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Jan. 12, 2021

NFL Wild Card Playoffs: Who Won, Who Got Exposed, and Why

NFL Wild Card Playoffs: Who Won, Who Got Exposed, and Why

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#29 - NFL Playoff Draft
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#15 - GET THAT OUTTA HERE - NFL Edition
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#5 - NFC Predictions

On this episode of Missing the Point, We’ll break down the biggest storylines coming out of an action-packed NFL Wild Card weekend.
From a narrow win for Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills vs the Indianapolis Colts to an upset in Seattle as the Los Angeles Rams take down the Seahawks, Tom Brady holding off the Washington Football Team, Lamar Jackson getting his first playoff win as the quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens, and the Cleveland Browns shock dominating win vs the Pittsburgh Steelers, we’ll look ahead to the divisional round and preview those matchups for the remaining teams, as SuperBowl LV starts to creep closer.

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Transcript
Craig D'Alessandro:

Today I'm missing the point. We'll break down the biggest storylines coming out of an action packed wildcard weekend in the NFL. From narrow wind for the Buffalo Bills versus the Indianapolis Colts to an upset in Seattle as the Rams take down the Seahawks. Brady holds off the Washington football team and Lamar finally gets his first playoff win. Don't forget about the brown shock dominating win versus Pittsburgh. We'll look at all the matchups and look ahead to the divisional round and preview the matchups with the remaining teams at Super Bowl 55 starts to creep closer. But first some housekeeping missing the point is a one hour podcast recapping the biggest stories in the world of sports with the New England flavor. The show notes and transcript from today's episode can be found in the description box below. As well as on our website. www dot MTP show.com. If you're new to the show, consider subscribing is the easiest way to see when we publish new episodes. We are on Apple podcast, Spotify, Google and wherever you get your podcasts. Be sure to rate us and leave a review. If any of our shows. We always appreciate your feedback. Also, be sure to follow us on all of our social medias. All of our links will be in the show notes. And check it out brand new website WWW dot MTP show.com. That's SMTP show.com. And now, this is missing the point, Episode 31. But it's all relative.

Joe Malkin:

Hello, and welcome to missing the point the show Born in 2020. So we could all take breaks between drinking and crying and yet here we are still drinking while we're recording. We kept asking Ted if we could have a talk but they kept saying they needed novel and interesting ideas. Whatever that means. Here we are. Let me introduce today's cast of characters. First, we have Mike Mark Angelo, a fine, upstanding citizen. He's asked me to read this before he gets on the show. From this point forward due to disputes with the podcast. He will henceforth be known as the podcaster formerly known as Mike. If it makes things easier you guys can just call him Mike for short. Michael also works. Thanks, Mike. Apologies for the image rights issue, but the otherwise

Michael Marcangelo:

I'm doing great dude. Thanks for asking. I appreciate it.

Joe Malkin:

Yeah, no problem. I was gonna cut you off, but I figured I didn't want to be like Dave. So speaking of Dave, next is Dave Clark. That's right, the same name as the English rock and roll band from the 1960s. So if you've been listening to us since August, you're probably going to I've heard that name somewhere. In the context of our podcast. Oh Dave Clark five is when you receive a backhanded compliment a high five and leave the entire interaction feeling 1% worse about yourself. dk sizzle Dave Clark. How's it going?

Dave Clarke:

Good man. I just like to say before we start it's really brave of you to just come on the zoom and just not care at all

Joe Malkin:

what you look like. You just throw on any little thing. It's probably really the bravery. Usually when I'm preparing for these, my wife says Whoa, you guys recording and video tonight. I said we always recorded video and she says you should look nicer and I'm like, I've known these guys too long now. They're just gonna get what they get it though

Unknown:

I think I just think it's a great choice.

Joe Malkin:

It always is. I'd say I feel 1% worse about myself and producing this fine piece of podcasting is young Craig D'Alessandro many of our fine listeners have commented that it's nice. We have some fine Italian heritage making this thing go. And we agree. We're very glad he kept things Italian when we forced him to change his last name from Caligula. I just like to keep him around because he makes people sleep with the fishes. Alright guys, let's blow up this cheese factory. And make sure that all that's left is debris. See, this is why we can't do this through video because I look into three and I lose it. Alright, so we have a lot to unpack when it comes to the NFL. We've just finished up wildcard weekend. Interesting weekend. Nonetheless, I think this was a very entertaining weekend of NFL football, especially for Dave, who was the only one of us who had his team in the playoffs. So it was definitely very exciting. He definitely had a few meltdowns before and during the game until about the fourth quarter when he recognized it was probably over. But so let's get into some of these storylines from the weekend. And Mike, I'm going to start with you and ask you what your biggest surprise of the weekend was.

Michael Marcangelo:

Honestly, I think for me, it's Jared Goff, right, the Rams and him playing through adversity. I think one of the things that I always thought about him was that he would just run the script, Sean McVeigh would have a script for him, and he could do the first 10 plays of the game, and the first 10 plays after the hat and then he fell apart. He wasn't scheduled to play this game. He came in and with a broken phone surgically repaired thumb just 10 days ago, he played very well. And he kept his team in a position to win. So for me, he showed balls for the first time, and that he was my biggest surprise.

Joe Malkin:

Do you think Mike that's because he wasn't intended to be the starter because john Wolford was supposed to be the starter and he was just released from the hospital on on Monday when we're recording this because he took a pretty big hit during that game. But do you think golf having to come in a supporting role, almost like a pitcher being run out in the second inning and a long reliever having to come in and finish that game off?

Michael Marcangelo:

Yeah, maybe. I think that also goes to dispel everything that I ever thought about him because I thought he was only good because he was running his scripted plays. He didn't have any this game. And he still was very good.

Dave Clarke:

Yeah, I was actually gonna, before you even ask that question. I was gonna jump in and say that because I feel like the pressure was awesome. I already lost the job. There's nothing left to lose. Might as well just go throw. I wouldn't say he's like a confidence guy, because I just like I wasn't so not confident in them. And he seemed irrationally confident at times while making mistakes. But I do think that that the pressure was a little off, but I wolfer was playing really well. It seemed really devastating to their chances of winning that game when you had to bring golf back in. But he definitely came in and got the job done. Another factor might have been the momentum. Like the momentum was already going that their way I think it was like it was a big theme across a lot of the games. And I think that momentum stayed through with the ramps when golf came in and just wrote that same wave and he approached it the right way. You know,

Michael Marcangelo:

if you remember golf came in the first quarter like Wolford is only three of six for 30 yards at that point. But it

Dave Clarke:

was it was the way he was playing. It was like he was playing it was looking good. You know what I mean? Like he was moving the chains he was moving the ball was like, Okay, this guy can throw he threw a couple like dimes, you know what I mean? I just think I gained a lot of respect for golf. Now, again, he wasn't great. But for him to overcome all the things that he had to overcome to play hurt,

Michael Marcangelo:

he came in, he did a really good job. He never put his team in a bad position, which is all you can ask for a quarterback coming in stepping in again,

Dave Clarke:

especially on a team that is going to win the game because your defense is so good. And I know all about that. I know that please just don't make any mistakes is what you're asking your quarterback to do. And that's a very viable game plan. If your defenses elite, which I think the Rams defense is, he came in and he did his job, so you can't criticize him. At least not today,

Joe Malkin:

or yesterday. So we'll get to more of Jared Goff when we get to that game, but my biggest surprise of the weekend to jump in and then I'll go to date, but my biggest surprise was the Steelers

Dave Clarke:

coming first because you knew that was gonna be mine.

Joe Malkin:

Actually, I didn't. But you know what, because I am the host, and that is yours as well. I want to hear it from your point of view because you have a Steelers fan in the household. Yeah, I think you and I both agree on this one.

Dave Clarke:

It was just like, it was just so shocking. Like, I think it was not only probably our biggest surprise of the weekend, but like the biggest surprise of the weekend. I understand what you're saying Mike, but Damn, dude, like, they just got smacked in the face, like four times in a row. And it's one of those things where if one thing is different, maybe the whole game is different. If that snap doesn't sail over Ben's head at the very beginning of the game, from the last guy on the on the Steelers, you think is going to make a dumb mistake. Was that senator's name? Yeah. pouncy. So pouncy snaps it over his head. He's an all pro center. Like he's never he hasn't he's made the all protein like the last few years. He's never made a mistake. Like especially not in a high profile game. He's the best guy on their offensive line. To see him do that. It's this is a freak occurrence. What's happening right here. So that goes over and it's Damn dude. Like that the whole thing's off the rails. You know? I mean,

Michael Marcangelo:

I'd also say Ben picked a really interesting time to do a cameo impersonation and not dive on the football. Like he just stood there and watched. I think he thought

Dave Clarke:

the other guy that was running for it was gonna jump on it because he should have jumped on it and they both hesitated to each other and one of them should have fell on it for sure. Because they were both first to the ball. So Ben should have just not run for it is really that like

Unknown:

he's moved all year. I

Dave Clarke:

know but he didn't want to go it go down like they've kept him so wrapped up in cotton wool and and bubble wrap because his body is completely breaking down. And I don't think that's even what happened. Like he made a couple of dumb mistakes. But like his body didn't necessarily let him down in that being old, maybe like his arm not being the same and not doing the same things. But it's not like he got hurt or it was limping around. I've seen him more banged up than that. Because they were using like you said they don't use them.

