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You coming up, some Thursday night basketball and a lot of football next. We're also brought to you by the Ringer podcast network. Put up a new rewatchables on Monday. We did Philadelphia. Me and Chris Ryan and Wesley Morris. We have the big rewatchables cold weather tour 2024. Next week we're coming to Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia, and New York. We're doing the fugitive. We're doing Forrest Gump. We're doing Creed, and we're doing rounders. All the tickets are sold out. I go back and forth on this because I like that we did theaters. They're like between 800,000 people, which I think is the right number. But part of me wishes we had just done bigger theaters. So who knows? Maybe we'll do that next time. But for anyone going to any of those shows, we are not showing the movie. So make sure you watch the movie before you go to the show because that would be weird if you just watched us talking about, like, creed in Philadelphia and you're like, what's this movie? Who's in it? So anyway, please watch the movies before you actually go to our shows. Can't wait to see everybody. And that's that.


More details next week from the road. Coming up on this podcast, me and Rob Mahoney are going to talk about all the Thursday night stuff that happened because there were some really fascinating NBA matchups. Some of them turned out to be disappointing. And then, of course, poor Zenga stepped on somebody's foot and now I'm in a bad mood. But anyway, talk about that and what we saw from Miami with Roger, what we're seeing from the Lakers and all the storylines as we head into the weekend. And then Peter Schrager came on to talk about coaches coaching vacancies. We had three jobs left and we taped our thing and we said, oh, nothing else will happen. Then right after we finished taping, Raheem Morris got the Atlanta job. So no Belichick in Atlanta, which I predicted, if you remember, on this podcast on Sunday. And now we are one step closer to Bill Belichick working for the ringer and joining me, and Salon gets the lines. Give me like 50 to one ods.


That could happen.


I don't know. Don't roll me out. So we're going to talk about some of the coaching stuff, and then we're going to talk about the two games this weekend, which are really good. And then I'm going to do some million dollar picks, which have been really good lately. We'll see if I can keep it going. It's all next. First, our friends from Projekt Robahon is here. We're taping this part of the podcast. It's 10:00 Thursday night. We thought this was going to be an awesome NBA night. It was okay. Warriors Kings though, it was very fun. The warriors heading into this game in the last 15 games were 29th in defensive rating, and at one point the Kings looked like they were going to score 175 points in them. The Kings end up winning by one. They win late. The warriors kind of botch a late game possession. On the one hand, Kaminga is starting to turn into something for Golden State.




On the other hand, their defense is so bad that I don't know what they do. Rob, they have a top four protected pick to Portland this year, and I don't think they're a contender. And they're just in the all time. I don't really know which way they go, but either way doesn't seem great, right?


Yeah, there's some funny things happening with the warriors and the Lakers right now where I think they're trending up in some really critical ways, and yet it might not matter that much just based on where they're starting from in the standings. And the warriors in particular. You're right, their defense has been a disaster for most of the season. They have a hard time getting stops against anybody. Their energy is pretty good, so it's not an effort issue. It's just they're very small. They're still not athletic enough in a couple key spots. And even though Kuminga is popping, his defense is all over the place. It's just that offensively, he's kind of honed in on what he does best and what he should have been doing this whole time.


Yeah, Kaminga's turned into this old school Iso. He's out of like 1994. Like you could see him in the Eastern Conference just clearing out on one side and just trying to beat people off the dribble. I don't think he really knows what he's doing yet as kind of a team defense player or just any sort of aspect of that. But I like his confidence and he's at least something you can't look back at. That draft to go, man, we blew it. We didn't take Franz Wagner because I think Kaminga's got something. But on the other hand, his timetable and where you want him to go the next four years, I'm not sure it matches a team that has a bunch of old players. I mean, the clay step is alarming clay. At one point, I looked at the box for like a minute left. He had played 30 minutes, and he had like zero assists and one rebound or one assist and zero rebounds. He just doesn't do that much. And what was really weird at the end of the game, the Kings were kind of leaving him open a couple of times, which in the old days, it was like, don't keep a guy.


Forget about the space. Like, just keep somebody over there and just, we'll give up one on one. But the Kings were drifting off him, and if that's happening, combined with Barnes was killing him on the other end, I just don't know what value he brings to the table anymore.


Well, this is one of the things that's happening kind of across the league, really, over the last couple of seasons, is defenses are so good now at closing short against guys who can't really put the ball on the floor and attack. And that's where Clay is now. Part of what made him so deadly was he was one of the best shooters ever. And if you close hard at him, he's going to attack and drive and score or attack and drive and dish and get you into the warriors blender, and you're going to be in trouble. All that other stuff is gone. So we've done a lot of hand wringing about Clay over, I always did, the last calendar year in particular. But really, since his injuries, in fairness, he's still one of the better high volume three point shooters in the league. By percentage, he still hits a lot of his shots. It's just the defenses don't have to respect anything else. And so then they can close a little bit later to the three. They can roll the dice with stuff like that. In a game like this where he's not on fire.


He's basically nets Joe Harris at this point.


That's harsh, but that's who.


He's a good three point shooter.


I don't know that I've seen Joe Harris hit a three pointer in the playoffs in my life. So until that happens, I will give.


I'm just saying, the theory of Joe Harris. Yes. And then they have this Draymond situation. Know he's pretty good offensively today, and they need his playmaking, especially with Chris Paul out. But the nicer, gentler. I'm trying to keep my emotions in check, Draymond. I'm not sure that's how he's meant to play basketball. There's a ferocity that's missing from him, and defensively, he should be whatever the guy that lifts the rising tides. Did I say that right? The guy that rising tides is that.


Well, the guy that lifts the rising tides is the literal moon. So as long as that's the guy we're talking about, then we're on track.


Well, I feel like I'm in the ballpark with that, but he's supposed to be the glue guy in defense for them and the guy who kind of makes everything better, and I don't know if he's that guy anymore. I think he's pieces of that guy, but I don't think he moves the same and has the same lift as he did a couple of years ago. I still think he's valuable, but I just keep watching him on this team and it just feels like it's run its course and I wonder if it's good for him and for them if there's a fresh start somewhere else.


It could be, but I don't know that he's going to lift the level of play anywhere else any more than this.




His synergy with at least steph and with some of the core warriors is still really good and really important. I don't know that if you send him to a team with a bunch of young talent and hope that he's going to teach them how to the culture of playing defense, is that really going to work for a guy who's had his string of issues, his own string of accountability problems at this later stage in his career where individually he's not at the level he was a couple of years ago? It's just always going to be a hard sell with him in terms of figuring out what an alternative spot could be. And the warriors are still dependent on him in some ways. They're still dependent on him to get steph the looks that he needs and wants in some of these games.


So there's can't trademable and then there's untradable, meaning nobody wants this guy. And then the other version is we can't trade this guy. He means too much to us. He might be both.


Somehow, both. Somehow both and neither.


I'm trying to walk through the scenario where another team, it feels like it would be an older team, like a Lakers type of team that has proven guys that could kind of pull him into the fold because he has experience and it's playoffs, and then you could unleash certain pieces, like if you send him to, I don't know, Orlando, they.


Don'T need help playing defense down there. They're doing just fine.


Right. But that's my. I. That doesn't make sense to me. Young team on the rise. That's the type of team, right? Or you could say like Indiana. Well, that doesn't make sense because they don't play that. And you go through all the teams, it's really hard to find the right team. And then you start going the drop below of the teams that are either rebuilding or probably trying to get a top seven pick. And none of those teams make sense for him either. It's like, send him home to Detroit. Well, why? Detroit's terrible. Why would they want Draymond? So it feels like the warriors are probably stuck with him, which might not be a bad thing because if he can rekindle his. I was. I made a joke to somebody on text today that it's like watching Skip Bayless try to do a show and just be like, I'm not going to have any crazy takes. I'm just going to be nice. I'm going to try to uplift the sports scene instead of doing my skip Eilish stick.


Skip a list on good morning America. Just real genial guy, right?


He replaces Nate Burlson on the CBS Morning News, and he's just interviewing people who just escaped from being trapped in a well. And he's just pleasant, honestly, would watch give it a try. But yeah, the Draymond, I don't know how he channels the rage that made him so much kind of so indispensable of them and so much fun to watch. And that tightrope act he was always on where he just started falling off the tightrope. So I don't know how you get back on it.


Well, the news for that, whether it's good news, I think, depends on your perspective. As much as I would like to believe in mankind's infinite capacity for change, I would say it's a matter of time until we see old Draymond kind of pop back out again. So that energy, I would expect to be back at some point. The one trade element we haven't talked about is maybe the most important one, which is just who is the most desperate for something. And that's where you get into teams like Atlanta. That's when you get into teams like if Dallas went on an extended losing streak or something like that, or even further down the line into the offseason, they really wanted to shake things up in their front court. You could see teams like that start to talk themselves into someone like Draymond again, as a culture setter, as someone who could potentially transform what you do and be a connector on offense, but you almost need that level of desperation and urgency to pull the trigger on.


A trade like this. And I think if you're going state, you probably want contracts that are coming to a close and you want to get under the tax. I mean, the irony of that, they're 36.9 million over the tax line. So they are where you really don't want to be in the NBA, where you don't have a chance to win the title. You might not even have a chance to make any noise in the playoffs, and you're paying the tax. Yeah, that's it. That's the triple crown. Yeah. You mentioned Dallas because it doesn't feel they have know the Grant Williams signing has been, I think, a disaster for them. They still have Rashawn Holmes, who doesn't play, but they could kind of patch together some shorter term contracts and say to Golden State, like, hey, we'll take them. I just don't know if Draymond's at the we'll take them stage. And I also don't know their appetite of even, like, are they just going to say, we're going to go down the ship with Stephen Clay and Draymond? These are our guys. They're all going to have statues someday and we're going to ride this out.


And this is how it ends. It's never supposed to end well. But the defense, to me, is the stunning piece with that team where the Kings almost didn't know where to go. They had so many options.


The fate of Northern California almost came down to Harrison Barnes post ups in this game.


That's where we were at.


Harrison Barnes, by the way, I would say one of the more random back to back 30 plus point game stretches I've seen in a very long time, just out of absolutely nowhere, started erupting lately. Yeah, a lot of good things happening for the Kings, but I did not have that one on my bingo card.


Jared Greenberg, after the game, he's the sideline guy, and he led a question with Harrison Burns, like, hey, this is the team that traded you. Does it feel good to get revenge? And I always want the athlete to answer like, hey, man, that was 2016. It was eight years ago. I barely remember being on this team. No, I don't care. I made $200 million. I'm fine. Don't worry about Harrison Burns. But he didn't answer it that way.


The revenge they might have cared about, though, I would imagine if I were Demonetis Abonis, it would feel pretty good to barge through Draymond Green once or twice and put my chest through and dunk on him after what happened in the playoffs and maybe even more importantly, hit a couple floaters, hit some intermediate shots, hit like the exact stuff the warriors have been daring him to do for a long time. So the think, you know, they don't have a lot to prove in games like this. At this point, they're just a good team. But it's always nice to gut out close games against veteran competition, especially when there is that kind of back and forth at the end. Kevin Herder, I would not say covered himself in glory, missing two free throws in crunch time, but they got the baskets they needed to and they got the critical stop. Forcing Steph into that turnover at the end, too.


Yeah, I mean, that was almost a self inflicted unforced error turnover. Steph look like, where would you put on his prime? Would you say tail end? Would you say approaching the tail end? Would you say, he's fine. This team is just messed up. Where would you put him? Because it's definitely when you're at your absolute peak, which you compare him to guys like Janice and Yokich and people like that. When you're a top 20, top 25 NBA player at the peak, peak, peak of your powers, yeah, you're good every night. It's shocking if you don't have a good game. Your average game is an awesome game, and that's just who you are. And even the Knicks game tonight, the Nuggets get killed by the Knicks. But Jokic wasn't, like, awful in that game because he doesn't have awful games. He's jokic. Curry's at the stage now where he can have awful halves and awful games, and it feels like it's moving to a different point of his career. But I would also not be surprised if February comes and he averages 39 points a game and goes on a run again. Yeah.


