3 differential in passer rating for Mr. Irrelevant of 2022, Brock Purdy.
You think Seahawks HC, Pete Carroll, doesn’t know that stat?
He knows something. Carroll is 8-4 against Kyle Shanahan and 17-6 against the Prospectors since taking over in Seattle.
Here are some relevant trends from teamrankings.com
· Seattle is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games.
· The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Seattle's last 5 games.
· Seattle is 13-7 ATS in their last 20 games against San Francisco.
· Seattle is 15-4 SU in their last 19 games against San Francisco.
· The total has gone OVER in 5 of Seattle's last 7 games on the road.
· Seattle is 7-2 SU in their last 9 games when playing on the road against San Francisco.
· Seattle is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games against an opponent in the National Football Conference.
· Seattle is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games against an opponent in the National Football Conference West division.
· The total has gone OVER in 5 of Seattle's last 7 games played in January.
Brock Purdy has been impressive as a rookie NFL starter, but after solid wins over a struggling Tampa squad—a playoff team with a losing record, and Seattle; one game over .500—he’s won his last three games against pretty bad football teams: Vegas, The Commandos, and Arizona. Purdy has completed more than twenty passes a game only twice. The Gold Miners running game has been the determining factor in Purdy’s performance.
He’s a rookie! Going against one of the craftiest coaches in the game—a fierce division rival who has had his opponents’ number, and their current coach’s—over many years.
There are other trends that bode disaster for Wildcard Underdogs and really back up Favored Wildcard Home Teams. This one from VSIN’s Steve Makinen is most insightful:
The outright winner owns a point spread record of 54-7-1 ATS (88.5%) in the last 62 Wild Card playoff games! Win-no covers are rare, so regardless of the point spread, if you can’t see the team you’re betting on winning the game, you’re better off not trying to sneak a cover in regardless of the fact that two games are showing point spreads of seven points or more.
All of the above proves in any given week trends can be used to justify every pick—use them with caution.
San Fran’s talent surely can turn this into a blowout, no argument here. We’re betting Bubble Gum Pete and the Gulls keep it close.
We’re calling the Over…
L.A. Chargers (-2.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars 47 US [O]
An 1950S game show hosted by Johnny Carson asked: Who Do You Trust…
For this playoff game our answer is –not Chargers HC, Brandon Staley…
In a Week Eighteen game they had to win to maximize their playoff seeding, insuring a game against the Bengals instead of the Jags, the Bolts lost a close one to Denver.
If the youngish Brandon Staley was hoping the Florida weather would be better fit for his Chargers, why the hell were his starters in the Denver game so late?
The resulting Mike Williams back spasms and Justin Herbert’s still tender ribs, spotlight Staley’s questionable decisions—including his puzzling timeout call with 38 seconds left that gave the hurried Raiders a breather.
In his post-game presser, Staley insisted he called the timeout “to get his best run defense on the field.”
Vegas promptly ran the rock—and gained nine yards resulting in an eminently more makeable field goal and, for L.A., a cross-country trek to J’Ville.
Staley comes off as one of those “analytics guys” who knows more than everyone else—an attitude that doesn’t bode well for playoff success.
Comparison stats clearly reveal these teams are evenly matched, led by two of the youngest Super QBs in the game.
Jax runs the ball far more efficiently and that will be the difference in this one—the Electricians surrender a league worst 5.4 YPR and are 29th overall giving up 5.9 YPP. Only one of the Bolts 10 wins came against a team with a winning record.
J’Ville finished the season 7-2 after a lousy five game losing streak—all one-score games.
Doug Pederson has brought stability, toughness, and experience to his young Spotted Cats; he has developed QB, Trevor Lawrence into what a number one overall pick should be. Don’t forget, Pedersen won a Super Bowl with Nick Foles as QB.
NFL playoff teams benefit greatly from experience—Pederson has that over Staley and won’t make a bad decision late to lose the game.
In his playoff career, Pederson is 5-1 ATS and 4-1 SU as an Underdog
Take the 2.5 points and the Home Dog Jags—and play the Over.