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The 5 O'Clock Club: Picking the Divisional Round playoff games (Saturday)

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

Wild Card Round - Tennessee Titans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The 5 o’clock club aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

Readers didn’t fare so well with last week’s predictions for the wildcard round games. The majority of respondents chose (by a wide margin in each case):

As you are all no doubt aware, the Chiefs and Rams lost, and while the Jags did win, they didn’t cover the spread, finishing the game with a 7 point margin. Only the Saints managed not to disappoint.

So, with a record of 1-3 (collectively), you get another chance to pick games this week.


Who wins the NFC game?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    (126 votes)
  • 22%
    (37 votes)
163 votes total Vote Now


Can New England cover a -13.5 spread, playing at home against the Titans?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    Yes, Pats cover
    (91 votes)
  • 40%
    No, Pats don’t cover
    (62 votes)
153 votes total Vote Now

Coaching & GM maneuvering

Jon Gruden - head coach of the Oakland / Las Vegas Raiders

Head Coach Jon Gruden

Reportedly received a 10-year, $100 million contract from the team.

  • Greg Olson = offensive coordinator
  • Paul Guenther = defensive coordinator
  • Rap Sheet reported former Colts RB coach Jemal Singleton is taking a job as RBs coach under Gruden.
  • Rap Sheet - The Raiders will interview Dolphins offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo for Oakland’s OL job.

Matt Nagy - new head coach of Chicago Bears

  • Nagy has spent the last five seasons in Kansas City, first as quarterbacks coach, then offensive coordinator in 2016.
  • Under Nagy, the Chiefs finished 13th in points scored in 2016 before leaping to sixth in the category in 2017.
  • Kansas City saw an even larger improvement in yards gained, jumping from 27th to 20th from 2015 to 2016, and 20th to fifth from 2016 to 2017.

Former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich will be Nagy’s offensive coordinator and the team announced Vic Fangio finalizied a deal (three years, per Rapoport) to stay with the team.

Pat Shurmer is considered the leading candidate for Arizona Cardinals head coaching position

Many people expect the Cardinals to sign Case Keenum as the ‘bridge’ quarterback, based on their history together. This would also provide a graceful resolution for the Vikings, who potentially may have to choose between a successful career backup who won in the playoffs, and the franchise quarterback drafted by the organization returning from injury.

Lions are well advanced in the interview process

Candidates reported in the press include: Matt Patricia, Steve Wilks, Mike Vrabel, with it looking like the Lions may want a coach from the defensive side of the ball.

Offensive-minded candidates include: Jim Bob Cooter (current Lions OC), and Pat Shurmer.

Indianapolis Colts

Kris Richard & Josh McDaniels have been reported as candidates.

New York Giants

Dave Gettleman — to no one’s surprise — was hired as GM of the Giants.

The Giants have a full slate of interviews that are unlikely to be complete before Jim Shwartz’s Eagles are out of the playoffs, but seem to be to be focused on defensive coordinators in general.

Brian Gaine will be hired as GM of the Houston Texans

This, according to Rap Sheet. Gaine is currently the VP of player personnel for Buffalo.


For a new head coach not named Gruden, which team offers the best short and long-term situation?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    (14 votes)
  • 20%
    (22 votes)
  • 28%
    (31 votes)
  • 9%
    (10 votes)
  • 28%
    (31 votes)
108 votes total Vote Now


How will things work out with the Raiders decision to hire Jon Gruden and give him a 10 year, $100m contract?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    The Raiders will thrive and be very happy
    (27 votes)
  • 54%
    It’ll be a typical NFL coach experience... except for the length of the contract
    (64 votes)
  • 22%
    This is gonna be a disaster for the Raiders and their fans
    (26 votes)
117 votes total Vote Now