When you're at that stage in your career, everything isn't in your control anymore. It's a little bit more about matchups. It's a little bit more about how your teammates get you open or how they cover for you. Just the fact that the Western Conference all Stars were announced today, Steph Curry is not one of the starting guards.


I don't think we're not outraged.


I don't think anyone's really going to argue with it, to be honest with. Like, that's just the facts of the season. And I think he's still probably a second team, all NBA kind of player. He's still that good. He's just not quite at this level as what SGA is doing, as the load that Luca is carrying, the responsibility on him is still really great. But in terms of what he can do creatively, individually, there are limits to it and we're seeing it.


Yeah, I laid out all my starters because I had a vote for the starters, but I was also curious about the tiers of all right, my five starters, who are the next five guys and then who's up for the next two spots? And it was interesting. I had Fox like about a hair ahead of Curry this season on my list.


Did Sabonus make your list?


Sabonus made my list. He did not make the starting list, but he's like the next group of dudes. And the question for me is there's that fox, Curry, Booker, Edwards, those four together and the starters I don't think have to go until next week. I like to have at least three guards as the backups for the starters. Plus, it's the all Star game. You want guards. And there's a world where Curry isn't even one of the four non starter guards because Booker, especially lately, I think, has been playing better. Edwards has been on a number one seed the whole year and he's been, you would probably say, their most important player. And then Fox has been slightly better. Just percentages, numbers, his team's playing better. And there's a world where Curry doesn't make it, but it's the All Star game and I feel like it will. It's the same reason LeBron started Fortnite, but is that nuts to even have that conversation?


I think he's going to make it. And I think honestly, when you lay out the west reserves, both wild card spots will probably be guards, unless it ends up being a fox or Sabonus thing and one of those guys gets one of those wild card spots, which I think that's a fascinating argument to have as far as you're assigning credit for how good the kings are and who you want to prioritize, whether know, sabonus being the hub for them or fox being this kind of just like hyper efficient individual creator for them. And also notable, just one of the best three point shooters in the league. All of a sudden incredible to watch D'Aaron Fox play. I think Steph has to be in.


Know if this if things had started.


A little earlier for the Clippers and James Harden, for example, could he have had an interesting case if the Jazz had caught on a little earlier and Lowry, markinent were making an even stronger march than he already is for All Star. Would he butt in for a wild card spot? I think there's lots of ways in which you could edge in on that conversation. I just don't think Steph would be the casualty for it. I think it would be much more likely to be one of the Kings guys or Paul George or someone like that who would get kind of nudged out of the mix.


There's too many. I like that. It's twelve. I hate that people are like, oh, we got to make it 15 so more people can make it. We don't need more people in the all star game. Twelve is enough.


We don't in the Eastern Conference, I can tell you that.


Yeah, right. So I had Ad and Kawhi as starters, and neither of them ended up as starters. It went to Durant and LeBron. So Ad and Kawhi are six, seven, Sabonis is eight. And then technically you could say Edwards, fox, Booker and Curry all get in. But now you're bumping out Paul George, you're bumping out Sangoon, you're bumping out towns. There's a budding Jalen Williams case that I don't think he's going to make it. But man, eye test wise, it's harder to think of twelve guys that are better two way players than him in the west. And then you look at all the shooting splits for him and some of the advanced stats, and it's like, if Jalen Williams had a better pr, he might actually be at all star reserve. He's not going to make it. No, but I think he's kind of lingering there, too. And then marketing would be the other one. Yeah.


The one I'm watching, too, is Rudy Gobert. Will Rudy Gobert, the leader of the number one defense in the league with a bullet, will he make the all star team? And I think the fact that it's going to come down to the coaches is what makes it so fascinating, because Rudy Gobert's peers don't always have the utmost respect for him. I don't think he gets an incredible fan representation in the vote, but the coaches value what he does. They value the stability of a guy like that on an every night basis. And certainly in a league where nobody can stop anybody, the one team that can, Gobert has a really strong case to be involved in this game.


It's too bad we can't do backyard dealings on this and be like, Rudy, we're going to vote you in as a reserve, but you're going to fake an injury two minutes after we do because nobody wants to watch you in the All Star game. Like literally nobody. We just want guards and we want up and down. If that's cool, let them do the.


Skills challenge and we'll call it good.


We'll take a break. Then we got to talk about the Knicks. Vandal is America's number one sportsbook. They have all your favorite bets like the money line and the spread and all sorts of prop bets. If you go there right now, you can find joint prop bets for the two conference championship games. You can bet on things like both quarterbacks or quarterback in each game will get a rushing touchdown. I think that's like eight to one. I kind of like that one, actually. I have some good ones coming in million dollar picks later. But for instance, one of the same game parlays I like is Ravens to win the first half in the game, Lamar to score a TD and then Edwards and Hill to both rush for 25 plus yards, which I think if the Ravens win, all those things happen. You could do things like that on FanDuel Fandel every time there's an NFL playoff game, they have a no sweat same game parlay. So when you combine all your bets like I just did with the Ravens, you'll get bonus bets back if your SGP doesn't win. Also, I'm doing a boost on Saturday night for the Lakers game.


I'm not sure what it is yet, but you'll be able to find it over the weekend on FanDuel and on my Twitter feed, so stay tuned for that. Visit bs. If you don't already have an account, make every moment more with FanDuel, an official sportsbook partner of the NFL. You must be 21 plus in president select states. Gambling problem call 1800 Gambler or visit rg minimum three leg parlay required. Refund issued as non withdrawable bonus fetchers. Expires seven days after receipt. Max refund $5 unless otherwise specified restrictions apply. Ctrms at sportsbook all right, so we were talking all stars and in the east, Brunson didn't make it, Dame lowered made it. There's some what is it, fans? It's coaches and it's media.


It's also I am the problem. I voted for Damien Lillard. Excruciating decision between, I would say, donovan, Mitchell, Jalen Brunson and Dame. But I still like the season dame's having. I know I am preaching to whatever the opposite of a choir is on this one. I know.


Wow. I want to hear the case.


This is great. Let's hear this.


The case is the Bucks are one of the most efficient offenses in the history of the league. And they are efficient not because of great coaching, not because of a super well designed roster, but because Giannis and Dame are fucking good. Basically, all the Giannis, like Dame's percentages night to night, do fluctuate, but his impact on the game is still high in all of those cases, still secures a lot of games in crunch time, and overall is one of the architects of that offensive success. So I value that stuff pretty highly.


So you wanted $2 in the starting five, is what you're telling us?


I don't think of it that way.


Why not? There's 15 teams in the league. You got to be a really good team to have two of the five starters in a 15 team conference.


I mean, the Lakers are going to have two all stars.


I don't feel great about that either. I thought ad should have gotten the spot, and then to me, LeBron was on the bubble, but he made it as a starter, so it doesn't matter. I had Brunson. Which leads us to the Knicks. Here's my question for you. The Knicks are eleven and two in January. In the last 16 games, first in defensive rating by like a mile. They have been the best defensive team now for more than a month. Is Knicks culture the new heat culture? Because the heat got annihilated tonight by, granted, you know, whatever, it's the Heat. It's the regular season. But the Knicks have done their own version of what the Heat did. The type of players the heat target and go after, and the type of people they put together. And the Knicks have basically said to everybody, like, you have to be able to play defense to play for the Knicks. Yeah, you have to play hard, and you just have to be diving for balls and you'll be able to switch and just fight, and if you can't do that, you're not playing. So they added Og. They're eleven and two in January.


They feel like they're a trade away from being kind of a nightmare first round opponent. And I'm starting. I have Knicks fans in my life who are beaten down, who don't want to believe, who don't want to get sucked in, and all them are like, I really like this team. I really like where this is going. I am super happy as a Knicks fan right now. Where do you stand?


I think they're a trade away from being something much more dangerous, but they're already a nightmare first round opponent. This is a team that no one should want to play in the regular season or the playoffs, because the Knicks, I think what their defining characteristic is.


Is they do not fuck around.


They show up, they play hard, they have intense focus, they don't give you things. And yeah, there's some times where their offense kind of spins its wheels or it's like a little too much Julius Randall time or maybe a little undersized on the perimeter with some of their groups, but they give a shit. In a league where there's, like, a lot of unserious teams in the regular season, and you could see it in this one, that the Nuggets were not prepared for this level of physicality in a random January regular season game, even during rivalry week. Registered trademark. I don't know what the Nuggets Knicks rivalry is, but there must be one somewhere on the books.


Nuggets Knicks. Let me think. Yeah, no, I'm out of ideas. I don't know how that one nuggets at the end of a road trip, and it was like one of the, they were like in the pickup game where there was that one guy and the other team trying too hard and guarding everybody full court, and they're like, dude, I'm hungover. Can you leave me alone?


Well, that guy was OG Anobi, and I think he's going to be in Jamal Murray's nightmares for a really long time. He is such a big part of how the Knicks physicality can just rock you on your axis as a team. Yeah, and I've been thinking about this, too. With the way defense is officiated right now and just the way offense is exploding, the real defensive difference makers, they just feel immensely valuable, even far and away than they did before. Far and away more than they did before. And it might only be like three or four guys in terms of perimeter players who can actually do stuff like this. And I think OG is clearly one of them. He can neutralize a matchup. He can zero out a player as dangerous as Jamal Murray. And if you can get one of those guys or develop one of those guys, that is a transformational experience for your team. So that's why the Knicks were good and they were competent, but now they're really dangerous. They're a team that, if you're a contender and you see the Knicks as your first round opponent, they could ruin your season really easily, even if they themselves aren't necessarily a favorite or co favorite to win the, the didn't we.


Do on, were you on that?


Yeah, yeah. The emergency trade, the emergency pod.


It was me, you and barrier, right?




And we all liked the trade for the Knicks, and we all thought OG was the best part in the trade, and we all thought the theory of the trade we liked. Since we did that pod, I think the trade has turned out way better than I thought. And I think the thing that I don't think none of us gave enough credit to is like, you're kind of wasting that dude on like a 500 team or a team that doesn't have this kind of identity now. He just makes sense on this team. You think about him in the playoffs. I think one of the things that's scary about them is pick the team. You could probably throw OG at whoever the problem.


Like, could he, one to five, could.


He guard him bead in a series? Like, I think he actually could. Tatum Brown. Nobody guards Yanis, but he could at least try to know charges from him. Miami, you could throw him on anyone in that team. You're going down the line. So now that they have that, I want to know what the next trade is because they have to trade Fornier now. They're pretty close, and Fournier is making 18. They can get to basically 2022, 24 in a trade and get one more guy. But for me, it has to be a guy that fits into what they've created. It can't be like, oh, we have a mulligan here. We can acquire Zach Levine. We can get away with one guy who doesn't play defense. I don't think they want to be that way. I think they want to. From what I've seen, what Tibbs and Tibs seem super happy. The look on his face when he.


Sat down at the press conference, like it was like the serial killer at the end of the movie about to give his monolog in the interrogation room.


That's what, end of the Fincher miniseries. Yeah. This is the team he wants. So anyone else they trade for, I think, has to come in and have that same kind of intensity. Maybe it's Dejante Murray. I don't, don't. He's another one that I wonder, in the right kind of atmosphere, could he rekindle some of the defense we saw from him in San Antonio we've not seen in Atlanta, but they're clearly going to make a deal. I think the crowd really helps, too, for the type of team they have, and I think I'm going to go next week, next weekend because we're in New York for the rewatchables, the live show, and they're playing the Lakers on Saturday. I want to see know. I've seen that crowd in various stages of either just complete sadness, bitterness, or kind of like over hopefulness compared to what the actual product is, but they're just dying to have a team they like, and it seems like they like this team. Randall is the x factor.


