NFL Wild Card Round Preview

NFL Wild Card Round Preview

It’s NFL Wild Card Weekend. Is your team playing, waiting, or sitting at home? Either way, let us know your thoughts at Contact@Quartermastersports.com.

Saturday, January 6th 4:20 PM – ESPN

Tennessee Titans (9-7) @ Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)

To kick off NFL Wild Card weekend, the Kansas City Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans Saturday afternoon. Marcus Mariota makes his playoff debut for the Titans who barely squeaked into the playoffs. Andy Reid’s Chiefs enter the playoffs riding a four-game win streak. 

TyGuy’s Verdict

KC Pass Offense 7th TEN Pass Offense 23rd
TEN Pass Defense 25th KC Pass Defense 29th

TyGuy’s Passing Edge: Kansas City

KC Run Offense 9th TEN Run Offense 15th
TEN Run Defense 4th KC Run Defense 25th

TyGuy’s Rushing Edge: Tennessee

TyGuy’s Quarterback Edge: Push

Rongy’s Take: Though DeMarco Murray has already been ruled out, the Titan’s run game shouldn’t suffer without him. Derrick Henry is more than capable of filling Murray’s absence. Regardless, the Chiefs are solid all around and have more explosive weapons on the offensive side of the ball. 

Rongy’s Prediction: Kansas City 31-20

Rongy’s X-Factor: Tyrek Hill


Saturday, January 6th 8:15 – NBC

Atlanta Falcons (10-6) @ Los Angeles Rams (11-5)

In Saturday’s second game, the defending NFC champion Falcons travel to LA to take on Todd Gurley and the worst-to-first Rams. The Rams haven’t been in the playoffs since 2004, but Sean McVay and Wade Phillips have the Rams as competitive as anyone in the wide-open NFC. Matty Ice and the Dirty Bird had to claw their way into the playoffs by defeating Carolina in Week 17. 

TyGuy’s Verdict

LAR Pass Offense 10th ATL Pass Offense 8th
ATL Pass Defense 12th LAR Pass Defense 13th

TyGuy’s Passing Edge: Atlanta

LAR Run Offense 8th ATL Run Offense 13th
ATL Run Defense 9th LAR Run Defense 28th

TyGuy’s Rushing Edge: Los Angeles (Todd Gurley’s recent play)

TyGuy’s Quarterback Edge: Matt Ryan (Playoff Experience)

Rongy’s Take: The defending NFC Champs versus the upstart feel-good story Rams. 95 out of 100 times, I’d be rolling with the team with playoff experience in Atlanta. On the other hand, Todd Gurley’s dominance over the last quarter of the season is too impressive to ignore. Also, the Falcons are the same team that blew a 28-3 lead. Nothing is safe around those guys.

Rongy’s Prediction: Los Angeles 34-31

Rongy’s X-Factor: Todd Gurley


Sunday, January 7th 1:05 – CBS

Buffalo Bills (9-7) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6)

For the first time in 18 seasons, Bills Mafia is back in the playoffs. Thanks to Andy Dalton and Tyler Boyd, of course. Unfortunately, Buffalo is facing the best defense in football this season, the Sacksonville Jaguars. Further damning the Bills chances is the health of LeSean McCoy, who is currently listed as Questionable. The Jags ended a playoff drought as well. 2007 was the last time they’ve been in the playoffs.

TyGuy’s Verdict

JAX Pass Offense 17th BUF Pass Offense 31st
BUF Pass Defense 20th JAX Pass Defense 1st

TyGuy’s Passing Edge: Jacksonville

JAX Run Offense 1st BUF Run Offense 6th
BUF Run Defense 29th JAX Run Defense 21st

TyGuy’s Rushing Edge: Jacksonville

TyGuy’s Quarterback Edge: Blake Bortles

Rongy’s Take: I want more of Bills Mafia, but Jacksonville’s defense is loaded. Tyrod doesn’t stand a chance, especially if Shady can’t go. Only Blake Bortles can ruin this for the Jags.

Rongy’s Prediction: Jacksonville 28-17

Rongy’s X-Factor: Calais Campbell


Sunday, January 7th 4:40 – FOX

Carolina Panthers (11-5) @ New Orleans Saints (11-5)

In the Big Easy, Cam Newton and Drew Brees meet up in the highest-profile QB matchup of the Wild Card round. The two NFC South foes have already met twice this season with the Saints prevailing in both games. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram have been the best backfield tandem in the league this season and Carolina features one of the best run defenses creating an intriguing matchup.

