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Winners and losers from NFL’s divisional round, plus Tom Brady seems done in Tampa Bay and NFC, AFC title odds

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Welcome to the Monday issue of the Pick Six newsletter!

I’m not going to say that this year is a lot like last year, but we’ve finally reached our final four teams in the NFL, and this year is a lot like last year. Three of the season’s four remaining teams also made it to the conference title game last season, and for the second year in a row, the Cowboys ended their game with one of the dumbest games imaginable.

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Last year they declared a QB draw with 14 seconds left and no timeouts. This year they somehow outdid themselves by calling the performance even worse, which you can see here.

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With the loss of the Cowboys, the Chiefs, Bengals, 49ers and Eagles remain as the final four teams. All of these top three teams participated in the conference final game last year, meaning that for the first time since the 2011–2012 season, three teams returned to the conference final game.

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Speaking of the name of the conference games, we’ll cover them in today’s newsletter. In addition, we will break down the divisional round and also try to figure out what happened to Patrick Mahomes’ ankle. Let’s get to the presentation.

As always, here is your weekly reminder to let all your friends sign up for the Pick Six newsletter. To get your friends to sign up, all you have to do is click here and then share this link with them.

1. Tonight’s Show: Full Divisional Round Recap

Travis Kelsey (left) and Jason Kelsey

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It’s Monday, which can only mean one thing: I stayed up until 3am last night doing a podcast with Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson about everything you need to know about the divisional round. And let me tell you, it’s probably for the best if you listen.

One thing we do every week is give away our weekly winners and losers on Sundays. Look who made it to our list.

Ryan Wilson

  • Winner: Joe Barrow. The Bengals quarterback may be the coolest man on the planet. Although the Bengals were the underdog going into Sunday’s game, the tide quickly turned after “Joe Cool” came out and stunned Buffalo with his first nine passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Burrow now has five playoff wins in the last two seasons, which is impressive considering the Bengals have only won five playoff games in their first 53 seasons.
  • Loser: Jaguars. After Patrick Mahomes went down with an ankle injury, the frustration was there, but the Jaguars let it slip. Defensively, they allowed Mahomes’ stand-in (Chad Henna) to enter and lead the 98-yard TD drive. Offensively, they had two brutal fourth-quarter losses to secure Kansas City’s victory.

Will Brinson

  • Winner: The Kielce family. With Kansas City and Philadelphia winning over the weekend, that means there’s still a chance that Chiefs tight end Travis Kelsey and Eagles center Jason Kelsey could end up playing each other in the Super Bowl. Two brothers podcast togetherand it would probably be pretty wild before the Super Bowl if they both played the game.
  • Loser: Daniel Jones. After the Cinderella season, the Giants quarterback finally turned back into Pumpkin Saturday. Jones threw for only 135 yards in an embarrassing loss to the Eagles, where his team managed only one touchdown. To compound the injury, Jones was defeated and fired five times.

John Breech

  • Winner: Brett Maher. The Cowboys didn’t win, but Maher may be able to sleep this week knowing he didn’t cost his team the game. While he did have an extra point blocked, he also hit two key field goals, which allowed the Cowboys to stay in the game until the very end.
  • Loser: NFL. The league was on the cusp of its first ever AFC Championship game at a neutral venue, but Bengals prevented it with an upset win over the Bills. Now that playing the AFC Championship on a neutral ground is out of the question, please don’t let that ever happen, NFL.

Not only did we watch every game, we also reviewed the conference championship matches very early. To listen to today’s episode, be sure to click here. You can also WATCH today’s episode on YouTube by clicking here.

2. View each divisional round game

Since there were only four games this weekend, we thought it would make sense to at least take a quick look at what was going on in each game, and that’s what we’re going to do.