Yeah, he can be a lot, but in games like this, he's flexing on Nikola Jokic, getting putbacks right when his game is properly aligned and relatively in balance, we know who he can be. When he's just hitting every jumper. That's great, but it's more about the replicability of how physical he can be, how dominant he can be, going to the basket in addition to that kind of yo yoing pull on a defense from being able to shoot. So if he can do a little of all those things, and Jalen Brunson has just been such an efficient driver of that. So, so good at getting into the lane, creating problems. And also another one of these guys who's just a really successful emerging three point shooter at pretty good volume this season. They're so dangerous. They're really hard to play, even apparently when they're down to their third string center. Jericho Sims is out there giving Nicole Yokich the best he's got, and that's good enough to win by nearly 40 points.


And some precious, precious is getting thrown out there here. Precious little silence of lambs action. Right now the Knicks are fourth. That would put them in a Cleveland Knicks series that I'm not sure I want it either. Yeah, I think we should shake the snow globe on that one. But it would be really fun if Philly had just bounced back a tiny bit and all of a sudden Cleveland kept ascending and then we could just get Knicks Philly in round one with just an absolute shitload of pressure. The Cleveland piece of this. So Cleveland is now 26 and 16. They did lose their last game, but they were second in defensive rating over that 15 game stretch. And it feels legitimate. It feels like they finally got Jared a month ago. We were wondering if Jared Allen, if like OKC could just get him, just be like, could Cleveland maybe make him available?


He should get some All Star buz as a reserve. I think Jared Allen's been really good, as important as anybody in this resurgence. I know Mitchell's numbers have been flashier, but Jared Allen's really critical to the way they function clearly on defense, but even as a hub on offense, too.


There's that old saying in sports, sometimes you're an injury away, and maybe the Mobley Allen together thing doesn't make a lot of sense. Not that. Oh, this leads touch trading Evan Mobley. It's just maybe just better for Jared Allen to just be the only big guy.


They definitely get some clarity every time they space out and start playing a little smaller and slightly better shooters, however much they can get on the floor. It's not an accident that this stuff happens, and I think we all understand, the Cavs included, that's the ultimate trajectory of the team. It's just, can Evan Mobley be the five? And if he can't, then you have to start answering some really hard questions.


The east feels like it's falling into place because the Celtics and Milwaukee are going to be one two. Unless there's some sort of crazy Celtics collapse. Philly's probably three, but who knows? Nick's Cleveland right underneath them. And then Indiana, probably six, but lingering a little. And then you go to the seven, 8910, where Miami. Every time you feel like, all right, here we go. The Celtics just crushed them today. Now the Celtics shot the light out, lights out. But Miami also looked like they didn't totally want to be there, that they didn't realize it was on TNT. It was a very strange performance. Roger was terrible in his first game, but you have Miami and Orlando and Chicago and Atlanta in that seven, 8910. And then really no threat underneath because Brooklyn's 17 and 27 going the wrong way and probably has to start selling for parts. It was pretty bad. They lost to the Knicks the other night at home. All the Knicks fans were there, and Bridges was like, just super bummed out after, like, it sucks to play a road game when you're tough. Well, that's what happens when you put a second team in New York, a city that only cares about the Knicks.


These are things that are going to happen. But you know what?


They almost stole this game tonight from the Timberwolves. And I think they did more about the Timberwolves in crunch time than it does about the nets. But credit to them, Nick Claxton in particular, I thought had a great game.


Yes. And that came down to bridges missing another misfit throw. Crunch time. Yeah, it's pretty rough. Minnesota is dying for us not to believe in them.


They're really trying sometimes, and yet they're.


32 and 13 and they're the one seed in the west. But I don't really fully believe in them in crunch time. And you could tell me that they're going to lose in round one and five, I wouldn't be shocked. So it feels like they're a trade waiting to happen. There's just a lot of teams that are trades waiting to happen. Wait, I got off the narrative on the east. Oh, yeah. Miami, 24 and 21. Have they just thrown away the regular season? This is who they are. We don't care. We'll be there in April, May and June, and that's what we do.


I wish I could believe that with this version of the team, but I think this Heat team is lesser than last season's team. And in particular, I don't think they are as heat culturally or as hard nosed as that team was. There's like a little something missing in terms of the edge of this group, and maybe that is just them saving their legs in the regular season, but Miami Heat, please score a basket. The way this offense struggles against set defenses is kind of infuriating for the talent that they have. Like the number of possessions that boil down to Tyler hero taking a quick, early, semi contested three. Even on the night he's hitting, I just find a little distressing for what this team could be doing. I know it's not the most talented offensive group, but they're more talented than this.


Well, they've had the worst point guard situation in the league until Rosier Haquez goes out recently, and you really feel the absence. That's the other thing.


This game didn't even count. Jaime Haquez didn't play right, doesn't count as a win for the Celtics, doesn't count as a loss for the Heat. We erase it from the record books.


Well, two things did count. One is that they threw a zone at the Celtics, which worked last year, and this year the Celtics like, hey, we have Drew Holiday and Christopher Zingis down, just ain't working anymore. So that was a disaster. The other thing was Porzingis went down and limped off. And this has been the eggshells of the entire Celtics season. It's just, you're just trying to get through every regular season game with Porzingis. These tall dudes, whether it's him or Wembenyama or even somebody like Chet, these tall, skinny guys that they're in the air and they're landing and you're just always worried they're going to land on a foot or land the wrong way. And it finally happened with him. It seemed really bad. And then he showed up back on the bench later and he was laughing but it's just going to be an absolute Ben Affleck and triple frontier type of situation. Getting him to April, let's get him in, let's throw him in the unmarked van with no windows and whatever it takes, we can get him to April 11. But with that said, you saw it tonight. I think he is an impossible matchup for Miami.


I just don't think they have a size for him.


I think that the Celtics Heat matchup, I think is fundamentally different with how talented the Celtics are.




When the Celtics play other jump shooting teams, there's really not a lot of chance for those other teams because, yeah, the Celtics get eb and flow, but if you have a similar shot profile to them and Miami doesn't get to the basket, they rely on a lot of mid range stuff, a lot of long range stuff. How are you supposed to keep up with this, with this level of talent and this kind of layered talent where the thing about Chris Dapps and why his injuries are so damaging, he's like the consequence for whatever your defensive scheme is. If you want to switch, he can post guys up from the free throw liner in. If you're showing really hard or trapping guys like Tatum and Brown or Derrick White and drew holiday, he's popping out, hitting tons of shots at a really high rate. Whatever you want to do, he is the hammer. And so if you take that out of Boston system, then maybe they're kind of beatable. Maybe they're kind of manageable for some of these other jump shooting teams. But Miami, I think they would have to dramatically change how they play to.


Beat the Celtics right now. Well, the rosier trade was a good start. It was certainly he's a lot better than Kyle Larry's quickly Clippers sons. Who are you more dubious of right now?


I'm always more dubious of the suns and I don't trust the def, like the numbers when those guys are on the court. Awesome. Amazing. Love it.


Love watching it.


I cannot trust all of them to stay healthy. And by all of them, I mean not only the three stars, but Yusuf Nurkich and Eric Gordon. And it's like a house of cards or a long string of dominoes in which if literally any piece falls out of place, any card falls out of place. It's so delicately arranged. I worry about the integrity of the whole thing, so I worry about them far and away more than the Clippers.


I've really enjoyed watching Beal on that team the last two weeks.


His fit's been really nice.


He's really playing hard for them. It's about as hard as we've seen him play in a just feel. He just feels like I'm going to be additive. I don't need the ball too much. I'm going to be fighting. I'm going to be trying to take charges and fighting for offensive rebounds and I'm unselfish. And he's put some real thought into it. Everything I've heard is that he's been a real leader behind the scenes. Know same, same thing with James Harden. Like everyone said, james Harden's been an awesome leader. He works with the big guys. He shows up first. It's just the NBA. It's like high school. Wait, I thought those two weren't it. Didn't they get into a fight junior year? No, they're friends now. It's a roller coaster ride. You can't keep up. James Harden, Tappy Bradley Beal is a leader. Kyrie, no drama at all.




Man, what a year. Maybe Ben Simmons can come back. You buying the Clippers? As I can actually see them in the finals, I can definitely see them.


In the conference finals. I would still have a hard time seeing them beat the Nuggets. I know that may seem crazy to some people after watching the Nuggets on a night like tonight where they did not have it, but I'm not worried about Denver in the playoffs. They're still my favorite in the west, I think by a pretty wide margin. As for the other teams, I would say OKC is probably my next up and then probably a Clippers versus Wolves conversation where. Yeah, it depends on whose kind of baggage you want in terms of the crunch time execution for teams like the Timberwolves in particular, ant waved off cat in crunch time of the game tonight and then airball the shot from the corner immediately. There's some stuff like that that they do that for. As much as I like the arc of who ant is and what he's doing as a decision maker concerned me.


But is that worth betting?


Is that worth downing versus what's happened historically with James Harden or what's happened historically with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George's bodies over the course of long playoff runs? I think I'd probably air Clippers in the third kind of power ranking spot in the west right now, with all due respect to the Wolves in the season that they've had, but we're getting into some pretty close territory or kind of splitting hairs I think, at that range, yeah.


If you told me Kawhi will be healthy all the way through June. I'd be like, okay, I'm taking that seriously. Then. To me, it's Clippers versus Nuggets. Yeah, I'm with you on the Timberwolves and even some of their defensive stuff, they were dominant the first, like 1516 games of the year that slid down a little bit. They're still top five, top six, but I wouldn't say they're dominant. And there's some knucklehead stuff with them. The stuff the other night was absolutely alarming. Last thing, where'd you stand on this doc thing in what did you feel like? This was the team that actually needed to change their coach when you watched them?


I feel like the team that needed him was the and the Bill Simmons podcast, and he abandoned us. Right. Like he just walked away in the middle of the season.


It's nothing sacred. And I just don't think Wes uncelled Jr. Is going to have the same impact on Tuesdays on the pod. I don't know if he has as many stories as Doc. Yeah, listen, what a great situation to walk into to coach. I've been thinking about it, obviously for two days and you could see how he got sucked into it. I did a little instagram walk and talk the other day and I was saying, like, yeah, he's a competitive dude. Nurse is killing it on the Sixers and beats playing great, so that makes him look bad. Harden's on the quippers. He's doing great. That doesn't make Doc look great. And he's competitive. And I was like, you know what? Last year, none of that was my fault. I'm going to show you. And all of a sudden he's coaching Milwaukee and they're paying him a lot.


He certainly greased the wheels for the Ringer employee to $40 million contract pipeline. So let's just get that on the record. It's feeling really good about that. No, the Bucks needed that change. They needed to shake up so, so badly. And I think what everyone holds against Doc are concerns that are far and away beyond where the Bucks have been. They just need to get professionalized defensively, and he's going to be able to do that. He's going to be able to cater an offense to serve what Damon Giannis do best. I'm not worried about that stuff at all, and that's going to make a huge difference, especially in the regular season. But even getting them through the first playoff rounds and then you hope the talent kind of carries you through from there.


Their wings can't guard the great wings on other teams, and Dame is a minus on defense. And I don't know if the greatest coach on the earth can fix some of that stuff, but he's a good motivator and we'll see how he does. Before we go, you've been recapping true detective. Yeah. On the prestige tv pod with the queen, Joanna Robinson. You've liked the season so far? Yes, definitely. So super duper weird.


We like weird.


Does this feel like a true detective season or is it just another show? Completely. But it's called true Detective. Whatever.


