Aaron Jones, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, DK Metcalf, Doug Baldwin, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, JJ Watt, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL, NFL Trivia, Patrick Mahomes, Playoffs, Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, Washington, Will Fuller
We have two more games today, but first I have to fail at the trivia questions, although Dan might fare better.
Dan’s Dad asked us:
‘For New Orleans I want to know this: In a game against the Washington Redskins on October 13, 2000, Michael Lewis became only the 7th player in NFL history and the first Saint to do what?
Now it’s the New York Giants so tell me In a game against the Washington Redskins on October 30, 1955, Jim Patton was the first player to achieve what?
Finally for the NY Jets – From 1960 – 62 the NY Jets were known as what?’
I am properly stuck on these questions, apparently Dan and I need to spend some time in the off-season memorising franchise histories, and I have no idea about some of the early history. I’m guessing that the first two are likely related to rule changes or things that happen rarely. Even safeties happen with fair amount of regularity, as do penalties so my thoughts turn to the kicking or returns, but it could just easily be something else.
I’m sure the forward pass happened earlier than 1955, but I’m really struggling with both questions so let’s say that Michael Lewis was the first Saint to have more than one kick return go for a touchdown in a season. As for Jim Patton, I don’t know the name so let’s go with the first player to kick a fifty yard field goal.
As for the Jets, they went to one of the early Super Bowls the Jets with Joe Nameth so this has to be a seriously obscure fact, going with the New York Metros, even though I’m sure the baseball team is likely older.
Now over to Dan:
‘I’m concerned this week as there’s only a couple of points in it and I know absolutely none of these questions this week so they’re all guesses. One correct answer from Gee and I fear he’s right back in it!
So for the Saints I’ll say he was the first Saint to return two punts for touchdowns in one game.
For the Giants I’ll assume some deviousness and also say he was also the first player to return two punts for touchdowns.
And finally for the Jets, I’ll guess they were previously known as the New York Cities.
Oh well… hopefully there’ll be something I can answer next week!’
Houston Texans (4th) @ Kansas City Chiefs (2nd)
The Chiefs got a bye week and the second seed thanks to the Patriots loss to the Dolphins in week seventeen, but they also finished the season with six straight wins as quarterback Patrick Mahomes adjusted to playing with the sore knee he had after dislocating his knee cap. It would not be surprising that the offence would take a step back from last season even before Mahomes had an injury, but this is still a frightening unit capable of big plays and ranked third in the league by DVOA. However, after a rough start to the season the Chiefs defence has improved and whilst it is sill a relatively average unit ranked fourteenth by DVOA, when combined with such a productive offence then it is easy to see why the Chiefs won twelve games.
The Texans pretty much won last week on the back of Deshaun Watson’s ability to perform outside of the structure of the offence. The usual question about whether Will Fuller can play surround how effective the Texans’ offence will be this weekend, but even with the return of JJ Watt (and in a reduced capacity) their defence doesn’t look that great and so I worry for them in this game. If we have learnt anything about Deshaun Watson it’s that you shouldn’t count him out, but if the Texans start this game like they did last week, the Chiefs will build a lot bigger lead than the sixteen points the Bills managed last week. I could be wrong as on any given Sunday and all that, but I would be surprised if the Chiefs didn’t win this game.
Seattle Seahawks (5th) @ Green Bay Packers (2nd)
The Green Bay Packers are a team that I still haven’t quite got my head around. They were clearly a good team, but they weren’t particularly impressive except you can’t ignore their 13-3 record. Partly the strangeness could be that the Aaron Rodgers hasn’t looked himself this season, and if anything this team has been carried by Aaron Jones in the running game and the defence. Except that Rodgers has thrown for over four thousand yards and only thrown four touchdowns and you would still trust him to do something spectacular with the game on the line.
The Seahawks got the win last week, and it certainly feels like they can never play an ordinary game so this should be a fascinating contest. We have two quarterbacks who are absolutely capable of taking over a game, and in rookie receiver DK Metcalf the Seahawks appear to have found a replacement for Doug Baldwin in their season without him. However, there are problems in the running game thanks to injuries and I do wonder if a rested Packers team at Lambeau field will just have too much. I think this might be the closest contest of the weekend, and in a snowy Green Bay it feels like the perfect way to end the divisional round. If I had to pick a winner I think I’d go for the Packers as the healthier team, but this game could truly go either way.
DVOA is Football Outsiders statistic for measure a team’s success on every play versus the league average and you can read more about it and other football topics at https://footballoutsiders.com.