After watching all four quarters of all four wild-card games, I think I now officially know what it feels like to be tortured. The games were so bad that they made me want to punch a hole in my wall.
I can empathize with Odell Beckham because who doesn't want to punch a wall when they're mad?
It's literally my first instinct.
Lose to my brother in "Tecmo Bowl?" Punch a hole in the wall.
Wrong pizza order shows up at my apartment? Punch a hole in the wall.
No one will buy my "Jersey Shore" DVDs on Craigslist? Punch a hole in the wall.
Someone pokes me on Facebook when I didn't even realize the poke button was still functional? Punch a hole in the wall.
Odell Beckham was banging head against locker room door, per Sal Pal. Also believed to have punched this hole in pic.twitter.com/dOpRJyremD— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) January 9, 2017
The crazy thing about Beckham's punch is that it wasn't even the most absurd thing to happen after a playoff game last weekend. That honor goes to Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter, who was arrested Sunday night and charged with assault after (allegedly) getting into it with a doorman at a bar.
Porter has been placed on leave as he gets ready to deal with charges that include aggravated assault (on an officer), simple assault (on the doorman), resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
That's right, Brady is on Instagram, and he already has more followers than me. As a matter of fact, he has more followers than everyone I know combined, plus everyone they know. Also, Brady is a picture machine.
Here's his first photo.
I'm guessing he got a call from Belichick about five minutes after that photo was posted and I'm guessing that call had something to do with Brady not wearing gloves outside in the snow.
That's frostbite waiting to happen, Tom. The last thing the Patriots need is for your first picture on Instagram to turn into a Donner Party situation.
It's too bad Belichick didn't sign up for Instagram because the photo below would've been the perfect one to start his account with.
I'm guessing that photo was taken about five minutes after Belichick found out the Patriots were facing the Texans this week. Trying to watch film on Houston will put anyone to sleep. I'm pretty sure half of America was taking a nap every time the Texans had the ball on Saturday.
Speaking of sleep, hopefully my picks don't put you to sleep this week.
As you may have noticed last week, there's an extra wrinkle added for the picks during the playoffs: No, you can't have my "Jersey Shore" DVDs, but I am going to let you know my season-long record for picking each playoff team.
Here's how it works: I've tabulated all my picks from the season and now you'll know how I did picking each individual team. For instance, I went 13-3 picking Patriots games in 2016, so if I say they're going to beat the Texans by 40, then they're going to be beat the Texans by 40.
On the other hand, I went just 8-8 picking Falcons games, so I won't be offended if you ignore my Seahawks-Falcons pick.
As always, you can click here to check out the playoff picks from all of our CBSSports.com NFL experts. If you click over this week, you'll notice that Jared Dubin has turned into the Aaron Rodgers of picking playoff games: No one can stop him. Dubin went 4-0 straight up and against the spread in the wild-card round.
Forget Dubin though, let's get to the picks.
Divisional round picks
Saturday, Jan. 14
No. 3 Seattle (11-5-1) at No. 2 Atlanta (11-5)
TV: 4:35 p.m. ET (Fox)
Although we didn't get Andy Dalton in the playoffs this season, we did get the next best thing when it comes to quarterbacks who choke in the postseason: Matt Ryan. That's right, when it comes to falling flat on your face in the playoffs, Ryan was Dalton before Dalton was Dalton. Ryan started off his postseason career 0-3 before the Falcons finally won a game after the 2012 season.
I was at that game in January 2013, which I'm only mentioning because A) It was played on my birthday (Happy birthday to me) and B) It came against the Seahawks. That's right, in a weird twist of fate that will likely one day be explained in a Jonathan Nolan movie, Ryan gets to face the only team that he has ever beaten in the playoffs.
He also gets to face a team that he torched for 335 yards in October during a 26-24 Seahawks win that's still a sensitive topic in Atlanta because of a pass interference call that wasn't made when Richard Sherman bumped Julio Jones on a Falcons fourth-down play late in the fourth quarter.
