The Daily Spin – NFL Cash Game Focus – Wild Card

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte January 5, 2019 07:15

The Daily Spin – NFL Cash Game Focus – Wild Card

We finished off the season looking pretty solid overall as I personally posted a 12-5-1 record on my cash games over the 17 week season plus Thanksgiving. It was looking like a 13-5 finish last week until George Kittle grabbed a long, late, meaningless TD against the Rams to push a bunch of my teams just under the cash line for the week, but with my larger, single entry teams still able to hang on to salvage a tie. It was a fitting end to Week 17 as I got to watch the Vikings lay an egg against the Bears in a must win game with their season hanging in the balance. Once again, in a big game, they came out of the gates looking lost and  ill prepared for a capable opponent.

Stunningly, the Bears actually left most of their starters in the game well past the point of reason as the Rams had built a 3-4 score lead over the 49ers by the middle of the third quarter. I am absolutely baffled by some of the takes this week that the Bears would rather play the Eagles than the Vikings this week, or even worse, those poor souls who can do no more than utter come useless cliche like, ‘you play to win the game’ or ‘it shouldn’t matter who you are playing next week’. If the goal of every team is to advance in the playoffs, then the Bears just made their path much more difficult this week. Let’s see here, Kirk Cousins now has a 4-25 record against winning teams. The Vikings have won all of three times in Chicago going back to 2001 with none of those wins coming after November 1st. Since the Vikings moved indoors to the Dome in 1982, but including the two seasons they played outdoors when building their new stadium, the Vikings have won just 38% of their games outdoors, better than only three other teams in the league (Cleveland, Arizona and Detroit).

The Eagles, on the other hand, are coming off of a Super Bowl winning season a year ago and are steeped in post season experience that the Bears severely lack. Their QB is last year’s Super Bowl MVP, Nick Foles, who once again has raised the Eagles from the dead with three straight wins, two of which were particularly impressive against the Rams on the road and the Texans the following week at home. The Eagles, unlike the pathetic, soft Vikings, play outdoors, on grass, and in the cold every year. They also boast the 7th best record outdoors from the same time span as I used above for the Vikings. Am I missing any other key details here? If this is obvious to Jeff and myself, how does Matt Nagy not take this into account? I would have given the Vikings about a 10% chance of winning this week and that is being generous given the breakdown on offense over the back half of the year due in part to a deficient offensive line and an internal battle over game plan execution. They also put their starters at risk in what became an obviously meaningless game by the beginning of the 3rd quarter. I’ll just end my rant by saying this: GO EAGLES!!

I am actually really excited for the four game slate that we have on hand this week. It is a far superior Wild Card round to any of recent memory. It is always a huge letdown when the playoffs hit and two or three of the initial games seem like complete, foregone conclusions before they are even played. Whether it is the Texans or Raiders limping in with a terrible backup QB or a terrible mismatch between a bad wild card team and a twelve win division champ that just missed out on a bye, the opening weekend of playoff football can be very hit or miss. This week, we are privileged to see four games on the slate that I anticipate being very competitive.

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Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte January 5, 2019 07:15

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