Jordan wins

The Bachelorette Recap Week 9: ARB wins! ARB wins!

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I’d like to start off by thanking everyone for all their hard work in getting to this point. Just like JoJo, I know we all lost faith in ARB at times, but in the end, we were also going to stay faithful to the only true winner of this “competition.”

But seriously, how many of you were sitting there before ARB’s letter to JoJo saying, “She’s gonna be Robby.” It’s OK, you can raise your hands. I know my faith wavered. The fiancee had already sold her property on ARB Island and moved into Robby’s condo in producer village.

Congrats everyone. We did it.

MVP

Like there was any choice other than Aaron Rodgers’ brother for this.

Look, there’s a 75 percent chance this relationship is PR orchestrated and 17 percent chance he’s already cheated on her, but who cares — it’s a freakin’ fake reality show about falling in love amid 30 other dudes in less time than it takes to get a U.S. passport. The only real challenger to ARB was Luke and we already covered why the producers wanted him out. Plus, for all the talk about ARB being fake or his act being an orchestrated plot to land on TV, did anyone ever actually buy a single thing Robby was saying? The dude basically read a bunch of Hallmark cards to JoJo for the past three weeks and suddenly he was the perfect guy.

The real question is how and when ARB will pop up on our TVs next. He’s probably not going to be in the Bachelor Extended Universe any time soon. Will he be the 17th guy on a college football pregame show this fall? Will he end up on QVC pitching his special line of diet products in the middle of the afternoon? He better figure out something. Fake relationships don’t pay for themselves.

DOesnt love

Post-show blues

It might’ve been the fact that I had to watch three hours straight of ARB and Co., but dear lord, he was as stiff as it gets on After the Final Rose. It was like watching a bad press conference for the quarterback on a 3-11 team trying to to hold on to his job for dear life after a three-INT, 5-for-21 performance.

Maybe it was the nature of live TV, but for a guy who seemed to charm everyone’s pants off (except JoJo’s mom) all season long, he was boring and totally unconvincing. “We can only focus on what we can control.”

Dude, you’re talking about your future wife, not a football game. Try to sound like a human being.

Robby will be fine

Cut the crocodile tears, you two-shirt-wearing, fake-hair-having dweeb. Robby didn’t care about marrying JoJo any more than ARB did. He was just more willing to do whatever the producers asked of him. And how come we just completely moved on from the whole “breaking up with the ex to go on the show” storyline when Robby met the family? The Brothers JoJo basically tried to bare-knuckle box Ben last season, but Robby gets a free pass.

I do appreciate how hard he tried to convince everyone that he truly cared about JoJo, even bringing the nervous energy to the aftershow. I can’t wait until he ends up as a red carpet correspondent for the TV Guide channel at the Golden Globes and we can all remember the brief seven minutes where he was relevant.

Robby cry

Family no drama

The only thing that was a bigger letdown than Luke not being in the finale was JoJo’s family. Her mom yelling at JoJo during the “did Jordan ask permission” segment was the only entertaining part. We got ZERO brothers-guys interaction. Her sister literally never said a word. Her parents just kept saying trust issues like they were singing along to Drake. I expected fireworks! Or at least mom downing a bottle of Moet while telling ARB he’ll never be as good as Ben.

Instead, we got some weird phone call where ARB asked for permission via speakerphone, a terrible hat … thing … and whatever the hell that was between JoJo and her brothers during the Robby date.

(Side note: I asked the fiancee how she would’ve reacted if I asked her parents for permission via FaceTime. Her response:

“I would’ve been so upset with you. I would’ve been so unbelievably upset because mom doesn’t know how to do it.”)

Relationship goals

I was going to put this in the random notes section, but I thought it deserved its own section:

There was NOTHING wrong with what ARB told JoJo after kayaking to that beach. How is he supposed to know that he wants to marry her after 3 months of her dating 28 other dudes? Basically, he was at the place you should be after three months when you’re really head over heals for the woman. You know you want to be with her. You know there’s no one else for you. But marriage? C’mon, man.

Mmhmm

Fiancee’s closing thoughts

Because I know the 17 people that read this come here for mostly for the fiancee’s thoughts, here are her best quotes/moments from last night’s finale:

  • “Those are disgustingly ugly rings. Like that is the ugliest f****** ring I’ve ever seen.” – on Robby’s ring
  • “What does he do? What. Does. He. Do?!” – on Robby
  • “Why does he always do the double-shirt thing?”

Random notes

  • WTF was with that weird Chad interjection into the middle of the aftershow?
    • Just kidding, please make him the Bachelor. I’d write this recap twice a week every week if you do.
  • How did Neil Lane land this gig? Did the main producer get a deal on his engagement ring like 15 years ago and now they have some lifetime contract with this dude? Does he ever give them rings that don’t like they got rejected by Jared?
  • Ben is so TV ready at all times. That dude is the worst and the best.
  • Seriously ARB — who thought those hats were a good idea?
  • I think Robby dresses like the physical manifestation of the Internet’s opinion of Florida.
  • Robby’s hair is not real. I’m sorry. It’s not real. The dude went swimming in the ocean and got out of the water looking like it never even moved. I’m calling major-league BS.
  • LOOSE LEAF PAPER, ROBBY? REALLY?!

