Sam Ponder (Credit: ESPN)

A source of amusement here for many years has been network(s) pre-game predictions that go awry. As recently as Saturday, we saw NFL Network’s analysts unanimously pick the Cleveland Browns to take care of business against the Houston Texans. However, Joe Flacco and Co. did anything but that in a 45-14 drubbing.

At least Rich Eisen had the foresight to have the entire crew smile for a photo as they tempted fate.

Jason Kirk once suggested that someone on each panel should deliberately choose the opposite of the unanimous pick to avoid becoming a meme. We don’t know if Sam Ponder had this idea before Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys-Green Bay Packers Wild Card game, but she did end up being the only one to choose differently:

Final score: Packers 48, Cowboys 32. (With 16 of those Cowboys’ points coming in the final six minutes of Sunday’s game, which was already out of hand.)

This was this weekend’s biggest upset — thus far — as Dallas was favored by seven points, and coming into Sunday’s matchup, they were a perfect 8-0 at home. This is also a Packers team that barely clinched the playoffs, securing the No. 7 seed with some assistance. It was a good decision for Ponder to deviate from the norm and spare the Sunday NFL Countdown crew from being memed.

Unfortunately, Ponder could not save her colleagues over at NFL Live, who all picked Dallas to win and did so pretty handily. They also all picked the Los Angeles Rams to upset the Detroit Lions, and well, we all know how that one turned out.

Ponder may have saved the day with her Packers pick, but we can’t let her off the hook for picking the Miami Dolphins to knock off the Kansas City Chiefs; Mike McDaniel’s squad lost 26-7 in the fourth-coldest game in NFL history.

So while Ponder may not be clairvoyant (that Dolphins-Chiefs pick…), her Packers prediction saved each of Rex Ryan, Randy Moss, Alex Smith, and Tedy Bruschi from becoming a meme, as well as herself.

[Sam Ponder]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.