Sometimes it feels like another show. Sometimes it feels like a true detective show. Sometimes it feels like a show trying to be a true detective show. And I kind of appreciate all of those. There is certainly a reflective, meta textual. We're so far removed from season one, especially in the phenomenon that it was that playing with the ideas and referring to them, it's almost impossible to do that in a way that's not self conscious. So there's definitely a self consciousness to the show. But I think the framing of it and the conspiracy and the mystery of those worlds and of this season in particular lends itself pretty well to that kind of recursion. And those ideas, like seeing the spirals everywhere, is just kind of par for the course and I think feeds some interesting mystery. And we're theorizing like crazy over there. The yarn walls are going nuts. We're trying to piece this thing together as we go. But it's been. It's been an insane opening to the season so far.


Can you explain the first two episodes in one condensed sentence?


Seven scientists mysteriously disappear from their research base in Alaska, freeze to death naked with no explanation.


That's pretty good.


In a corpsical question mark.


And Jody Foster is a 60 year old Alaska sheriff who likes to have sex standing up, don't they? My second sentence, top 20 standing up sex scene in HBO history.


I wouldn't even know where to start.


It got a oh from my wife. Just not ready for it.


Smash cut to bureau sex scene. It was a lot.


HBO still keeping us on our toes in 2024. Who knew? Rob Mahoney. We can hear in the ringer NBA show reader on and here on the prestige tv podcast as well. Good to see you.


Thanks, Bill.


All right, taping this early afternoon Pacific time, Peter Schrager is here. You can watch him on good morning football. You could see him on Fox. You could see him, us kind of killing the games the last couple of weeks. I hope it keeps going. We're going to get to the games a little bit later. We've been on a nice little run. Let's talk coach, though. Coaching hires, coaching rumors, coaching things. How many jobs are left now?


We have three jobs as we record this, that are still open. That is Washington, Seattle and Atlanta. Atlanta just had another interview. I just got a text on. They have interviewed 14 different head coach candidates in this cycle. 14 different ones.


Belichick not getting a job when this many jobs were open would literally be unbelievable. And we also still have Vrabel P. Carroll and Belichick all on the table, all of whom seemed like they want to coach. And Atlanta just seems like they want, I don't want to say a puppet coach, but somebody who's just going to be like, I'm here to coach. That's it. You guys handle everything else. Washington, they seem to want to have a whole new infrastructure. And then Seattle, I guess, would just want a normal coach. So that might rule out Belichick completely.


It's interesting know Belichick is seven years older than Andy Reid and everyone is already saying, well, if Reed retires, maybe Belichick goes to Kansas City. I saw that report from maybe Mike Florio and Schefter were both talking about that. I have no indication that Andy Reid is going anywhere as long as Patrick Mahomes is there. So I would take that off the table at the moment. Unless something drastic happens that we're not expecting, then you're looking at three jobs. And to me, the Atlanta thing, if you weren't going to hire Belichick the first interview and you didn't hire him right after the second interview, the further we go from there, the less likely that is.


Bill could say, I just want to be a head coach.


He could say, I just want to be an executive if that's the case. But I think if you're hiring Belichick, you're hiring all that comes with Belichick. And that might not be what every team wants. They might want him just for those siloed jobs. And I'm not sure necessarily you could hire Belichick as strictly a head coach because at some point he's going to have to cede that control to a Terry Fontano or Rich McKay. Unless you say we're going to blow those guys out, too, and we're just going to go all in on Belichick at age 72.


And if you look at the last six to seven Pat's drafts, you'd be a little hesitant. It's weird because how do you tell a guy who's won more playoff games than anyone ever who's the best coach of all time, and then you're in a meeting with them, you're like, here are our thoughts. It's like, he probably doesn't want your thoughts.


I know. I think it was Seth Wickersham, who we both respect, obviously, and who's had a pulse on the Patriots stuff for years, who made the parallel to like, look, Tom Brady was a free agent a couple of years ago and basically two teams showed real interest. It was the Chargers and the Buccaneers. And in the end of the day, the Buccaneers made the most sense in hindsight. He took that team to a Super bowl his first year. Shouldn't every team have looked at the last 20 years and said, okay, we're better off with Tom Brady? And then last year, Lamar Jackson. Now, granted, you had to give it up picks and he was a restricted free agent. Teams were quick to the table to say, no, we're good. We don't want to deal with all that, and we're not going to go down that road. We're going to stick with our guy. And now I think a lot of those coaches are out of jobs right now who passed on Lamar Jackson or didn't entertain it. So are we doing the same thing with Belichick here? Are we making a mistake of saying, hey, I'd rather have Dave Canalis or I'd rather have Brian Callahan than Bill freaking Belichick?


Or is it, you know what?


I'd rather work with the 38 year old guy who comes in wide eyed and is willing to be collaborative and work with everyone at a different level than having to be entering a relationship where we know that he's going to have superiority over everybody in the building the second he walks in?


Well, Carolina at least finally figured out how it's supposed to go where you hire the GM and that guy brings in a coach that he's really comfortable with and now they're aligned and if the coach fails, the GM fails, too, and there's no finger point and no anything. That's how you're supposed to do it. So at least Tepper finally figured that piece out.


I think also the Carolina thing, a little bit in the weeds on the Carolina hire. They interviewed all the typical candidates. Also, they interviewed a bunch of GM candidates. They hired the in house guy, Dan Morgan. But from what I hear, Tepper was blown away by a couple of these GM candidates and has already discussed a possibility of okay, well, let's bring in one of the financial guys or one of the salary cap guys, and they met with Mike Greenberg from Tampa. They met with Brent Tillis from Kansas City, who does Kansas City's cap work with Bret Veach. And they met with a couple other guys who work on the financial side. Now the question is, can they poach one of those guys to come in also? So now you have Dan Morgan, who's your football guy, who also can do contracts and all that, but then you pair him with a really smart salary cap, strictly money based contract guy, have those two, and then you have this coach, and all of a sudden you've got. Now, all right, Tepper doesn't need to be meddling. He's got three different people that he trusts to handle the football all.


And it's like, you guys do your thing, and I swear I'm not going to meddle. I swear I'm going to step away. I was only meddling because I felt I had to. But now we've got this thing in intern, and you guys all could trust each other.


That's new owner syndrome, though. They come in and they think it works like every other business they did. I've been joking about this the entire time. I've had a column and a podcast. These guys come.


I remember the bad GM summit. I remember a long time.


Oh, my God. Yeah, they all have to do it. You go back and all of them, they can't resist. And then they gradually realize, like, oh, I need to delegate. Oh, maybe I don't know as much about football as I thought. Oh, maybe it's weird when five different people have five different agendas and they're all playing me against each other.


I did like Carolina came into it open minded, though, because they met with all the usual candidates. And the last guy in was Dave Canalis, who was Tampa's OC for one year and was in Seattle for years. And that's where Dan Morgan knew him. But I'm told he blew away the interviews. And this year in like, that's like an all, like all about positive affirmations and all this stuff that really worked in Tampa Bay and the post Brady thing. And in back to back years, he kind of resurrected Gino Smith and Baker Mayfield's career. And to Tepper's credit, they did a Zoom interview last Thursday. They liked him. They interviewed him this week after they lost Boston the NFC championship game. They liked him again. And you know what they said? Let's hire him. It wasn't like, well, he wasn't our first choice or, well, since October. We were looking at somebody else. They're like, no, this guy really interviewed well. We like what he did, and he's going to make the best out of Bryce Young. I respect that, too. To go into this thing open minded, let's not make the big name higher.


I got to say, as somebody who's hired a few people in my day, you kind of know within the first three to five minutes. I think it's funny when these people have like the five different interviews with the same person. I don't know what happens in the fifth interview. That would change kind of the general vibe you would have right away of like, am I clicking with this person? Does this seem like a person I'd want to spend time with? Does their brain seem to be working in the same way that everyone around here, you could usually tell and that's.


Why when you see like a two interviews, yeah, we kind of know what we're getting. Harbaugh was interesting, too, because he had the initial interview, went really well with the Chargers. Then they had another one, and then he actually canceled the Atlanta one because the Chargers one went so well. And then I heard we're doing this on Thursday, Wednesday night, they were at like a Morton steakhouse and Harbaugh was the life of the party and they had already announced it and they were fired up for the Harbaugh era.


And I'm like, you know what?


They're going to win. That's a smart hire. That's what they need in that market. And Harbaugh will turn it around. He always does. And Herbert will be good. And I appreciate that kind of hire, too, where it's like, hey, not for everybody. The Harbaugh thing comes know he usually has in the NFL and before Michigan comes in, lasts a few years, burns everyone out, and then he's on to the next. Well, the Chargers, like, we'll take the burnout. Does it mean we could be good for a couple of years? We'll take it.


We need it.


So I like that match, too.


I thought it was the perfect place for him. They don't matter at all here. They have no identity whatsoever. They're old fan base in San Diego. Most of those fans not only have not traveled with the team, but have kind of disowned the team here. They're like the black sheep of the LA scene. They're completely irrelevant. Even Justin Herbert, who is somewhere between the fifth and 8th best quarterback in the league. I don't even think he has face recognition for the Jumbotron and a Clipper game. Every home game they have, it's all fans of the other team. But now he's going to come in and it's going to feel like it's a little better. I was here when Pete Carroll, when he got USC going in the, felt the same way. There was a rejuvenation, but he was the face of it and the players could kind of come in and out, but he was always the one. And now you have somebody you could have on Jimmy Kimmel's talk show and it's like, hey, it's a Chargers coach, Jim Harbaugh. Now they're showing him on the jumbotron. He's sitting courtside, he's next to Ballmer.


It's like, oh, Harbaugh. And they just have no energy like that in the city. It's a city of stars. LA responds to stars and the core.


Of their arrangement, they're tenants in what the Rams Stadium is. So it's like you're almost renters. And now they have a brand new, beautiful facility that's opening up, I believe, next year and it's a different area.


You know, about that deal.


Tell me, what do you got? Is there more than I need to know or what?


No, about their deal with the arena. I didn't fully realize they're basically tenants. The Rams needed a tenant for the other eight games because that was part of the deal. So what I was told was they pay like so little on rent stuff. Somebody told me they paid a dollar a year, which seems insane, but they really have no expenses. They don't have to pay for anything. And what I was told was they have this influx of cash because they didn't spend for a new stadium, they don't have to pay for the upkeep. They're just kind of there so they could put it in the practice facility in Harbaugh. Justin Herbert, I do know that when.


That whole deal went down and it was the Raiders and Chargers sharing a stadium, or it was the Rams getting a stadium, that was how it all shook out and it was the Rams first and the Chargers second as the sofa people, and it kind of felt that way the first few years. This will be different. I think Harbaugh goes right up with McVeigh as far as name recognition. I think that Harbaugh brings the real.


Juice to little rivalry, by the way, with those two guys. You get another thing out of that. You get a little Herbert versus the Rams.


Totally. And I think with Harbaugh I'm curious to see the staff. So the three things that everyone tells me is like, you're going to win right away. You will. Two, you're going to be tough. You're not, you're going to be disciplined. And three, he hires great staff. Now this might be a bunch of names. I feel like retreads. Like it might be David Shaw and Pep Hamilton. And you might get Greg Roman and you might say, oh, well, those guys. He also has these young coaches and that's what he always had at Michigan and always had at the Niners. He found talent at the coaching level. They are going to be loaded on the coaching staff and I'm curious to see who they hire a GM. They're going to be interviewing Joe Hortiz today. Joe Hortiz is like number two in Baltimore. And they also interviewed a guy named Brandon Brown who's with the say.


What did they say about that? Does he have final personality?


I'm sure he will have a very large voice. Yeah.


One of the reasons I love this for him is because you actually have the chance to build and rebuild. Know, because the Chargers, they have the worst salary cap. Yep. I think it's in the top three for next year. In the, for Belichick to go know, I just don't think he would have been able to turn that around in a year. Harbaugh can take three years. He has the QB, he was a former QB. He knows how important that piece, you know, he gets a rap for. Oh, he burns his bridges fast. He's at Michigan for a while.