Michael Marcangelo:

I think if we're just talking about the confines of the Pittsburgh game show and then obviously you can I'm not trying to steal your thunder here. I think what was most surprising for me is that they made so many weird mistakes that a mike Tomlin team doesn't historically make and I don't think he's a great coach. Right? He hasn't called plays isn't scheme, but he usually has his guys ready. And those were such boneheaded mistakes. Like that awful snap that never happens. pansies and all pro Tomlin has his guys ready to play. It almost was like for me watching it. They didn't take the Browns seriously at all to start it quicksand, they just could never

Joe Malkin:

get back going, which blows my mind because the Browns played well against them. The first two times they played this season, this was the third time these two teams meant to fall that flat against the team that you should know. And you played a week prior. That's a little tough to watch. So, but I'll change mine since Dave and I had the same but I'll adjust mine and say the Washington football team. I think that team is moving in the right direction. I really do. Maybe they found their new quarterback, which we'll get to again when we go over this game. But that defense was very good. And I said it in our in our discord last week. If they give up 21 points, they will lose and they gave up 31. And they lost. But they scored 23 I think that Washington football team was moving in the right direction. I think that was a great game. And I just don't think they're at that point yet to win

Dave Clarke:

that playoff game. I want to wait until we see what the Bucs look like against the saints as a playoff team before we start saying that the Washington football team did like super well. I think that they did have some good performances at the end of the season. But every game was so close this weekend that it makes me think that there's some weird Juju in the air no pun intended. The weird stuff happening with the Steelers, like that game being close. The Bears keeping a close against the saints even though everybody thought the saints are gonna blow out the bears. Except for me, which is why I was even more sad. But yeah, I think maybe Wait, because I'm not sure I trust the Buccaneers yet. Do you already trust them?

Joe Malkin:

No, I don't. But I haven't trust them since the beginning of the season. But But could we say that this was a typical Tom Brady style game playing down to the competition based on what you're saying? Dave? I think what you're saying is that, that they're gonna play up to the saints, because the saints are a better competition. And we and we may see them score 40

Dave Clarke:

I think that they were doing a few things a little casually, the Buccaneers also, he was going through a lot of different receivers, which I don't think he does that normally. I think he likes a guy and then goes after him. He was using like the lower guys on the rotation a lot. And then there was a couple key drops, which made me think from guys that like didn't I know they won, but from guys that don't normally drop the ball. I wonder if they were working some stuff out. If they're trying some new routes, like I think they might have been real confident they're gonna win that game. And then because you saw the game plan that adjusted, they like locked in when the score was still close. And then it became inevitable.

Unknown:

So I'm ready to style offense.

Dave Clarke:

Yeah, I guess so. If you're telling you were watching the Patriots for a lot longer than I was Have you tell me that's the kind of thing he does early in playoff rounds.

Joe Malkin:

I mean, it's still weird for so many people to not see him in a patriots uniform. The fact that he's wearing that pewter in the red and he's in Tampa I think game and I you and i hash this out a lot a while back about my true feelings of Tom Brady. I think I am just a little jealous and I'm a little upset. He's not here. And you guys watch

Dave Clarke:

Power Rangers growing up? Oh, yeah, all the time. It's when I look at him in the Buccaneers jersey. It's he's turned evil. And he's like, when a new Ranger would show up. And they were like, more badass than the other Power Rangers, they would have like shoulder pads. inexplicably, if he just went and got the shoulder pads from like Rita repulsa. And now he's just, um, super powerful and showing up to the fight the rest of the Rangers. He just looks like he's dressed like an evil version of himself. Essentially,

Michael Marcangelo:

what I will say is if they had another person playing quarterback for the Buccaneers, they would have lost that game. It looked to me, like we both pointed out that they were playing down to their competition. And there were things that just weren't going right. But when you needed something to happen, Brady made it happen. He did what he always does. If you just want to talk about it, the third quarter was the chance for the football team to catch up. The Buccaneers didn't score anything. Braden puts up 13 and the fourth

Dave Clarke:

he just does have that Kobe Bryant assassination mindset that like he's always had, so he just went out and put them away and I'll say this like not to make this a let's praise Tom Brady our but I know this is painful for you guys. So I'm glad to keep it going for a little bit. I think you have to give him even more credit for playing at the level that he's playing at for his age. And I know that's the thing people talk about all the time, but I think when you see 38 year old Ben Roethlisberger start to break down 41 year old Drew Brees has calmed down and entire tear in his quarterback play. Still very effective. But he's not Drew Brees anymore, neither is raffensperger. All of his contemporaries, the people that were generally seen as his contemporary Philip Rivers, not on his level, his peers have all just started to break down in a dramatic way. And he's two to three years older than those guys. And he's still performing at this Tom Brady level, and deciding when his team is gonna win, and I think it's very impressive. I know it's not good business to doubt him. But it's just something in my gut is telling me the Bucks are not going to go all the way.

Michael Marcangelo:

I think you can doubt the bucks, but have faith in Brady, if that makes sense. Like I think that he does a lot. He just can't do everything anymore. He talked about that the beginning of the season where he never had to worry about anything else. Now it seems like they figured it out and their team is just talented enough to get there. But there are cracks there. You mentioned all of this content. falling apart. I guess like the cacau ice cream really does it dude, that's what's kept him on the field

Joe Malkin:

is the avocado ice cream and it's Tom's special sauce

Dave Clarke:

Jordan had I'm sure they're not just like kidnapping orphans and making some sort of special sauce for him to stay on. It's definitely like an evil empire guys if you get spot an evil empire, then you didn't watch enough TV grown up Dave Listen,

Joe Malkin:

there's too many evil empires right now we can only concentrate on the ones that affect us most. Okay?

Dave Clarke:

I can't wait. It's gonna come out in 20 years like the kind of shit that like the TV 12 companies up to right now without

Michael Marcangelo:

a doubt

Joe Malkin:

that stuff is gonna come out and as half the reason why I don't even bother myself with it. I wouldn't have associated myself with TB 12 when he was here, and I wouldn't now so there goes our chance of ever getting Tom Brady on the podcast can

Michael Marcangelo:

afford the bag of peanuts.

Dave Clarke:

I know. I was just gonna say the same thing. The TV 12. cashews are like $40 a bag. That's the way he was talking about moving to Tampa. so little of the stuff he was saying was had anything to do with the Buccaneers. He was like I love the weather. And like I'm hearing his I love the tax rate.

Joe Malkin:

Have you seen that he does with gronkowski? It's called Tommy and crunky.

Michael Marcangelo:

It's so bad.

Joe Malkin:

It's so bad. It's awful. It's absolutely atrocious. And, Dave, I couldn't agree more with what you're saying. You're absolutely right. If we've only seen one other quarterback play until he was 43 a breeze may get there but I don't know.

Dave Clarke:

I think you're right about him. He's just breaking down. I think breezes done I think I'm pretty sure at the end of whatever game they lose, which is probably going to be this one pill announces retirement, I would put hard money on that.

Joe Malkin:

Here's my hot take. I think if Tom Brady does when he'll retire.

Michael Marcangelo:

I don't know, dude, he's got another year. Another guaranteed contract. I bet Julian Edelman winds up there next year, I think he wants to do I think he wants to run it back because he agreed to play until he was 4540 be 12. That's it,

Dave Clarke:

I'll paint you a scenario where he definitely does or doesn't come back. It's one or the other. Let me get to the end. And I'll figure out which one it is if they play the chiefs and get like completely destroyed by the dynamic, fast, incredibly unbelievable amount of points scored in a short period of time offense of the chiefs. And it looks like when the Oklahoma City Thunder played the Golden State Warriors and it was like, Oh, yeah, like you're almost their whole comeback. But if they just get blown out, like, oh, there's some rebuilding to do that that era of football doesn't win Super Bowls anymore, if that's what we learned that the Tom Brady style of quarterback doesn't win Super Bowls anymore, that there's a possibility that we learn that if the Chiefs come in and just starch them, so then he might want to bow gracefully at that point. But maybe he gets a chip on his shoulder about that. I don't know. He's a weird dude. But if something like that happens, anyone else in the NFC that can beat them?

Joe Malkin:

I think this the saints and the Packers can be dumb. I

Dave Clarke:

think I don't think the saints can be dumb. And I also think he'll work Aaron Rodgers for sure. Yeah, he would. He will. He's winning the NFC Championship Game Over Aaron Rodgers. 10 times out of 10. In my opinion,

Michael Marcangelo:

I agree to because as you guys know, from our last show, I just think that the saints and the packers are soft. They are not battle tested enough in the playoffs and Bruce Arians is what two and two in the playoffs now. Tom Brady's 32 and 11. That's his postseason record. He will he'll get there and when he loses, he doesn't get blown out. Often it was the Ravens game and oh nine. And that's really it in terms of a blowout in the playoffs. So what I'll say is, if he does get to mahomes, and that is close, he's coming back. I think if you get blown out, he'd be so pissed off. He would announce he's coming back. The minute he steps off the field. We'll see him again next year. So how do they I don't think they're done but I can rant about Brady for the entire show

Joe Malkin:

that oh nine playoff loss to the Ravens. I can still see Ray Rice running up the right sideline. And that run really elevated Ray Rice and the Ravens to their first playoff win that year. Okay. No one got that joke. Okay, so we're moving lol. Yeah.

