The Houston Texans were embarrassingly bounced from the playoffs, but they’re not alone. Three other home teams lost in their own uniquely excruciating way. When Knile Davis returned Nick Novak's opening kickoff 106 yards for a touchdown, the game was basically over. The subsequent humiliation and anguish was spread out over the rest of the four quarters, allowing us to settle into a comfortable (and familiar) apathy. The same can't be said for Bengals, Vikings and Redskins fans.
The Bengals kissed away their lock of a win, bungling the final minutes with a terrible fumble and idiotic personal foul penalties. The Vikings watched their second round sail wide of the uprights in the final minute. They both lost in the final minute, whereas the winner of the AFC South lost in the first. There’s definitely some sort of messed up poetic irony in there somewhere. And while the WAS/GB game had a lopsided score, there was some time where the Redskins were in that game, starting the scoring off with a safety of Aaron Rodgers.
Following the Cardinals as +375 favorites are the Panthers at +400, along with the Seahawks and Patriots at +450. After those four, the underdogs are the Broncos (+525), Chiefs (+700), Steelers (+1,000) and Packers (+1,500). If all that was a bit confusing, you can learn more about futures betting here.
The Cards lead the pack probably due to what lies ahead – a matchup with Green Bay. The same Pack team that absolutely crumbled in Arizona in Week 16. The Packers had not one but two chances to lock up the NFC North in the final weeks, the first of which came in their Sunday night game in Glendale. They lost in blowout fashion, 38-8. They weren’t just outplayed. They were run out of the building. Their victory over Washington this past week didn't save Green Bay from being the biggest underdog to win it all.
Combine their odds against Arizona in the Divisional Round this weekend with the highly trending Seahawks potentially knocking off the Panthers, and you’ve got very solid looking favorite. The NFC is not a "cake walk" by any means but if Seattle can beat Carolina, it should ease the road ahead for the Cards.
Meanwhile, the AFC is a bit of a different animal. The red conference includes the Steelers and Broncos matchup. A quarterback fighting upper-body injuries (Ben Roethlisberger) against a quarterback with constant lower-body issues (Peyton Manning). While in the other game, you have the red hot Chiefs and the always dangerous (and often injured) Patriots. In other words, there are still two to three beatable teams remaining in the AFC, giving a strong edge to the NFC representative.
Corzo's Toilet Paper Super Bowl Prediction:
Cardinals over Chiefs.
What say you, Texans fans? Making any feel-better-about-the-Texans-losing bets this week? Sound off with your picks and advice down below.