Like/Dislike: Trusting Kirk Cousins, doubting Big Ben


What we are talking about:

  • Kirk Cousins

    He's an every-week starter

  • Worried about Ben

    And not because he's on the road

  • "Irish Hello" update

    How I pulled it off

It's playoff time. Well not for everybody. Take a look.

We did a four-team playoff for the first time ever in our NFL Fantasy League and my season ended by .14. Normally I would be pretty upset about this kind of thing. But my team scored 80 points. I didn't deserve to move on. Although, losing to Akbar is kind of tough. That would be like the University of Alabama missing out on the playoffs because it lost to a bottle of Cholula.

(I know there will be many of you who will stump for Tapatio. Which really is a great hot sauce. You will not get a bad word out of me. And if you really want to get into it, the best might be Gringo Bandito. Which is from the kitchen of Dexter Holland. I'm sure some of you would not want to try a food product from a punk rocker. Like, hey enjoy Mark Hoppus bran muffins! But we have been using Newman's Own salad dressing and spoiler alert, Paul Newman was an actor. That's right, he was in a ton of movies back in the day. Probably none that you've seen. No, not "The Natural" you fools. That's Robert Redford. But both of those guys were in the same movie, "The Sting." I know you probably never will, but you should check it out. It's really a good movie.)

The funny part of this whole thing is I benched Michael Crabtree on Thursday night. And I thought I was a genius. But had I started Crabtree on Thursday, I would have advanced to the playoffs. Because I started Donte Moncrief ahead of him. Which is really a stupid decision on my part. I even mentioned in this space last week Moncrief was a risk because of his touchdown-dependency and yet I did it anyway.

So let's get to it ... what? You think I went into this a little quickly? Well, I don't want to belabor the point. And really, "Rogue One" is coming out tonight and the hard-working staff here wants to get out and see it tonight (Thursday). I thought about watching it over the weekend, but realized that was foolish. I mean, it's not like I would wait two days to watch the Super Bowl, so I'm headed out to see it immediately. I mean, after the Seahawks and Rams game, of course. I would not skip that game to go see a movie.

And without further ado ...

The Giants have scored 20 points or fewer in seven games this season. The Lions have done so six times. There is a good chance Eli Manning and Matthew Stafford don't put a lot of points on the board.

But you will want to watch this game because the Lions and Giants have the most games decided by seven points-or-fewer this season.

The Lions are tied with the Ravens for the NFL's best scoring defense (16.3) since Week 8.

The Bucs have allowed just 12.8 points per game and an opposing passer rating of 62.5 since Week 10, best in that span. The Cowboys have averaged just 12 points during the last two games. It's going to be tough to give Dak Prescott the nod this week.

Carson Wentz does not have history on his side in Baltimore this Sunday. The Ravens are 7-0 in Baltimore against rookie quarterbacks under John Harbaugh.

I would bench Ben Roethlisberger because he's really been nothing more than a streamable quarterback. I know what the road splits are. And I don't care. I'm going against him because of the matchup, and mostly because this is basically the Bengals Super Bowl. This is a chance to get some revenge from last year's playoffs. This is why I'm scared to play some of the other Steelers greats. I'm doing it, but not comfortable with it.

Image This is going to be Vontaze Burfict's first game against the Steelers since the infamous 2015 AFC Wild Card Game. I wonder what he has in store. Burfict has played really well this season, which says a lot because I loathe to give him any credit. Not because I have any feelings about the Bengals. But because he went to Centennial High School, and I went to Corona. This isn't much of a rivalry, because Centennial is the Alabama of the Inland Empire now. But I'll tell you we never lost to those fools when I was in school, though. (And we beat Toby Gerhart at Norco High School, too. Yes, this is for an audience of like six people.)

I hate myself for putting this out there, but you can throw this stat around at the bar. Roethlisberger has no touchdown passes and six picks in his last four December road starts.

