Many fans would kill to have their team in the NFL playoffs. Just ask Cleveland fan. Check that, fans in the Dawg Pound may not even remember what a postseason is.
Maybe asking a Redskins fan would be better. Or a Ravens fanatic. These two teams at least had some success this year, and the Ravens are not far removed from winning a Super Bowl.
Even with the opportunity the playoffs provide for a “new season,” I get the feeling there isn’t much hope in a few NFL cities. Getting to the dance is awesome. Getting kicked out before the good music starts in round two…well that leaves a bad taste in fans’ mouths.
But not every franchise can do what New England does year in and year out. There’s only one Tom Brady. Only one Bill Belichick. And they’re on the same damn team!
The teams without historically great coaches and quarterbacks won’t do much damage in the so-called tournament. And their fans know it.
– There is zero danger of the Houston Texans getting past round two. None. And any Texans fan who thinks differently should sign up for NFL League Pass. Watch every Osweiler game and after you throw up on your keyboard, get yourself back to reality. It will be amazing if Houston survives the Wild Card round. They only have a shot because…..
– Derek Carr broke his damn leg late in the year, killing any chance the Raiders had at another Super Bowl. It’s been a while for the team that once had the distinction of being Super Bowl worthy every decade. It’s hard to imagine Oakland surviving even the lowly Texans, without a real QB1 at the helm in the playoffs. Houston may only score 9 points, but that may be plenty to outpace Connor Cook, the third stringer who’s likely to start for Oakland.
– Miami fans have to know that the regular season win over Pittsburgh won’t be replicated in the Wild Card round. These Steelers are a different animal and could destroy the Dolphins without even throwing 20 passes. Le’Veon Bell is now on a mission. And the kid has fresh legs due to his suspension at the beginning of the year. Yah! for violating the League’s substance abuse policy.
Not all the underdogs and perennial losers are without hope. Two teams that many expect to flop in the postseason may just upset the apple cart in the next few weeks.
– The Atlanta Falcons are getting better on defense. They shouldn’t be feared, but they have built up some level of swagger the past few weeks against some bad offenses. They did handle one very good offense lead by Drew Brees last week, until garbage time.
Of course, it’s Atlanta’s deadly offense that will make or break them. They are as potent as Dallas and have more weapons. You heard right. The Cowboys have been mashing folks with their monster offensive line all year, but what happens when the ATL jumps up on them by 21? Can they hand the ball to Ezekiel Elliott 30 times to catch up?
– The Detroit Lions have let their fans down a lot over the years. This year may be no different. Their losing ways over the last few weeks of the regular season seem to point to more of the same.
Yet, this is an offense that was clicking during most of the year. They floundered late because of too many injuries at the running back position.
Many experts will expect Seattle to shut down Detroit completely and win easily at home. But these Seahawks don’t frighten anybody. Their offense has struggled as much as any in the League with the exception of the pitiful Rams. They just don’t score enough points.
And the defense is a shadow of its former self. If I were betting on a dark horse to win this weekend, it would be Detroit.
That said, all you fans can hang onto hope. This “new season” really does begin on Saturday. All the records go out the window as they say.
Survive and advance. Be it in ugly or a pretty fashion.