Unknown:

Okay, too soon. Yes,

Joe Malkin:

Jesus. All right. So let's move into the games because we can get back into that Brady conversation that breathes conversation as we go through each game, but let's hit on each games talking points. And what we saw First, we'll go literally in order of how the games occurred. So we'll start with the AFC seven seed against the AFC to see the Indianapolis Colts at the Buffalo Bills. the Buffalo Bills get the state of New York to grant them fans in their stadium for their first playoff game since 1995 6700. Fans are so we're in the stadium and the Buffalo Bills come out. This was a three point game. I was very impressed by the Buffalo Bills. We were talking about it during the game. I think the bills played pretty well. So let's talk about the game as a whole. At first, Mike, what were your thoughts on this one?

Michael Marcangelo:

For me, I was surprised by how well the culture playing I thought when you think about Philip Rivers, you think about the playoffs. He's entering this game. He's five and six. He's just he's probably the greatest quarterback of all time to never get to Super Bowl, even playing one. I think that's a fair assessment, but he was Foreign Oh, in the wild card round before I thought he played really well, but for me, I don't look at this game. Is that the bills one? I just say the Colts lost and the reason why I say that is because Frank Wright made a lot of weird decision makings and play calls that cost his team points. I remember just off the top of my head 10 points that they should have had that they did not. They only lost by three. Josh Allen. I think he proved a lot of his naysayers wrong. I think he was very elusive. But he was also smart. He didn't make any decisions when throwing the ball in this game. I thought he under stripes 26 and 35 324. two touchdowns. It's hard to argue with that. So I think the right team one, I would have loved to have seen the cults one though, because I think that there's more of an aura around the Buffalo Bills or the bills mafia when their team just can't get over the hump. But they did that first time in a quarter of a century.

Joe Malkin:

Yeah, this would really take a lot of wind out of the sails of Bill's mafia if they keep going on this goes mafia literally was formed or basically around them just not being so good.

Michael Marcangelo:

Sorry, they're gonna run out of tables. Soon. Everyone's going through tables, they put babies through tables, they're this place, they're going nuts. I love their fans. I

Joe Malkin:

don't like their football team, big sporting goods and target are really going through a lot of tables, and they're loving every minute of it. I'm sure they shipped a bunch up there. When they found out there was fans going to the game.

Dave Clarke:

I'll say this about Alan though, on that note, the amount of pressure that he was feeling as the franchise quarterback of a franchise with a fan base like that hasn't won a playoff game since 95. And being a young quarterback, and being a young quarterback with a lot of criticism on his back. Now you guys know, I'm a big Josh Allen guy. I'm a big Josh Allen guy since the start of the season. I think he's a really talented Dude, I didn't even expect him to be as good as he was this season. I really, I don't think anybody could have expected that. But it's probably the biggest year on year improvement by a quarterback that I've ever seen, at least in the pocket. I think that with mobile quarterbacks, what you often see is it takes them multiple years to ever develop a pocket presence, because when they go through high school and they go through college, they're able to just use their legs better, you know what I mean? They're they've just been that much faster than everybody. And that's why they're a mobile quarterback in the NFL, and the NFL, all the linebackers are real, real fast, too. And when they get to you, they're gonna hit you really hard. So we need you to figure out how to throw in the pocket. Otherwise, you're not gonna win games, I think for him to make that much of a leap, and then get to the playoffs. I think his completion percentage improvement was something like 15 or 17. They were talking about that on the broadcast. And that's crazy for him to go through all that and then have all this news cycle talking around him. Lots of criticism, lots of doubt, to play as many primetime games as they did this year to play as many night games to win all those to come in here with this whole bills mafia thing going on with this whole like, here we are, don't fuck it up for us this time joshy as a young quarterback, to then start the game off in a poor way and have momentum slip away from you. And then to claw that back and start to get into a rhythm and start to play your own game and and do the things that you've done that were successful that got you there in the first place. I think that's a very mentally strong individual. And I think that we're going to see him and I this isn't isn't news to anybody. But I think we're gonna see him be a top five quarterback in the NFL for the next decade based on that because it's all in the eye test of his character like he could have let that get on his shoulders and he didn't and then playing against a veteran like Phillip rivers like you were talking about Mike that's intimidating. I know the quarterbacks don't play each other but we all know they do. So it's that's how we frame all these big quarterback matchups, especially as you get deeper and deeper into the playoffs to look across and see Phillip rivers for know like you said in the wild card round and then to beat him. You got to give them credit Dude, I don't think the Colts lost for that reason. I think that the the pressure to win was on Allen,

Michael Marcangelo:

there was a lot of the nice things you just said about Josh Allen were true 1,000% but it helps to have stefon Diggs doesn't it? I mean, that is 128 yards and a touchdown. He was on fire and again, he came through in the clutch moments. He accounted for literally 400 yards of offense himself.

Joe Malkin:

Yeah, that's actually pretty normal for him. And we talked about that a little bit during the game. How much we all really liked Devin Singletary and Zach moss but Josh Allen gets those legs moving. And Dave, you're absolutely right. He found that balance right. Like he can be that pocket passer he's got so much more accurate. But Mike to your digs. point where you were, you said a lot of nice things, but it helps. Well, that just tells me that was an organizational move that they realized, Oh shoot, we need to go get our guy a guy and then went and got him. And stefon Diggs is loving his time in Buffalo to go from Minnesota to Buffalo. You go from playing indoors to outdoors, it just fits like that relationship between those two guys has become so good. And Dave, to your point about Josh Allen. He was embraced so much by the City of Buffalo. They actually showed the video of him being drafted and every bills fan in the place went absolutely insane because they knew they had their guy. They knew they found their quarterback of the future. And they've all many have said in Buffalo. he embodies what Buffalo Bills football is all about. You couldn't be more right about everything and I agree with you that he's gonna be a top five quarterback. I think he's just getting there. We've seen him. I said it earlier in the season. You just said it again. He's just gotten better. Every week. He's gotten better, not just every season. It's been impressive.

Dave Clarke:

Yeah, and to your point about saying it helps to have stefon Diggs I bet stefon Diggs thinks it helps to have Josh Allen instead of fucking Kirk Cousins throwing you balls all day because I bet his life got a hell of a lot sweeter this season too. And I'm not sure of his exact stats, but I bet he has more touchdowns and I bet he has more receiving yards and I bet he has more targets and I bet he has more receptions,

Michael Marcangelo:

I was gonna come back to the Diggs thing too. He's not splitting time with you. And he is the guy in Buffalo and also Kirk Cousins. His play diminishes when all hell breaks loose. Josh Allen thrives.

Dave Clarke:

That's entertainment, though, when you're not playing against him.

Michael Marcangelo:

Yeah, for the first time and forever, like I'm scared to pay the bills. And I think if it's anybody but the chiefs, they're going to run through

Joe Malkin:

everybody. And two things that have been big for the bills this year has been Cole Beasley who they signed as a free agent from Dallas. And then not only that Dawson Knox. I walked back into the room we were watching the game and the other day, and my wife goes the bill scored a touchdown. I said who they throw it to she goes Dawson Knox First of all, I was amazed. She knew who the hell he threw it to. But then I was like, I would love to have a guy like that. Oh, wait, the Patriots literally could have had Dawson Knox. This is gonna be my hopefully only shot at the Patriots here. Amazing what happens when you put a good quarterback, a good receiver and a good tight end together which we had that so let's move on to the next game. The bills won that game 2724 Mike mentioned interesting coaching decisions by Frank Reich including a two point conversion, a failed two point conversion in the third quarter, which really didn't need to happen. So the Colts very easily could have won that game. I think you can look at it from both perspectives, but the Colts lost that game. But Dave, you're right, Josh Allen put on his big boy pants and finish that game off after starting poorly. That was a great way to start this weekend. Because then we moved into I think one of the most anticipated games in the NFC. And that was the Rams and the Seahawks, the first inter divisional game of the playoffs between these two teams and we all had very differing opinions on this one going in what would be the X Factor? Was it going to be the Russell Wilson Tyler Lockett DK Metcalf equation? Or was it going to be that that Rams defense and Mike you found the X Factor you set it a little while ago?

Michael Marcangelo:

I don't want to get to grab se here but uh you were right. Last week we hit when we had the the playoff team show like you said the Rams defenses elite. I disregarded it. And I just thought that Russ and DK were better. I was wrong because on this day, that defense stood up. They held up. And I think for me, the X Factor like we talked about before was Jared Goff man, I think he just stood up at a time where there is very low expectations for him to even be in this game. Seattle was planning for him all week because McVeigh was doing this little Bella check genius coaching thing and not giving them who's actually going to start, but he knew he wasn't gonna play. He was loose all week. wolfer goes down all hell breaks loose. Golf gets in there goes night and 1900 55 yards, a touchdown, bad quarterback grading QPR to under 50. But he didn't make any mistakes. That's what he's always done in crunch time and the playoffs in really big games. He flounders this time he didn't. So for me, he earned my respect. I think he earned his job for the foreseeable future. I think if you're a Rams fan, there's a lot of upside for this game.

Joe Malkin:

Dave, want to start with you on that defensive side because I'm looking at their defensive numbers. And Aaron Donald two sacks three tackles Leonard Floyd. Two sacks. You had Darius Williams with the three tackles and an interception. his defense really stepped up and Mike said so to Jared Goff. But this defense was such a good complement to that offense this week.

