DiRTy Work

It’s Championship Sunday!!! This year, for only the third time in Superbowl era history, both conference championships were rematches from the regular season:

1981: Cowboys @ 49ers  &  Chargers @ Bengals

2007: Giants @ Packers  &  Chargers @ Patriots

2014: Packers @ Seahawks  &  Colts @ Patriots

In 1981, both San Fran and Cincy beat Dallas and San Diego twice in the regular season and the playoffs.  In 2007, only NE won twice.  2007 was essentially the revenge tour for the Giants, who defeated the Packers and later the Patriots after losing to both teams in the regular season.

Only two teams have won their conference title game by scoring 10pts or less, since the merger in 1970 (AFL-NFL) – 1979 LA Rams(9-0 over the Tampa), and the 1991 Bills(10-7 over Denver).

Non-divisional, same-site teams are 14-28 ATS since 2000.  Also, since 1997 favorites of 7 or more are 3-9 ATS.

In the Superbowl era only the Giants(5-0), Bengals(2-0), and Cardinals(1-0) are undefeated on Championship Sunday.  None of them are undefeated in Superbowl play – can you name them? answer below…

Packers Greenbay_6n_120 @ Seattle_6n_120a Seahawks 01/18 03:05 PM FOX Rain 51f Light Rain 13m SSW

SEA -7.5 (46.5)

Here are some items to ponder for this game in no particular order:

  • Never has a NFC team scored 30 points or more and NOT reached the Superbowl.  Two teams were close, scoring 28pts and lost – 1994 Cowboys (lost 38-28 to the 49ers – 2009 Vikings (lost 31-28 to God’s Army).
  • Jermaine Kearse has scored at least 1 TD in 3 straight playoff games – he has never had double-digit targets in 43 games, including the postseason.
  • Russ v Aaron: Wilson has never lost any game by double digits – Rodgers has 4 20pt losses, including week 1 2014, against Seattle.
  • Flacco owns the NFL record for playoff road wins with 7 – Flacco also shares another stat with Bernie Kosar, Kurt Warner and Aaron Rodgers with most consecutive playoff games with 3 TD’s – 3.
  • Russell Wilson Good v Bad: The Good – with the win over the Panthers, he snapped a streak on 23 consecutive games without at least 3 TD’s thrown – including last year’s playoffs — The Bad – He has never eclipsed 200yds passing against the Packers: however he has never lost to the Packers either.
  • The Seahawks have allowed only 56pts in their last 7 games and have only allowed 1 team to gain 400+total yards and that was the week 6 loss to Dallas – the first home loss for Russell Wilson.
  • The Packers and Seahawks have played each other 17times – The Packers are 9-0 when scoring 25pts or more – however, they 1-6 when scoring less than 25.

What does it all mean? The numbers say this could be a 5pt victory for either team depending on defense and Aaron Rodgers’ calf – all things considered it is the closest matchup with GB having a slight edge.  The Seachickens can be run on if you maintain the running game, and for the Packers they have Eddie Lacy who has averaged 108yds/1TD in his last 14 games.  If you must believe that 25pts is the watermark for the Packers – if they can score 25+pts then the possibility of them winning looks pretty good.  If you believe that the Seahawks can prevent the Packers from scoring that much then you think this is a repeat of week 1.  As a degenerate gambler I would have to side on the history of it all with rematches and the spread being a bit generous.  I am going with the Packers because I believe that if they gear up to stop Marshawn, they have a decent enough secondary to run with Seattle’s WR’s – the wildcard of course being Russell Wilson.  For the Seahawks to blow out Green Bay, Russell will need to throw the ball a lot and Seattle’s Defense will have to dominate the Packers – they have done it before, but the wildcard for the Packers is Davante Adams who rarely saw the field in week 1.  Plus, the only above average QB the Seahawks have played has been Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers is A LOT better than Romo.  Just think if (s)Cam was any good he might have beat the Seahawks with the Offense he DID generate.  But, the Packers are 0-5 against Wilson and Xerxes over the last 3 years, so at some point they gotta get one – right?  GB wins this game if they rush Lacy 25+times and abuse Seattle in the slot – and if Aaron gets a double-check on that calf.

FanDuel consideration: J.Kearse, Marshawn Lynch, Eddie Lacy, R.Cobb, D.Adams, Hauschka

Vegas consideration: GB +7.5 and the UNDER

DiRT Canon A.i.: GB wins by 1 and the OVER

Colts Indianapolis_6n_120 @ New_england_6n_120 Patriots 01/18 06:40 PM CBS Nrain 40f Light Rain 7m SSW

NE -6.5 (54)

Here are some items to ponder for this game in no particular order:

  • the Colts have lost the last 3 matchups by scores of 59-24, 43-22 and 42-20.
  • In 4 playoff games against Indy, Tom Brady averages 203yds and 1 passing TD.
  • The loser of the AFC championship has not scored 21pts or more for 7 consecutive years – the last time that occurred since 1980, was 1990-96.
  • Andrew Luck averages 323yds/2TD’s in his 3 playoff games.
  • Tom Brady has never lost a playoff game when completing 30 or more passes.
  • Julian Edelman in his last 5 games has received double-digit targets.
  • Last year, in his last 3 games, LeGarrette Blount averaged 144 total-yds/2.7TD’s – against the Colts last year he ran for 166yds and 4TD’s.
  • In the last 12mos, 2 different Patriot RB’s have rushed for 4TD’s against Indy.
  • The Colts share a history with Jets; neither has won an AFC title game on the road (min.4 att).

Historically, it says that if the Patriots commit to the run against the Colts they will light them up and play for another Superbowl ring.  Indy has to know this, but can they do anything about it?  The numbers say that Luck will still chuck it for more than 300yds, but CAN they RUN the ball?  Remember the Colts have not had a 100yd rusher in ANY game since 2012, so is Herron capable, against the Patriots?  Again we have history to consider and the point spread being generous.  I expect the Patriots to win the game but this will be closer than the last 3 games, and so I side with Indy and the points.  The Patriots will likely do what they did before which is cover T.Y. Hilton with a safety over the top, place Revis on Wayne, leaving the TE and slot WR to get a lot of action.  For Indy I’m sure they will put Vontae Davis on Gronk, but not sure what else they can do to slow down Edelman.  Indy does not have the D-lineman to harrass Brady like the Ravens do, nor the personnel to stop the run AND Gronk, Edelman, Lafell, T.Wright.  What we will see is what we should have seen Denver do against Indy, but clearly did not have the coaching staff to execute – the Patriots do.  So when you consider the trust-factor, you can call Brady – Luck a push, but at RB/TE/Coaching all go to NE – Indy does have the better WR corps but NE wins, with their secondary.

FanDuel consdideration: Andrew Luck, D.Moncrief, Indy TE, Gronk, J.Edelman

Vegas consideration: Indy +6.5

DiRT Canon A.i.: NE wins by 1.5 and the OVER

Teaser play: GB +16, GB/SEA OVER 36.5, Indy +15, IND/NE OVER 45.5

FanDuel possible lineup