Ryan also threw three touchdown passes in that game, which I'm only noting because that game came before Earl Thomas got injured. Thomas played in 11 games this season and the Seahawks defense only gave up seven touchdown passes while he was on the field in those 11 games. Three of those seven came from Ryan.
To put that in perspective, Drew Brees and Tom Brady combined to throw ONE touchdown pass against the Seahawks while they had Thomas.
This time around, the Seahawks aren't going to have Thomas, which means Ryan might just throw nine touchdown passes. I don't think he will, but I'm not going to pretend like it can't happen. The Seahawks losing Thomas is like the brakes going out on your car the night before you're about to take a cross-country trip. Sure, you can still drive, but without brakes, you're going to have to avoid hills, stop signs, red lights and small children. Basically, you're going to have to change your entire thinking, just like the Seahawks have had to do on defense without Thomas.
The Seahawks were my preseason pick to win Super Bowl LI, so it causes me extreme pain to do this, but I'm taking the Falcons. It looks like my streak of correctly picking the Super Bowl winner during the preseason is going to end at one. Last season, my pick was the Broncos.
The Pick: Falcons 30-20 over Seahawks
By the way, just to show you guys I'm not selfish, half the reason I'm picking the Falcons in this game is just so this woman can celebrate a Super Bowl without being pregnant. Every woman deserves that.
January 31st my daughter will be 18, 18 years since my Falcons been to the SB. I need to experience a falcon SB where I'm not giving birth!😂— #DBN (@lovemefalcons) January 2, 2017
My mom definitely knows how that lady feels. She had tickets to a Super Bowl once, but had to give them up to give birth to me instead. Sorry mom. I owe you one for that.
Record picking Seattle games this season: 11-6 (or 12-5 depending on how we count that tie; this guy says I can count it as a win ... I like the way he thinks.)
@johnbreech you can claim an 11-5 record when picking Seahawk games. Whether you picked them to not lose or not win vs AZ, you were correct!— Larry Collins (@lcollinsrb) January 7, 2017
Record picking Atlanta games this season: 8-8
Predicted Week 6 final score between Falcons-Seahawks: Seattle 23-20 over Atlanta
Actual Week 6 final score between Falcons-Seahawks: Seattle 26-24 over Atlanta
No. 4 Houston (10-7) at No. 1 New England (14-2)
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET (CBS)
You know you're in trouble when the oddsmakers in Vegas have basically given up on you. That is kind of what has happened here with the Texans. Houston is a 16-point underdog in this game, which I'm only letting you know because it's the largest playoff point spread in 18 years.
The Texans have played at New England four times in franchise history and they've been blown out every time (27-0 in 2016, 41-28 in the 2012 playoffs, 42-14 in 2012 regular season, 40-7 in 2006).
To give you an idea of how hopeless things are for the Texans, the odds say that Tom Brady has a better chance of being elected president in 2020 than the Texans do of winning this game.
I'm thinking about borrowing some money from my mom this week and driving to Vegas so I can put it all on the Patriots to win because there's no way the Texans are pulling off the upset, right? RIGHT?
I would say there's no way a team quarterbacked by Brock Osweiler can beat the Patriots, but it has already happened! In November 2015, Osweiler and the Broncos beat the Patriots 30-24 in overtime in a huge game that ended up playing a big part in Denver getting home-field advantage throughout last season's playoffs.
In 2015, Osweiler had the NFL's top defense behind him, which is exactly what has now: The Texans finished the 2016 season ranked as the league's No. 1 defense in terms of fewest yards surrendered.
Osweiler plus a top defense equals Patriots killer.
The Texans just might be in position to pull off one of the biggest upsets in NFL playoff history. You know what? I'll be honest, that's just me talking the Texans up. I don't think they actually have a chance in this game. I just wanted to give Texans fans something to be excited about because I feel like they're probably going to want to turn this game off before the second quarter ends Saturday.
Of course, no one should turn this game off early because it's on CBS and everything on CBS is amazing. It's the only network I watch.
