Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Wild Card Weekend Takeaways

Here is what we learned during Wild Card weekend in the NFL:

  1. It's really goddamned cold in Minnesota, and pretty much anything other than the NFL or a public utility company would get slapped with an OSHA claim for making people work in that.
  2. Washington hadn't beaten anyone with a winning record coming into the playoffs. They still haven't beaten anyone with a winning record. Beware of boxers with 38-1 lifetime records built on piles of discarded tomato cans. In other news, Kirk Cousins.
  3. It would surprise no one to learn that Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh's family, or perhaps his pets, were being held at gunpoint in a basement in Minnetonka during that last field goal attempt. Hopefully, they have been released unharmed. 
  4. In other news, that game is why you don't skimp on your long snapper, kids.
  5. If the Seahawks had been playing the Patriots, all of their "headset troubles" would have immediately started a million conspiracy-themed tweets. Of course, if the Seahawks had been playing the Patriots, it would have ended with Russell Wilson getting intercepted at the goal. So there you go.
  6. Watching Andy Reid coach against an outgunned opponent is competence porn. 
  7. Brian Hoyer flaming out in the playoffs is sad but unsurprising. He's the quarterback equivalent of a mistake hitter, the guy who racks up 25 home runs every year feasting on hanging curveballs from 12th guys on pitching staffs, but who can't do a thing about pitchers who are actually good. It's not like he had a lot of help on Saturday, but like they say, a fish rots from the head.
  8. The officiating in the Steelers-Bengals game was awful (as is rather a lot of NFL officiating these days). That being said, maybe the teams that passed on Vontaze Burfict in the draft due to character concerns - remember, he was a hot prospect going into his last year of college but fell entirely out of the draft - might have been on to something.
  9. Also, even if the officials are dreadful - especially when they're dreadful - you don't give them extra opportunities to be dreadful in a way that impacts you. Playing out of control when the refs have clearly lost their minds is like giving the Tasmanian Devil amphetamines. It'll be interesting to watch, but odds are you're going to find the experience very painful.
  10. Bud Grant is tougher than you. Bud Grant will always be tougher than you.

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