"The Stack" 12-30-19
Seattle Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister was stopped inches short of the goal line that kept the Seahawks from winning the NFC West. As a result, the San Francisco 49ers won 26-21 to win the NFC West and the number one overall seed in the NFC playoffs.
The Stack is back on this Monday and that was a wild NFL Sunday wasn’t it? The playoff field is set and it wasn’t set without a lot of wild outcomes. Surprising outcomes. We’ll get to it all plus make some picks for today’s bowl games in “the stack” for today, Monday, December 30th:
Falcons 28 Bucs 22
The Atlanta Falcons win this game as Jameis Winston and the Bucs did as only they could: end the game on a pick-six in overtime. That epitomizes the Bucs’ season. They have a decision to make with Winston in the offseason. Good win for the Falcons to end the year.
Dolphins 27 Patriots 24
One of the stunners of the year no question about it. The Miami Dolphins lost to the New England Patriots 43-0 back in week 2. This time around, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins were ready. They got a pick-six in the first half and they really made Tom Brady and the Patriots offense work and it didn’t work well. The Patriots will now play on wild card weekend for the first time since 2010. Amazing!
Bears 21 Vikings 19
The Minnesota Vikings rested a lot of their key starters since they had nothing to play for. They are the six seed in the NFC. They had a lead late, but Mitchell Trubisky led the Chicago Bears on a late game-winning drive with a game-winning field goal. We’ll see what the Bears decide to do with him in the offseason.
Chargers 21 Chiefs 31
The Los Angeles Chargers gave the Kansas City Chiefs all they could handle, but Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Damien Williams were too much for the Chargers. Once the Chiefs had put the Chargers away, they announced that the Dolphins had beaten the Patriots and Arrowhead Stadium erupted. The Chiefs miraculously clinched a bye. They are playing extremely well right now and will be a dangerous out in the playoffs.
Packers 23 Lions 20
The Green Bay Packers looked lifeless the entire first half. The Detroit Lions were taking it to them. Quarterback David Blough was doing nice things, but eventually Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense awoke. They made the plays they needed to combined with the Lions offense going down the toilet and Mason Crosby kicked the game-winning field goal. A first round bye for the Packers. Who saw that coming at the beginning of the season? Not I.
Browns 23 Bengals 33
Cincinnati wins the Battle of Ohio act II. They end the year with a win while the Browns end their extremely disappointing season with a disappointing loss. Sounds about right.
Saints 42 Panthers 10
The Carolina Panthers all but gave up on their season. What a bad performance. New Orleans did what they needed to do. Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara played well. Saints are playing good football heading into the playoffs.
Jets 13 Bills 6
The Jets amazingly have finished the season 7-9. The Bills rested a lot of their starters as they were locked into the five seed.
Cardinals 24 Rams 31
The final professional football game at the L.A. Coliseum. The Rams leave victorious, but the Cardinals gave them all they could handle. They will be a fun to watch over the years.
Raiders 15 Broncos 16
The Oakland Raiders needed a lot to happen for them to make the playoffs. It didn’t happen and they didn’t do their part either. Stopped short of the goal line in the first half on what looked like a touchdown from my viewpoint as well as a missed field goal and not getting a two point conversion at the end, the Raiders lost and disappointed as only they can do. Good way for the Broncos to end the year with those wins. Can build on them for next year.
Eagles 34 Giants 17
The Philadelphia Eagles continue to lose guys to injuries (running back Miles Sanders, an offensive lineman and a cornerback just to name a few), but Carson Wentz, Boston Scott and company would not be denied. They played a masterful second half to clinch the NFC East. The Giants tied the game up twice at 10-10 and 17-17, but the Eagles never flinched. Wentz was impressive and this was a fantastic job done by coach Doug Pederson and Wentz. Never doubt the heart of a champion.
Colts 20 Jaguars 38
Gardner Minshew II ended the season with a bang. He played well and the Jacksonville Jaguars took down Jacoby Brissett and the Indianapolis Colts. We’ll see if head coach Doug Marrone survives. There are conflicting reports on what his fate will be.
Titans 35 Texans 14
The Houston Texans had nothing to play for so they rested many starters including Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins. As a result, this game was the Derrick Henry show for Tennessee. The Titans running back ran for over 200 yards and 3 touchdowns, securing the NFL rushing title on his 53-yard touchdown run to effectively put the game away. Watch out for the Titans in the playoffs.
Washington 16 Cowboys 47
Sunday’s game showed why so many Cowboys fans are frustrated with this team. Dallas looked great. Wide receiver Michael Gallup was fantastic as was Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott. Alas, with the Eagles win, the Cowboys are not in the playoffs. Will there be changes in Big D? Only the man, Jerry Jones, knows and I don’t think he even does.
Steelers 10 Ravens 28
It was a nasty weather day in Baltimore and Lamar Jackson didn’t play, but that was no problem for the Ravens. RGIII was effective and the Ravens took care of an overmatched Steelers team. The Steelers won’t be in the playoffs and the Ravens will have a bye week as the one seed.
49ers 26 Seahawks 21
What a game to end the NFL regular season. What a way to end the 100th year of the NFL (in the regular). San Francisco was up 13-0 at the half, but the second half was far more entertaining. Seattle scored a touchdown on their first possession, but the 49ers responded, The Seahawks scored right back and the 49ers responded. Seattle once again scored and the 49ers had it and were called for a late hit on a second down reverse, but it’s hard to blame the offensive lineman who got the penalty because he thought the play was going because it was so loud in the stadium. The Seahawks got the ball back and had a first and goal with under a minute to go and it looked like it would be Beast Mode time, but they had a delay of game. A few more tries and the last one a completion to Hollister, but he was stopped at the one inch line. The 49ers escaped with the win and the NFC West title. What a game!
**Check out the NFL Playoff Schedule here.**
ServPro First Responder Bowl (Dallas, TX)
8-4 Western Kentucky VS 7-5 Western Michigan 12:30 PM ET ESPN
A battle of the westerns. Maybe we’ll have a good old fashioned western break out. That’s about all I got for you in this one. Western Kentucky has played surprisingly well this year.
Predicted winner: Western Kentucky
Confidence points: High 20s
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Nashville, TN)
6-6 Mississippi State VS 7-5 Louisville 4 PM ET ESPN
Louisville was surprisingly very good this year, especially on offense. They were a pleasant surprise this season. This is a toss-up and I feel like in situations like this you go with the SEC team, that being Mississippi State. I don’t know. A true toss-up.
Predicted winner: Louisville
Confidence points: Low single digits
Redbox Bowl (Santa Clara, CA)
7-5 California VS 6-6 Illinois 4 PM ET FOX
Illinois head coach Lovie Smith did an incredible job this year with this team. I don’t know a whole lot about Cal, but this is nearly a home game for them. I think I’ll take them, because I can’t pick a team that lost to Northwestern this season.
Predicted winner: California
Confidence points: 20
Capital One Orange Bowl (Miami, FL)
10-2 #9 Florida VS 9-4 #24 Virginia 8 PM ET ESPN
Assuming Florida comes ready to play, I do not see how Virginia wins this game. The ACC was terrible this season and Florida is the superior team. Don’t let us down Gators!
Predicted winner: Florida
Confidence points: High 30s
Coming up Tuesday: Tuesday Bowl picks plus NFL head coach firings and more.