Nine years. Yeah, nine years.


That's not nothing.


They were five and seven the year before he got there. Brady Hoke, they were bad and he came in and turned them around. They won ten games the next year. They beat their first two opponents who were ranked by like 30 points and they win the title. They beat Alabama and Washington this year. Bill, but you did mention the jumbotron at Clippers games as like a barometer. Give me what level of celebrity we're talking about at a Clippers game as opposed to a Lakers game. Is it the same?


Yeah, no, it's just like if you're showing somebody, does the crowd, do people like my wife actually, she would have know who Jim Harbaugh was. But would there be some recognition like on the Dodgers? Otani, right. He's at a Clipper game. People are like, holy shit, Otani's here standing out. Mookie Betts, he can kind of slide in and out like he was at the Lakers Christmas game, he's five nine. He can just put a hat on. You barely know he's there. He's on the jumbotron. You're like, is that Mookie Betts? Harbaugh will be there like with his arms, back, wearing some leather jacket, all smile. Yeah. Just know he's like a celebrity. And I think for him, especially if you're in Michigan, you're in a fishbowl there because you're in a college campus. And Ann Arbor, now you come here, you're just another celebrity. There's a freaking million of them. He'll buy some nice house, he'll have an Orange county, and he's got the QB. So to me, great move. And I'll be interested to see if Belichick ever really strongly considered it. But the thing with Belichick, he loses out on the Eagles because it seems like back, the Cowboys bring McCarthy back.


None of the cards worked out his way.


Buffalo did not fire, so, which I.


Mentioned last week, I didn't see that happening. And now you, kid. But he might be just in wanting to coach and not being able to. Does he go and coach a high school? Like, and just be like, screw it? Does he go and work with a college team? Does he do it?


Or is he literally going into the.


Media and I'll just stay relevant and I'll do it for you? Because, Bill, if Doc Rivers is going to leave your podcast network, I sure.


As hell too soon.


The first one, hashtag too soon.


First of all, I'd love to have Belichick. Second of all, him not coaching next year is going to be a massive win for us as football fans because he will strategically pick one, two or three things and he'll boost his and then he'll have the number one choice of any job next year. Right?


Who are his guys in the media? Like, is it him and going to, who would it be? Or is he going to go national?


He's close with Lombardi, but I don't know how that would play out. My guess would be he would start his own sort of podcast somewhere. Or maybe he just does.




Where he's on, like, does he join like ESPN Monday night countdown and he's just there on Monday nights. They just fly him in private and he's with like Moss and whoever, don't I? I do think people will really like him after this season if he doesn't coach. People are like, wow, Belichick had no idea. He seemed like such a dick.


The little wrinkles. Obviously, when he puts Nike the dog on during the draft is like a little wink to the crowd. But that NFL 100 thing that he did with Collinsworth, it's amazing.


When Brady flew, it's so good. He was better than Collinsworth.


It's maybe the best thing that NFL films has done. And Brady runs and Belichick runs. Point on it is excellent.


Well, I wonder, like, like, we'll see what happens with Romo and the. Andrew Marshan and the New York Post just wrote a piece today. Like, basically, like, are these guys ever going to have a resurgence, or is this just where we are for the.


Rest of our two monster games?


Well, the spotlight's on them. And I wonder at some point the CBS go, shit, and Belichick's available for a year. Maybe we'll just bring him into the booth.


I might be different. I don't know. You tell me. And I don't usually dip into these words. I still think Romo is really good and exciting, and I enjoy Romo on these calls. I know there's been a lot of criticism of late, but I thought he was pretty good against in Buffalo, Kansas City. He had a real, like, I don't know, you feel like you're watching it with a guy at the bar, and he also brings some energy and juice to it. The other guys are great, too, whether you talk about Olsen or Collinsworth or Acman, of course. But I don't think Romo's so terrible, and I know that people on Twitter are just crushing them.


So I watched. This tells you where I am as a Patriots fan these days. I watched the fourth quarter in OT of the Pats Chiefs game, the d four game. Yeah. Romo's out of his mind in that game.


It's insane. He's calling every play.


It honestly seems like he came from the future and he's just spelling shit out. He's spelling the momentum, and it's like, this is why we were so excited about this guy because it almost makes me. You don't think there's any chance the NFL said to him, you can't predict stuff ahead of time because other teams can hear the signal calls and they can listen to the audio of the broadcast and hear the signals, different things.


I think it was such a revelation on television, and when he gets on that telestrator and he's doing it all, I don't think it's a competitive advantage to other teams. I think it was just he had recently retired, so he was still in.


So every year you're out this is one of the things with color guys just in general. One of the reasons doc was so great on this podcast was he had just coached, he just coached all these literally everybody for 20 years. So he had this wealth of knowledge from day after day after day being in these warworms trying to figure out how to beat guys, what their weaknesses were, what this team wasn't doing, what this guy wasn't doing. And I think the longer you get out of the league and in any sport that becomes tougher, we've seen that with every announcer. Collinsworth is somebody that I think fought it off. I mean he hasn't played for 30 plus years, but he's honest because his.


Career ended in the think it was.


Inside the NFL, late eighty s and he was amazing on inside the NFL. And those were really the days. That's when so good the Lenny Dawson.


Nick Bonicotti years and then you go from there to when he was with Marino.


Well, the 2000s was when we had that and we had inside edge with Ron Jaworsky, whatever that show is.


NFL edge with Ron matchup.


Yeah, NFL matchup. And those were the two they were must watch shows every week because we.


Did NFL matchup content would air at like 07:30 a.m. On Sunday morning, filmed in Mount tape it and yes, you would have to tape it on a tape before obviously DVR.


And I would do that.


I would watch it and he would break down film. I didn't know what the hell I was watching. I loved it. It was great. Real quick though, on all these guys, it's almost as if the regular season doesn't matter anymore. But so many people are watching in the playoffs, like you have to be great in these playoff games, not only as players but on the broadcast because we don't even know how these guys are doing. Because sometimes you're not watching every game as far as, oh, because you got red zone or whatever else, but all eyes are watching you. So you get nitpicked really hard. And that's maybe why they make the money they do because there is such scrutiny behind it.


Well, it doesn't help that Greg Olson was lights out this year and I don't know what happens to him next year. He's so good because it seems like Brady is going to do the number one job. So it's like, okay, this is where you need like a sports know. It's not just about like I'm going to fix boxing, I'm going to fix college football. The sports are needs to be the common sense vp who comes in and says, look, Greg Olsen can't be on the number two team. We're not doing that. Let's figure this out. Like, hey, Herb street, thanks for everything, but you're going to go back to college. We're going to get Iron Eagle and Greg Olsen as our number one Amazon team. And let's just have the best people on each team. Olsen being relegated to number two or number three, that would suck because I learned a lot of shit from that dude this year.


And he's so good in the moment. He said something on Saturday night's game where they were running Aaron Jones outside, outside. And he's like, here's the deal with San Francisco's defensive ends. They are great pass rushers. They are great, but this is not what they do best. I'm like, man, that's good because I see all these superstars on San Francisco's d line and it's like, why are they running all over them? Well, this is exactly where their weakness is. And I'm like, Greg is good in the also, I think he's a great team guy, too. So I'm curious to see what happens. But I'm a fox employee so I support whatever decision they make.


Well, I do wonder, does it just land on its Brady with Greg Olsen and Burkhart? And maybe they just say, hey, it's superpower. Let's go. Three man team can be a little iffy.


I think Brady's going to be really good, too, though. I watched these little clips they now put on for years. He had this podcast where he and Larry Fitzgerald would talk with Jim Gray and I didn't get anything out of it. And then in the last couple months he has had like a few videos. He did a video on Mahomes this week that I thought was so good. And then he was telling stories with Edelman and Gronk about Belichick on the pot and I'm like, all right, I'm ready for the Brady in the booth. I think he could be really good if he's dedicated to this, and I.


Think he is, that'd be great. Let's take a break and we'll talk about the games. All right. So shregs, we've been doing well. And coming out of when they put the Sunday lines up and my instincts were Lions are a little overvalued. Niners are a little undervalued coming off those two games. So leaning toward the Niners, Casey plus three and a half, sign me up. Not going against Mahomes, let's do this. They figured it out. This is the 2018 Pats all over again. They're just going to duct tape and thumbtack, nail and scotch tape this thing and they're going to be in the Super bowl again. This is what the NFL wants. They want Taylor Swift there. They're going to make it happen. If there was ever like, oh, there's five controversial calls in this game, and somehow all five went against Baltimore, this is the game. But I kept staring at it. I kept looking at 19 million different things. I read everything I could. And the more I stare at it, the Chiefs look like a sucker bet right now. They're plus three and a half. They're in Baltimore. And part of me wonders if this wasn't just, if it was somebody with the credentials of Mahomes but not named Patrick Mahomes.


Right. This line should be like Ravens by six and a half, ravens by seven, and Mahomes just by himself by the sheer fear of going against Patrick Mahomes has moved the line three to three and a half points. So I'm going to start there. Your thoughts?


The silhouette of him wadling into the stadium and doing that, Mahomes on his tippy toe walk is enough to move the line three points. I hear you.


I have done the same.


I have done 15 hours of live television talking about this one game this.


Week and every which way, upside and down.


It's coming up Ravens. For me, every single way I look at their defense, it's number one in everything. I look at the way the offense adjusted at halftime against Houston and how everyone's fears and anxieties were completely put to rest because they were able to adjust. And Lamar used his arm and his legs to get it done. And I look at the crowd, this is one of those deals where your listeners will roll their eyes at me and say, oh, here we go. Schreger's stupid narrative. That doesn't really matter in football, but it does. That place was bananas on Saturday. We're talking false start penalties, we're talking delay a game penalties. And that place, when it is rocking, is as good as any home field advantage in the league. Arrowhead included, Detroit included. And on Saturday, you saw it was like an avalanche. Once they were able to get that thing going in the second half, it rolls. I got a press release from the Ravens pr guy, Chad Steele. He sent me this. I'm going to just read this to you quickly. Ravens legends of the game on Sunday are Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, the team will also recognize Ravens wide receiver Antwon Bolden, tight end Tod heap, tight end Dennis Pitta, kicker Matt Stover and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs during the game.


And honorary captain Jonathan Ogden, an eleven time Pro Bowler and Ravens first ever draft choice, will be there to serve as the Ravens honorary captain. In 2013, the Super bowl champion became the first original raven to be inducted into the Pro Football hall of Fame. Look, I know these Baltimore fans, this place is going to be nuts on Sunday and I just think it's hard for me to ignore it and just say, oh, well, because of Mahomes. So I am torn because, Bill, as we have discussed, we can go into the X's and O's and what Mike McDonald's team does and what they do on defense and how great their stories are. I'm closing my eyes. I'm trying to think of a situation outside of mahomes and Kelsey. Just being Mahomes and Kelsey, it's really.


Hard to pick the Chiefs here. I'll go further. If Mahomes wins this game, he has to go in the manifesto as you're never allowed to bet against Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs. That's just it. He just goes in. He becomes one of the rules going forward. Every single thing is against them. Even like, all right, let's go through their best wins for the entire year. They beat the Jags by eight. They beat Minnesota by seven. They beat Miami in the regular season by seven in a game that Miami fumbled as they were going in for the tying in Germany. In Germany, they beat Cincinnati near the end of the season by eight. And we were like, browning Cincy might be back or Casey might be back. They look good, 25 to 17. They beat Miami in cold weather and Miami's defense is decimated beyond decimated. Right? So we're going to the playoffs. That line stays like around three, even though we all know Miami's defense is decimated and two is going to suck in the cold. And people are taking the Dolphins plus three Dolphins money line. So they win that one convincingly. And then last week against Buffalo, which we had them, they win by three in Buffalo in a game.


