Just like I did last week, my first few Thoughts this week will be my playoff predictions. I can't guarantee I'll go 4 for 4 like I did on my Wildcard predictions, but I'll give it a shot!
1) Saturday 4:35 pm ET (CBS) Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots - It's been a heck of a run for the Chiefs, but I think they taste defeat for the first time since October 18th. Tom Brady and the Patriots really needed a week off to rest up and to get healthier. Brady's ankle will be better, left tackle Sebastian Vollmer should be back, wide outs Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, and safeties Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung may be back as well. Chiefs 20 - Patriots 23
2) Saturday 8:15 pm ET (NBC) Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals - Aaron Rodgers looked like Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, but they aren't going to knock off the NFC West Champion Cardinals. Arizona is too complete a team and they did just destroy the Packers 38-8 last month. This game will be closer, but the Cards have too much on offense to lose. Packers 17 - Cardinals 27
3) Sunday 1:05 pm ET (FOX) Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers - The Panthers have been the best team in the NFL all season long and that won't change against the Seahawks. When these two teams met earlier this season in Seattle the Panthers needed some late game heroics from quarterback Cam Newton to win the game. Carolina will need Super Cam to be at his best again, but the soon to be MVP will be up to the task. Seahawks 20 - Panthers 24
4) Sunday 4:40 pm ET (CBS) Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos - Ben Roethlisberger has an AC joint sprain and Antonio Brown has a concussion. If these two miss the Steelers don't have a chance to win in Denver. Then again, even if they both play I think the Broncos avenge their week 15 loss. Oh and by the way a healthy and rested Peyton Manning is back. Steelers 23 - Broncos 24
5) Minnesota Vikings' kicker Blair Walsh missed a game winning kick on Sunday. It happens. Athletes occasionally don't come through in the clutch. As soon as he missed the chip shot I shared a joke on social media because the Vikes are a rival of my favorite team and it's fun to pour a little salt in the wound sometimes. Viking fans were obviously distraught over the game, but most Chicago Bears' fans found humor in their sorrow.
But what some fans said on social media was reprehensible. If you're the kind of person that threatens an athlete you need to go play in traffic during rush hour.
Sports are meant to be fun, it's not life and death.
5a) Here's what Walsh's former teammate, Nate Burleson, shared on social media yesterday.
6) There was a lot of awful stuff going on during the Steelers - Bengals game, here are a few that were spotlighted by SB Nation.
Which made me think of this classic NFL moment.
But the debris throwing wasn't the most despicable act committed by a Bengal fan that day because, A Cincinnati fan peed on someone during the Bengals-Steelers game. These idiotic fans should join the social media tough guys on their play-date in traffic.
6a) So even though that game was full of bad stuff, it wasn't all bad.
7) And speaking of great catches, did you see this one?
What about this one?
8) You had to know this was coming once the Packers knocked off the Redskins.
"You like that?" - Randall Cobb (via Kaitlin Sharkey) https://t.co/utcWAx1IA7— #NFLPlayoffs (@SNFonNBC) January 11, 2016
No, I didn't like that.
9) The Ryan brothers are together in Buffalo.
Bills' head coach Rex Ryan has hired his brother Rex as assistant head coach/defense. Rob was fired mid-season by the Saints and I wonder if his brother didn't have a head coaching gig, if Rob would have even had a job in the NFL this season?
Rob Ryan has coordinated NFL defenses for 12 years, with 4 different franchises and he's only had 1 team end up with a winning record. During his 12 year run he's only had one defense finish better than 13th in points allowed. His defenses have finished better than 14th in yards allowed just twice.
There is some potential good news however, the Bills are one of 8 teams (including the Bears) eligible for HBO's Hard Knocks this year. The Rex and Rob show would be must see TV.
10) The college football season ended last night with Clemson and Alabama playing in the NCAA title game and there were a few future NFL players out on the field.
Our own EJ Snyder took a look at Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland in his outstanding Drraftwatch series, but who are some other players that played last night that would look good suiting up for the Chicago Bears next year?
10a) The All Star Bowl games are the next big thing for the Draftniks to study and Bears offensive linemen Kyle Long had some advice for potential prospects and playing in the Senior Bowl.
Note to guys on the fence about senior bowl - I started 4 games in college and showed out in the senior bowl and got drafted high %JustDoIt— Kyle (@Ky1eLong) January 11, 2016
The Senior Bowl practices can do more for a prospects stock than any other thing this offseason.
What are some of your Thoughts this week?