Fancy Boys Football Mailbag: Divisional Round

Fancy Boys founder Matt Drufke doesn’t know anything about football. Lucky for him, Brandon Andreasen and Jack Baker do.

Each week, Matt emails Brandon and Jack NFL questions, they then immediately go and make fun of his lack of knowledge in a secret group chat. They then go and answer the questions. Here are those answers.

And then there were four. Let’s talk about how we got here, and why. On Saturday, the 6th-seeded Titans pulled off yet another upset by taking care of the Ravens. Ryan Tannehill, for the second time in two games, threw for under 85 yards, but the Titans won convincingly with running and defense. It seems like the way to beat Tennessee is to put 13 guys in the box and have everyone attempt to Derrick Henry’s legs. We saw this against New England. Why couldn’t Baltimore see it? And can the Titans keep continuing to upset people?

Brandon – I’m not really sure what to make of the Titans. I watched the entire game and don’t know how they won. The Ravens did blow the game pretty ferociously. They had three chances in the Red Zone in the 4th quarter and managed to score zero points. Part of that is great defense, and part of that is piss poor play calling.

I was struck by something during the game, though. Lamar Jackson looked more like 2018 Lamar Jackson when he had to throw downfield. The ball was wobbly and in the air too long all night. I’m not sure if he had a bad night or this is what he was all year, and we were too dazzled by the big plays to notice. Tennessee essentially dared Jackson to beat them downfield and he couldn’t.

Jack – The Titans have rediscovered the secret that NFL teams knew from 1919 – about 2010, it’s really hard to stop an offense built behind a gigantic offensive line and a superstar running back. It can’t work forever because the running back will eventually break down, but before then, you can win A LOT of football games. Derrick Henry is a legit monster. Here’s him standing next to Mark Ingraham when he was in college.

Both dudes won Heisman Trophies in went on to Pro Bowl careers in the NFL, but Henry looks like a different species. I don’t think it’s a matter of Baltimore not knowing what they needed to do, it’s just that tackling Henry 30+ times a game is like getting into 30 consecutive car accidents. As long as he keeps running like this, the Titans have a chance against anybody.

In the other AFC game, the Chiefs pulled off an exciting comeback against Houston. As good as the comeback was, however, it does lead one to wonder how a team can open a game giving up 24 unanswered points and expect to win. Should the fact that Kansas City started so poorly be concerning to Andy Reid and Chief nation? Or is there no obstacle they cannot overcome?

Brandon – Speaking of dumb coaching, remember when the Texans tried a fake punt in their own territory while up 21 and the Chiefs snuffed it out and went on a 48-7 run after that?

The Chiefs defense did not come out with a great game plan against the Texans, but they adjusted and adapted, and the Texans had no answer for it. The Chiefs offensive prowess means they are never out of the game, and they can score quickly, which is a major problem for the Titans. You can’t slow down a team that can score in five plays or less.

Jack – The only thing the Chiefs should be concerned about is trying to stop Derrick Henry next week.

Who is the most valuable player on each of the remaining four teams?

Brandon – I’ll knock the obvious ones out first: Derrick Henry and Patrick Mahomes are their team’s MVP, and it isn’t close.

For the Packers, I’ll give the nod to Davante Adams. The Green Bay offense is borderline catatonic without him. My apologies to your fantasy football team for drafting Geronimo Allison this season.

The 49ers MVP has probably been Richard Sherman (suck it, you brain dead MAGA hat humping dipshits). His re-emergence as an All Pro corner has allowed the 49ers to attack the quarterback with their front seven, opening up Nick Bosa and Dee Ford to raise hell in the backfield.

Jack – Obviously, Derrick Henry and Patrick Mahomes are the MVP’s for the Titans and Chiefs. Anyone who says otherwise is just being a contrarian dick for no reason.

For the Packers, I’m taking Za’Darius Smith. Brandon and I both panned this signing when it happened and we couldn’t have been more wrong. The Packers are where they are because of their defense and Smith has been the main reason why.

The 49ers MVP is Kyle Shanahan’s play sheet.Not since his dad has a coach been able to so easily turn anonymous castoffs at running back into playoff dominating world beaters. He’s the best schemer in the NFL and his play calling is the main reason why the 49ers are NFC title game favorites.

Big games coming up. Packers-49ers, Chiefs-Titans… who is going to be playing in the big game?

Brandon – I have been wrong every week you have asked this, so I’m going to use my power of jinx for good. The Super Bowl will be Packers vs. Packers. Bart Starr will come out of the grave to quarterback one of the Packers teams. The game will be moved to Lambeau Field. The Packers will beat the Packers 14-13. 

Jack – I’m all aboard the Titans bandwagon. Give me the Titans and the 49ers for the Super Bowl.

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