The pick: Patriots 30-13 over Texans
Note: If the Patriots lose, I'm not voting for President Brady in 2020.
Record picking Houston games this season: 11-6 (includes 1-0 in playoffs)
Record picking New England games this season: 13-3
Predicted Week 3 final score between Texans-Patriots: New England 20-17 over Houston
Actual Week 3 final score between Texans-Patriots: New England 27-0 over Houston (The Texans had J.J. Watt and they still managed to get steamrolled by a Patriots team being led by a third-string quarterback.)
Sunday, Jan. 15
No. 3 Pittsburgh (12-5) at No. 2 Kansas City (12-4)
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
I'm not sure what Andy Reid does when he has a bye week, but whatever he's doing, it's working. In his 18-year career, Reid has a 16-2 record coming off a bye, which is impressive, but not as impressive as his post-bye playoff record. In the postseason, Reid is actually undefeated (3-0) when he coaches in a divisional round game coming off a bye.
There are many mysteries of life I think about on a daily basis -- like whether or not Rose died at the end of "Titanic" (she was dreaming) -- but none of them are more perplexing than Reid's record coming off a bye. It makes no sense. Of course, the bye was probably a good thing for the Chiefs this week because they need to figure out how to beat a Steelers team that pounded them 43-14 back in Week 4. That's a lot of figuring out to do.
The Steelers also have some things to figure out, like how healthy Ben Roethlisberger is going to be. Big Ben is definitely going to play, but he could be hampered by a slight injury to his right foot, which isn't really anything new because Roethlisberger always seems to be hampered by something. As a matter of fact, if "Grey's Anatomy" ever runs out of ideas, they could probably devote an entire season to weird injuries suffered by Roethlisberger.
The good news for the Steelers is that a beat-up Roethlisberger might actually be a good thing because he might not try to do too much, which usually ends up working out well for Pittsburgh. In Roethlisberger's 18 career postseason games, the Steelers are 7-0 when he throws for 225 or FEWER yards. When he goes above that number the Steelers are just 5-6.
Think about that: The less Roethlisberger has done in the postseason, the better the Steelers have been. I say he does nothing Sunday.
The pick: Steelers 27-24 over Chiefs
Record picking Pittsburgh games this season: 13-4 (includes 1-0 in the playoffs)
Record picking Kansas City games this season: 9-7
Predicted Week 4 final score between Chiefs-Steelers: Pittsburgh 31-20 over Kansas City
Actual Week 4 final score between Chiefs-Steelers: Pittsburgh 43-14 over Kansas City
No. 4 Green Bay (11-6) at No. 1 Dallas (13-3)
TV: 4:40 p.m. ET (Fox)
Two years after one of the most controversial playoff endings in NFL history, Cowboys fans are still slightly bitter that a certain call didn't go their way. If you don't know what call I'm talking about, these tweets might help refresh your memory.
Happy New Year! It's January 1st, 2017 and Dez still caught it.— Alex Contreras (@Alex82197) January 1, 2017
It is 2:53 P.M. on Monday, January 2, 2017, and Dez still caught that ball— Caleb (@2Girls1Carp) January 2, 2017
It's January 7th, 2017 and Dez still caught it https://t.co/MSvIeYryL6— Hoyt Tidwell (@hoytdtidwell) January 7, 2017
it's january 8, 2017 and Dez still caught it.. https://t.co/EcCflwcgxr— gracie bales (@BalesGracie) January 9, 2017
January 9th, 9:32, and Dez still caught it.— Brett Hintz (@OfficialHintz) January 9, 2017
Guys, I'm actually worried that people in Dallas might not ever get over that.
Fittingly, the Cowboys can avenge the "Dez" loss AND get to the NFC title game for the first time in 21 years if they can do one thing: Beat Aaron Rodgers.
