Everyone talks about the NFL ratings. They are trending down and they are in trouble. Well the playoffs will end that debate. Welcome to Wild Card Weekend in the NFL. When I was really young it did not happen at all. Then it was a couple of games. Now it is a total of four games or a 3 week tournament to get the participants in Super Bowl LI (51). I will try to pick the winner of the whole tournament next weekend but this weekend let us get to the chase.
At The Dinner Table
Only 6 teams return to the playoffs this year which is less than the number last year. That NFL cap is so pesky.
Out of the playoffs this year are six teams that made it last year. The Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals and in an NFL first, neither team from Super Bowl 50 made it to the playoffs. That would be the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. That is the shocker for Carolina as they have dominated the regular season over the last two years.
In turn we get to welcome six new teams back to the playoffs that were not there in the 2015 season. Those teams are the Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons, and Dallas Cowboys.
How does it look for Wild Card Weekend? Let us look in and see how everyone is arranged at the table shouldn’t we?
The Good The Not So Good and The Downright Horrible
The Wildcard weekend has four games. The AFC and NFC each play a Saturday game and a Sunday game in a change over last year.
At the children’s table in our aforementioned scenario, it all kicks off with the “I used to have MVP candidate Derek Carr until he broke his leg” on the road to face the “I am in the playoffs again and I started 2 different QBs this year” Houston Texans. This should be a no-brainer but this is the Downright Horrible. Houston has to win a home game right? I will take Houston because I have to take one over the other.
The next at the table finds the “I can score I really can” Detroit Lions visiting the “Oh yeah, well I have the 12th man” Seattle Seahawks. These teams do not play that often so in most people’s minds, this game is about how Detroit will score and how Seattle will defend. This is not your Seattle Seahawks of the last two years — no sir-ree. I say Seattle finds a way only because Detroit cannot usually find it’s way.
On Sunday the good games get underway with the Miami Dolphins visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers. These teams played earlier this year and Miami smoked them. But it is the playoffs and Pittsburgh is healthier. Look for a Pittsburgh victory.
The last game of the weekend sees the New York Giants heading to Lambeau field to play the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have won 6 in a row to put them into this position. They are H.O.T. hot hot hot! It is like they want to give the New York Giants some of their own “I can win after being 4-6 medicine”. And they do! Look for the Green Bay Packers to keep their mojo and Odell Beckham Jr. to go crazy off the rails. That is why people love watching this game right?
Wild Card Weekend Table Settings
All the places for the participants are set and now we just have to see who moves up to the adult table this weekend. I have noticed that teams which have been playing playoff type football for several weeks do well. I have noticed the teams with injuries are exposed. I have also noticed that all is revealed.
I am looking for a meltdown or two this weekend because so much is at stake. And as usual I will be watching the ratings to see if the NFL is falling off a cliff. Now get me some wings and get me some brews! The playoffs are here.
Tim can now be reached at email@example.com and welcomes your opinions on the Diary of a Fantasy Virgin Articles.