Dave Clarke:

Yeah, dude, totally. I was right on board with you. I called the Rams going into this on the official selections on the missing the point Instagram. Yes, Aaron Donald is right up in his face the entire time which pressuring good quarterbacks is like, basically the only recipe for success in today's NFL. So they did pressure him and they made him look average. But also DK Metcalf has been destroying people all season. He's a freak athlete. It's early in his career. But Doris Williams went in there and completely locked him down. To me that's the key to the game. He went he got a he had a pick six. He kept DK Metcalf to absolutely his poor miserable numbers on the day and he he messes with Russell Wilson all the time. I'm pretty sure he picked him after at least once on the defensive side of the ball. They just had their number Dude, that's just the way it is like they they completely they had a game plan. It worked. Jared Goff like even admitted Mike, he just went in there and he didn't make any mistakes. He let his defense win the game for him to take a defense into the playoffs and go against a playoff tested elite level quarterback like Russell Wilson and to make the bet that your defense is going to win you The game is a brave bet and one that I think most people did not think we're going to pay off even though we all knew what they were going to do. Because that's how they play it paid off and I think Seattle has a lot to look at In the offseason, for some reason people love savage and Russell I think maybe because he's been underperforming the last few seasons but I think he's elite. I think he's a great quarterback. I can see I have a lot of talent. I think they're, they played weird this season they played less than I thought that they were going to do so they got some stuff to look at but that's for them to worry about the Rams are on to the next round so good for them.

Michael Marcangelo:

I would be I would catch a lot of flack from rayshawn who's not here tonight, and if I did not take this time to point out that cam Akers was doing his best Eric Dickerson impersonation 28 carries 131 yards, a touchdown. He was solid. He was the guy to give the rock to he never let you down. He didn't fumble. I think you're right. Jalen Ramsay shut down DK Metcalf. And when we say that, we mean, he held him to under 100 yards and two touchdowns. One was a garbage time, touchdown, five catches 96 yards, two TDs for us to say that's him shutting him down. And it's true. That just shows you how good TK is. But it also shows you how I think one dimensional the Seattle offense is now because Carson isn't a proven commodity in the NFL. He's not marshawn Lynch, right. Carlos Hyde isn't what it used to be. Russell Wilson, in that kind of time against a good defense can only throw the ball deep. And what we saw a couple days ago was that it just doesn't work.

Joe Malkin:

I think some of that comes down to coaching as well, I think I think Pete Carroll has always been one to feed into media speculation and the talking heads and he sees DK and he understands what kind of a talent that is. But Mike, I was gonna say the same thing that was shutting the offense down by keeping DK to that. And I think you're absolutely right. And it's interesting because you look at a 32 year old Russell Wilson, and you wonder what's next for him? Because obviously they have the number one guy up there and I think they're gonna need to surround him with something else because Tyler Lockett is probably he's a good number two, we saw him had have two huge games during the regular season, but they're they seem to be getting to the that point. And they just they can't get over that hump anymore. He just

Michael Marcangelo:

needs someone to get him open. It feels to me and it could be wrong. So if you're listening out there, please come at me. I promise I love it. It feels to me like DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett run the same routes just on different sides of the field. Like they just do the same thing. Russell Wilson knees either and underneath guy like an element or co Bz like you were talking about, or they need a pass catching tight end, which is not something that they've had since Jimmy Graham, and he wasn't great in Seattle. He was great New Orleans. But they need something like that to open up things for TK because it appears to me they've given up on the rushing aspect of offense since Yes, that's

Dave Clarke:

what I was gonna say though, I think that they looked a lot scarier at the start of the season. And like an elite level offense when Chris Carson before his injury, and he looked like himself. And I think Carlos Hyde did a serviceable job filling in for him. But he's not the same running back. Chris Carson didn't look to me like the same guy that I saw when I watched some Seahawks games at the start of the season. And I didn't really see a lot of them middle and end of the season. But then to see them in the playoffs again, I was like he does not look as confident running the ball. So I think that would open up a lot of situations because then Russ is so dangerous on the play action too. Because any of those bootlegs that he moves outside, you have to immediately dedicate one if not two linebackers to them to make sure he doesn't move on you because and then they suck up and he can just hit anybody who wants you need to establish the running game to pull that off. Otherwise, they're not going to bite in the play action. This is football one on one right. I think that still thing injury riddled starting running back situation, as you were saying that is why they gave up on running the ball. And that definitely was that to their detriment

Michael Marcangelo:

could have been that their defense just isn't what it used to be that Russell Wilson is not used to having to come back from big deficits. They're not built that way. Because Chris Carson averaged 4.2 yards carry so it's pretty good. 16 carries 77 yards or 4.8 yards, maybe more, but they couldn't because they were down so much that they had to throw when your defense is that bad. We've had that team here in New England before Dave, you've always had a good defense. But when your defense is that bad, you cannot afford to run the ball anymore. And this is what happens. I think, for me, if you're taking an autopsy of the Seattle Seahawks, they need to focus on their defense because they have rustled and they have DK locked out for at least a few more years.

Joe Malkin:

I think they need to focus on that offense a little bit because I'm really examining their offensive numbers here and you really you just hit the nail on the head with their offense. It just wasn't clicking when you take away that option of Russ being able to move out and then find the guy he's so good on the run. Right like Dave, you said it he's elite. He's always been so good watching him throw a perfect spiral on the run whether he's throwing across his body or not. It's just it's a beautiful thing to watch in football, but 11 of 27 for 174 Chris Carson 16 477 there's just not a lot of offensive production.

Dave Clarke:

Just think he's good dude, but he's not Nobody's good when Aaron Donald's is in your face for an entire day and when their best players completely getting locked up by a cornerback. So like we're given the Rams the credit before and I think that is what happened. I think that they just gameplan him so perfectly. And I think that Mike's right like, they might not have been able to do that to them. If their defense didn't blow it for them so aggressively and force them into a game plan. It's the sort of the same thing that happened to a couple different teams this weekend, like the Steelers had to just start slinging the ball, and it was working for a second. But realistically, if they know you're never going to run, then yeah, your quarterbacks, it's up to your quarterback. And then those factors factor in where it's Aaron Donald is splitting your offensive line every single time. And it's just not the same as when none of that was happening.

Michael Marcangelo:

If you would have told me that after four weeks of the season where Russell Wilson was playing at an MVP caliber rate, we all thought he was going to be in contention that his only playoff game this year he was going to have two more completions in 19 more yards at a one thumb Jared golf I would have called you a moron. And that's exactly what happened. dk had 96 yards. Russell Wilson at 174 total you shot him down and not to quote right ballgame. They can't beat you with anybody else but him.

Joe Malkin:

That's 78 yards to everybody else which is which you mentioned the tight ends earlier. They don't have a terrible core of tight ends will Disney and Jacob Hollister? I wish we had a guy like Jacob Hollister in New England, but unfortunately we don't anymore. I'm not bitter. I'm not bitter as your next game.

Dave Clarke:

So the Rams take down the Seahawks 30 to 20. They take on the number one seed the NFC the Green Bay Packers next week. Fun fact before we move on from them. You've made that joke that Akers is doing his best Eric Dickerson impression Mike first Rams rookie to run for 100 yards in a playoff game and the next most Eric Dickerson 99 in 1983. So he was doing his best Eric Dickerson impression, and Iran's new an LA Rams uniform nonetheless.

Joe Malkin:

So we've now made cam Akers Eric Dickerson, hopefully that comes to fruition down the line that would be great for the Los Angeles Rams, so they'll take on the Packers next weekend. Now let's move into the most anticipated game in New England for this weekend, because so many people have become Tom Brady fans and abandon the Patriots. But we'll see you back in New England when he retires. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Washington football team 31 to 23. This was just another really good football game. What were our takeaways from this one,

Dave Clarke:

we talked about a little in the open. I think a lot of it's the same stuff we were saying before but also something that surprised me as deepest we think that Tom Brady's weapons are there even deeper. Like he was throwing completions to guys that I was like sorry, who you know, like the second tight end and stuff and it's that's a scary proposition for the NFC. I think that whoever comes out of the AFC and I've been seeing this all season and ever comes out of the AFC is a Super Bowl champion. I think it's a foregone conclusion, but it's gonna be real fun to watch him play against Aaron Rodgers. If that inevitability comes up, and it's going to be real fun to watch and play against Drew Brees mainly for the disparity in their and their aging processes that I was talking about earlier. And I think it's a pre written narrative for the broadcaster's that day. Very easy for them to just the second drew starts to yell at that garbage stuff the saints are doing with the two quarterback committee and stuff. It's no Tom Brady's going in there, he's gonna play pocket quarterback, he's gonna do it at the same level. He's been doing it for the last seven years, maybe not like the last 27. At that level, it's still enough to win playoff games, that saints have absolutely no chance. In my opinion. One of

Michael Marcangelo:

the takeaways for this game is that they're Tampa Bay had four receivers with more than four catches. So Brady, spread it out. That's tough. That's crazy. It's like now Brady's getting back to the breeding that we loved 15 years ago where he threw to the open guy, not his guy, the open guy. just happen to have a plethora of talents there and tell us criticizing him for not doing that in

Dave Clarke:

the regular season. Am I wrong? Here he started to go to Yeah, he started to go to old habits, right?

Michael Marcangelo:

I think he was focusing either on Antonio brown when he first got there, or Mike Evans, but now he's spread it across the field. But I think for me, if we have a surprise in every game, my biggest surprise was Leonard fournette. This is why you got him. This game was why you got him because the run game and Tampa Bay looked abysmal without Ronald Jones. It was awful. But fournette 19 carries 93 yards, a touchdown. He was there to eat up the yards and eat up the clock when he needed to Brady. He doesn't love running backs. He loved him once right Corey Dillon? Yeah, that was it. He lived for one year. That was it. He has such such a deep bench in Tampa. It would take a catastrophic collapse for them not to go to the super bowl

Unknown:

cut to I say, a catastrophic collapse. That's exactly what happened.