Drew Brees has been so bad in recent weeks. And you can't use the home/road crutch. He's been bad in both places. Now he's got the second-ranked Cards passing D this week? I wouldn't touch that.

The Dolphins have struggled in cold weather over the last decade. They are 4-12 in games with a kickoff temperature of 45 degrees-or-lower. It's supposed to be 40 at kickoff on Saturday.

Jay Ajayi has scored only one touchdown in his last five games, after he had scored five in the previous four-game stretch. The Jets are tougher on running backs, but not what they once were earlier this season.

Lamar Miller has no touchdowns in four career games against the Jaguars. He's one of those guys, not quite bad enough to be a bust. But didn't do enough to justify going in the second round.

Of course the Titans are third against the run. Just the week when I need Spencer Ware the most. I should have put more thought into this.

Image My phone number is just one off from a lady, Chloe, who does eyebrows. And I get a lot of random callers from Westminster and Garden Grove looking for appointments. I got a new one on Thursday asking for an appointment later that day. Now, I should have texted back and said, "Yes, please come down." But I didn't. Did I make a mistake?

Image You want to know what wasn't a mistake? The "Irish Hello" from last week. It's a fake out of telling everybody you're going to be attending a party, texting and saying that you're on the way, but never actually showing up. I added some layers to it by using Instagram to say I was there. Notice I don't give away my location. I'm actually at Tsunami Sushi in Huntington Beach. But tagged it with our Holiday Party location. I texted one of my co-workers and told her I was on my way, but my phone was going to die if I didn't find a charger. So that gave me an excuse to not respond the rest of the night. I'm telling you, the "Irish Hello" is now a thing.

The Bears and Packers rivalry dates back to 1921 with 193 meetings, the most of any rivalry. So it's truly the NFL's best. Well, sort of. The Bears lead 94-93-6, including 1-1 in the playoffs. The Packers have won 10 of the last 12 regular season meetings, including the last six in Soldier Field. This is awful.

Alshon Jeffery is expected to return from a four-game suspension. I want to see him at least once. I'm not even sure he's going to have chemistry with Matt Barkley.

I miss Allen Robinson as a fantasy thing. I hope the new coach next season can do something to fix this (expletive). Jim Bob Cooter as head coach might be a nice option. Matthew Stafford has been amazing since the Lions made that switch.

If you walked out of your draft with Robinson and DeAndre Hopkins, you had to feel pretty good about it, right? You probably aren't in the playoffs if these were your guys, though. I said probably so don't feel like you have me a screen grab if you had ARob and DHop. Actually, you deserve some love. Fire away.

Image Oh man, so if Lane Kiffin had waited a little bit he would he have been in line for the Los Angeles Rams gig? That would have been nice. But I actually think Florida Atlantic could be a great spot for him. If he's committed to building this program and not looking at this as a stepping stone (and look if he bails after he takes them to a BCS bowl, fine), he could do some work here. I know De'Andre Johnson kind of raised eyebrows, but both guys will be able to make the most of their second chance. Or in Kiffin's case, his fifth.

Image The San Diego Chargers are going to wear the powder blues this week. I have a Seau powder blue and thought about wearing it down there to represent. But I think the Chargers are mad at me. And that stadium is going to be about 80 percent Raiders fans. Which is going to end up being the norm if this team moves to Los Angeles.

Image At what point do millennial hipsters eschew birthdays in favor of "Conception Day" to celebrate when life really began. I'm surprised some enterprising executive at Hallmark hasn't tried to push this forward already with a line of cards. "We are so happy to say, we're glad daddy's condom broke on conception day!" Conception Day, it's a thing! And before you are too critical, I hope you realize you'll be able to get into the bars 10 months sooner.

Be sure to watch "Fantasy and Friends" at 6 p.m. ET on NFL Network, Monday-Wednesday and Friday. (Sorry, the Thursday night game preempts us. But you can be a part of the show by going to Also follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.