NFL Divisional Playoffs 2021 Post Mortem: A Love(?) Story

Introduction

Okay, that’s more like it. While I thought the Coin Flip weekend was underwhelming, I enjoyed the heck out of the divisional round this past weekend. I look forward to discussing all of it in this NFL Divisional Playoffs 2021 post mortem article. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun watching the NFL.

It might have been the Steelers/Arizona Super Bowl. Surely, that’s the last game to make me jump out of my seat.

Granted, it wasn’t all wine and roses this weekend, as we will discuss in the article. I experienced one of the single scariest moments of my football fan life this weekend .I guarantee you know what I’m talking about. Nevertheless, I will keep that modicum of suspense so that you continue reading.

I will structure this NFL Divisional Playoffs 2021 post mortem article by analyzing each game. I will start with the game that I considered to be the least exciting and progress to the most exciting game of the weekend in my opinion. Okay, enough explanation. Let’s talk some football.

Snooze Fest (Ravens 3, Bills 17)

I considered this my game of the week going into the weekend. Both of these teams have shot into my top 5 over the last couple of years. I love both quarterbacks. Imagine my surprise then, when I spent most of the first half ignoring it to play chess with my son, then went to bed at halftime. I woke up to a text from Chris about LJ’s injury and checked the score. Turns out, I missed nothing. Well, technically, I missed two Buffalo TDs, but really all I missed was a terrible game.

An exciting blowout (Rams 18, Packers 32)

I knew the outcome of this game before it played. The Rams honestly had no chance. Sure, people commented repeatedly about number 1 defense vs. number 1 offense and that statistic. Turns out none of that matters with Aaron Rodgers residing on the opposing sideline. He and the Packers shredded the Rams. If I’m being honest, I have no idea how the Rams even scored the 18 points they got. Still, a fun game.

More exciting if it hadn’t given me a heart attack (Browns 17, Chefs 22)

Patrick Mahomes went down with a clear concussion. For some reason (plausible deniability), the network played coy about his status for the rest of the game. Until they weren’t able to deny it any longer, then they finally reported it. Now, the rest of this week will simply be shows talking about him in protocol and whether he will play next week. Already, Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption did a segment on it. I might have to avoid sports talk for the rest of this week. Aside from that, I enjoyed this game. The Browns made it much closer than it should have been. Chris and I both texted one another to say that we thought it was over after the Baker pick deep in their territory. Turns out it wasn’t over until the last play of the game. And, that call took cajones.

Why Was This Game So Fun? (Bucs 30, Aints 20)

There’s something to be said for not having a rooting interest in the game. I hate both these quarterbacks. Well, perhaps hate is too strong a word. However, of the quarterbacks in the divisional round, I put these two guys at the bottom of the likability index. However, I did get what I asked for from this game. Old Man Brady pulled out another of his patented “how the hell did he win that game” games. The Aints suffered another of their recent heartbreaking losses. Perhaps this game says more about me and my capacity for schadenfreude than I’d like. But, if you’ve been here for any time at all, you already knew that.

The Verdict

Other than the Bills, every game went the way I hoped. Even the Bills winning was half a win for me since I only slightly favored the Ravens in the game. That’s not why I enjoyed the weekend so much, though. For whatever reason, I put aside the adult trappings of cynicism and watched football like I used to when I was a kid. I cheered. I shouted. You know what else? I nearly cried over Mahomes’ injury. Hell, I even came to terms with the fact that TB12 might not be as BS as I’ve always considered it. I, for one, can’t wait until the championship games.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

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