Wild-card weekend was not exactly “wild”, as of the four games, only Chiefs/Titans was really particularly entertaining, and that was after a brutal first half. My football analysis ability isn’t exactly Mel Kiper level (my hairline is way better though), but here are my gut reactions to the four games this weekend.
Titans 22, Chiefs 21
Poor Chiefs. I don’t feel for their fans as much as I do Bills fans, but it’s definitely close. I feel like every year, the Chiefs tease us and make everyone go “wow they’re legit,” only to ultimately fail in the playoffs. That team still has a lot of promise going forward, but you have to expect Alex Smith’s time in Kansas City has come to an end. As far as the Titans, Marcus Mariota put the team on his back to propel them to the win, and Derrick Henry made us all wonder why the hell he hasn’t been the team’s feature back all along. Now the Titans head to Foxborough to take on a Patriots team that hasn’t played since the ESPN article saying Brady/Belichick/Kraft actually aren’t all best friends. No disrespect to the Titans, but I would NOT want to be in that position right now.
Falcons 26, Rams 13
The Falcons looked like a team that was just in the Super Bowl last year (how did that game go again? I forget), and the Rams looked like a young team that had never been in the playoff spotlight before. This game was pretty hard to watch, but the takeaways are clear: the Falcons have as good of a shot as anyone to win the NFC, and the Rams aren’t quite there yet, but have the pieces to be a Super Bowl contender for years to come. The Falcons will now go to Philly to take on the Carson Wentz-less Eagles in what should be an extremely intriguing game. Despite the Eagles being the #1 seed and at home, the Falcons have to be the favorites in that one.
Jaguars 10, Bills 3
The videos of Bills Mafia tailgates were absolutely the highlight of this whole weekend.
Unfortunately, the highlights for the Bills ended as soon as the tailgates did. In what was a painful game where Blake “Vick” Bortles ran for more yards than he passed for (88 to 87), the Bills failed to score a touchdown. You hate to see Tyrod Taylor go down on the last drive of the game, although a Nathan Peterman game-ending INT made for a great time. The funny thing is, as bad as the Jags are, you can’t count them out against the Steelers. Obviously Bortles has to be WAY better for them to have a chance, but that defense is absolutely legit, and if they can get Fournette going that could be a great game.
Saints 31, Panthers 26
Had the Saints -6.5, was looking great until Christian McCaffrey’s 56 yard touchdown catch late. Thanks, Obama. Regardless, my main takeaway from this game is how fucking hard Cam Newton gets hit and wondering how he’s still alive. He couldn’t even make it to the sideline without falling down after one hit he took! Truly amazing what this guy can do. He did a great job of keeping the Panthers in it, but Drew Brees and the Saints proved too much. They now go to Minnesota to take on the Vikings in what should be a wildly entertaining game.