Michael Marcangelo:

situational correctness.

Joe Malkin:

So what's interesting is you guys mentioned how deep this team is. And what's interesting is a lot of the depth was already there. It was already there before Tom Brady even walked in the door. There was a guy there last year named jameis Winston who's now the third quarterback for the saints, as Dave talks about the saints two quarterback system, but he's now the number three quarterback with the New Orleans Saints. But last year, granted he threw 30 interceptions, but he threw 30 touchdowns with the Tampa Bay Bucs and he had Mike Evans Cameron brate, Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller, and he had Ronald Jones in the backfield. So he those are all the guys he had. And then Tom Brady walks in Chris Godwin gives him his number changes to number 14. And Brady says, hey, let's get gronkowski. Let's bring in fournette. And oh, by the way, can we sign Antonio brown as well. So a team that was already deep, was just was not only put deeper, but it was like he was forcing trades in Madden. Basically.

Dave Clarke:

I don't think that it's a surprise that Tom Brady has the weapons that he has, and he's doing a better job than jameis Winston, more Tom Brady does, the more we have to ask ourselves the question. We knew he was pretty bad, but just how bad is jameis? Winston? 43 year old Tom Brady is in there doing what he definitely could not do. And yeah, 30 touchdowns is okay, but apparently not really with those weapons and 30 interceptions. That's terrible.

Joe Malkin:

Still not to a game. So Lucy has that going for him?

Michael Marcangelo:

I think just one last thing to screen for us. My Brady point is that we talked about that there's four receivers on this team that had more than four catches gronk had none. He did not even look his way he just threw to the open guy. And I still think gronk had a great game blocking. I think there were a lot of I don't want to get into the the all 50 twos here. But I think that it was a really good game for him. But for me, Brady did in this game we were begging him to do with the trash aside from like element and grace that we put around him in a few years here in New England and just throw to the open guy. He did it. He won. And he moved, like I said to 32 and 11 in the playoffs. That's fucking insane people 32 and

Joe Malkin:

11. And what's amazing to me is we saw it just to do the comparison because everybody wants to do it. So let's do it. We saw a Bill Belichick New England team this year. Start off Alright, we saw them start off, okay. They picked up a little momentum fell off and then it really was wavering and then just fell flat. But you saw with Tom Brady, what you saw, under similar conditions in the sense that there was no offseason. or traditional offseason, there was no preseason. But this Tom Brady team did exactly what a tom brady team did in New England many times previously, where they just got better as the season went on. And multiple people on this podcast, were killing the Buccaneers early in the season. Like they're not playing well. This is not what they expected. But I will reference the time in 2014 when this team went to two and two, and got smoked 44 to 14 by Kansas City in Kansas City. And I basically went to Facebook and said that's it, write them off. They're done. Brady's done, everybody and Mike came in and was like, hang on a second. And basically said exactly what I just said, Give it time, let it let them matriculate through the season and figure this out. Because now they're there. And Tom Brady said in his postseason press conference before the wild card round is that this is what they play for. And this is what they play to get to. And it was kind of a backhanded shot at Bill Belichick and the Patriots, but this is why they're here. And they're getting really good right now

Michael Marcangelo:

really quickly, but I'll speak slowly so that the words mean things to you. Okay, you're ready. Brady has 32 wins in the postseason, he's beaten 17 teams. The next closest person is 16 wins as a quarterback. And it's Joe Montana. Imagine that. So Brady has beaten more teams than Joe Montana had actual postseason wins. And the last thing just to button this whole new england thing up. All I know, is Tom Brady left and took a team that hadn't been to the playoffs in 13 years to the playoffs, and hadn't won a playoff game in the last 18 years to a playoff win. Tom Brady left and New England had their second worst season in the last 20 years and missed the playoffs for the first time in 12. That's it.

Dave Clarke:

I would just say if we're talking about the comparison, I do think that by its very nature, the comparison is silly, because if you have a lab experiment, in order to assess two variables, the conditions of the two variables need to be the same. So unless Tom Brady left, and was the quarterback of a non Bill Belichick coached patriots team with all the same tools available, then you could make an accurate comparison. And I'll explain to the listeners at home not to you guys because you're sharp football minds. Why? Tampa Bay has a better set of personnel for Tom Brady to work with. Because when you lose shitloads of games, you get really high draft picks and when you get really high draft picks, you get Really good players. So the reason why Bill Belichick doesn't have a lot of great players. One of the reasons I understand that his GM is a point of contention with this group. But one of the big reasons is to get players like the wide receivers that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have, you need to lose 1415 games this season for a while, which has never happened in New England, as long as Bill Belichick has been the coach. So you can isolate this set of parameters down and say that but because the two variables don't live in the same environment, one cannot replicate the results of the lab study. So here we are, again, no way to No, just no way to know

Michael Marcangelo:

it was the most eloquent and scientific way that DK is ever just shot down. What am I takes ever, but he just dismantled it piece by piece. And now I can't argue with him. So kudos.

Joe Malkin:

So we go into the first game of Sunday, Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans. This again, just another really good football game right ravens win this 122 13 Lamar Jackson gets his first playoff win. He's now one and two in the playoffs. He had a pretty good day, he had a very similar day passing as Russell Wilson. But on the ground, he reverted back to where he was last season.

Michael Marcangelo:

He was like that this game for everything that I've ever said that about him in terms of his passing acumen in the playoffs. I still stand by that. By the way. 16 carries 136 yards and a touchdown. In addition to throwing for 179 yards, you just can't really compete with that. It's hard to do it. If they have a really good defense, the Titans, I thought had a better defense than I guess they did. Because it was terrible. They fell apart when they were up 10 nothing in the first quarter. I was like this is gonna be a blowout. I cannot wait to come on this show and talk so much shit about Lamar Jackson. And then the times only scored three more points for the rest of the game.

Dave Clarke:

I've been excited to get to this one. Because you guys you and Bobby specifically have talked so much shit about Lamar Jackson. And I'll reference our last show I was hosting so I was trying to remain neutral but many a time we've argued about both Derrick Henry and Lamar Jackson and I was just happy to see that matchup come to fruition I've always believed in the Ravens a lot more than you have Mike and I know other people have also believed in them to see Lamar come in and and do that to you to us specifically. That's what I was watching happen. I was watching Lamar do it to us specifically and Bobby. And it was very enjoyable for me. But then the rest of my day got really depressing really quick.

Michael Marcangelo:

Yeah, can't wait to talk about that. But the one thing I will say is only in this game Am I afforded the ability to be proven wrong by Lamar Jackson and be proven absolutely correct by Derrick Henry. You cannot win a Super Bowl if your best player is a running back. Agreed.

Dave Clarke:

I was always on side with you for that. I never was scared of Derrick Henry once we got in the playoffs. I said running back start to matter less when you hit the playoffs. So elite moneybags elite so Derrick Henry came in, he got shut down the first half got shut down the second half. The Ravens came in with a great game plan. Their defense is still solid as a franchise, they love having a solid defense. Mr. played well, he did what he needed to do, he might not have been throwing the ball super well. And I have to say, we I didn't say this when we're talking about the bills. But I cannot wait to see Lamar versus Josh Allen. That is going to be so much fun to watch. Those two teams are crazy. There's gonna be so many cool, chaotic plays. Every single play is gonna break down on both, like for both teams on offense, and it's just gonna get crazy. So I'm super excited for that matchup. And that's why I'm so glad really deep down that the Ravens are were the victors here.

Michael Marcangelo:

I think that the Titans are better when they have a worse record when they just sneak into the playoffs and they have they can play the underdog card. Like they're better than a home game. They already beat the Ravens last year. They had all this cloud behind them

Dave Clarke:

they have rainbow a little bit this season, don't you think? I feel like he got out coached in that game. And there wasn't a whole like Mike rabl read panni night the for the next week. Everybody just crazy for like unbreakable like in the last season.

Michael Marcangelo:

Just hand the ball off to Derrick Henry 18 carries 40 yards.

Unknown:

What are you doing that doesn't work?

Michael Marcangelo:

Tannahill didn't do bad did not do bad. I think he actually 18 to 26 165 a TD and a pic.

Dave Clarke:

I will be willing to put on a long term bet with you that we'll never see Ryan tannehill win a Super Bowl.

Joe Malkin:

I would probably take that. I think Tennessee is a good team. I think they're gonna be there every year for the next five years, but I don't think they're ever gonna win a Super Bowl with Ryan tannehill. I could agree with this. This

Michael Marcangelo:

is mahomes conference, dude. It's mahomes League.

Dave Clarke:

I was gonna say that if he tried to argue with me.

