It’s here; the NFL playoffs start in a few hours with a pair of Wild Card Weekend games, and it’s glorious. Of course, there’s not much I like about the winter months, especially after the Holiday’s passes. But I do love the NFL playoffs, and I always have. There’s something about the thrill of the magnitude of the games. One game, one winner, lose and go home.
Some of my favorite memories as a young sports fan start with watching the NFL playoffs. Watching Mike Shanahan and John Elway author two Super Bowls in the late 90s. Seeing the Falcons knock the Vikings off at the Metrodome to win the NFC Championship in 1998. Watching the expansion, Jacksonville Jaguars make the playoffs four straight seasons.
I can go on forever, but you get the point. There’s something thrilling about the NFL playoffs, and it’s always been a highlight of the year for me.
- One of the more thrilling playoff games in recent memory was the 42-36 overtime thriller between the Bills and Chiefs. However, not everyone was happy with the finish. It ultimately led to the NFL making some changes to the overtime rules in the playoffs.
- So, instead of Patrick Mahomes driving down the field with ease on the first drive of the overtime period, Josh Allen would have the chance to match that touchdown and extend the overtime period. At this point, it would be sudden death after that.
- I don’t see the need for the change. If you want the ball in overtime, stop the opposing team. It’s a three-phase game, and someone has to win and lose. I’m also not offended by the rule change. It’s essentially the same format, but each team gets an extra possession.
- Here’s a quirky exception to the rule, however:
- Saints GM Mickey Loomis spoke with reporters on Friday and confirmed that head coach Dennis Allen would return next season. He also confirmed that the Broncos, Cardinals, and Texans requested to interview Sean Payton. According to Ian Rapoport, all of those teams have started that process with the knowledge that it will cost them a first-round pick and then some.
- We know that Denver’s new ownership likes Payton. They want a strong football voice in a power structure that has none right now. Payton’s voice grew stale in New Orleans, but it’s loud enough for Denver. I think it would be a perfect fit, and I discussed that on Friday.
- I put together a Wild Card Weekend preview covering all six games on tap this weekend for your pre-game reading:
- Santa Clara will be a wet and windy day for the Seahawks-49ers game. Which, by the way, is an advantage for San Francisco.
- I’ve got the 49ers and Jaguars in today’s slate of games. You can check out the rest of my Wild Card Weekend Picks (and argue them to the death) here:
- Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson is an extension candidate for the Chicago Bears this offseason:
- As is Cole Kmet:
- The Bulls are on a three-game losing streak … again.