Wildcard Weekend Preview

Playoff football is awesome. It’s not quite as good as playoff hockey, but nothing is really, so there’s nothing wrong with second place. Wildcard Weekend, next to Super Bowl Weekend, is the best 2 days in the NFL. Why? You have the possibility of upset after upset after upset. Teams that shouldn’t be there are there and could knock out teams we thought would be Super Bowl contenders. The Washington Football Team beating the Bucs. The coachless Browns beating the front-running Steelers. Fraudulent teams will be exposed. And since my pitiful Patriots opted out of the playoffs this year, I can go into this season with ZERO stress! It’s great!

I’m going to run through this weekends slate of games a little differently though. It’s not all going to be based on pure stats. Statistics only get you to the dance, but once you’re dancing, anything can happen. Gotta look at the vibes and intangibles.

Colts at Bills: The Bills feel like a team of destiny to me. I don’t know exactly why, but they just do. And I know as a Patriots fan I’m supposed to not root for them, but that makes no sense to me. My team is out. The Bills are such an easy team to root for and Josh Allen seems like a genuinely nice guy. He’d be an MVP candidate too if he wasn’t playing for the Bills, but oh well. Opposing them are a team that I feel is primed for a first round exit. The Colts defense is great, sure, but you have to remember who they have running the offense: Philip Rivers. Who, for all intents and purposes, is cooked. Donezo.

This reeks of a game where River is shot-putting the ball all over the field, sailing it to his receivers and we get a record amount of “angry Rivers faces” after each drive. AND there will be actual members of Bills Mafia allowed in the stadium Saturday afternoon? Yeah, this one is over before it even starts. Colts 13 – Bills 30

Rams at Seahawks: This one has all the makings of one of those Saturday afternoon playoffs games that’s boringly competitive where both teams have issues finishing off drives and you look up in the 4th quarter like, “HEY! This is a close one!” Two inconsistent offenses, two overrated head coaches and no off the field storylines of note. Blah. I dislike both of these teams, so much. I’m sick of hearing that Goff is great. He’s good! But I refuse buy into all his hype. And I’m still sick of McVay after every media member far and wide flicked his bean about how he’s this great offensive mind and anyone who ever came in contact with him has been touched by his genius going into the 2018 Super Bowl.

I’m sick of Pete Carroll being on my TV chewing gum and running up and down the sidelines. I’m sick of people saying Russell Wilson is still elite when, if you watch his games, he’s simply not. DK Metcalf is elite though, but not when he plays Jaylen Ramsey. But to make it simple: if Goff plays, the Rams win. If he doesn’t, I STILL think they win because Seattle may be the most fraudulent team in the playoffs. This ain’t the legion of boom, and Wilson can’t do this on his own anymore. And there’s no 12th man to will Seattle to victory this time. Oh, Aaron Donald by the way. Rams 20 – Seahawks 17

Bucs at Washington: Brady vs Young. This is my most anticipated game of the weekend I think. Storylines like you read about. Can Brady do it again? Was Chase Young wrong to call him out? Can the Alex Smith story continue? Will my jealousy and anger towards Tom Brady and the fact he left my team rear it’s ugly head? Will Tampa break out the creamsicles? Fuck Antonio Brown. I simply cannot wait. After watching Tom Brady destroy the league with my team for so long, I’ve noticed one thing: if you can pressure him, you got a shot. And Chase Young is chomping at the bit right now.

Add him to a Washington defense that is actually pretty good and you may have a recipe for a gigantic upset. With Mike Evans potentially being a little hobbled still and Arians wanting to get RoJo back in the swing of things running the ball, Brady may have to put the team on his back again. He’s been GREAT to end the season, but can he keep doing it? The Bucs can dominate this one if they want, but if Young can cause havoc all day, there’s only one outcome. Bucs 20 – WFT 24

Ravens at Titans: The league figured Lamar Jackson out, but now it looks like Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have re-figured out the league. Jackson and Baltimore quietly got themselves to an 11-5 record but yet no one is talking about that. Some people would call the Ravens frauds, but I’d venture to say the team across from them may be as well! The Titans are a one trick pony. Derrick Henry gets it going, or they’ll lose. Similar to the Ravens with Jackson. If Lamar can beat you with his legs, the Ravens normally win. So in the battle of on trick pony’s, it comes down to DH2k or the former MVP. Who can stop who. I’m going with Beast Mode 2.0. Ravens 23 – Titans 28

Bears at Saints: I want the Bears to win so bad, I really do. I can’t even tell you why, I think I just like chaos and Chicago beating New Orleans would send the league into crazytown. Would that be Drew Brees’ last game in a Saints uniform? Would this win earn Trubisky a big contract? Would this mean Nick Foles is the leagues best good luck charm? But unfortunately, there’s just no chance the Bears win this. Their defense is really good, but Kamara is just better. And with all signs pointing to him playing Sunday, the Bears slim chance just got shot down to none. Mitch gets pulled in the 3rd while Brees flops on the other side but Kamara wins this one single handedly. Bears 16 – Saints 27

Browns at Steelers: While the Tampa/WFT game is my personal “Game of the Weekend” this one has all the makings of being the actual “Game of the Weekend”. There’s already enough bad blood between these teams, but JuJu in all his genius decided to add some more fuel to that fire.

The Browns have been dealt blow after blow towards the end of the season here, you just have to feel for them. They were forced to play a game with every one of their starting receivers out due to COVID and now they have to play the biggest game in this franchises life without their head coach. The deck is, as they say, stacked against Cleveland. But it seems all this adversity has made the chip on the Browns shoulder grow larger and larger. And you know Baker is going to wake up feeling dangerous Sunday morning which may be really good or really bad.

When it comes to the Steelers, it all really rests on the broken down shoulders of Big Ben. Do we get elite playoff Ben or do we get “I may retire after this game” Ben. This game is going to be the perfect playoff game aesthetically. We’re gonna get cold breath coming from the facemasks, dirtied/bloodied up jerseys and some hard hits that will crack even louder in the cold. That all being said, I think the Steelers get exposed and Mike Tomlin’s team get’s some dumb dumb penalties as they’re known to do that ultimately cost them the game. Cleveland rocks. Browns 21 – Steelers 19

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