What a wild weekend in the NFL Wildcard Playoffs! The Bills, Chiefs, Packers and Buccaneers all meet next week for Conference Sunday. Are you ready for some football?
The game lines for Sunday’s AFC and NFC championship have been released, with the Chiefs and Packers holding a narrow spread over their opponents. The Packers are favoured by 4 points over the Bucs at Lambeau, while the Chiefs are a scant 3 points favoured over the powerful Buffalo Bills.
Which two teams will be heading to the Super Bowl in Tampa Bay this season?
Here in the UK, those watching the Conference Sunday finals will have to wait until 20:05 for the NFC contest, while the AFC final follows directly after with a 23:40 kickoff. All of the games will be on NFL Gamepass.
Here are some thoughts heading into the final week of NFL playoffs before the SuperBowl.
Aaron Rodgers continue to blister on at an MVP pace. The neigh sayers who bemoaned the Packers for not drafting a rookie WR to help Rodgers out have been silenced by the fact that he continues to spread the ball around relentlessly. Let’s not forget that the Packers have had the easiest route to the finals, so they will have much more to prove.
Baltimore was smothered by the Bills defence on Saturday, forcing Lamar Jackson out of the game, and propelling them into the dank post season. Buffalo sure showed the blueprint to beat Lamar Jackson’s legs, and the Ravens will need a long hard look at what missing pieces they need to pick up in the offseason if they want to have any hope of making a longer playoff push next season.
Buffalo is Warming Up
The Ravens did what they could to throttle Josh Allen and the high flying Bills offence, but just don’t have enough to get it down. Buffalo is really starting to find their confidence now, which should be scary for a Chiefs team that barely escaped a bolstered Browns squad. Allen is also now starting to spread the ball out beyond Diggs, which will cause problems in KC.
We’re Secretly Brownies
As Patrick Mahomes made his way to the blue tent on Sunday night, a feeling started to roll across America ‘I might like the Browns’. Everyone started to root for this team as they showed their pluck and guile under the foot of the Chiefs presence. Cleveland didn’t play that bad. The Browns screwed up 2 HUGE chances in the redzone that would have made the game a totally different beast. Baker’s ill timed cross field interception took the momentum out of a huge drive, while Higgins leap into the end zone only to lose the ball to a touchback was a crappy way to end out the half. The fact that the refs missed a blatant helmet hit in the process means that the league still has work to do.
Henne Ain’t Great
Oooh everyone! Did you see the heroics of Henne? Yes, the 35 year old veteran back up had a few sneaky drives to keep the Chiefs in the win, but he also made some stoopid plays as well. How quickly everyone forgets the lame floater he tossed to a Browns player in the end zone. Not even Johnny Manziel would throw a lame duck like that. Any team that wants to sign Henne after that 2 quarters of mediocre play might be interested in some swamp land in Florida.
Andy Reid has some pretty big balls. Going for it on 4th down with a backup QB, Reid decides to run a shotgun play quickly instead of letting the clock run and try to catch the D offside. The play worked, and sent the Browns packing. Thanks to the gonads of Andy Reid, there might be some big plays ahead.
Here is the play again.
Whoever keeps pissing in Tom Brady’s ‘Wheaties’, please stop. You’re giving him the motivation to star playing angry. While TB12 didn’t look amazing during the Saints game, he was facing one of the best D’s in the league. Tampa made some great adjustments to keep Tom safe, only allowing 1 sack as opposed to 10. Let’s also not forget that it was the Bucs who spanked the Packers huge this season, and with Tommy’s growing confidence, there could be trouble in Wisconsin this Sunday.
Well it looks like Drew Brees will be riding off into the sunset. Despite not officially saying this, every pundit and their uncle made their prediction that this would be Brees’ last game in New Orleans before taking a cushy broadcasting job. Brees has been a hell of a player, and such an ambassador for the city of New Orleans. There will be a big gap to fill after Brees leaves the swamp, and doubtful in Jameis Winston has being enough feet to fill those shoes.
The really classy moment came at the end, with footage of Brady and Brees talking to his family. TB12 throws a touchdown pass to little Brees…and no…you’re crying.
Have a great week, and let’s go Sunday!