With the NFL Playoffs beginning this weekend, it's time to take a keen, edgy look at the postseason slate. Tens of millions of people will watch the playoffs, with many more following the games online.
Generally, it's difficult to put a solid bet on playoff matchups. The best teams often seem to be those with first-round byes. However, teams like the 2010 Green Bay Packers and 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers have scrambled out of No. 6 playoff spots to win the Super Bowl.
With the high turnover of playoff teams from one year to the next and the frequent playoff upsets, how can a person trust any pick?
Turn to the hipster picks. Hipsters form a driving force in culture. They remind people about the important things to think about, such as vinyl records, social justice and Tim Tebow.
The hipster view on the NFL Playoffs provides clear-headed thoughts, as well as picks that are undeterred by those put forth by network commentators.
Read along for predictions by a writer who pines for an indie rock band called Tim Tebow.
Passing is the primary part of NFL offenses these days. Almost every team in the NFL passes more than it runs.
Actually, every team passed more than it rushed in 2011 except the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans. Broncos head coach John Fox realized that this is the more effective route to success since its starting quarterback, via popular uprising in Denver, Tim Tebow, doesn't pass very well.
In fact, Tebow's completion rate (46.4 percent) is the lowest since Doug Williams' in 1979 (41.8 percent).
Compensating for Tebow's inaccuracy, the Broncos have done what the hipster does—sticking to what they learned in college. Since Tebow excelled with the spread option at Florida, Fox decided that was the way to help Tebow succeed. Also, Fox mixed in the triple option, which may have been a 400-level seminar class Tebow attended.
That's what the hipster took.
Going with the successful mode of the regular season, Tebow and the Broncos will return to the ground. To that effect, the Broncos will avoid the passing game as persistently as the hipster will avoid listening to Adele. Tebow will avoid throwing the ball—not that Brady Quinn won't take a shotgun snap to throw. He'll prefer taking hits from James Harrison on the run to taking those hits in the pocket.
Matt Ryan is a pretty decent quarterback.
However, Ryan, often referred to as "Matty Ice," does not have ice in his veins when playoff time comes around. Ryan has a 71.2 passer rating in the playoffs and threw two interceptions in both of his playoff appearances.
Once again, Matt Ryan will not be a clutch player in the game against the New York Giants. Ryan will once again throw two interceptions. He'll also be taken down five times, as he was last year in the playoff loss to the Packers.
The only thing looking good for Ryan will be the retro Atlanta Falcons hat he'll wear on the sidelines, which the hipster will also be wearing.
Tim Tebow is not only a hot topic but also wears a popular jersey. According to USA Today, Tebow's jersey is the second most popular among NFL players. Many will be wearing Tebow's jersey because they like Tebow or the Broncos, but the hipster will wear a Tebow jersey for a different reason.
The hipster plans to wear a Tim Tebow jersey to focus all thoughts regarding Tebow. One must bring towards the frontal lobe the irritation regarding his success despite not having an NFL arm. Also, one must boil the cynicism about how Tebow will rattle off 100 yards and lead the Broncos to the AFC Championship game.
That's the hipster plan. Resign to the likelihood that Tebow will bring the Broncos to victory, even against the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers defense. Then, the hipster will brood about how Tebow will outdo Tom Brady and the New England Patriots—not by passing, but by running around the porous Patriots defense—en route to victory.
All four Tebow jerseys will be worn during the Broncos playoff run. That's right, four—home, away, orange home alternate and Franciscan brown alternate (even though Tebow isn't Catholic).
Aaron Rodgers may be a few months away from a hipster beard, but the hipster is especially focused on his arm. The hipster expects Rodgers to light it up in the playoffs. This will come with the Packers focusing especially on the pass as they have this season, passing on 60 percent of offensive snaps.
Rodgers will put up incredible numbers in his two playoff games. Airing it out like no one has seen before, he'll throw in more than 1,000 yards in those two games. Also, he'll throw for nine touchdowns combined.
It'll be a huge offensive affair, but it'll be boring, as Rodgers' Allstate commercial is.
The Houston Texans have never made the playoffs before this season. Still, the Texans are Super Bowl-bound. The Texans have a strong running game, led by Arian Foster. Foster was second in rushing yards per game (94.2).
The Texans have the hipster's favorite quarterback, T.J. Yates. The hipster has been on to Yates since he was at North Carolina. While Yates didn't win any big bowl games, he was pretty decent. Yates threw more interceptions than touchdowns in his freshman and junior seasons, but threw twice as many touchdowns as picks in his senior year.
Yates has stepped up for the Texans. He's led the team to an impressive comeback win against the Cincinnati Bengals. He doesn't throw for a ton of yards like Rodgers does, but he gets the job done.
The San Francisco 49ers are finally on the right track after missing the playoffs the last eight seasons. They have the No. 2 defense, a premier rusher in Frank Gore and the best turnover ratio in the NFL. Alex Smith, a focal point of hipsters for years, has finally put together an efficient year.
The Smith-Yates quarterback duel will be one that the hipster will relish.
Alex Smith cannot be denied. He's earned the year he's had. Perseverance takes a player to the top, and, after six years under coaches who didn't seem to believe in him, Smith is making it. Alex Smith has thrown 17 many touchdowns to five interceptions, by far the lowest total in any full season of his. Also, his 90.4 passer rating is the best of his career.
In the Super Bowl Alex Smith will be as smooth as Scott Walker, the singer, not the Wisconsin governor. He'll complete 70 percent of his passes and avoid throwing an interception. Also, Alex Smith will throw two touchdown passes. One will be a fluky 80-yard pass on a short ball to Vernon Davis where two Texans defenders miss tackles.
After the game, Alex Smith will be as happy as the hipster was upon finding Smith's jersey at Goodwill. Smith will be unable to control his joy when he says, "I'm going to Disney World."
It's an overrated line, but the hipster is looking forward to hearing Alex Smith utter the phrase.
Ndamukong Suh is a rough-and-tumble defensive lineman. He's tough to block and terrorizes the quarterback.
However, he hasn't produced like one might have expected him to do this season. Ndamukong Suh only grabbed four sacks this season, fourth among Lions defenders. That's down from 10 sacks last year. However, one can hardly say whether his drop in numbers means he's less of a threat.
Anyway, Ndamukong Suh has garnered almost as much attention for his rough play and misunderstanding of NFL concerns about player safety. Suh stomped on the head of Packers offensive lineman Eric Dietrich-Smith on Thanksgiving Day game. He's earned more personal foul penalties than any other player in the first two years of his career.
Many are concerned about Suh's playing style, but not the hipster. For that reason, the hipster mentioned him.
Just to belabor the point on Suh, he'll pick up two sacks against the New Orleans Saints.