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After being in a quarantined bubble for the whole season, thanks to Covid for Darryl and Suge and a strange combo of STD’s for Hooter, your favorite NML Experts are BACK BABAAAYYY!! Over the next few weeks we’ll be back at it for this installment of the NML Playoff Pickems! Resident NML expert Darryl Pickem will take on two worthy contenders to his Pickem Crown, Suge Day and Hooter McGavin. You may know Suge Day as a former Rap Music Mogul who now turns his attention to picking winners in the NML and Hooter McGavin as a former standout college QB turned ladies man and football handicapper. They will go head to head, week to week to determine who really knows NML playoffs the best.  

 

Let's meet our experts:

 

Darryl Pickem

Suge Day

Hooter McGavin

 


WILD CARD WEEK TOTALS


4 - 2

4 - 2

6 - 0






The Wild Card round is in the books and the Pickem action was almost as exciting as the on field battles. Hooter McGavin was flawless in his pickem effort going 6-0 on the weekend while Suge was 4-2 after buying in to the Titans hype but not believing in Cinderella(Saints) and her “gem” slipper! Our resident expert Darryl was also 4-2 as he was “underdog heavy” in his picks, missing on the Broncos and Titans. Here are this week's picks:

DIVISIONAL ROUND


#1 Colts vs. #4 Steelers


Darryl: The Colts are arguably the best team in the NML right now but as we’ve seen in the past, that doesn’t mean sh*t in this league. While Indy rested during their well deserved bye, the Steelers easily dismissed the Pre Season World Champion Titans in round 1 and have now set their sights on a Power Bowl run. They are solid on both offense and defense but I just don’t think “solid” will be enough to hang with the explosive Josh Allen and a Colts squad that has been firing on all cylinders since Week 1. I expect this game to be close but the Steelers run ends here. Colts 28-24


Suge: The Steelers took out the greatest preseason team the NML has ever seen.  This week they will have to take out one of the best records in the B side of the bracket. The Colts enter this week looking for respect. In the NML we have seen this before, great record and new owner.  Experience matters in the playoffs and hopefully the Colts can gain enough before next week.  Colts 24-23


Hooter: Divisional round matchups!  Hooter took a commanding 6-0 lead last week as he correctly predicted the outcome of every game. Somebody call Vegas baby!!! The Colts are undoubtedly the favorites in the AFC, The week off gave them a much needed rest. With a stout user defense and an Offense led by up and comer Josh Allen, the sky's the limit. The Steelers practically had a bye week last week as the game was never as close as the score shows. Keep in mind, the Steelers played the Colts a few weeks ago and were close to knocking them off. I like what the Steelers bring to the table on offense. If James Connor can manage the clock and help the Steelers eliminate turnovers, this could be upset city. I still have to go with my gut here. Colts defense gets a big stop, they win this one 24-17.


#2 Patriots vs. #3 Chiefs


Darryl: Ok… So last week Hooter called Chiefs owner Scott Bramhall the “Tom Brady” of NML Owners because of his recurring trips to the Power Bowl, but I say “NO WAY”! Brady is the winningest QB in Power Bowl history and Bramhall isn’t in the same class. In fact, I say he’s more like a mix between Jim Kelly and Trent Dilfer! Anyways… This game is tagged by many as the “Game of the Week” but I don’t think so. The Pats always play their best football in the postseason and after narrowly beating their division rival last week I think they aren’t interested in close games anymore. The Chiefs are one dimensional, a very strong one dimension, but still one dimensional. I think the Pats contain Tyreek Hill and OBJ and cruise against the Chiefs here. Pats 28-13


Suge: The matchup we have all been waiting for and what could be the “real” AFC championship game.  The last two champs. Two of the better teams and franchises in the madden league.  The Pats hung on last week vs the division rival Jets. The Chiefs held on vs division rival Broncos. Chiefs come in passing like Bucs or Panthers of old.  Problem is that may be the undoing of the Chiefs as running in the playoffs can win you games.  The Chiefs lack of run game will come into play this week as the champs hold on. Pats 38-35


Hooter:  I was right about both teams winning last week but wrong about the execution. The Patriots defense was nowhere near as good as advertised, and the same can be said about the Chiefs offense. These two teams clashed earlier in the season with the Patriots coming out on top. If the Chiefs limit turnovers this could be a big day for them, as they move one step closer to the Power Bowl. For the Pats they need to contain Tyreek Hill, and take what the Chiefs give them on offense. Simply put, I think the Pats get better every week in the playoffs.  I am taking them here 40-39.


#1 Falcons vs. #6 Saints


Darryl: Can Tony Martinez and his “gems” continue their run here? Will Falcons owner Stephen Long open up the playbook and run more than 2 plays all game? In short… NO… to both questions. Falcons are great, Saints are overachievers and as much as I’d love to see the upset here, I feel like the Falcons don’t read Fairy Tales. Rodgers, Julio, Evans, Gronk and the rest of the cast are so explosive that the “gems” just won’t be able to cover everyone while the absurd amount of pressure the Atlanta defense brings will take away New Orleans biggest strength, Pollard and their run game. Falcons 44-17


Suge: The Saints run might come to an end this week but no shame in that.  They should be proud of the effort they have had but can they pull out one more miracle against the team who owns the division and a 16-0 record.  The Falcons are the bully on the block and plan to have their way.  This is a battle of one player who wants it really bad and one player who is really good.  My money is on the Falcons 48-24


Hooter:  The upset of last week paid huge dividends for a young Saints team that is hungry and on the rise. Tony Pollard has shined for this team, and the defense has been good enough to win. The only thing standing in their way right now is Goliath...on Steroids...Super Goliath. Aaron Rodgers, Mike Evans and Adam Thielan are an absolute nightmare  to defend. And if you defend them, expect to see Julio, and Gronk with a side dish of Raheem Mostert. The Falcons defense will be ready to stop the run, and Tony Martinez is going to need to be a little bit more creative to get into the NFC Championship game. Control the clock, and force a few turnovers are his only shot. I just don't see it happening.  The Falcons continue on their quest for a perfect Season, and the clock strikes midnight for this Cinderella story. Falcons win  this one 35-10.


#2 Vikings vs. #4 49ers


Darryl: Here is my game of the week and boy, do I hope that I get to watch it. The Vikings game was blacked out last week but they apparently won big over the Cowboys while the 49ers eeked out a win against their division foe, the Cards. San Fran continues to surprise me by winning with Colin Kaepernick at the helm but they play really well as a team and run the ball very well. The Vikings, as usual, do just about everything well and owner Gary Bell is great at making in game adjustments. I still don’t really know who plays in Minnesota but apparently, whoever they are, are pretty good. I think this game is a coinflip and will really come down to who makes a mistake. I’m going with the underdog here. 49ers 35-31


Suge: Coming fresh off the heels of Streamgate21, the Vikings will try to gather themselves to face the Niners who are trying to get another shot at the Falcons.  One has to wonder if the Vikings will overlook the Commish rules this week.  The niners are becoming a force in the West as painful as hat is to write.  Niners are gaining much needed playoff experience but the Vikings have been here.  If the Vikings can find time away from the battlefield this week I see them pulling out a victory.  Vikings 27-24


Hooter: The Vikings deserve no content from me. Go 49ers 1-0