Quotes of the week

Finally, the closing moment almost went to JoJo’s mom, but I think this quote from the fiancee sums this entire season up perfectly

“She disgusts me. This whole thing disgusts me.

(three-second pause)

Doesn’t mean I’m not watching another season.”

It’s been real, folks. I’m out!

Packers underdogs against the Falcons in NFC Championship game

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The best defense is an unstoppable offense, and Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons simply haven’t been stopped when they are a healthy favorite.

The Falcons are listed as five-point favorites against red-hot Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers with an eye-popping 60-point total on the NFL lines for the NFC Championship Game at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

It is the sixth time this season the Falcons have given between 3.5 and 6.0 points, and while they are 3-2 straight-up and against the spread in that scenario they scored at least 28 points every time.

While the Falcons have to turn around some negative trends – such as 1-6 SU in their last seven games against the NFC North, according to the OddsShark NFL Database – it’s doubtful any collapse would be attributable to their offense.

The Packers, who are 12-6 SU and 10-7-1 ATS, have relied on Rodgers and his stellar pass protection to shred opposing defenses during their eight-win streak. It seems the only way to contain Rodgers is to blitz him. Although OLB Vic Beasley had 15.5 sacks in the regular season, the Falcons play straight defense more frequently than the NFL average.

It’s possible the Packers could repeat the scenario of recent weeks, with Rodgers getting scads of time to wait for a receiver to get open. That is contingent on the health of those receivers. Leading receiver Jordy Nelson (ribs) is a remote shot to play while Davante Adams (ankle), Geronimo Allison (leg), Jeff Janis (quadriceps) are each banged up.

Both RB Ty Montgomery and TE Jared Cook have become reliable cogs for the Packers since their loss to the Falcons last week. Atlanta does not have an overly strong run defense.

The Falcons, who are 12-5 SU and 11-6 ATS, do have to be concerned with how many snaps WR Julio Jones (toe) will be able to play on Sunday. The true linchpins in Atlanta’s attack, though, are RB Tevin Coleman and RB Devonta Freeman, whose versatility as ball carriers and receivers has to be accounted for at all times.

The Falcons are very physical in the rushing phase and it will be interesting to see whether the Packers are up to it after so many do-or-done games, including last week’s instant classic against Dallas where they gave up 125 yards to the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott.

Jones, WR Taylor Gabriel and WR Mohamed Sanu are facing a Packers pass defense that has struggled all season. Green Bay was among the NFL leaders in sacks, but the Falcons’ continuity along the offensive line (all five starters have been intact all season) should help them with making adjustments.

The favored team is 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in the last three years in conference championship games.  The total has gone over in seven of the last 10 conference championship games.

Brady, Patriots betting favorites hosting Steelers in AFC Championship game

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The feeling that Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have one creaky effort out of their system spurs the idea they can continue to be nearly automatic at home. The Patriots are listed as 5.5-point betting favorites against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a 50.5-point total for the AFC Championship Game, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Not only has New England long enjoyed the upper hand against the Steelers – 10-3-1 against the spread in their last 14 matchups – but they are also 9-2 ATS on the NFL betting lines in their last 11 home games at Gillette Stadium and 8-1 SU in their last nine home games against teams with winning records.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers, who are 13-5 SU and 11-6-1 ATS, are on a nine-win streak thanks to building their offense around shifty and tireless RB Le’Veon Bell. New England’s run defense is far stronger than what Pittsburgh has seen so far in the playoffs, but it’s doubtful Bell’s production will completely dry up since the Patriots are too smart to over-commit to stopping him.

While WR Antonio Brown can be nightmarish to cover, the Steelers’ lack of receiving threats beyond him might make it tough for Roethlisberger to pick apart the Patriots’ pass defense, although his offensive line should be able to give him time to throw.

Having success as an underdog in January is not a role in which the Steelers historically thrive; they are 3-10 SU in their last 13 playoff games as an underdog according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

The Patriots, who are 15-2 SU and 11-6 ATS, have only been stopped this season when Brady and the offense encounter a dominant pass rush. After a slow start in that phase, Pittsburgh has improved immensely due to the trio of OLB Bud Dupree, ageless OLB James Harrison and DE Stephon Tuitt, who will have to get by the strong pass protection of Patriots RT Marcus Cannon and LT Nate Solder.

The Steelers pass defenders have occasionally been beaten deep. Among the Patriots’ speed receivers, Chris Hogan (thigh) seems more likely to be 100 percent than Malcolm Mitchell (knee). Martellus Bennett and Julian Edelman also offer the potential to spread the Steelers thin.

New England, the Super Bowl 51 betting favorites, used leading rusher LeGarrette Blount sparingly in the Divisional Round, which could have been a factor in the Patriots’ offense being sporadic. Blount has had a full week of practice this time.

The visiting team is 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS in the last three years in conference championship games. The total has gone under in the Patriots’ last six AFC Championship Game matchups. The total has gone under in nine of the Steelers’ last 11 games as an underdog.