Know it was an either or game as going back and forth, but Buffalo's defense was pretty decimated. And I don't know what happened. What happened was to Stefan Diggs this year, no Gabe Davis, and they barely squeezed that out. And I guess my point is the body evidence just isn't there that this is a good team. It's a team that's pulled out wins. And it's a team that if it's close, you can't let them hang around and they'll get you in the end. But baltimore, what do they have? 1011 wins against playoff teams. That's like one of the best records ever.


Eleven wins against teams that had winning records this year, which was a record.




And how they beat teams, bill, I mean, we're talking. Detroit came in there as like the hot team. They blew them out. Seattle was the hot team. They blew them out. Miami was for the first seed in the AFC, blew them out. Go to San Francisco, blow them out. And then last week, Houston in the second half, what they did to Houston was demoralizing. They just absolutely rolled them when they had to and it clicked. Last week I felt really good about the Chiefs. I like the fact that the Chiefs had an extra two days of rest. Buffalo played on a Monday, then had to play on a Sunday. The Chiefs played on a Saturday night, had to play on a Sunday night. This week, the Ravens have the extra day of rest. The Ravens come in just about completely healthy. Chiefs Joe Tooney, we're not sure what his status is.


I think he's out.


It sounds like it. At first it sounded like he's going to play through it. He's tough. You know what he is. But when you don't practice for a couple of days, that makes me a little nervous.


Well, he's either out or he's compromised.


Totally, and he might be there.


And from a run game standpoint, of course, even 60% Joe, I don't know. But Pacheco. So if you're making the case for them, a couple of positives. One is that their offense since they had that terrible Vegas loss, so they have Cincinnati. Now, Cincinnati has a bad defense, but they're 7.0 yards per play. Pacheco is 18 for 130. They finally get Pacheco going 373 total yards. Miami in the cold, they're 409 yards, 22 1st downs. Pacheco is 24 for 97. Last week against Buffalo, 7.7 yards a play. Pacheco is 15 for 97. So there's an arrow pointing up for him that they can run the ball. And they also, in those three games they had three different guys, had 20 plus catch plays. So they're explosive plays. Even though they don't seem explosive, they're actually making those plays, which is what killed them all year. Where I get nervous is like Valdez Gantley made that catch, two catches, last 30 yard catches, two hard ones, right? Rice made a really hard catch in traffic. They've been dropping those balls all year. What happens the first time you drop one of those in Baltimore? Totally crowds going nuts.


It's going to be a little rainy, potentially. So that worries me. And then the other thing that's positive for them, they really have shut down explosive pass plays. So going back. Like, New England didn't even have a pass over ten yards against them. Cincinnati only had 220 plusers. Vegas only had one. Miami in the playoffs, Tyreek for 53. That's it. Nobody had more than 20. Buffalo last week, 15 yards was their max. Long pass. So if it could be like this, Baltimore just never gets anything deep. Never anything. No, like 38 yarder. And they just have to grind, grind, grind. And it's a weird, ugly, disjointed 20, 117 game. Yeah. Then you have Mahomes in the fourth quarter number. Yeah.


If Mahomes is within three points in the fourth quarter, all bets are off. This is, does Baltimore come and enroll them? Because they just have this crazy crowd, all the momentum, and they score in their first two possessions and it's like, we have the most suffocating defense in the league. I truly think they had the big play. Tyreek had the big play against the Chiefs and it was ten seven.


And it was like, all right, what.


Are we going to do here? And then they just shut down Miami.


And then last week, Allen has that.


Miraculous pass on third down to Shakir. At the end of the third quarter, they take the lead. And then Kansas City just said, let's stop it. Let's just shut them down.


And they shut down the run.


They shut it down.


So it's like, here's how this will go.


Baltimore wins, I think, by 21 or Kansas City wins by a field goal because he kept Mahomes around and did something miraculous.


Yeah, I'm looking at that Baltimore first half, Baltimore game. Like, if Baltimore doesn't win this game.


It'S Mahomes. It's not even anything against. They're young enough.


No, it's really bad for Lamar if he can't win.


Really. I think he slayed some dragons last week, playing the way he did.


He beat the Houston Texans, who were plus 580 to make the playoffs. He needs to win this game. And I think the line reflects that. The public doesn't totally trust him in a big game, and they may trust Mahomes too much. So you saw this. This would happen with Brady and the Pats occasionally where they got so much credit for being Brady and the Pats. Sometimes people were kind of, eh, this isn't the same kind of team. Their body of work with the Chiefs just hasn't been good compared to Baltimore, which has been incredible. I also like the body of work.


Bill, isn't just this year. To me, the body of work is.


The last six years, the playoff season, sure.


But all that to me is secondary to the experience and the know how of that. We've been in these spots haven't, you know, and I think that's where you're picking the Kansas City Chiefs. If you're a Chiefs fan, you're like, all right, well, we've been there, we've been on the road. We did it last week. We've been in big spots, we've been in Super Bowls. And like Mahomes, I loved his comment last week after the game, they were like, what it feel like to win your first road playoff game? And he finally said, he's like, look, we played on the road in the Super bowl in Tampa against the Tampa Buccaneers. That was a road game. We played in Super bowl last year in Arizona. That's on the road. We played in like, that was a nonsense narrative. This one might be a little different. I know Buffalo's fans were great and they were loud and Kelsey was jumping around shirtless.


The team just wasn't good enough.


I just don't think they were good enough.


The Ravens are way better than Buffalo is. They're way better. Agree. And the other thing, they're number one on offense. They're the number one rushing team. Chiefs are 17th against the rush. Buffalo felt like for three quarters they were running so committed to it.


They were trying.


I'm not sure what happened at the end.


Put the numbers up. They did. They were running the ball well.


Kelsey gave the Chiefs, I would say, a good 2 hours last Sunday. I don't think he has three and a half hours in him anymore. And I think this is a three and a half hour Kelsey game if you're going to beat Baltimore. It's true.


He made the two touchdown passes and the catches. And the one that was cool is that I think Peter King had it in his Monday column is that it was a play that Andy Reid used in 2011. He brought it out like the one where they scored on the goal line. But I noticed in a lot of big plays, Kelsey was not in. He runs to the sideline. He wasn't in a lot of these.


He seemed tired a couple of times. Totally. There was one time where he called himself to be taken out after they.


Missed him in the end zone. He ran right off and it was like a big third down. I was like, that's not usual, but this is it. Hey, look, here's the truth of the matter for me. Everything tells me Ravens, and if you want to get personal with it, my son loves Lamar. My wife's from Baltimore. I'm going to go to the game. I'll be there. All this stuff, it feels like this has to be Ravens. But before the season, Bill, I picked the Chiefs to win it all. And my mantra on good morning football and on your podcast was I cannot pick against Patrick Mahomes and Travis, Kelsey and Andy Reid until they give me a reason to pick against them. And us saying, well, the other team has got a best defense and on paper, this and Antquon Bolden's going to be in the house just doesn't feel convincing enough.


So I don't care if it's by.


One point or two points, I have to go by my original conviction. I still am picking the Chiefs even though every ounce of my body is.


Telling me Ravens first half game for the Ravens, where they win both, is even money on Fandel. And I find it hard to believe the Ravens are going to lose the first half and then win the game. The Chiefs are winning at halftime. It's like, oh, my God, the Chiefs are going to win this. I guess my question with the Chiefs is they're not going to win every year. Like, even Brady and the Pats didn't do that. And if they're not going to win on a certain year, like just even getting to the AFC title games, amazing. There's going to be years where you kind of don't totally have it and maybe this is just that we didn't totally have it and maybe the Miami and Buffalo wins kind of threw people off the scent a tiny bit versus Baltimore, who has been telling us now for three months who they are, how good they are. They've taken down every single opponent you could throw at them and convincingly, and they're awesome at home. They lose this. This is a bad loss, man.


I know. For Baltimore did last week's win over can. Okay, sometimes you feel it. Like last week's win over Buffalo, did that.


Feel like, all right, they did that.


Great season. You can go to bed if you're a Chiefs fan. We did it. We beat Josh Allen again.


They were thinking Super Bowls, but I think their offense didn't do anything in the fourth quarter. They got really lucky that Allen, right as he's about to hit Gabe Davis in the end zone. Chris Jones shoves whoever that lineman is and just knocks him off, like, by a split second. And Allen was bad on those last two drives. He just was.


He went for the money shot.


He went, he hero ball.


He did he hero ball twice.


Playoff manifesto rules here.


What do we got?


Beware of the looked a little too good the previous playoff round team, which is definitely Baltimore, but they've looked a little too good previous week for three months. Make sure the team of the home field advantage actually has a home field advantage.


I think it'll be a madhouse on Sunday.




They haven't had a home AFC championship game since 1971 in War Memorial Stadium. I love that.


Two possible new rules. One is, come on, seriously. What does the NFL really want to happen here? Do they want Baltimore in here? Do they want Casey, the referee who got assigned to this game, favorable to the world team? Like, there's been some good stats and numbers about that this week.


Warren, you think the Taylor Swift thing is way more of a win than Lamar, a new star and Lamar Jackson? Okay.


Taylor Swift in the Super bowl is the win. So I'm just saying that's a possible new manifesto rule. If the Chiefs win, and there's, like, five weird calls.


Second question for you. Let me just keep on buzing you with this, because you know this stuff more than anyone, entertainment wise. She is supposed to be in Tokyo for a world tour. Would she cancel a date in Tokyo.


To be at the Super bowl? Yes. Okay. Keep going. Yeah. The other new role goes. Zags against that one I just gave you. Just never bet against Patrick Mahomes in a playoff game. It's just he's now off the table. You can't pick against him. And that would be the new manifesto rule if he wins this game, just like, he's out. We had the rule for Brady. It's like, don't fucking bet against Brady. Just don't. Don't bet against Brady Belcher.


Or it's like, you don't even have to bet. Just enjoy the don't.


Just don't bet. Just scale back. Put him in a tease. Do whatever. So those new rules are at stake. Niners, Lions. I mean, I'll just go through the manifesto rules now because they're not good for the Lions, but where have the everybody believes in us team and the nobody believes in our QB but us team? That a real thing. That was rule number five. So we have the Lions that everyone's all in on. I mean, everybody. Yeah. And then we have the Brock Purdy situation where he looks bad in the rain and Brock Purdy sucks. Amount on Brock Purdy and the Niners now defending Brock Purdy this week, which.


I know did you watch from yesterday? Like Brandon Iuke's coming out there talking about Purdy as if know Tom Brady and Peyton Manning all in one.


Yeah, so you got that. Never pick an underdog unless you genuinely believe that it has a chance to win. The Lions defense winning the NFC title game on the road with what we've seen from the Lions defense is suspicious. I will just leave it there. Big ask. Beware of rule number seven. Beware of all dome teams playing outdoors, especially in cold weather. It's not going to be that cold. But still, rule number ten, when in doubt, gravitate toward one pick that would screw over the most gamblers and experts and would definitely go against the single worst gambler. You know, that I think is a Niners Ravens tease at -110 so that's maybe in the lion's favor. Possible new rule. You can't dismiss the nerd evidence when it's absolutely overwhelming. You just can't. I'm just going to read you these stats. San Francisco's offense versus Detroit's defense this year. San Francisco offense first yards per play, Detroit D 23rd San Francisco's offense 2nd 1st downs Detroit 22nd San Francisco's offense first red zone, Detroit 29th San Francisco first yards per play, Detroit 23rd San Francisco fourth pass, Detroit 27th and then we had Warren sharp was talking about how Goff targets the middle of the field more than any qB.


53% target rate. You're not going to believe this, but San Francisco's defense, number one, fucking awesome. At the middle of the field, you know, and Warner, Fred Warner on their team. So you have that. And then Nate Tice, who wrote a good piece this week, he was saying.