TyGuy’s Verdict

NO Pass Offense 5th CAR Pass Offense 28th
CAR Pass Defense 18th NO Pass Defense 15th

TyGuy’s Passing Edge: New Orleans

NO Run Offense 5th CAR Run Offense 4th
CAR Run Defense 3rd NO Run Defense 16th

TyGuy’s Rushing Edge: Carolina (Cam Newton & Co.)

TyGuy’s Quarterback Edge: Drew Brees (In the Dome)

Rongy’s Take: As a Panthers fan, I’m obviously biased towards Carolina in this one. However, out of the QBs in the NFC playoffs Drew Brees in the Super Dome is the only one that scares me. Cam is capable of anything, we’ve seen it before, maybe we’ll see it again.

Rongy’s Prediction: Carolina 24-21

Rongy’s X-Factor: Cam Newton

The Buffalo Bills Are In The Playoffs

The Buffalo Bills have made the 2018 NFL Playoffs, ending an 18-year drought, and it is GREAT for the NFL. Now, I say this as a die-hard Miami Dolphins fan, but really, it was time. The Bills started the day on Sunday as the most unlikely of the four teams vying for the two wild-card spots to make it, but alas they found a way.

Before anything else, of course, the Bills needed to beat my Fins. And, to be honest, I didn’t really see a highlight on RedZone of the Dolphins until the fight at the end. Ol’ David Fales did his best, but like his namesake…he failed.

Next, the Bills needed some help. They needed the Titans and Bengals to win. Blake Bortles was out there throwing the ball to the other team and it just seemed like the Jaguars didn’t really care that much. What was really exciting, was the Red Rocket, Andy Dalton marching the Bengals done the field to knock the Ravens out of playoff contention. I was super surprised because I don’t think anyone is used to Dalton being a clutch QB, but then I remembered it was the regular season. I honestly don’t know what was better, the game-winning drive or the Bills’ reaction.

Never mind. Of course, the reaction was better. Look at my boy, Zay…so excited.

So why is it good for the league, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

First of all, the Bills are “Panthers North,” as we like to call them at QMS. Just off the top of my head, the former Panthers on the Bills include Kelvin Benjamin, Joe Webb, Mike Tolbert, and Sean McDermott, who is their new Head Coach. Wouldn’t it be something if the Panthers and Bills somehow met in the Super Bowl? Rongy’s head might explode.

Secondly, BILLS MAFIA. My words couldn’t do them justice, so here are some highlights.

And finally, the most important reason that the Bills making the playoffs is good for the league…Zay “Darth Zayder” Jones. There’s no secret that I’m a big Zay Jones guy and he had an up and down year, to say the least, but he’s going to be a stud. Trust me. Hailing from ECU, better known as WIDE RECIEVER UNIVERSITY. The guy can flat out catch the football. Look for him to have a sneaky big playoff run because the playoffs gon’ be LIT.

The Bills meet the Jaguars in the first round and this game will really depend on two things. Is Shady McCoy able to play and which Blake Bortles will we see? Bortles is a total bro, but I’m picking Bills Mafia to find a way in a close game. If they win, then they go to Foxboro, and it’s hard to beat a team three times in one season, right?

I’d like to end this with a RIP to the Chargers’ season. The Cannon almost had an aneurysm knowing that a team that the Chargers beat by 30 is making the playoffs over them. Got to love tie-breakers. Also, congrats to the Browns, who now rightly own the longest playoff drought at 15 years and counting.

2017 NCHSAA Football Playoff Brackets Released

2017 NCHSAA Football Playoff Brackets

The regular season is over and the dust is settling. Now the real season begins. Here were go, the 2017 NCHSAA Football Playoff Brackets are in. The road to the state championship starts here. Email your predictions to Contact@Quartermastersports.com


4AA State Championship

East Top 4 (Earn 1st Round Bye)

  1. Wake Forest (11-0)
  2. Green Hope (9-2)
  3. Garner Magnet (7-4)
  4. Sanderson (8-3)

West Top 4 (Earn 1st Round Bye)