Sure, there will be other players on the field for the Packers, but Rodgers is the only one that matters. If he has an off day against the Cowboys, it's going to be nearly impossible for Green Bay to win. Of course, Rodgers hasn't had an off day in about nine weeks, so there's no reason to expect that he'll have one Sunday. I'm guessing he'll complete at least two Hail Mary passes against the Cowboys.
My biggest problem with the Packers this week is that there's a good chance they'll be playing without Jordy Nelson, who spent Sunday night in a hospital after fracturing two ribs against the Lions. I had a hangnail once and didn't walk for three days. Nelson is hoping to play Sunday with his fractured ribs, so I'm going to go ahead and say that he's tougher than me.
If Nelson doesn't play, that's a lot of production to replace and not a lot of time to figure out how to replace it. During the Packers' six-game winning streak to end the regular season, Nelson caught five of Rodgers' 15 touchdown passes and averaged 99 receiving yards.
On the other hand, the Cowboys could be in trouble too because no one knows how their rookies are going to respond to a playoff game. Over the past five years, the postseason has been a disaster for rookie quarterbacks. Since 2011, rookie quarterbacks have gone 0-5 vs. non-rookie quarterbacks in playoff games. (Russell Wilson and T.J. Yates won as rookie quarterbacks, but they both played against another rookie, so a rookie had to win)
Because I love karma, I'm going to say the Cowboys win this on a Dez Bryant touchdown catch that gets ruled incomplete on the field but then overturned on review. Cowboys fans will then burn AT&T Stadium to the ground in celebration, forcing the NFL to move the NFC title game away from Dallas, causing the Cowboys to lose.
Time's a flat circle.
The pick: Cowboys 34-27 over Packers
Record picking Green Bay games this season: 9-8 (includes 0-1 in playoffs)
Record picking Dallas games this season: 11-5
Predicted Week 6 final score between Cowboys-Packers: Dallas 27-24 over Green Bay
Actual Week 6 final score between Cowboys-Packers: Dallas 30-16 over Green Bay
Best pick: Last week I said that the Raiders didn't stand a chance with a rookie quarterback starting against the Texans, and well, we all watched what happened, it was a massacre. To make things even worse, Derek Carr came out this week and said that he would've been able to play in the Super Bowl if the Raiders would've made it. As much as I love Derek's optimism, I have to say, if CONNOR COOK had led the Raiders to the Super Bowl by winning three straight games, then I'm rolling with Connor Cook in the Super Bowl, giving him a 19-year extension as soon as the season is over and then cutting Carr. Of course, Cook didn't win any games, so we don't have to worry about a quarterback controversy in Oakland.
The good news for the Raiders heading into next season is that they're going to get Carr back. Not to mention, I'm pretty sure the Raiders lead the league in fans who are also Victoria's Secret models.
I'm guessing she's probably reading my picks right now on that laptop. That's what most supermodels do on their bed.
Worst pick: If I've learned one thing about picking NFL games over the past few years, it's that if my gut says Justin Bieber is bad luck, then Justin Bieber is bad luck, and my gut says that a lot. As soon as I read about Odell Beckham hanging out with the Biebs last week, I should've picked the Giants to lose by 47. Instead, I completely ignored the curse of Bieber and picked the Giants to beat the Packers. If you watched the game, you may have noticed that the Giants definitely did not beat the Packers.
If you don't think the curse of the Biebs is real, just ask Johnny Manziel about it. That guy threw away his career the minute he decided to hang out with Bieber in 2014.
The Biebs is a walking "Final Destination" movie.
Actually, you know what, he's more like "The Ring," that movie where you watch a video and then die within seven days. Basically, if you hang out with Bieber, it's pretty much a guarantee that your career or team is dead within seven days. For Manziel, it was his career. For Beckham, it was his team. If Dak Prescott hangs out with the Biebs this week, I'm picking the Packers.
Straight up in wild-card round: 3-1
SU Overall in playoffs: 3-1
Against the Spread in wild-card round: 2-2
ATS Overall in playoffs: 2-2
Final 2016 Regular Season Record
Straight up: 147-107-2
Against the spread: 116-129-11