I like that guy. This is the first year I started reading his stuff. What's he.


Yeah, he's good. I think he's yahoo. He said no defense since week nine. No defense since week nine has allowed more explosive passes when defending play action than the Lions. Well, who's the best play action offense in the league? The San Francisco 49 ers, 9.3 yards per play. So that's all bad for the Lions. Make sure the team in the home field advantage actually has a home field advantage. Another role, Niners. It's okay. I don't love the stadium.


Here's the thing, though.


Their fans are great. Like, they travel as good as any weird stadium.


I went there for wrestlemania. It's just kind of big, and it's in.


Santa Claus keeps opening up. It's not candlestick where you'd walk through a parking lot and you have to look six ways because people are shouting things at you. It's different. It's a nicer crowd, obviously. It's a kinder, gentler crowd. I would say that. But that fan base, they show up and they come out with that boombox. They've had a lot, and they've had.


Some big home wins. Yeah. And then the last one is just take one last look at the quarterbacks. Basically, everything's pushing me to the Niners. And I think if you do it, you have to assume that they're going to just do the shanahan, where they just take control early and they just dominate the game. The flip side would be they go three and out to start the game. The Lions start running the ball, Gibbs gets going.


Or the flip side is you're in a shootout and the Lions offense can score, and all of a sudden you're asking Purdy to throw for 354 touchdowns. And that's not his game.


It's not. But I have a couple more things for you. Detroit's defense. Tampa, went 6.8 yards per play, Evans, eight for 140. Rams, 7.7 yards per play. Puka, nine for 181. Dallas, 6.2 yards per play, lamb, 13 for 227. Green Bay against them, 7.0 yards per play. Watson, five for 94 at two touchdowns and then roped everyone in there, spending $50 on him, on fantasy, and then sucked. Chargers, 6.2 yards of play, 38 points. Allen, eleven catches, 175 yards. This thing cannot stop monster receivers. Yeah. So this feels like, you could say it feels like an game. Yeah. Feels like a Warner game. It feels like a McCaffrey game because the way they can run and just a lot of their Niners are lined up on this.


The big elephant in the room is obviously the playoff experience of the Niners versus the Lions. But the biggest x factor is Debo Samuel's health. I thought Purdy was unbelievable that final drive, and the guys he was throwing to Jawan Jennings, and then, of course, hitting number 84, Chris Conley, who I admittedly did not know was on the team, in a huge shot on the sidelines. Purdy led them the whole way down. And then, of course, McCaffrey scores. I think that was major.


But if Debo is good and use.


Check is out there and McCaffrey's lining up all over the like, I don't know if there's a more dangerous offense in a playoff game because you don't know who to defend. And they just get in their rhythm and they go. But Debo, right now, they're saying he's not out. They're saying that he's not practicing. But to me that tells me if you're going into Friday means he's probably.


Going to play and he's probably going.


To leave it out there. And if you get even a little bit of the debo, you have to worry about him and prepare.


Can I give you a hot take on Debo? Yeah. He reminds me of Porzingis on the Celtics.


Talk about it. I love this. Let's hear. I was going to think he was more of a Ruben Patterson, but go on.


No. Porzingis is the superpower for the Celtics. He makes them really special in the right series because he brings the size and three point shooting. They can put him in pick and roll, but they can also, if he was gone for a week, they could figure out how to be okay without him. Right? And in this game, I think Ayuk is the key guy because all the receivers who have torched the Lions over the past two months are all these down the field threats that just get open. That over and over again are dusting, you know, if you're going to compare it to the Rams game. Right. Puka went nuts. Cup didn't do lot. Cups, more of the underneath. They used him a little bit like Debo, and he couldn't get going. That might say more about cup, but it just feels like Ayuk is more important. Ayuk and Kittle are more important for them in this game than Debo. So anything Debo gives them, I think is a bonus. I don't think they need him to win the game, though.


I think last week, Joanne Jennings having five catches on six targets, including pretty good big third downs. Those were huge plays.


I will add this.


Jennings been doing it for a couple.


Of years, by the way, Joanne. Yes.


You see him, number 15, you're like, who's 15? Oh, it's that guy. Okay?


The guy who cut the 28 yarder last week for a touchdown.


They call him third in Juan. Like he's that guy.


And he's the locker room guy, too.


The pump up guy. And you saw what he did on the sidelines where he threw the guy into the Gatorade tank. That's apparently how he is always. But Debo is their shit talker and Debo is their tone setter. So Debo and Chauncey Gardner Johnson have been yapping all season long about each other, and I kind of like having Debo on the field just for.




What he brings out there. It's this alpha stuff that Debo brings out there, and it's like, we got Trent Williams. He's going to pound you. We've got McCaffrey, we got you. Check and kittle. You know they're going to kick your ass. And, oh, yeah, we got me, too. And I could lower the shoulder. So I like having Debo out there a lot more than not having him. I think it's actually a really big deal.


My other fear for the Lions, Joan Jackson, their left guard, who everybody says is really good. I'm not about to pretend to know a lot about the guard in the NFL, but everybody's like, that guy's really awesome. And then Ragnar, the center, who got hurt twice last week, this, to me, feels like the Lions at home. I still feel like the Rams could have and probably should have won that game. And then Tampa, that game was way too close last week, but the Lions pulled both of them out. But they're at home. They have a massive home field advantage because it's so loud in there now. That's away. Now, that defense, which wasn't even good with a lot of noise and a massive home field advantage, now you're going to San Francisco against a team that we're all saying the whole year was the most talented offense in the league, debo or no Debo. The only thing that makes me feel okay about them, if you're going to make the case for the Lions, other than too many points, I'll take the points. I'll take my chances. They're really physical, and they're, like, a little bit cheap, too.


They hold a lot.


There's a lot of things that aren't called.


Yeah, they'll hit guys low. They took out Higby in the round one game.


I wouldn't say they're dirty. I would say they're very physical and that they get away right on the.


Line of, yeah, just like, ooh, I don't know about that play. And I think with the Niners, I want to see somebody just smash mount their offense. McCaffrey, guy who's gone down a lot. Debo, he's already hurt. Kiddle has been hurt a bunch. Purdy, who knows? Are they going to go into this game and just be like, we're going fucking 1978 Raiders on these guys. 1977 Raiders. We are going after everybody. Yeah, we're hitting people over the middle Tatum who's that guy? Branch, number 32. Yeah, he hits a couple of guys a little late.


The old branch from the Raiders. Okay.




Brian branch from Clemson, 32.


Yes. So that would be my one thing that worries me is that Campbell gets them so aggro, and it's just like, we're beating the shit out of these guys, too.


Fired up.


I feel the same way about the Lions, like I did the packers last week. They feel like they're a year away now. I know they're a lot older, and you got Decker and you've got rag. Now. These are veterans, and these guys have been there. And Chelsea Gardner Johnson's a veteran. All these guys are veterans. And golf, of course, has been in big games. But I just feel like this is San Francisco's year and next year might be Detroit's year. Getting to the NFC championship game is a major accomplishment. And their home crowd stuff was awesome. And winning the NFC north and all these first time since, stuff is great. I feel like San Francisco, this is their year. They've been primed for it, and they've been the best team all season in the NFC. And why would they all of a sudden drop the ball here against a Lions team that is coming on the road into unfriendly territory?


Yeah, maybe it's their 2018 Chiefs moment where they almost get there, but it lays the foundation. Or like, the 2012 Seahawks was like, oh, man, we almost beat the Falcons, but here we go now. We laid all the groundwork. If you're thinking narratives just in general, like we're heading in the Super bowl, narratives that make sense to me are San Francisco being in the game, and we just get to talk about Purdy for two weeks because that's been one of the dominant works. And then you go on the other side, like Lamar, anyone could have had him. Anyone could have made an offer. Nobody did. Now he's.


Anyone can. Anyone can have him twice. He's the third and second overall pick. And then this, of course, this offseason was weird in the fact that no one did jump and try to just give the house away for him.


And then if Mahomes somehow made it, then it becomes, holy shit. Greatest is he is now. Like, if he can stay healthy and get a few more, this is going to be a wrap. Brady should be officially a. I put.


A tweet out yesterday.


I took to Twitter and I said.


Because Lamar was like, he's a hall of fame. Talking about Mahomes like he's a hall of famer. I'm a good player. I'm a heavyweight. Two of us are heavyweights.


And I said, if Patrick Mahomes never.


Takes a snap again, and God forbid he is a first ballot hall of famer, unanimous. And the response was like, of course he is, you fucking idiot. Like, everyone was like, yes.


So it's not even debated.


He never has to play another game again. And Mahomes already has Terrell Davis so much. Terrell Davis is in.


Yes. Yeah, it's the Terrell Davis line. Terrell Davis, not a long career, but he was like, no, I think he should be in. Yeah. He's probably the best running back I've ever seen. One more guy for the Lions is hurt. Brock Wright, their best blocker.


Well, he's the tight end, and he's the guy that had the big third and one. He had a 29 yard play that was huge last week.


So I'm just thinking about. Because everyone's like Detroit, they can run the ball. They're missing their blocking tight end. They brought in Zach Jackson.


Zach Ertz is who they brought in.


Who is on a week, who hasn't.


Played football year, hasn't played football in a couple months, and is more of a pass catching tight end than a blocking one. But yeah, no, Brock wright's a very big, important part of their thing. Jonah Jackson's important. Those are big.


Yeah. Yeah. I just wonder, because you're going in the game and you're, oh, Lions. I'll be able to run the ball, and then, like, the first play, they just get stoned on three plays. Now the Niners are coming down. Now it's seven nothing, and you're just like, oh, man, why don't I take the Lions? I'm much more confident on the niners. I see you on the Chiefs. I think in your heart, you know the Ravens are the right pick. You just don't want to vary from your Super bowl pick. But to me, it almost seems too easy. Maybe this is a playoff manifesto world down the road, but, like, the matchup that seems too easy in the Super bowl, maybe that should be. Be careful. One more piece of this. I am watching the Ravens Chiefs games with Mallory Rubin in Chicago because we're doing the rewatchables the next.


God bless you. She's going to be a nervous wreck, man.


Yeah. People are like, wow, she's going to be a lunatic. And I'm like, yeah, either way, if they win, she's going to be a lunatic.


She's a crying mess.


I'm going to have to lock all the windows in the hotel. So I think that's a positive for the Ravens game, though. Good vibes. I'm bringing all my Boston title. Karma.


What is the rewatchables that night? Do we know which one it is?


Monday night we're doing the fugitive.


Okay. It's a great movie.




I will be in Baltimore and this is the coolest thing. I am going not for NFL Network, not for Fox, not for my podcast. I'm going with my son. I'm going as a fan. I'm going to be sitting in the crowd and I'm just going to go and enjoy this one. I think this is going to be an all time game and I'm going to be excited to see it. And if I happen to bump into Taylor or Jason or whoever else, then I'll mix it up. But I think this is going to be one of those where were you when that game happened? I think it's going to be that epic between Mahomes and Lamore on Sunday. Yeah.


Some people are saying this would be an all timer. I don't know if the Chiefs are good enough to produce an all timer. To me, if this is a close game, that means it's probably ugly and weird and disjointed. Do you think it matters? Defense is too good. They're awesome. Do you think it matters? It's the early window?


Because I remember watching Falcons Vikings in 98 and it was the early window and then it was Broncos jets. But I remember being so just exhausted from that early window. Do you think it matters if it's the early window? Could you still have an all time great conference championship game if it's the early one?


Yeah, right.


I think so, too.


I think the case for the Chiefs is if it basically is like that Baltimore Rams overtime game, they run the ball. I think in that game, Kyron Williams had like 125 yards rushing. Stafford was lights out. He was like 300 plus and three tds, and they kept moving the ball back and forth. They lose an OT. It's not like we haven't seen the Rams team, but the Rams, I think their weapons are just better.