  1. Mallard Creek (11-0)
  2. West Forsyth (11-0)
  3. D.W. Butler (8-2)
  4. Page (10-1)

4AA 1st Round

East

West

1st Round

1st Round

8 Jack Britt 6-5 8 Richmond 7-4
9 Millbrook 5-6 9 North Mecklenburg 8-3
5 Middle Creek 8-3 5 Providence 8-3
12 Laney 7-4 12 South Mecklenburg 2-9
6 Pinecrest 7-4 6 Myers Park 10-1
11 Athens Drive 7-4 11 East Mecklenburg 5-6
7 Leesville Road 7-4 7 Hough 8-3
10 Fuquay-Varina 7-4 10 Ardrey Kell 3-8

4A State Championship

East Top 4 (Earn 1st Round Bye)

  1. Scotland (9-1)
  2. Hoggard (11-0)
  3. Cardinal Gibbons (11-0)
  4. South Central (9-2)

West Top 4 (Earn 1st Round Bye)

  1. Harding University (10-1)
  2. South Caldwell (1-10)
  3. Glenn (10-1)
  4. West Mecklenburg (8-3)

4A 1st Round

East

West

1st Round

1st Round

8 Jordan 6-5 8 Porter Ridge 7-4
9 Seventy-First 8-3 9 Davie 5-6
5 Overhills 8-3 5 East Forsyth 7-4
12 Knightdale 6-5 12 Mooresville 4-7
6 Heritage 10-1 6 Z.B. Vance 8-3
11 Purnell Swett 5-6 11 R.J. Reynolds 6-5
7 Ragsdale 7-4 7 Hickory Ridge 9-2
10 South View 8-3 10 West Charlotte 5-6

3AA State Championship

1st Round

East

West

1 Clayton 11-0 1 Mount Tabor 9-2
16 Northwood 7-4 16 Ashbrook 4-7
8 Cleveland 7-4 8 Watauga 9-2
9 Northern 8-2 9 Asheville 7-4
5 D.H. Conley 10-1 5 Marvin Ridge 10-1
12 Northern Guilford 6-5 12 Sun Valley 8-3
4 Eastern Guilford 9-2 4 Alexander Central 10-1
13 Hillside 5-5 13 Cuthbertson 4-7
3 Lee County 11-0 3 South Iredell 9-2
14 B.L. Smith 5-6 14 Northwest Cabbarus 6-4
6 Orange 8-2 6 A.L. Brown 9-2
11 Cape Fear 8-3 11 Erwin 6-4
7 SE Guilford 9-2 7 SW Guilford 8-3
10 Dudley 9-2 10 Statesville 9-2
2 New Hanover 10-1 2 A.C. Reyonlds 10-1
15 West Brunswick 4-7 15 Parkland 6-5

3A State Championship

1st Round

East

West

1 Western Alamance 11-0 1 Cbarlotte Catholic 11-0
16 Eastern Wayne 6-4 16 West Caldwell 6-5
8 Fike 8-3 8 Stuart Cramer 7-4
9 Triton 6-5 9 Concord 5-6
5 Jacksonville 9-2 5 Weddington 8-3
12 Northside- Jacksonville 6-5 12 Hickory 6-5
4 Terry Sanford 10-1 4 Huss 7-4
13 Rocky Mount 4-6 13 West Rowan 6-5
3 Southern Nash 10-1 3 J.M. Robinson 9-2
14 Westover 4-7 14 Tuscola 7-4
6 Eastern Alamance 9-2 6 Crest 7-4
11 NE Guilford 7-4 11 Monroe 5-6
7 E.E. Smith 8-3 7 Rockingham County 8-3
10 West Carteret 8-3 10 Freedom 7-4
2 Havelock 10-1 2 Kings Mountain 10-1
15 W.M. Williams 5-6 15 Forestview 4-7

2AA State Championship

1st Round

East

West

1 East Duplin 11-0 1 South Point 11-0
16 St. Pauls 5-6 16 West Iredell 5-6
8 Bunn 8-3 8 Shelby 9-2
9 West Stokes 8-3 9 Newton-Conver 9-2
5 Nash Central 9-2 5 Maiden 11-0
12 T.W. Andrews 4-7 12 Foard 8-3
4 Randleman 9-1 4 Mount Pleasant 9-2
13 Roanoke Rapids 8-3 13 East Lincoln 6-5
3 South Granville 11-0 3 Franklin 11-0
14 Washington 4-7 14 Smoky Mountain 5-6
6 West Craven 6-5 6 Wilkes Central 9-2
11 Richlands 8-3 11 Pisgah 6-5
7 Ledford Sr. 8-2 7 North Surry 10-1
10 Anson 4-7 10 Patton 8-3
2 North Davidson 10-1 2 Hibriten 11-0
15 Forest Hills 3-8 15 Brandys 5-6

