A Emotional Vikings Fan watches the NFL Divisional Round.
To recap Wild Card Weekend:
Colts v Texans: I went for the Colts, the Colts delivered a win 21 – 7 over the Texans. Skol Colts!
Seahawks v Cowboys: I went for the Cowboys and in a decidedly exciting game they triumphed over the Seahawks 24 – 22. Skol Cowboys!
Chargers v Ravens: I went for the purple bird bros and the Ravens, despite a exciting come back late in the game, fell to the Chargers losing 17-23
Eagles v Bears: I am not entirely in touch with my feelings, having last week posted my support for the Bears. They fell to the Eagles losing 15-16. Double Doink!
Normally I only ever support the Bears if they are playing other NFCN teams, usually I just want them to lose. For me that’s a no brainer, as every season I want the Vikings leading the division and am fairly indifferent where the Bears and the Lions fall in the middle ranks. So my support for them last weekend was only heartfelt due to who they were playing, the Eagles. What I wanted was for the Bears to knock the Eagles out and then get knocked out themselves this weekend. So, while I was initially laughing at the tipped field goal which double doinked the Bears out of the playoffs, soon as I remembered that the Eagles advanced I became angry. You had one job Chicago, come on! Khalil Mack and the Bears defense could not stop Nick Foles and the defending champions. I made a personal exception to support the Bears and they let me down. Had the Bears won the Cowboys would have played the Saints and the Bears would have gone to the Rams, two easy games for me to pick!
Anyways, onto the Divisional Round. First up we have the Colts at the Chiefs at 3:35pm on Saturday, January 12th. My pastor is a fan of the Chiefs, and humorously enough the cross in the sanctuary can be backlit with red light or purple light. You can always tell if my mother, a fellow Vikings fan, has the remote or if he does based on which color it is. All my reasons to support the Colts from last week still stands and a win here will give my mother ammo for a little smack talk at church. That’s what my heart is picking, though I think it will be a tough game to win and I actually think the Chiefs will win it. I am calling this one a Chiefs win and will be happy to be wrong. Skol Colts!
Next up Saturday night we have the Cowboys at the Rams, kickoff at 7:15pm. Seattle nearly beat Dallas in a thrilling game wild card weekend and I think it’s not a bold claim that the Rams are better than the Seahawks. The Rams were nearly unstoppable finishing 13-3 while the Seahawks almost missed the playoffs finishing 10-6 during the regular season. This game has me the most nervous and will be the most interested in watching. While I want the Cowboys to win this one, I think the Rams will actually take it.
Sunday, January 13th starts off with the Chargers at the Patriots, kickoff at 12:05pm. This is the game I am least interested in this weekend. I fully expect Tom Brady and his team to do what they have done so many times the last ten years that I all but assume a Patriots win here. Will keep my eye on the score and maybe catch the last quarter in case Phillip Rivers and the Chargers pull off a upset. Patriots winning this one will probably be my safest pick this weekend.
Final game for the weekend is the Eagles at the Saints, kickoff at 3:40pm. I am still mad the Philadelphia Eagles advanced. Since the Bears could not stop them they are now my third favorite NFCN team.. I suspect many fans of the Vikings will torn on this game, the Eagles having knocked us out of the playoffs last year and the Saints for what they did in 2009. That being said, I think more fans will be rooting for the Saints to lose than the Eagles. While I do not know any Vikings fans personally that want the Eagles to win, I know several that still hold a grudge against the Saints and will root against them in everything.
That will likely make me a minority on this game. I want the Saints to win this one. 2009 was ten years ago, and last year leading up to our games against the Saints I had a cathartic discussion with many of their fans on the Saints subreddit. Now this does not mean I wholeheartedly support the whole team. My opinion of Sean Payton is negative. However I think Drew Brees is one of the greatest quarterbacks playing today and Thomas Morstead is a class act. Morstead was injured in our playoff game, and despite Diggs catch and the Miracle that happened he was one of the few Saints to come back out to do the necessary last play. I could write a whole article just on his charity work and even how its impacted Minnesota. So I have a deal for the Saints: if they can do what Chicago failed to do and beat the Eagles, I will give my unwavering support for the Saints for the rest of the playoffs.