One more thing. Chris Jones made, I think, a million and a half dollars for being a first team all Pro. I think he made another million for hitting nine sacks. I think he makes another million if they make the Super bowl. So these are a little interesting nuggets if you want to keep your eyes open for.


Can I give you two quick bets? Props? Yes. Fred? One or interception? What do you think the ods are plus 360. Twelve to one on fandol.


You like him picking off Jared Goff over the.


I think that we almost hit the overtime last week with the Chief, which was like twelve to one. I think Fred Warner interception is the fun, crazy prop. And then there's a parlay of San Francisco wins the first half in the game. And then you could take the over down to over 39 and a half points. 40 points covers it. And that's basically even. It's minus 112. That seems pretty solid because what were.


The Niners to me on a Demar hamlin upback fake punt call? Were there any ods on that last.


No, we did not have that one. I think if you're betting Chiefs, I like Casey, moneyline, Pacheco, 70 plus rush. Kelsey and Rice both 40 plus for receiving. That's like five to one. And then there's some raven stuff where I think you could bet them. First half game, justice Hill 25 yards, Gus Edwards 25 yards. Lamar scores a TD. You can get to like five to one with it.


What do you think of Dalvin Cook?


Well, so I was looking for Dalvin Cook ods because I thought he looked like their best running back. No, they weren't there. Really? Yeah. I feel like we could be hearing from. Right? Yes, yes.


Fresh leg.


She's second half going against that Chiefs.


D. All right, this is my last OD stat. Gus Edwards and Isaiah Pacheco, the two starting running backs in this game, both Rutgers running backs representing the Scarlet Knights.


Let's go. Is that true? Yeah, I didn't go there. A former Belichick favorite school grabbing Rutgers people. Hey, before we go, have you heard anything about the one two three in the draft for the qBs? Is it too early?




We could chat about it. I heard that.


I just want to know quick, because this is my half of my life revolves around this. I think.


I think Williams is definitely looked at as the number one first one off the board, whether it's Chicago or not. That's why we have three months to build up for it. And I'm hoping they don't trade the pick yet so we can at least debate that. And then it's a crapshoot because you see Daniel Jeremiah, who I absolutely love. He's got May at number two. And then I saw Mel Kuiper had Daniels at number two. And I think you can go either or it depends what you like. They're two very different quarterbacks. Daniels, of course, the big upside, the superstar sensation. And may is more of your traditional drop back quarterback. And it's going to go those 3123. It depends on what the order, though. I think Caleb's one, and then at two and three, you can kind of mix and match where you like it.


I don't remember a top three where you could make a case for each guy in each spot in a while because you could tell me, I was texting because the ringer NFL draft show we have, they did a really good show this week, but they didn't talk about the qbs. And I was like, guys, I need QB talk every. So this is an order.


As someone who's in a content world like you and we do the NFL Network show, I love the teams. I mean, you're talking about the Chicago market.


That was my point. The Boston market, the Giants, the Brady successor, and Washington.


There's so many different things involved.


I asked them, though, how fast would Jaden Daniels have to run in the combine for people to lose their minds and talk about that. I was like, if Jaden Daniels runs a four two nine in the 40, what happens? And Solak's like, if he does a 4.29, I love your solac voice. I'll eat like ten pounds of cheese that night.


Cheese and the bird watching.


He's in. We were like, what is it, though? Like a four three eight? Is it a four three five? What number to get people to lose their fucking minds about him? Because he does feel like he could go into the combine and people would lose their minds.


Here's the wild card on Daniels, which I haven't seen anywhere else but multiple people have hit me with, and they're like, the Raiders have the 13th pick. They are not in quarterback distance for any of those guys. But Antonio Pierce was at Arizona State with Jaden Dan, and the two of them are apparently very tight. Is there a way that the Raiders can somehow mortgage their entire future and move up and get that guy? That's something I would watch just for the connection of coach and quarterback because, you know, they hired Antonio Pierce and people around the league were like, really? You've got Bill Belichick and Mike Varable and you're hiring Antonio Pierce? I think if you can get him a quarterback out of the gates and not force him to play with a retraid or go with Aidan O'Connell, you're a lot better off. But the 13th pick is just out of striking range.


I think that's too far. I think Atlanta at eight, to me seems conceivable because you're only going back five spots. You're still getting one of the awesome receivers. You're getting other first round picks from him, all that stuff.


All three of these guys are going to get torn apart, too, in the next three months. So be ready. We might be talking about they're all incredible, but there will be flaws and there will be s two cognition tests and there will be wonderlicks. You know how we do it?


We tear them down and then we build them up. Peter Schraeger, great to see you, as always.


Let's go.


Million dollar picks conference championship weekend. Or as some of us call it, round three. You might remember after week eight of the 2023 NFL season on million dollar picks, I was down $1.93 million and I was really bummed out. I was like, what's happened? What's happened to me? Why can't I get this together? What am I not seeing? I had even my preseason picks. I had, like, the Patriots to make the playoffs and the Giants make playoffs. I was like, I'm just off. I'm off this season. Maybe it's just not my year. And you know what? A lot of people would have quit. I wasn't one of those people. I was like, what am I doing wrong? You know what? I did a lot of self reflection. I reevaluated my entire process, and I came to the conclusion I'm not working hard enough. I got to work harder on these picks. I got to study more. I got to take more notes during the games. I could turn this around. Well, guess what? Over the next twelve weeks on million dollar picks, betting basically $300,000 a game, max or less, I won $5.68 million. And I'm not saying that to brag it could end this week.


I'm just saying I didn't quit. What has every sports movie we've ever loved in the history of mankind taught us? Don't quit. Don't give up. You're going to hit a dark moment. You can crawl your way back. Well, last twelve weeks on my big bets, anything. Basically over 150,000. I'm 30, 919 and one. You can go back. You can go listen to every one of them. I think that's the record. I've been doing really well. Which leads me to conference championship weekend on million dollar picks. Conference championship weekend. Not round three. We're not allowed to call round three. I like the Niners and I like the Ravens. And we talked about all this with Peter Schrager. All week I was in my head, I'm going to take the Chiefs. I'm going to take the Chiefs. I'm going to make the Chiefs. And they just look like a sucker bet. It just looked like a mistake. It looks like this line should be six and a half or seven. It's already moved to four in some spots. It's three and a half on Fanduel. And basically if you're taking the Chiefs, you're saying, I'm going to ignore the fact that they really haven't had any really decisive good wins against a good team all season.


I'm going to ignore the fact that they trounced this Miami defense that was decimated in freezing cold weather when Tua was helpless. I'm going to ignore the fact that they barely beat Buffalo, a team that was missing a slew of defensive starters and gave Davis and kind of gave the game away. If you want to be honest, I'm in on the Chiefs comeback story. The NFL wants this. They want Taylor Swift at the Super bowl. Don't overthink this. Always bet on Mahomes. And if you're going to bet that and you're going to take the plus three and a half in the hook, I honestly can't blame you. Because if Mahomes wins this with an inferior team in Baltimore, a team with an awesome home field advantage, a team that has more decisive playoff wins or wins against playoff teams and winning teams than basically anyone in recent NFL history. They've been name a challenger. They've come in and smoked them or beaten them or outlasted them, and now they're home and this is their moment. And the Chiefs are coming in. Not really positive what they're great at, other than having Patrick Mahomes, they're good enough on defense, not great.


We haven't seen them have to play from behind in a lot of games and when they have, it hasn't been awesome. Kelsey, does he have three good hours in him? Because we're going to need that. We've seen him with an hour, a good hour, maybe a good 2 hours, but three, not really. Pacheco is their biggest asset in this game. Can he just run the ball? Can they control the clock? Can they make it a low scoring, ugly 20 117 type of game? They could. I fully acknowledge it. But I think this is the Ravens time and I think they have the best team in the AFC. At least we'll find out if it's the best team in the league. They're home, everything's lined up, and I like the Ravens to win. Now, the minus three and a half, we'll get to later. I want to put the Ravens in a tease with the Niners. This Niners offense versus the Lions defense who as we talked about with Schreger, Tampa moved the ball on them however they wanted. So did the Rams. There's all these games that you can go back over the last half of the season, the playoffs, where teams, big yards per play, receivers over and over again.


There's always one receiver on the other team who seems to have a monster game against them. I think it could be Brandon ayuk in this game and they're a little overvalued because they looked really competent at home with an awesome crowd against Rams team that was a little banged up, a Tampa team that I don't think anyone Tampa finished nine and nine on the season, or nine and 1010 and nine, I can't remember, but they were around 500 anyway. I actually think they could smoke the Lions, but I'm not going to predict that because if you put the Ravens and the Niners together in a parlay, I -110 so 550,000 or risk 500 is going to be our first million dollar pick. We've never gone that high all season. I'm not going to get cute. I'm not going to make 100 different small bets and try to win all these different things. We're going all in. I think we're going to have a Ravens Niners Super Bowl. I think those have been the best two teams all year. If you think any outcome other than that is going to happen, either you're overthinking it or you're just trying to will something to happen that might not be ordained to happen.


Ravens Niners -110 we're going to put 100k bets just because we have to. We have to go on the record with these games. I'm eight and two straight up in the playoffs this year. So we got to do one hundred k on the Ravens minus three and a half and we do one hundred k in a parlay. That is plus 100. Niners to win the first half. Niners to win the game combined with the over of 41 and a half. So one hundred k in both of those. Then we're putting twenty five k in the Niners minus seven. Just so I'm on the record, straight up two parlays that I like. This one is plus 498 from the Ravens game. Ravens win first half. Ravens win the game. Lamar touchdown. Edwards and Hill both to have 25 plus yards. That is plus 498. And then we're going to take a shot at niners to win the first half. Niners to win the game. Brandon Iuke to have 90 plus yards again, big legacy of receivers torching the Lions Puka Mike Evans last week. Keenan Allen Christian Watson had the best game of his season over and over again of CD Lamb had like 200 plus yards against them.


So Iuke to have 90 yards, Iuke scoring at TD and McCaffrey have 40 plus receiving yards because you know he's going to take a wheel route like 35 yards. All of those together plus 1079, putting twenty five k in that. And then last but not least, laid this out with Shrega earlier. Goff love throwing over the middle of the field. You know who's in the middle of the field for the Niners? Fred Warner. The most terrifying middle of the field linebacker we have in the NFL. I think he gets an interception. We're putting ten k on a Fred Warner interception. That is twelve to one on Fanduel. And those are the million dollar picks. I am up 3.138 million for the season. I am up 1.6 million for the playoffs. We have a little nest egg. Let's see if we can keep it going. Those are the million dollar picks for round three. All right, that's it for the podcast. Thanks to Peter Schrager. Thanks to Rob Mahoney. Thanks to Steve Cerruti and Kyle Creighton as well. Don't forget to check out slash Bill Simmons if you want to see some of my dumb walk and talk stuff I'm doing that people seem to like, at least some people who knows?


Plus clips and videos from this podcast from the rewatchables. I will see you on Sunday night after the few games I will be in the city of Chicago. See what happens. Have a good weekend. Don't feed them on a waste I don't have with him on the wayside on the first I don't have to ever. Must be 21 plus in president select states. Fando is offering online sports ragering in Kansas under an agreement with Kansas Star Casino, LLC. Gambling problem call 1800 Gambler or visit RG in Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia. You can call 1800 next step or text next step to 53342 in Arizona, call 188-78-9777 or visit chat. Connecticut 1809 with it in Indiana 1805 to two 4700 or visit in Kansas 18770 stop in Louisiana in Maryland, 1800 gambler. Net in West Virginia or 1805 two two, 4700 in Wyoming. Hope is here. Visit or call 803 2750 50 for twenty four seven support in Massachusetts, or call 18778 Hope, N. Y or text Hope NY in New York.