2A State Championship

1st Round

East

West

1 Northeastern 11-0 1 Reidsville 11-0
16 Bertie 4-7 16 West Lincoln 4-7
8 First Flight 8-3 8 East Rutherford 9-2
9 Clinton 5-5 9 East Montgomery 7-4
5 Wallace-Rose Hill 9-1 5 Graham 3-8
12 Ayden-Grifton 6-5 12 Lincolnton 5-6
4 Beddington 7-4 4 South Columbus 10-1
13 Farmville Central 5-6 13 Wheatmore 9-2
3 SW Onslow 8-3 3 Hendersonville 8-3
14 Goldsboro 6-5 14 Brevard 6-5
6 SW Edgecombe 9-2 6 Salisbury 7-3
11 Hertford County 6-5 11 Red Springs 8-3
7 Kinston 9-2 7 Whiteville 10-1
10 Greene Central 7-4 10 North Wilkes 8-3
2 East Bladen 10-1 2 Mountain Heritage 10-0
15 James Kenan 3-7 15 Lexington Sr. 6-4

1AA State Championship

East Top 4 (Earn 1st Round Bye)

  1. Tarboro (11-0)
  2. J.A. Holmes (10-1)
  3. East Carteret (7-4)
  4. Granville Central (5-6)

West Top 4 (Earn 1st Round Bye)

  1. Mount Airy (11-0)
  2. East Wilkes (9-2)
  3. North Stanly (10-1)
  4. Bessemer City (10-1)

1AA 1st Round

East

West

1 Tarboro 11-0 1 Mount Airy 11-0
2 J.A. Holmes 10-1 2 East Wilkes 9-2
3 East Carteret 7-4 3 North Stanly 10-1
4 Granville Central 5-6 4 Bessemer City 10-1

East

West

1st Round

1st Round

8 Riverside 6-5 8 Polk County 7-4
9 Princeton 7-4 9 North Rowan 8-3
5 West Montgomery 9-2 5 Swain County 7-4
12 Rosewood 5-6 12 Cherryville 4-7
6 Lakewood 9-2 6 Murphy 9-2
11 Pender 4-7 11 South Stanly 5-6
7 Manteo 8-3 7 East Surry 7-4
10 Gates County 6-5 10 Starmount 6-5

1A State Championship

East Top 4 (Earn 1st Round Bye)

  1. North Duplin (11-0)
  2. Northampton County (10-1)
  3. South Robeson (3-8)
  4. Columbia (5-4)

West Top 4 (Earn 1st Round Bye)

  1. Mitchell (10-1)
  2. Cherokee (9-1)
  3. T.J.C.A (10-1)
  4. Mountain Is. Charter (8-3)

1A 1st Round

East

West

1st Round

1st Round

8 Southside 6-5 8 South Stokes 5-6
9 Northside- Pinetown 5-6 9 CSoD 5-6
5 Pamlico County 7-4 5 Robbinsville 7-4
12 Albemarle 4-7 12 Rosman 2-9
6 Plymouth 6-5 6 Elkin 5-6
11 North Edgecombe 4-6 11 Hayesville 3-8
7 SE Halifax 7-4 7 Union Academy 7-4
10 South Creek 5-6 10 Alleghany 4-7

 

Hamlin Dumps Elliott Late, Gets Chrome Horn From Teammate Anyway

Hamlin Dumps Elliott, Busch Capitalizes

Long Gone Caution Late

Chase Elliott had checked out. Martinsville and a ticket to Championship Weekend in Homestead were his. The bridesmaid was finally at the alter, in line to tie the knot. The only thing between the 21-year old and his first career Cup Series checkered flag was 41 laps and lap-traffic. Then the unthinkable, yet predictable, happened. The yellow flag is out; caution (Carl Long spin out). Suddenly, a several second lead was down to a matter of feet; just in time for the last series of pit stops. With the race and restart positioning on the line, the #24 Napa Auto Parts pit crew turned an impressive pit time of 12.1 seconds to get Elliott out back in the lead by inches.