Joe Malkin:

So we look at this and I bringing up the points that you guys just made. I think john Harbaugh and the Ravens came into this with a very similar team to what they had last year with that very good defense Lamar at quarterback. And they really just came in with a chip on their shoulder and a game plan to go and win this and you never really stop and appreciate what they actually have on that defense. Now granted, it's not like 1999 2000s ravens but Coronel MC fee Derek Wolfe Marlon Humphrey Marcus Peters, Matthew judon Patrick Queen coleus Campbell is even still in the league playing for the so it's like you have these names that are just have been mainstays in the league for the most part. Matthew jutaan obviously younger guy, Patrick Queen, a rookie, john Harbaugh just had these guys ready to go. And two things I got to bring up here is Baltimore celebrating on the Tennessee logo at Nissan stadium. I think that was a disrespectful moment in a lot of ways, but I think it stemmed back a lot to last year's playoff loss. And then Lamar Jackson basically not shaking the hands of the Titans at the end of the game, and saying there was no reason to so I honestly think if I was Harbaugh, the shaking the hand thing if I was Harbaugh, I'd be like, I don't give a shit what kind of game you have. If you don't go back out there and shake the quarterbacks hands you're not playing next week is what I would do if I was coaching it just that's just me the DanceOn logo thing somebody should have shown that to Juju Smith Schuster and like it's better when you do it after the game

Dave Clarke:

that you're about to play Super fired up to play you just like he did again. I think they said on the logo, whatever. It was a chippy game. The conflict that the missing the point teams have been coming into with the Ravens and the Titans seem to translate onto the field. And they were john at each other for the whole game made it super fun to watch. It was a great first game of the day for that reason. And I just it made me respect the Ravens a little bit like they came in and they just like they took their house. That was obviously their plotline the whole season was like revenge on the Titans. We didn't like how they conducted themselves when they beat us as underdogs. Now we're coming back and we're gonna smack them we're gonna dance on their logo. And Lamar is not going to shake the quarterbacks name. I just I don't love that. I honestly don't love that because it's like, Don't get so swept up in the narrative that you can't respect your peer that does the same job as you and went out there and prepped as much as you didn't work as hard as you did just go shake the quarterbacks hands that thing. It's I'm into it pageantry. But I love pageantry of any kind. So

Joe Malkin:

here we are, especially in that situation. We don't have to line up and shake everybody's hand but at least the important people so let's get to the second game of the day. Let's turn Dave's smile upside down and talk about the bears in the saints. The Saints win this game 21 to nine I agree with Mike it was closer than the score alludes. So I don't want to attack Dave too much. I think I'm just jealous of my team, isn't it? And his was Dave, what were your thoughts on this game and the bears performance?

Dave Clarke:

I think they played well. In the first half. I think that they came in with a solid game plan and that game plan was to score touchdowns. And they did not accomplish that when they needed to. They were aggressive to start. They were like our offensive problem is that when we get into the red zone, we can't convert it into six. We always leave it at three. So they were trying to be aggressive early that didn't work out their defense did exactly their job, which was to contain Drew Brees and the saints they 100% contain them and if the offense had performed, it definitely would have been a completely different story. Mitch did his job in a way and naggy did his job in a way and they both turn the season around in a almost annoying just enough to both keep their jobs probably and I think that most bears fans myself included are probably going to end up going alright I guess we'll try this one more year but it's I just wish it hadn't been definitive one way or the other. Okay, I see something let's bring these guys back. They seem to have figured it out. Let's do it. Or it's done the this experiment is over nag he's not that guy. There's things about Matt naggy like intangible things that I can't quite put my finger on that annoy me and his decision making is inspired it seems by something he like reading his horoscope that morning sometimes and I'm just he seems to be like, this is the moment of destiny. He's one of those coaches and I'm like, that's cool, man. But what route is he supposed to run in that situation? Like you've criticized Tom and has been a motivator when he needs to be more of an X's and O's guy. Bobby's always going on and on about the clapper about what's his name Garrett in Dallas, and it's you can be a good motivator and it's a great quality. Juergen Klopp the manager of Liverpool my favorite like sports team in the whole wide entire universe is a wonderful motivator, but he's also a brilliant tactician. You need both to be a successful head coach and to think naggy was getting praised for handing off play calling responsibility. Because his ego didn't get involved. He handed off playcalling responsibility to the offensive coordinator. And for some reason the narrative in my head was different than the narrative. Everybody kept saying the narrative was that's embarrassing. Were you a play call? Were you an offensive coordinator? Like why can't you call the plays dumb? Like what I don't understand. And the offense did get better, but it's like why were you the play caller in the first place? It's not a good look. When you're chopping your quarterback and you have a suitable level defense, you have an elite level defense and you're just still trying to figure this shit out on the offensive side of the ball. And it looks like you've just got there like sometimes they play offense and it's like they just all met each other that day. And I'm like just guys What have you been doing a fucking week?

Joe Malkin:

Mitch Allen?

Dave Clarke:

Yeah, I am. It's like Robin said like I don't even blink Allen Robertson at this point or for being like, I don't know. I'm probably gonna test the world.

Michael Marcangelo:

Here's one thing I learned this game. Alan Robinson isn't a number one, not a real one. He just isn't six catches 35 yards you figure out how to get more yards. You fight harder for that he

Unknown:

didn't. He caught everything thrown his way. What do you mean?

Michael Marcangelo:

Is that true? I don't know, six or 755 yards, but like

Dave Clarke:

that that is Come on, dude. No, that's under utilization of talent. That is not him not doing shit. What else was he supposed to do? He caught all the passes that they threw to him.

Michael Marcangelo:

Oh, one. That's pretty good. For me, though, if it's but if it's that easy to take him out of the game, is your true number one. That's what I've learned. Or is that a flaw for trubisky? Can you just not find him more times?

Dave Clarke:

And the plays are terrible. The plays are so bad. They're like, they it's like they're listening to Chris Collins worth. And that and then they're designing plays around that like Chris Hemsworth is I'd love to see him go deep once or twice. And now he's Oh, do you think that's a good idea, Chris. He's listening to him in his ear. And then they like go deep on a play that they look like they just ran like they just invented and never rehearsed. And it's in Mitch and the thing is Mitch is actually thrown super accurate, which is even more annoying because it's like just either fail or don't fail. But don't fail this weird Mitch trubisky way, where you like look good when I watch you, but we still lost by a shitload and it's impossible to explain. Also, I will say the discipline issues were fucking serious. And that is on the coach that is 100% on the coach. If you can't stop your guys jumping on a bite on a fourth and three, then you guys are just not well drilled and that they looked every inch, the eight and 18 that snuck into the playoffs when that's the kind of shit was happening. And the wide receivers were getting ejected. And ah, god damn

Joe Malkin:

it, and the saints knew they could get it because they had already gotten it once the season so they knew they could get it to happen.

Michael Marcangelo:

One last thing if you're ever inclined to punch somebody in the face on the football field, just fucking don't. How about you just don't do that don't

Dave Clarke:

cost your team and that that drop that whims, whim, whatever the

Michael Marcangelo:

power all I know it hit him right in the head.

Dave Clarke:

And the worst part about that drop is he was like, I feel like he was like already celebrating or doing some stupid shit like that, dude, just make the play. Dude, you're wide open. Just go get the ball. You're a professional NFL wide receiver, just get put your hands up there and snatch that thing out of the air. You don't need to let it drop in your arms. It's not a punt. And you're not trying to keep your stride you've already burned the dude, you're in the end zone, just he's on the ground, just jump up and catch it. And he's the dude that got suspended for punching a quarterback in the face, and then kicked out of the game. And it's Oh yeah, same guy. They're different offenses, dropping a pass and punching a quarterback. But then Miller gets ejected in that game for smacking the dude in the head even though that dude started by talking shit to him. And I did think the rest were calling the game, whatever I'm done.

Joe Malkin:

Well, that's what we're talking about. It was the same corner from the saints that got that essentially was part of both of those incidents.

Dave Clarke:

He obviously knows how to get under a team skin. And I don't hate him for that. Because that's gamesmanship, and you need to be able to not react to that shit. You need to be a grown up and realize that you're not it's not smart to let him get under your skin like that. He's in your head. That's what you're telling me when you hit him. You're telling me he got in your head. That's all you're telling me. So great job losing your shit and getting thrown out in a playoff game that you wouldn't see the field on my team again, if it wasn't

Joe Malkin:

so well. Alright, you know what, Dave, I'm gonna calm you down for about five seconds. And then maybe we'll work you back up with this because we're gonna move on to the final game of wildcard weekend. So the saints move on. They'll play Tampa, but let's move on to the final game of wildcard weekend. And that is the Cleveland Browns at the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns win this game 48 to 37. I don't know where the Steelers defense was. But the Browns defense at least showed up for the first half. Let's break this one down. Because how do we describe this? Mike? How do we describe that there

Michael Marcangelo:

was this little thing that happened when the Steelers were 11. And now someone in this room on a microphone on my screen, sent out a tweet saying I'm looking at all the Patriot fans just like you're just shitting their pants about a 16 and oh Steelers team, which led to a debate about Are they good? Are they bad? I've been saying since then. I thought the Steelers were a bad 11. And I thought that they were at an overinflated record. They had a lot of flaws. I think they'd be a really good 10 and 16. But a really bad 13 and three, they finished 12 and four, they'd went into the playoffs. What we saw on Sunday was a team with the Cleveland Browns playing to win and the Pittsburgh Steelers thinking that they already had. They didn't value the Cleveland Browns. They barely lost them the week before against what just playing their backups. So they probably thought they had this in the bag. And there were a few weird things that happened. I'll give you that. But what I saw was James Connors not a good running back. He just hasn't you just miss juicer is an elite.

Dave Clarke:

Why does he have to argue with almost everything you've said? So if you keep saying stuff, it's gonna be hard to keep track.

Michael Marcangelo:

Almost. I'm giving you a lot here. I think what we saw, again, was just the defense wasn't as good as they were at the beginning of the year for whatever reason that they have injuries. I know but they were a really bad 12 and 14 and the better team one yesterday.

