Pat’s update: Well those were boring. The Houston Texans were dominated by the Indianapolis Colts for most of the game. The Colts put 21 points up in the first half while the Texans did nothing but get a single touchdown in the second half. Colts win 21-7. That’s really it. Marlon Mack made the Texans defense look silly. That is all.
That evening the Cowboys and the Seahawks almost gave us an equally dull game for three quarters. After some atrocious offensive play-calling, the Seahawks tried to make a game out of things coming with in two points with just over a minute to go. Because kicker Sebastian Janikowski was out from a thigh issue sustained in the first half, the Seahawks were left with punter Michael Dickson to do one of his now-patented dropkicks for an onside kick. Except the resulting kick was anything but an onside kick. Cowboys win 24-22 and advance.
Schedule is updated below
The 2019 NFL playoffs officially get underway Saturday morning! The San Francisco 49ers are officially on vacation for the time being, although there is little rest for the weary with the Senior Bowl just a few short weeks away. The coaching staff will be running the South team, which means a chance to break down a host of products.
In the meantime, the first day of the wild card round provides a moderately interesting AFC matchup, and an NFC matchup that 49ers fans will likely have a close eye on. The Houston Texans host the Indianapolis Colts at 1:35 p.m. PT on ESPN/ABC. That is followed the NFC North champion Dallas Cowboys hosting the Seattle Seahawks at 5:15 p.m. on FOX.
The Texans and Colts are squaring off for the third time this season, splitting on the road during the regular season. The line opened with Houston a field goal favorite, but has come down to 1.5 or 2 points at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. The public has brought this line down, and while I am often hesitant to side with the public, I think the Colts are going to win this game outright. They’ve got the better offense, and their defense ended the season not too far off from the Texans. They’re the better team, and I’ll take them to win outright.
The Cowboys opened as a one-point favorite, but the line climbed up to a field goal in a matter of minutes as money came in on Dallas. Since then, the line has settled at Cowboys -1.5 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. My favorite random gambling stat in this game is that the Seahawks are unbeaten against the spread in their last five games as a primetime underdog, and 25-6-4 ATS in their last 35 games at night. This strikes me as a chance to take advantage of the Cowboys finding a way to blow another playoff opportunity. The Seahawks injuries are worrisome, but I’ll take the points.
The second day of the wild card round features the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Los Angeles Chargers at 10:05 a.m. on CBS. That is followed by the Chicago Bears hosting the Philadelphia Eagles at 1:40 p.m. on NBC.
The Chargers had a great season but have to go on the road to a team with a worse record thanks to losing the tiebreaker with Kansas City. Baltimore had their work cut out for them getting into the playoffs, but now are viewed by many as a dangerous team thanks to a solid defense and an unpredictable quarterback in Lamar Jackson. The Ravens opened as a field goal favorite, and the line really has not moved much since then at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. There has been a lot of public money on LA, which suggests some professional money has kept the line from moving. The Chargers got stuck with a 10:05am PT kickoff. They’re a quality team and winning would not shock me, but I’ll lay the points with the east coast home team on their regular sleep cycle.
The weekend wraps up with what could be a real fun matchup, or could end up being a snooze-fest.. The Bears ride their hot defense into the playoffs against the always dangerous Eagles. Philadelphia got in with a win in Washington a Vikings loss to Chicago. Nick Foles suffered a rib injury in the Eagles Week 17 win and that has led to a lot of line movement. It opened with the Bears anywhere from 4.5 to 7 points at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark due to Foles’ injury. It has settled at six points, with a couple sportsbooks offering the Bears at -5.5. Mitchell Trubisky is the big question mark for the Bears Super Bowl hopes, but I feel like that defense could run roughshod over the Eagles offense and cover this game on their own. I’ll lay the points with the Bears.
All times PT
Wild Card Weekend Schedule
Saturday, January 5
AFC: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (ESPN/ABC, 1:35 p.m.)
NFC: Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys (FOX, 5:15 p.m.)
Sunday, January 6
AFC: Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (CBS, 10:05 a.m.)
NFC: Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (NBC, 1:40 p.m.)
NFL Divisional Round
Saturday, January 12
Sunday, January 13
Sunday, January 20
NFC: FOX, 12:05 p.m.
AFC: CBS, 3:40 p.m.
Super Bowl LIIi
Sunday, February 3
NFC champion versus AFC champion (CBS, 3:30 p.m.)