Keselowski Takes Control

Back to Green. Chase Elliott chose to restart on the inside and controlled the dominate line for the restart with Brad Keselowski outside. Though Elliott held the dominate line after the restart, his car was tight on the short run. With 30 to go, Elliott’s car tightened up again heading into turn one. This time the #24 slid up-track just enough for Keselowski to inch his nose under Elliott for positioning. A lap later, the Miller Deuce was clear of Elliott and out front. Elliott fought hard with the #2 Penske Ford for ten laps, but Keselowski was able to fend of the second-year star and eventually put some space between the two.

Bunch’em Back Up

After the Carl Long (Lap 41) caution pit stop, Chase Elliott’s car just wasn’t the same. While Keselowski was riding off into the sunset, Elliott found himself under heavy fire from Joey Logano with Kyle Busch right behind him. Though Elliott’s car was fading after the battle with Keselowski, the #24 refused to let any others pass; however, Logano had other plans. With 20 to go, Logano had sights on a 1-2 Team Penske finish. As he and Elliott entered turn one Elliott’s car checked up a bit and Logano seized his opportunity. Unfortunately for Logano, his car tightened up too and Kyle Busch put his nose in the open spot. When Logano came back down, the spot was filled. Busch and Logano made contact and Elliott raced off.

Yellow Out Again

When Kyle Busch tapped Joey Logano, he bent in a piece of Logano’s sheet metal into his tire causing a rub. Already eliminated from the playoffs, Logano chose to race for his teammate, Keselowski, electing to stay out on the track for several laps trying not to bring out a caution. Fading fast, Logano finally makes a decision to pit. On the lap Logano planned to pit, his right-rear tire finally failed and the #22 spun out to bring the caution flag out again.

Dump #1

On the restart, Keselowski choose the outside. As Elliott held the inside edge heading into turn one, the #2 Ford got loose and Elliott dug inside for the lead. Denny Hamlin followed. Hamlin followed Elliott for a lap or so, but Elliott’s car was still pushing on the short run. With three laps to go, Hamlin rode Elliott way too hard into the third turn. Moments later, “He definitely wrecked me,” exclaimed Elliott, backwards against the outside wall after being dumped by Hamlin; caution flag. 74 Cup races, five second place finishes and he’d have to wait another week. Elliott would end up finishing 27th.

Dump #2

Denny Hamlin’s dump of Chase Elliott brought out the race’s final caution flag and sent the race into overtime. In the extra session, Hamlin caught instant karma. Hamlin’s Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch decided it was time to punch his third straight ticket into the Championship Four at Homestead. After taking the white flag, Busch forced his nose under Hamlin and pushed the native Virginian outside to take the advantage. Martin Truex, who was in third, was able to clear Hamlin as well and was inside of Busch coming out of turn four heading to the checker. The textbook way to play the final turn at Martinsville is for the inside car to lean hard on the outside car and push past to victory. Instead, Truex stayed clear and Busch took the checkered flag.

Cup Series at Martinsville Results

Pos.

#

Driver

1 18 Kyle Busch
2 78 Martin Truex Jr.
3 14 Clint Bowyer
4 2 Brad Keselowski
5 4 Kevin Harvick
6 6 Trevor Bayne
7 11 Denny Hamlin
8 21 Ryan Blaney
9 20 Matt Kenseth
10 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
11 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
12 48 Jimmie Johnson
13 3 Austin Dillon
14 31 Ryan Newman
15 19 Daniel Suarez
16 5 Kasey Kahne
17 10 Danica Patrick
18 43 Aric Amerola
19 95 Michael McDowell
20 27 Paul Menard
21 37 Chris Buescher
22 41 Kurt Busch
23 34 Landon Cassill
24 22 Joey Logano
25 72 Cole Whitt
26 77 Erik Jones
27 24 Chase Elliott
28 38 David Ragan
29 1 Jamie McMurray
30 13 Ty Dillon
31 83 Gray Gaulding
32 15 Reed Sorenson
33 23 Corey LaJoie
34 7 Hermie Sadler
35 51 Kyle Weatherman
36 66 Carl Long
37 42 Kyle Larson
38 33 Jeffery Earnhardt
39 32 Matt DiBenedetto
40 47 AJ Allmendinger

 

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