Dave Clarke:

Okay, so Just start to deconstruct that little fairy tale that you spawn at the very beginning. You saw a tweet blabbity blah. I tweeted out a response to someone completely unrelated to this podcast that said, after the Steelers went 11 to know that evening It was a night game. I remember that evening. She said the oh seven patriots would be this year Steelers by 40 to nothing and my honest to goodness reaction when I read that emotionally in my soul was you sound scared? So I went on to Twitter and I said to her, basically paraphrasing myself, you sound fucking scared. You then saw them tweet, because you follow me on Twitter because we do a podcast together. You went and then you Russ, you responded to it, you sought out that statement. So it didn't appear on your screen as if you came looking for this fight with me because I was arguing with some other lady now. Would that be true with the oh seven patriots beat the this your Steelers? 40 to none now at the time? I didn't think so. But Yes. Good. Now, whose fault is that? I think I've been defending the Steelers. And I think a lot of my points are valid. I think that they are a talented team. I think they have a lot of really good personnel. I think they're great young wide receivers, probably the best young core of wide receivers in the NFL. Chase. Claypool is a beast. I think that to just reverse your point about about running backs, like they went down so much so early. I don't think you can make a judgment one way or the other on Connor in this game, because why would you be running the ball because you got to try and score. He's above average, but like, whatever. We've had that debate, we don't need to have it again. And Juju needs to stop firing up the other team. Like instead of dancing on the fucking logo. He came out with more bulletin board material for the browns and was like the Browns or just the Browns team we play every year and it's dude, shut up. I liked Juju. He's a good dude. He does good things for his community. He is funny. He likes to have a good time. He likes to talk shit, but come playoff time you are firing them up, bro. You cannot be doing that stuff. And I hate to be the New England person here. But Bill Belichick would have shut that shit down after the first one. Mike Tomlin needs to get control of his locker room. It's always been leaky. There's always been more stuff coming out from stars. I know they've had some problematic people. They're like Antonio Brown,

Joe Malkin:

on Facebook Live in the locker room during a postgame.

Dave Clarke:

Yeah, but I mean, I just think it's like Antonio Brown was also on the Patriots. He didn't do that shit. And then what's his name? James Harrison came out play this season for the Patriots and was like, they were on a much tighter ship over here, Mikey. And I'm like, dude, you got to get it together. I think all the mistakes landed the feet atomic. And they don't The reason that they screwed all that stuff up and gotten that hole in the first place is because they completely abandon their learning game from the start like they from the beginning. And I and then tip not go for a fourth and one when your comeback is just written in the stars. That's such a cowardly maneuver. And to punt like that. I've said this every year since I watch football. I've said this at least once. If you can't get a yard. Don't even fucking talk to me. You don't deserve to win. You need to be able to get a yard when it counts when you need it. You have to be able to do that. And to shy away from that made me feel gross that I defended them all season. You're right about them. They are very flawed. I still wouldn't say they stink because like I said, I think they have a lot of talent, but they're very fundamentally flawed. And they have so many free agents coming up this season. They could look like a completely different team next year because I think Ben's cooked

Michael Marcangelo:

Yeah, if Ben Roethlisberger 38 years old is dropping back 68 times, there's a problem. To his credit, he completed 47 out of 68 of those throws in for 500 yards. He did fine, but four touchdowns, four picks. It was not a stellar performance. And I'd love to blame Ben because I think he's I just think he's a rotten human being. But it's Mike Tomlin Mike Tomlin did not have the players that he needed to have ready to play. They weren't focused. He did not curtail their focus, whoever made really good halftime adjustments. But when the momentum swung, you're right, fourth, and one. He punted it.

Dave Clarke:

Yeah, they had the momentum and they've made comebacks this season. They did it two weeks ago against the Colts and But even as a franchise, you said yourself, Russell Wilson is not built to dig himself out of holes. Ben Roethlisberger is in my top three choices, to have a quarterback coming back from a deficit, keep plays great in those situations. So to kill the momentum like that, that falls squarely at the feet of Mike Tomlin. It would have been nice if Ben jumped on that fumble or someone jumped on that photo.

Michael Marcangelo:

Just look at it. Like it was just a pedestrian.

Dave Clarke:

Yeah, that was pathetic.

Michael Marcangelo:

Talking about not coming to play, dude, when your team is rallying and it's close, right? It's not nothing anymore. You've now scored the last 23 unanswered points. In the midst of that. You have a fourth and one and your coach says no. I'm a player. feel like you don't believe in us. You're not just playing stats. You don't think we can get a yard? That was the most demoralizing part of the game. I think you're right.

Joe Malkin:

So you brought up the free agents of the Steelers could have and I think you guys have very effectively broken down this game 26 free agents for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and markings pounds pouncy has said that he will probably retire and Ben is probably done to Mike I think I'm with you on that through for 500 yards yesterday. I think he's cooked but I think he will retire.

Michael Marcangelo:

I do just want to say because I feel like we did a pretty big disservice to the Cleveland Browns like we talked we dissected this entire game and never ever even mentioned them like they

Dave Clarke:

they're about to go get wax in the next round. This was a failure by the Steelers. Not an achievement.

Michael Marcangelo:

They're playing they're playing the cheap so that's gonna be that's gonna be tough, but Baker showed up didn't make many mistakes, three touchdowns, no picks. A little caveat is if Ben is not with Pittsburgh, and Philip Rivers retires. I could see Ben Roethlisberger and an Indianapolis uniform for a year. That's a dumb team. Very easy offense. But I think he's I think he's gassed in this offense. I don't think he can't be what they need him to be in Pittsburgh, which is a gutsy quarterback that takes a lot of hits. And that's because he's taken a lot of hits for 15 years.

Dave Clarke:

He always backed him up with a super strong running game though. And I feel like they didn't they really the blocking the run blocking wasn't good this year. I feel like they abandoned it early in games when they started to panic towards the end of the season. I still think that there's a lot to like about them. And I think that there's a lot to do there but I had a hard time you just put that thought in my head. him instead of Philip Rivers on the Colts. I feel like the Colts would have won that game. Yeah, but do

Joe Malkin:

you think Colts fans want to do that again with a late 30s quarterback and go on like a one year run and possibly make the playoffs? Because they were pretty close to at the end. I don't know.

Michael Marcangelo:

If Ben Roethlisberger the quarterback comes knocking on your door in your franchise you let him in you give him the keys for you because the Colts have a strong running game. They have good receivers and they had a top 10 NFL defense and they play inside. It would be the best situation for Roethlisberger.

Dave Clarke:

Close think about how wild that lineage is. Like the colds that are he went Peyton Manning Andrew Luck Philip Rivers Ben Roethlisberger.

Joe Malkin:

Out of that don't leave

Michael Marcangelo:

or Curtis painter but we get your point.

Dave Clarke:

They had four legendary quarterbacks one after the other I think

Joe Malkin:

it's such a gmrs a move to but So two things before we move on. Some of those free agents are bud Dupree Avery Williamson, Vance McDonald, Alejandro Villanova, Mike Hilton, Tyson olowalu, Juju Smith Schuster, and James Connor just to name a few for the Steelers, so that seems gonna look very different. But to give you a little bit more on the browns, Mike senate Baker Mayfield showed up 21 to 34 to 63 and three touchdowns. quarterbacks have won Super Bowl MVP is with those exact numbers or at least very close to them. While Nick Chubb was the leading rusher Kareem hunt who has been used very effectively by the Browns this year, eight for 48 and two touchdowns. And then not only did Baker throw three touchdowns, but he threw to three different receivers Landry, Chubb and Austin Hooper. So a very good day. As Dave said it was a failure by the Steelers, the Steelers allowed that Browns defense to just take over that game and think thank goodness they did in a lot of ways because a lot of the guys on that team had great days and all four interceptions that were thrown by Ben were thrown to four different guys. So that wraps up the wildcard weekend. We have the Rams, the Ravens, the bills, the browns, the Buccaneers and the saints coming out of the wildcard weekend. And we will now see the Green Bay Packers in the Kansas City Chiefs. I just want to kind of fire through these four games real quick on Saturday next week. We have the number one seed in the NFC hosting the number six seed in the NFC. It's the Packers hosting the Rams who knows what the weather's gonna look like there because the Rams are going to be away from so fi stadium. Can the Rams defense give them an ample chance against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers?

Michael Marcangelo:

Yes. Jalen Ramsey on davante Adams. I think it's a great matchup and I think if he's not careful, Aaron Rodgers will make a lot of mistakes that he cannot overcome.

Dave Clarke:

Yeah, I agree. If they're able to do it to Russell Wilson, they're able to do Aaron Rodgers. I think Aaron Rodgers is the worst quarterback in the playoffs and he is in the regular season. And that's been proven as much as I want the Packers actually win this game because I would love to see Brady versus Rodgers in a conference matchup just for storyline purposes and like legacy purposes, because I and also because I think Brady waxen that'd be great, but I think the Rams are actually I really do think they're I believe in them to that point. But then they're gonna go ahead and lose to Tom Brady,

Joe Malkin:

so it's fine. It'll come down to this who's softer Jared Goff or Aaron Rodgers. The second game of the day on Saturday is the number five see Baltimore Ravens in the AFC traveling to the number two seed Buffalo Bills. Dave got me so fired up for this game earlier. This is going to be because I almost feel like it's That meme of the spider man that's the Spider Man movie, right? Because these teams are so similar like, both of these quarterbacks are so dynamic. Both of these teams have two headed monsters in the backfield. Both of these teams have really good receivers. I think stefon Diggs is the best receiver on both of these teams. The Ravens have the better tight end, the Ravens have the better kicker. I've always had a man crush on Justin Tucker. I've always loved him. I'm always well, but what do you guys think about this one? I think buffalo keeps this rolling. But what do you guys think?

