Here we are two years after I swore off my allegiance to the NFL as a fan and yet somehow the league continues to disappoint me. I only tangently follow the NFL for the sole purpose of remaining in a friendly fantasy football league with my buddies. Bragging rights are always fun right? So as I tuned in over the past few weeks because it is the playoffs afterall and well…the playoffs in any sport is fun (I’ll watch anything from little league to handball if it is an elimination game). Well these last few weeks of NFL playoffs are prime example as to how the NFL continues to disappoint me.
First off my most hated team, the Rams, make the playoffs despite me hoping for a winless season. Can we first of all address the final week of the season where many were saying the Rams were attempting to lose their final game of the regular season in order to gain a more favorable (what many thought at the time) #4 seed and face the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round. However in typical Rams fashion even though they did lose, resting several starters, they still got the #3 seed because both the Falcons and Carolina Panthers lost their regular season finale as well; so that was kind of funny.
Now back to seeing the Rams in the playoffs for the first time in a decade; at least I got some satisfaction in seeing them completely fall apart in their first round game, at home none-the-less, to the Atlanta Falcons. The “potent” offense of the Rams was completely non-existent, putting up 13 points, only the third time the team failed to score 20 or more points in a game this season. That did give me a chuckle.
But that was about the extent of the joy I got watching the NFL playoffs this year. The next day we got to see an abysmal offensive game between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars. The following week gave us a snooze fest between the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots and a close but boring game between the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. We did get two wild games with the Pittsburgh Steelers/Jacksonville Jaguars unexpected high scoring affair and the ridiculous ending in the New Orleans Saints/Minnesota Vikings game.
However in all four of those games, I had either picked or was rooting for the team that ended up losing. That’s right my sleeper picks of the Falcons knocked out because the offensive coordinator can’t figure out how to score more than 10 points with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Devonta Freeman on the same team. A team I enjoyed following this year because of the fantasy draft steal of the year, Alvin Kamara, decided to not tackle on the final play of the game. A team I briefly considering switching my NFL allegiance to after the Rams left, the Titans, had no chance at all; it would have been fitting if I remained a NFL fan to choose the Titans because wow, they are frustrating. And the team I felt had the best chance of unseating my second most hated team, the Patriots, let the Jaguars put up 45 points against them. (insert eye roll here)
So now we move onto the Divisional Championship round. The Jaguars, could they actually do it? Could they continue their play and take down the dynasty. The Jaguars were up 10 points in the fourth quarter and just had to essentially get three first downs to milk the game for a win. So what happens, yep. They punt, punt, punt and their historic win falls short like a Blake Bortles deep ball.
The other game featured the Vikings against the Eagles. The Vikings fresh off their memorable win with a chance to become the first team to ever play in the Super Bowl at their home stadium, facing an Eagles team with Nick Foles at quarterback come out and lose 38-7. Oh Viking fans how you continuously get disappointed, just like me.
So what does all of this mean? It means that in two weeks we get a Super Bowl between the Eagles and the Patriots. Ahhhhhh….seriously!!! Can we NOT get someone new in there. I mean the NFL gods really gave Tom Brady and the Patriots, a season in which they are probably their most vulnerable in a long time, a playoff road against quarterbacks the likes of Marcus Mariota, Blake Bortles, and Nick Foles. Seriously!?!? How can that be real? Which of course you know what happens next right? Brady and the Patriots hoisting yet another Lombardi trophy on February 4th in Minnesota. Ugh, so disappointing.