The NFL regular season came to an end after what was advertised as the “longest, most electrifying” season ever. After 18 weeks, there were many teams that surprised the league, whether it was thanks to their talent, or their poor performance. With the Super Wild Card weekend upon us, it is hard to overlook who will make it to the next round of the playoffs. Nonetheless, before commentating on those teams that did make it to the playoffs, it is worth analyzing some of the teams that were promises at the beginning of the season, and those who were in for the draft since the beginning weeks.
Duval County Disaster
Starting with the (again) winners of the first pick in the next draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars came into the season with one of the most exciting QB prospects seen in the draft in years with Trevor Lawrence. Nonetheless, poor decisions by the GM in draft night and a supporting cast that did not support at all the young Clemson QB, accompanied by a 0-5 start to the regular season, set up things in Duval County for another year of disappointment. The cherry on top being the disaster that former college coach Urban Meyer was. All these factors make the Jaguars enter a deep phase of rebuilding if they want to make the young leader they have in Trevor Lawrence bloom.
Russell Wilson: Seahawk?
On the other hand, a team that had seen success in recent years, fell this year not only to the bottom of their own conference, but the bottom of the league. The main problem being the finger injury the main QB, Russ Wilson, picked up early in the season, which sidelined him for four weeks. Besides his injury, Wilson was already sustaining an unhealthy relationship with the team, wanting more input in decisions, and feeling frustration over the team failing to build a dream cast around him. It is yet to be determined whether Wilson will remain in Seattle. Will Russ Wilson look for an opportunity with a contender? Or will the Seahawks ownership part ways with Pete Carroll and the GM?
Other Teams that did not make the playoffs
The most remarkable case of a team that missed post-season this year, were the LA Chargers, who must be twisting after a terrible timeout call from their head coach, losing to the Las Vegas Raiders this past weekend. Missing the cut by just a bit, we have the Saint-less Jameis Winstons, and the Minnesota Vikings, both teams being eliminated later in the season. The other teams that missed the playoffs are as follows: In the AFC: the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets (no surprise here), Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, a huge disappointment with injured Lamar Jackson in the Baltimore Ravens and the QB-less Houston Texans. On the other side, in the NFC, we have: The Washington Football Team, New York Giants, the Detroit Lions, the Carolina Panthers, the Atlanta Falcons and my (not so dear this season) Chicago Bears.
Teams that made the cut, and who will be leaving the Wild Card Weekend empty handed
Every other team that has not been mentioned yet has made the NFL playoffs. In the AFC, the team that will be taking off a week, will be the Tennessee Titans, who look forward to the return of star player Derrick Henry, who was injured earlier this season, but seen practicing these past weeks. On the other side, in the NFC, it is the Green Bay Packers who look forward to taking a break after another amazing season by star QB Aaron Rodgers.
Finally, these are the games that you should be looking forward to this weekend.
Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots:
Bill Belichick has done it, he has found an amazing rhythm without TB12, and has found his new franchise QB, but will they be able to go over the Josh Allen- led Bills? This should be a truly interesting matchup to look forward to, happening this upcoming Saturday.
PREDICTION: New England takes the Win as Mac Jones has his revenge week after a poor performance against the Dolphins.
Arizona Cardinals vs. LA Rams:
The Kyler Murray MVP campaign was stained by inconsistency and some lost games that could have gone better. They look to take revenge on the superstar Rams, which have been an almost unstoppable force in the game these past seasons.
PREDICTION: In a shocker, the Cardinals beat the Rams in a rather defense-filled game, Murray takes the edge over Stafford to get his mojo back.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. LV Raiders:
Joey Legend is heading to the post season this year, a surprise just as pleasing as Derek Carr seeing post-season this year after the almost never-ending problems in the Raiders organization. Both of these teams want to win and let their fanbase, and the league know, they are here to stay.
Joe Burrow sees his first playoff win; Bengals take the contest.
With the playoffs upon us, every single game is a must-watch for all of those who enjoy the sport.