Dave Clarke:

Anyone who tells you they know how this game is gonna go is like, it's gonna be so crazy. It's gonna be like, trying to put a bunch of cats into a knapsack, it's just gonna look crazy. Like I said earlier, every single play is gonna break down. It's gonna be Alan's dynamism versus memoires dynamism, it's gonna probably come down to the deciding factor will probably be if the mark and air the ball out or not, he's not gonna be able to do what he did last game, especially with the speed and efficacy of the bills offense. So yeah, it's gonna come down to if Lamar can make some plays with his arm instead of his feet, and I'm so excited to see it. It's gonna be so crazy. Like, they're the two most fun quarterbacks in the NFL right now. So what's not to like?

Michael Marcangelo:

To follow up on Dave's point about if someone tells you that they know how this game is gonna go. They're like, I know how this game is going to go. It's gonna come down to Josh Allen, making more throws and tighter windows throughout the entire game, which we'll make sure that the Buffalo Bills when they're both one and two in the playoffs. Now, they're not great playoff quarterbacks? I'll

Dave Clarke:

tell you what, if you know how it's going to go, don't watch it. And we'll text you about it.

Michael Marcangelo:

I just don't think that Lamar is running for 145 yards this game?

Dave Clarke:

No, I don't think so either. I do think it's going to come down to his arm, but I do believe he can make it work.

Joe Malkin:

Alright, so let's move into Sunday because the early game on Sunday at 305 is the Kansas City Chiefs the one seed in the AFC hosting the 60. Cleveland Browns. I don't see the Chiefs making the kind of mistakes the Steelers made. I think we'll all agree on that. So can that Browns defense carry that momentum into Kansas City? What do we think for this one?

Dave Clarke:

This segment shouldn't take long. And this shouldn't take long is probably what Patrick mahomes will be saying to the rest of the Kansas City Chiefs in the locker room. The Kansas City Chiefs could take the Cleveland Browns less seriously when the Pittsburgh Steelers did and still beat them 31 nothing. Yeah, that's my prediction. Officially, I'm

Michael Marcangelo:

going to really stick my neck on the line and say the chiefs are gonna beat the Browns on the Chiefs play down to the Patriots earlier in the year. That was a one possession game going into the fourth. But then it wasn't then then mahomes they would he always does and steps on the gas. So I think that this could be close, but it's gonna be 24 points, but by the cheese at the end, they will screw around. And then they won't for 10 minutes in the run up to score.

Joe Malkin:

It seems like the mo of the Chiefs or anything screw around a little bit at the beginning. And then they take off. There's still the the most dynamic team we can talk about the bills and the Ravens as much as we want. But the Kansas City Chiefs, the only thing they don't have going for them and Bobby brought it up towards the end of the season was that they seem to be losing momentum almost like people have more tape on them. They were game planning towards them. But this is a whole different ballgame. And they've had a week off

Michael Marcangelo:

and like they lost momentum like mahomes didn't play the last week. They are the best team in football on offense hands down. And Cleveland's a nice story. It's great that they won a game without their head coach. I love that they beat the Steelers. But this is over. This is it. It's a wrap.

Joe Malkin:

Kansas City buffalo would be a really fun AFC Championship game.

Dave Clarke:

If there's any teams left that can beat the Kansas City Chiefs. They're not playing the Kansas City Chiefs this coming weekend, they're playing each other. Almost important for the bills because I think the bills have a better shot matchup wise against the chiefs. And I think they have momentum on their side if they especially to be Baltimore and like what I think is gonna be a good game, as we discussed, but Baltimore also has a decent shot at beating them, but realistically, neither of them have that big of a shot of beating them. But again, that's going to be fun to see mahomes against one of those two dynamic quarterbacks is also going to be fun. So I'm glad both those teams are still in it for that reason.

Joe Malkin:

I like the bills in the Ravens. I hope it's the bills. I just think they have a more put together right now and Sean McDermott, I think he is becoming one of the top coaches in the league, almost quietly that he's doing it because that bill's team if you said Hey, who's the coach of the Buffalo Bills? I don't think a lot of people that aren't big fans of the NFL would really know who Sean McDermott is so final game of the weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traveled to New Orleans. Third meeting between these two teams this year. The Buccaneers are coming off a big win last weekend against the Washington football team. It's an indoor game, it's Brees Brady, this is fun to me, this is like the Alan Jackson matchup, but I can hear my 22 year old self screaming inside of me this is going to be so friggin cool to watch these two guys face off. What do you guys take on this one?

Dave Clarke:

It's not those two guys facing off though. It's Tom Brady versus Drew Brees Sometimes and taysom Hill sometimes and like James Winston once or twice and I just think that's like a white heart white hot garbage way to play football. And I think that as much as I'm mad at the saints right now and this is 100% why I'm saying this it was just so ugly and depressing to lose to a team that was doing that stupid as shit that never works. It's a picture quarterback and run the offense and if you want to bring them out once or twice to do some weird shit or like hard counter snap or some stupid or stand in like that kind of weird tight end blocking position or whatever you want to do, that's fine, but to just try to actually play quarterback by committee at this point in the season I just think it's ugly. I think pick your quarterback either give taysom Hill a job or lead drew go out on a shield but it's not Brady versus Brees not in the sense that would love to see that happen that Brees is just not as Prime anymore.

Michael Marcangelo:

But for Brady. I think his Bolton board material now is that there aren't very many guys that he has losing record to the NFL. He is three and five against Drew Brees.

Unknown:

Is that true?

Michael Marcangelo:

He was three and three entering this year. He's Oh, and two.

Unknown:

I don't know if Tom Brady's counting that stuff.

Michael Marcangelo:

I think. I think Brady, his first game as a Buccaneer was in the Superdome and they got waxed. So now if he gets to go back there, and do to them what they did

Dave Clarke:

divisional game to Yeah, yeah, I forgot about that. That's interesting. That's good narrative.

Michael Marcangelo:

This is his payback. And I think I think this the saints are soft. I didn't want them on my team in that draft show last week. I don't want anything to do with Drew Brees in the playoffs. Brady will show you why he is the goat this week. One more time.

Joe Malkin:

Dave really the only reason they've gone to that two quarterback system and I understand your frustration especially is

Unknown:

but it's just garbage to watch it.

Joe Malkin:

It's fun, but it's it might be garbage. But that's the reason why they did it. Otherwise I don't think they ever do it but taste them every

Dave Clarke:

time they took the field against Chicago. We absolutely destroyed him because they were like what are you doing either beat us with Drew Brees or go home. If that's the game plan that Chicago set out, then the Buccaneers can do that for sure.

Joe Malkin:

Alright guys, we've effectively broken recapped the the wild card weekend and broken down a little bit the divisional round. We do have for the listeners out there that have made it this far with us. We did have a draft episode last week in a playoff draft. So just a quick recap of everything prior to the NFL season, we did a prediction show where myself rayshawn and Craig on our team, we made our selections for the AFC while Dave, Mike and Bobby made their selections for the NFC that ended in a dead heat at the end of the season. When you included our game shows that we played during the year. We'll try and see how many of these Craig can can link in the show notes below. All of them. He says he's going to link all of them. So we'll link our episodes five and six, which were the AFC and NFC predictions. And the three game shows we came out of that it was tied at 10 apiece after the wildcard weekend is now tied at 13 apiece. So guys we're moving right along with this game show here and it's been great down the way if you have an opportunity to go back and listen to our playoff draft show last week where myself and Ray took on Mike and and Bobby in our draft show and made our picks for the weekend. It's gonna be fun cuz this weekend we each have four teams left on each side and they're all playing each other on each side so it's not as exciting on on that way

Michael Marcangelo:

this could be but this could be the week where it actually no it could describe that there's not we're not gonna we're not gonna learn anything about this game this week. Yeah, we're gonna we're what we're gonna walk into championship Sunday that tide?

Joe Malkin:

Yeah, exactly. So we'll beach got nine points in the playoffs. So wasted

Michael Marcangelo:

15 seconds of your life. I apologize.

Joe Malkin:

I bet sorry. I was rambling anyway, so I needed to break up but and go check out our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We do have a graphic up on Instagram keeping everybody updated on on how our playoff draft is going and those links to our social media will also be down in the show notes. So guys, thank you very much for listening in and joining us here for another episode of missing the point Dave Clark like Mark Angelo any final words here before we head home for the for the evening?

Michael Marcangelo:

I'm ready for the chaotic event that's going to be the the Buffalo Bills versus the Baltimore Ravens. It's gonna be like probably your wb fans out there. It's gonna be like a royal rumble. You just don't know what's gonna happen. It's gonna be so chaotic. And I just I can't wait to see it. Yeah, dude, I love it. Royal Rumble.

Dave Clarke:

I would just like to say props to Bill Belichick for refusing the Medal of Honor from Donald Trump, but Donald Trump and have a nice day everybody.

Joe Malkin:

So again for Dave Clark, Mike Mark Angelo, and the best EP we could find. I'm Joe Malkin, your host, thank you for joining us for this recap of wildcard weekend. And we'll see after the divisional games. This is gonna be a fun one. Talk to you next time.