Is it just me or has all of the college and NFL playoff games been disappointing? I understand every game can’t be balls to the wall, but they should at least be competitive. It is early January so every playoff game played outside saw frigid temperatures which gave players an opportunity to conduct pregame warm ups shirtless implying that their diamond hard nipples and shriveled up nether regions aren’t affected by the cold. I saw enough images of half-naked football players over the weekend to last a life time.
Another bummer about the NFL playoffs is that I have to watch every game on their own from beginning to end. My easily distracted millennial mind needs to play Madden or Minecraft while watching these individual games as in the 4 hours it takes to play these games, about 2 hours are filled with beer, restaurant, and truck commercials. Regardless I persevered and watched all 4 NFL playoff games in the Wild Card round.
Shane Lechler vs. Marquette King
Appropriately titled “The Worst quarterback matchup in NFL history” by The Ringer, the Raiders/Texans game was tough to watch. Third string QB Connor Cook making his first career start vs. Brock Osweiler who was only starting because Tom Savage still had concussion issues. I have no idea how Cook is an NFL QB as he played worse than even I expected in this game. Osweiler played at his typical C – level and was fired up when he ran for a touchdown and a first down completely unaware that him showing that cocky emotion does not mesh well with his subpar performance.
Touchdowns were scored but the big takeaway I had from this game is that every time I took my eyes away from Minecraft and looked at the TV, I saw either Lechler or King kicking the ball on 4th down. I learned more about these two punters than I did any player this season during the ESPN broadcast. Lechler was drafted by the Raiders, played 13 years there before signing with the Texans and is highly respected in the punting community while King was originally a wide receiver in college but his coach told him he wasn’t good enough to play receiver so he learned how to punt to keep his scholarship.
I normally hate the snarky clever social media posts because I am an easily irritable person and I am jealous I didn’t think of the humorous lines first, but this one forced me into unexpected laughter. The Patriots can treat their divisional playoff game like a preseason game and still win.
The refs vs. Lions
I live in Michigan so I know many Lions fans who constantly complain about the team. I never rooted for the Lions as a kid, choosing the Favre led Packers as my team dodging decades worth of disappointment. The franchise that forced Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson to retire in their primes hasn’t won a playoff game since the early 90’s and everyone in my social media feeds blames that drought on the refs.
The Lions did get the shaft on some calls in their loss to Seattle but those are only amplified when the fan base has nothing else to grab onto. Stafford hasn’t been the same since he hurt his finger and they are reduced to starting a white guy at running back combined with Seattle’s defense in one of the toughest stadiums to play in as the road team. The Lions didn’t have a chance, even if all of the bad calls went their way. What a sad franchise.
I tapped out of this game in the third quarter. But before I retired to bed, I saw that amazing touchdown catch from Richardson. If he didn’t grab the facemask of the Lions defender while snagging the ball with one hand, it probably would have been catch of the year. It came on a 4th down as well, a ballsy playoff decision made by Carroll.
Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell
The hopes of the Dolphins were quickly crushed after Brown had two early long touchdown catches making the Miami secondary look amateur. Brown is so fucking good. His first touchdown catch was the more remarkable one as several Dolphin defenders had an angle on him but he was able to just accelerate and run right by them for the score.
Le’Veon Bell is one of the best running backs I have ever watched. He is so patient while running spending an impossible amount of time barely moving behind his offensive line looking for a hole. Once he sees that hole he accelerates and burst for 10 yards. He looks like he is ice skating on the field, smooth and deliberate while speeding past everyone. Those two skill players, Brown and Bell combined with Roethlisberger make for a fun and dominating offense.
The only chance the Dolphins had at winning this game is if Jay Ajayi rushed for two hundred yards like he did against the Steelers in the regular season. The Steelers knew this and prevented Ajayi from having any impact on the game. Steelers linebacker Dupree delivered one of the most crushing (and illegal) hits you will ever see on Matt Brown essentially ending the game. Brown only missed one play, but he was not the same dude after that insane hit.
Hail Mary X4
The first three quarters of the Giants/Packers game was great. The Giants were controlling the game as Rodgers and the Packers offense looked stiff in the cold temperatures in Lambeau. Then with 6 seconds left before the half, Rodgers chucked up a hail mary, or as they should be called, accurate well practiced passes, which Randall Cobb caught in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. From that point on the Packers had all of the momentum and Rodgers balled out in the second half. It didn’t help that Rogers-Cromartie was injured but Rodgers also lost Jordy Nelson to a hard to watch rib injury.
Michael provided a high energy spark for the Packers which will be important after Montgomery suffered a painful looking leg injury. McCarthy decided to go for it on 4th down in the 3rd quarter in their own territory which was easily stopped by the Giants. I liked this call even though it didn’t work out, and the Packers were able to recover with the help of Bobby Rainey catching a kickoff that was going to go out of bounds and falling out of bounds himself pinning the Giants deep in their own territory.
Since the Giants lost, the Colin Cowherds of the world took advantage of the low hanging fruit to destroy Odell Beckham Jr. and the Giants wide receivers for partying on a boat in Miami 7 days earlier. Beckham did drop a couple passes, one which would have been a TD, but I don’t think that was a result of the pussy he fucked or the expensive liquor he drank on a boat a week earlier. It was fucking cold out and football is hard to play in those conditions. Knowing what was coming his way, Beckham punched a hole in the wall in the Lambeau visiting locker room which was covered on the several 24 hour sports networks like 9/11.
Next Saturday will feature the divisional round of the playoffs. That Packers/Cowboys game has the makings of an all timer