It is playoff time in the NFL, and this past weekend’s games dominate the power rankings, as expected. The Texans won a thrilling game against the Bills in which they came back from a 16-0 deficit to force overtime. On the college gridiron, Cincinnati obliterated Boston College to the tune of 38-6. They out-gained the Eagles by close to 300 yards. In hoops, the Grizzlies had a great week, going 3-1. In that time frame, Jonas Valanciunas averaged 15.3 points and 9.8 rebounds, while Ja Morant averaged 20.8 points and 7.5 assists.
The goal of this series is to rank the plays that made DKSB users the most money during the week while analyzing the most compelling storylines. With the outcomes being recorded every week from Wednesday to Tuesday, this breakdown includes everything played from January 1 – January 7.1) Minnesota Vikings (1-0 Straight Up)
2) Seattle Seahawks (1-0 SU)
3) Tennessee Titans (1-0 SU)
4) Houston Texans (1-0 SU)
5) Oregon Ducks (1-0 SU)
6) Cincinnati Bearcats (1-0 SU)
7) Georgia Bulldogs (1-0 SU)
8) Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0 SU)
9) Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-0 SU)
10) Memphis Grizzlies (3-1 SU)
VIKINGS PULL MAJOR UPSET AGAINST SAINTSThis playoff game had the largest spread of the week, with the Vikings opening as eight-point underdogs to the New Orleans Saints. Minnesota entered as the sixth-seed in the playoffs, and would have to go on the road to the Superdome. The Saints were not only huge favorites in this game, but were behind only the 49ers in odds to win the NFC. With 13 wins under their belt, a win here felt inevitable.
But that isn’t how the game went. Minnesota ran the ball effectively all day, finishing with 136 yards on the ground. The Vikings went into the half up three points, but the Saints managed to tie the game at the end of regulation. Fortunately for Minnesota, they won the overtime coin toss and went right down the field. An endzone fade to Kyle Rudolph sealed an outright victory for the Vikes.
SEATTLE SCRAPES BY AGAINST WENTZ-LESS EAGLESThe final game of the Wild Card round featured the Seahawks traveling to a very windy Philadelphia to take on the NFC East champion Eagles. Philly was a one-point home favorite, making this game as close to a pick’em as possible. The Seahawks had just fallen inches shy of claiming the NFC West crown from the 49ers, and they were getting a lot of respect going up against the winner of an inferior division.
Seattle managed to win the game, but it was far from a clean affair. Carson Wentz was injured early in the contest after taking a questionable hit from Jadaveon Clowney. With the opposing quarterback replaced by 40-year-old Josh McCown, one would have expected Seattle to roll comfortably. Though they managed to win and cover the original line, a 17-9 finish was disappointing, to say the least. The Eagles had a chance to get the ball back at the end of the contest with the ability to tie, but Russell Wilson completed a 36-yard pass to D.K. Metcalf on third and 10 to close out the game.
TITANS GIVE PATS EARLIEST PLAYOFF EXIT SINCE 2009The Titans underwent a major transformation after making a quarterback change from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill. They entered the playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the league, but would have to take on the hottest team of the century in the first round. New England just missed an opportunity for a bye, but still had all of the respect that comes from winning multiple titles and making it into the second round (usually via a bye) every year since 2010. The Titans were five-point road underdogs.
Though Tannehill threw for less than 100 yards in this contest, Tennessee was able to find a victory. Derrick Henry ran for 182 yards an a touchdown, looking just as he did when he carried Alabama to a championship. The defense limited New England to just 13 points, and sealed the game late with a pick-six. This was the earliest the Pats have been bounced from the playoffs since 2009, when they were eliminated in the wild-card round by the Ravens.
SEC POWERHOUSES FINISH BOWL SEASON STRONGSpeaking of Alabama, they missed a trip to the college football playoff for the first time since it’s inception in 2014. The Crimson Tide were still one of the top teams in all of college football, and were hungry to prove themselves heading into the Citrus Bowl against Michigan. Alabama was a 7.5 point favorite, and dominated the game, winning 35-16. Projected first-round pick Jerry Jeudy went for over 200 yards receiving in the contest and scored a touchdown.
On the other side of the SEC was Georgia, who also was alive for a playoff spot until the final week of the season when they lost to LSU. Instead, they would have to settle for participating in the Sugar Bowl against Baylor. The Bulldogs were 3.5 point favorites, and managed to win the game despite entering the contest with a variety of injuries. Quarterback prospect Jake Fromm completed 20-of-30 passes for 250 yards and two scores. True freshman George Pickens accounted for most of that yardage, going for 175 yards and a touchdown.
OREGON AND MINNESOTA WIN IN BOWL UPSETSHad the Ducks not suffered a horrible defeat to Arizona State this season, they would have likely been in the playoff after dominating Utah in the PAC-12 championship game. Instead, they had to settle for playing Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Oregon was a three-point underdog. It wasn’t pretty, but the Ducks managed to win the game. They had just 204 total yards, but forced four turnovers and did a great job of keeping the Badgers out of the end-zone. Quarterback prospect Justin Herbert ran for three touchdowns.
The Golden Gophers started the year 9-0, including an impressive win over fourth-ranked Penn State. Unfortunately, they then lost games at Iowa and versus Wisconsin, keeping them from the B1G title game, and a potential playoff birth. They entered the Outback Bowl as a 7.5 point underdog to Auburn. Surprisingly, they were able to win 31-24 behind 140 rushing yards from Mohamed Ibrahim, and over 200 receiving yards with two touchdowns from wide receiver prospect Tyler Johnson.
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