P3, Championship Week

We are coming down to the wire for Cheddar 2017.  Three games left.  Here are your lines.  Picks are due via email to Frowns and me by 2:05 tomorrow.

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10 Responses

  1. Mike B. says:

    Vikings (Essay)

    I’m going against my better judgement and taking both favorites to cover – something that has rarely worked both this season and during the playoffs.

    However, I’m also keen on bucking the media consensus – which this week centers on TB12’s fake hand injury and reflections of the Pats losing to Tom Coughlin’s Giants a decade ago.

    We’ll go with the two best teams, the Vikes’ magic and against a Bortles-Foles Super Bowl.

    Vikes for the essay.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Mike B. says:

    Hey, that was going well until it wasn’t. The top five of us are now essentially all picking on the same basis: there’s a pretty good chance that whoever’s going to finish in the money will need to nail the trifecta, and a pretty good chance that at least a couple of people will do so. By close of business today I may have discreetly taken my leave of the top tier, but even if so it’s been a fun ride. Sticking with the dogs today.

    Jaguars +7 over Pats – can they follow the harder-than-it-sounds blueprint of “get pressure on Brady”? Am I overreacting to last week’s Bortlepalooza? Maybe. I’ve gone back and forth on this one and have decided that I hate both sides of the pick, so let’s throw our hands up and hope this looks like the AFCCG from a couple of years ago and not the AFCCG from last year. Or three years ago.

    Essay Eagles +3 over Vikings — This one is kind of hard to back up statistically, as the Vikings are surging in weighted DVOA. Like the rest of the world except for apparently LeSean McCoy, I am not 100% sold on Nick Foles, but I’m not 100% sold on Case Keenum either, no matter how many times I watch the replay of a wildly non-predictive freak defensive lapse on a desperation throw as time expired in the divisional round. If the Eagles can shut down Matt Ryan I don’t see why they can’t get Keenum to run around for dear life as well. Also worth noting that the Eagles-Falcons game was closer than it needed to be on account of the Eagles fumbling a whole bunch in the first half; one might hope they’ll do a bit less of that.

    This feels like a game that could turn on one big defensive play; I’m taking what has been the better overall defense, playing at home, and getting points. C’est la vie.

    • Dave Kolonich says:

      If the Eagles win, this contest is essentially over. But I also a public school education. My math may be off.

  3. Mike B. says:

    Jags +7
    Vikings -3 (Essay)

    My username is Cleveland in Minneapolis/St. Paul. I’m a die-hard Cleveland sports fan that moved to Minneapolis immediately after graduating from Ohio State in 2006. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a great group of friends here, many of which are locals and big Vikes fans. So of course I will be watching with them today, and bringing them whatever positive energy I can. I figure a Cheddar playoff essay is a good start. Throughout all the recent Cavs playoff runs, the Tribe WS run in 2016, these guys have always pulled for us. The potential 2 week build up of a Super Bowl in your own backyard? I can’t even imagine how I’d be feeling if I were these guys today. I’d like to see my friends happy, it’s as simple as that. I was telling these guys about a month ago that I thought Brees and the Saints would be their toughest potential NFC matchup. I didn’t think any of the other NFC teams had enough fire power to beat them in a playoff game. Then the “Minneapolis Miracle” happened, and here we are. Gotta stick with my gut.

    Vikings -17
    Eagles -13

  4. Mike B. says:



    I realize I’m going against the luckiest team in football history but I’m strangely fine with it. And the Vikings aren’t just lucky; that defense is legit. But I like how the Eagles have embraced this underdog stuff, I like the Eagles defense and I think there are enough playmakers to score two touchdowns. Two should be enough in a game that’s going to be decided by turnovers and field position, and i just want to be on the side of plus 3 because i don’t think either side is getting more than 20. I won’t be shocked if neither side gets more than 17. Gimme the Home team plus points and pray Foles doesn’t melt. Doesn’t Keenum turn into a pumpkin any second now?

  5. Mike B. says:

    Jaguars +7
    Vikings -3

    Essay — Vikings (-3) at Eagles
    Minnesota has been the victim of such playoff bad luck in the past that the Minneapolis Miracle might have finally ended that curse. Judging by how well Philadelphia’s defense played last week it could be a low-scoring game since both teams are strong on defense. However, I do think the Vikings have the slight edge in the running game which should allow them to return home and play in the Super Bowl. Plus, let’s face it — who wants to see another Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl that will be dominated by talk of an injured Philadelphia player?

  6. Mike B. says:

    Jaguars +7 (Essay)
    Vikes -3

    Last week’s three loss and a push performance wasn’t the optimal result. If sheer chaos hadn’t ensued after the final TD in Minnesota two and a half additional cheddars might have softened the blow a little had the XP been taken. Class act by the Vikings to not take it, but a lot of money went .

    I’m tempted to take the Vikes as the essay. Their chant is a blatant ripoff from the Iceland national soccer team, but I still like it. I’ll go with the Jaguars – they look solid. Pittsburgh is a football city with a football crowd, and for the Jaguars to go in to that atmosphere and slap the Steelers around like a rented mule says something about the makeup of their team. The Pats crowd is fair weather – as soon as the Brady-Belichick dynasty ends, Boston will go back to being all Red Sox, all day, every day. The elements won’t be much of an issue tomorrow, and if the Jags can score early they’ll take the crowd out of the game. The hand injury is a diversion, and can come in handy should the Pats lose and TB12 needs an excuse at the ready. I know I’m ready to start ordering “supplements”.

  7. Mike B. says:

    Jags +7
    Vikes -3 (essay): Foles played well last week vs the Falcons but looking at his 3 full games replacing Wentz he is only putting up 1.75 pts per drive as compared to 2.57 from Wentz. Eagles have gone from the #2 most efficient offense to #21. This doesn’t even take in account those numbers vs the cupcake opponents Foles has faced. The Giants, Raiders and Falcons rank 18th or below on defense so he’s putting up below average numbers vs an extraordinarily easy schedule. He hasn’t seen anything like he will face today in the Vikings defense who rank #2 in points per drive given up. In addition the eagles are 3rd worst in the nfl in 3rd down conversion % under Foles going up against the stingiest 3rd down defense in nfl history. Normally Foles may be able to lean on Ertz but the Vikings are #1 in defending TEs as well this year so I have no clue how they will be able to score >13 on offense. Eagles defense has played well this year but has shown some leaks since Wentz went down. Teams continually run double moves on their DBs who like to cheat and I expect more today. Vikings do just enough on offense to win and cover. I see a Vikes W in the neighborhood of 20-13

  8. Mike B. says:


    Eagles +3 v Vikings: Assuming a lot will be on the team of destiny, so I’ve got to go the other way.

    We just don’t know about Tom Brady’s hand. Whatever… He’s gonna play and he’ll play like Tom “F-ing” Brady. The Pats will run their speed up offense, run lots of plays and wear out the Jags defense by the 4th quarter.

    On the other side, New England won’t make mistakes and will make the Jags go long fields and Blake Bortles will have to beat a Bill Belichick defense on the road.

    Temps should be in the 40s, so weather shouldn’t be much of a factor. If anything the warmer temps help the Brady hand factor.

    New England by at least 2 scores in this 1. I’ll give those points.

  9. Petefranklin says:

    Great article on Sharp football analysis…”The secret to beating the Jaguars pass defense.”
    I’d be really interested if the Clowns advanced analytic team picked up on this or if they continued to run the 3 WR’s when they played the Jags. If Hue picked up on it and game planned for it maybe there is some hope for him in Cleveland.

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