The Super Sized Wild Card Weekend
The best football is ahead of us where the games mean the most and the stakes are at their highest.
The NFL somehow made it to this point. This season was certainly turbulent with Covid 19 reeking havoc on the schedule. Games were moved, teams played without position groups and even this weekend the Cleveland Browns will play without their head coach.
The league agreed to add another playoff spot in each conference so this weekend we get our first ever SUPER SIZED WILD CARD WEEKEND.
Three NFL playoff games will take place on Saturday and three more on Sunday. The only teams resting this weekend are the top ranked Packers in the NFC and the defending Super Bowl Champion Chiefs in the AFC. While those teams rest and recoup the other twelve will begin the NFL’s second season.
On Saturday the Indianapolis Colts will square off with one of the hottest teams in the NFL in the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills have been so good for so long with their only loss coming almost two months ago in the “Hail Murray play” in Arizona. Besides that late game miracle the Bills have been dominant on both sides of the ball and this first game of the six will set a great tone for the weekend.
The NFC West was a grind all year long and by winning the division the Seattle Seahawks will get the luxury of hosting the Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams are optimistic that Jared Goff can return to their offense and they hope their strong defense can contain Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. This will be matchup number three this season between the two rivals as they split the first two in the regular season.
Saturday’s night cap will have the NFC East division winning Washington Football Team hosting Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tampa Tom may not have all his weapons as Mike Evans was hurt early in week 17. For Washington their quarterback situation is up in the air as there is a concern with Alex Smith’s calf injury. Washington’s rookie defensive stud Chase Young said “we want Tom,” be careful what you wish for. If Washington is to win though that defense will need to be great, pressure Brady and limit mistakes on offense.
Sunday kicks off with an old school feel to the playoffs.
Two of the best running teams in the NFL meet for the second straight postseason.
The Baltimore Ravens look to establish a balanced running attack while the Tennessee Titans feature their 2,000 yard rushing beast Derrick Henry. Last year Tennessee surprised Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, we will see if the former MVP can bounce back and play better in the playoffs.
The New Orleans Saints enter this weekend as the largest favorite according to the Las Vegas lines.
The reason for that is that New Orleans had another great season, they are at home, and the Bears have struggled at different points of the season. New Orleans has had some tough losses in recent postseasons but the return of Michael Thomas should be a huge boost to an already lethal offense.
Lastly, the Cleveland Browns are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Cleveland will play this game without head coach Kevin Stefanski who will miss the game due to Covid contact tracing.
The Steelers were undefeated for a large portion of the season but then limped into the finish line. Can Pittsburgh regain its early season magic and can the Browns get a balanced run game with limited mistakes from Baker Mayfield? These two teams know each other well and this too will be matchup number three this season with the teams splitting the first two.
The games should be fun, entertaining, stressful, dramatic, frustrating, exhilarating, in other words, welcome to the playoffs.