What's Gonna Happen: Divisional Playoff Edition

Brian Tarcy is back, one week after vanquishing his personal Internet demons, to tell us what's gonna happen this weekend.

(Home of the Root of All Evil)

I found that lady's lottery ticket, and then I gave it to the other lady because I thought she was a Browns' fan. That's the real story. I was digging for dinner in a Dumpster in South Euclid, like I do when I want to eat especially well, talking like Joe Namath to an imaginary Suzy Kolber, when I stumbled upon the ticket.

I thought it was a winner, but it gave off a vibe like Kelly Holcomb in August so I was afraid that it had been thrown out for a reason. And I was so depressed by all that trashed ambition that I gave the winning ticket to that other lady because I knew money couldn't possibly cheer me up but it might cheer up another Browns' fan. She seemed pleased, a little too pleased to be a real Browns' fan.

Therefore, the next time that I find a $162 million winning lottery ticket, I'll give it to you because I know you will at least have the decency to remain miserable when the Browns suck.

PANTHERS AT RAMS – Destroying the Dallas Fraudboys is a bit different than wandering into a dome in St. Louis and taking on the Rams, even if they are quarterbacked by Marc Bulger. Nevertheless, for a bit, the Panthers will look like they are up for the task until three quick plays in the third quarter. That's the Rams – stop those three quick plays and you win the game. Don't and you lose by 21. Rams 41, Panthers 20.

TITANS AT PATRIOTS – Temperatures should be about 5 degrees at game time for this battle of tough-guy teams. Although Steve McNair is a co-MVP, Tom Brady will outplay both co-MVPs in the next two weeks. My crystal ball doesn't lie. The Patriots formula is really clear: Play smart, mistake-free football, come up with a key turnover, play huge offensively and defensively in the clutch, and have better luck than the other team. The Titans should give the Patriots a tough battle until luck becomes a factor late. Patriots 24, Titans 22.

COLTS AT CHIEFS – Despite a Dante Hall opening kickoff return for a touchdown, the Chiefs discover that their prolific offense is not a match for the Colts clicking on all cylinders. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, their defense allows the Colts to click. Though the Chiefs will score enough to make the final score look interesting, anyone who watches will wonder how this team ever got mentioned in the same breath as the perfect-record Miami Dolphins. Trent Green proves once and for all that he is, well, Trent Green. Colts 41, Chiefs 33.

PACKERS AT EAGLES – Losing Brian Westbrook will hurt the Eagles later in the playoffs but this is a day for the Eagles to cruise. Brett Favre finally has his letdown day and it is a bad one, along with the Packers defense which gambles and loses too many times. Duce Staley will emerge from the memory banks to have a huge game running the ball and Donovan McNabb will run for one touchdown and throw for two more. The Packers haven't won in Philadelphia in 41 years. And counting. Eagles 38, Packers 17.

So Joe Gibbs is going to become the head coach of the Washington Redskins and thus sully his reputation alongside that of Marty Schottenheimer and Steve Spurrier. It's sad.

Really, think about who those two men were before they went to work for Daniel Snyder. They were considered good to great coaches. In fact, the Browns wanted Spurrier before.

I believe Joe Gibbs could coach in the NFL again. I would love to see Joe Gibbs become head coach of the Browns. But he's going to fail in Washington because of Daniel Snyder. And just like a lottery ticket from me, you can take that to the bank.

This column is sponsored by advocates of global warming.

Brian Tarcy collaborated with Joe Theismann on the Complete Idiot's Guide to Football. He also wrote The Adventure of Leadership with Hap Klopp, who founded The North Face.

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