Welcome to Championship Weekend Blitzers! This week’s show didn’t disappoint! Stats Guy had an epic rant and went off on the Chargers golden opportunity all while the guys did their regular amazing job on yet another fantastic podcast. They loved the Philly Special Cocktail, and knowing the guys taste for whiskey, as well as their disdain for the Patriots, I hope they like what I’ve served up for them below. If you missed what happened on this week’s show, you can catch the podcast here:
This past week actually delivered some pretty disappointing games in terms of excitement. Your Barkeep went 2-2, missing on the Chargers (see Stats guy’s epic rant above) as well the Colts. Both were pretty poor showings by the visiting teams with regards to offensive performances but not shocking with how the games results turned out. I was hoping for a Chargers Colts AFC Championship game but hey, I have zero control over that. Either way, off to Championship weekend we go!
AFC Championship Preview
WHY NEW ENGLAND WILL WIN:
**Editor Apology: Unfortunately, this is the only photo of Tom Brady we have on file.
Okay, seriously though, it’s the playoffs, its New England, they have Tom Brady and they always find a way to win. New England has made 8 straight AFC Championship games and basically is made for January football. Their offense is not nearly as explosive or as potent as Kansas City’s but their defense is better. They can, however, methodically and surgically move down the field and keep Kansas City off the field so they can’t put points on the board. I expect New England to do this, and do this well. They also have an excellent running game with Michel, Burkhead and James White, who doubles as a wide receiver. Expect New England to play a ball control game, Brady to do his typical 5-yard dink and dunk down the field and New England to be efficient all while waiting to throw those daggers. Don’t expect the weather to phase the Evil Empire but do expect Tom Brady to come out gunning for a 9th Super Bowl.
WHY KANSAS CITY WILL WIN:
They have the better offense, and they’re playing at home. The offense in KC this year has truly been impressive. Patrick Mahomes is most likely going to win the MVP and they really haven’t skipped a beat with the dismissal of Kareem Hunt. Last week, their defense played a vital role in shutting down a red-hot Indianapolis offense They’ll need that defense again this week to keep New England from engineering those patented 9-minute drives so their offense can put points on the board. If Kansas City can control the game and play it at their speed, they will come out victorious and head to their first Super Bowl since 1970. The problem is, they may play too fast for their own good which New England will exploit by making key defensive stops. As I said above, Kansas City really needs their defense to step up this week as I think their offense will be just fine at home. If that happens, I think Kansas City has too much firepower for New England to keep up with this year and is able to come away in this one.
Blitzed Prediction: Chiefs 38 Patriots 37
NFC Championship Preview
WHY LOS ANGELES WILL WIN:
They have weapons on both sides of the ball, they have Sean McVay and they have Todd Gurley. At the start of this season, there were people who thought this team was so talented, they could actually go undefeated and that the Super Bowl Championship was all but theirs. They spent money on free agent after free agent, Jared Goff improved by leaps and bounds thanks to the offensive ingenuity of Sean McVay and they had all-world running back Todd Gurley. Yet here they are, IN New Orleans and not Los Angeles as the second seed as an underdog. Not quite a jaw dropper, but not quite the season one expected out of LA. Lops Angeles will win this game if they do three things- keep New Orleans off the field by running ball like they did last week, locking down Michael Thomas and not allowing New Orleans to control the game with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. Los Angeles’ weakness is their run defense and New Orleans will look to exploit that. By taking away the play action with Michael Thomas and focusing on stopping the run, Los Angeles will come out on top in this one.
WHY NEW ORLEANS WILL WIN:
They’re at home, the crowd will be insanely loud, they have Drew Brees, and their backfield duo of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram are dynamic. First, don’t downplay the environment that Los Angeles is going into. The crowd will cause 3 or 4 penalties alone on offense as well as not allow that Ram offensive line to get the normal burst off the line due to the fact that they will be using silent counts. Second, Drew Brees always plays well at home. He, like Patrick Mahomes, is an MVP candidate who had one of his best seasons of his career and is looking to cap it with a trip to the Super Bowl. He’s hungry and was not happy with how it ended in Minnesota last year. Finally, the Rams weakest point in their defense is the run game and New Orleans has two very good running backs. They can run it as well as catch it effectively and New Orleans will utilize their ground game quite a bit in this game to control the clock. If New Orleans is able to do all of the above, they will win this game.
Blitzed Prediction: Rams 35 Saints 23
And now for your Championship Drink of the Week. This week, the guys are drinking the Mahomes Magic Old Fashioned. This is my good luck charm (hopefully) since I’ll be rooting for Kansas City to knock off the defending AFC Champions. After all, I’m a Bills Fan and this is Blitzed NFL. It’s the only way to go. Gentlemen, and I use that term loosely, your cocktail:
Mahomes Magic Old Fashioned
1.0 oz. whiskey
1 oz. tart cherry juice
0.5 oz. amaretto
0.5 oz. ginger brandy
2.0 oz. cola
5 maraschino cherries
Blitzed Barkeep Build: Add maraschino cherries to the bottom of the glass and muddle until smashed. Add ice. In a cocktail shaker, add the whiskey, tart cherry juice, amaretto, and brandy, shaking for 15 seconds to combine. Strain into rocks glass over ice, top off with cola.
New England and Tom Brady in particular, has had their time to shine. I’m ready for another team to move into the spotlight in the AFC and this drink is my gift to the guys for this week. Let’s hope that next Tuesday, there are no tears in this Old Fashioned. I can only imagine what Stats Guy will do if Kansas City loses this week…
Well Blitzers, that’s all from your Blitzed Barkeep for now. Remember to drink responsibly, take Brady’s name in vain and always give your keys to a friend if you’ve had too much. Tune in to the Blitzed NFL podcast next Tuesday to hear the guys review this week’s drink of the week and recap all of the action during Championship Weekend.