  • Chiefs 27-20 over the Jaguars. After walking out of the game in the second quarter with a serious ankle injury, Patrick Mahomes returned in the second half to lead the Chiefs to victory. Playing on one foot didn’t seem to slow him down as he completed 10 of 15 passes for 107 yards after the injury. The Chiefs defense also made two key fourth-quarter losses to help Kansas City win their fifth straight AFC title game. The Chiefs also received unexpected help from backup quarterback Chad Henn, who scored a 98-yard goal with only full possession. It was the Chiefs’ longest TD drive of the entire season.
  • The Eagles are 38-7 over the Giants. The Eagles took a 28-0 lead and then went on to win. The Eagles were able to pull off a dominant victory thanks to a defense that scored five sacks and also kept the Giants less than 230 yards from the total attack. On the offense, the Eagles had a rushing attack that totaled 268 yards on the ground, with Kenneth Gainwell (112) and Miles Sanders (90) doing the most damage. Jalen Hurts also had a big night and, more importantly, his shoulder looked completely healthy as he hit three touchdowns (two passes and one rush).
  • Bengals 27-10 over the Bills. The biggest surprise of the weekend was that the underdog Bengals completely wiped out the Bills. The Bengals offense showed great results, but it was the defense that eclipsed everyone in this game. The Bengals capped the scoring to just 10 points, which was Buffalo’s lowest total of the season. The Cincinnati offense also ended in a big game that included 242 yards and two touchdowns from Joe Burrow and 105 yards from Joe Mixon. The Bengals took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and the game never seemed close after that.
  • 49ers 19-12 beat Cowboys. The 49ers earned their second straight trip to the NFC Championship by winning a defensive battle with the Cowboys. The 49ers beat Dak Prescott twice and scored six points from those losses, and it proved to be a game-changer. The 49ers weren’t good on offense, but they pulled off some glowing individual performances from George Kittle (95 receiving yards) and Christian McCaffrey (57 total yards and a TD) to take the win. The unsung hero in San Francisco’s game was Robbie Gould, who proved to be a huge weapon as he scored 13 of their 19 points with four field goals and an extra point.

The 49ers-Cowboys game was the only one that actually had any drama over the weekend, but I wouldn’t be surprised if both conference title games become classics given the teams playing them.

3 Patrick Mahomes Ankle Injury

Patrick Mahomes

Getty Images

If you’re an ankle fan, you’ll love the next few days in the NFL because Patrick Mahomes’ ankle is going to be one of the hottest topics in the league this week. Mahomes injured his ankle on Saturday against the Jaguars and it’s unclear how close he’ll be to 100% in the AFC Championship game.

Here is everything you need to know about the ankle:

  • How the injury happened. With just under three minutes left in the first quarter, Mahomes was caught in the middle of a four-yard pass and as he fell to the ground he was awkwardly pinned down by two Jaguars players, one of whom fell on his ankle (you you can watch the play here). It was painful to watch, and it was immediately clear that Mahomes had been hurt.
  • Mahomes missed almost the entire quarter. Although Chiefs QB stayed in the game to finish the run, Mahomes missed most of the second quarter after Andy Reed forced him to go to the locker room to get an ankle exam. (You can be seen here how hot-tempered things got between Reid and Mahomes when QB was told he would not be able to return to the game immediately.) After testing, Mahomes returned to the game in the second half and led the Chiefs to victory.
  • Diagnosis. Although his X-rays came back negative, Mahomes underwent an MRI on Sunday that showed he had a high ankle sprain. This was announced by CBS Sports NFL insider Jonathan Jones.. It could be a risky injury because if it’s serious, you could miss weeks, although it seems like Mahomes could have avoided the worst.
  • What Mahomes said about the injury. After Kansas City’s victory, Mahomes said he would do his best to be as close to 100% as possible in the AFC title game. “Now I feel better than I thought,” Mahomes said on Saturday. via ESPN. “Obviously right now I have a lot of adrenaline, so we’ll see how I behave. But I will start treatment right away and try my best to be as close to 100% as possible by next week. Fortunately. for us we played at the start of the game on Saturday, so we have an extra half day where I can rest my ankle.”

No matter how badly Mahomes is treated, it is unlikely that he will be 100% in the AFC title game. He may be a quick healer, but a tall ankle…


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