Sorry that I’m a day late on this NFL Conference Championships 2021 post mortem article. I was busy simulating for my epic 70 year run of Super Bowl LV: As It Should Have Been. Actually, I don’t own the teams for this year yet to be able to simulate the games yet. They won’t be released for another couple of months at the earliest.
But, I bring you my take on the fallout from the games this past weekend. Spoiler alert: I liked one outcome. However, I hated the other in every way possible. Instead of dwelling on the games themselves, which we all watched, allow me to reflect on how the results may have affected each team. I realize that may be unorthodox.
What are we if not unorthodox around here. I just try to find those forgotten or lost topics to write about. With so much content out there, especially in sports, that can be difficult. Nevertheless, 6 years of a web page that reaches about a dozen people at a time proves that I do not give up easily. Join me, now, for the NFL Conference Championships 2021 post mortem.
Green Bay Packers – Wither Aaron Rodgers?
Poor Aaron Rodgers. I mentioned in the previous two articles that he has thrown less than 100 interceptions in his career. This season, he again made a compelling case as the MVP. And yet, in the aftermath of this weekend’s game, the less imaginative members of sports media saddled him with the “can’t win the big one” label.
Yes, the Packers lost the game with him. Yes, that makes them 1-4 in conference championships with him as their. Forget for a minute that wins and losses are not a quarterback stat. Football is the ultimate team game until a quarterback has an unfavorable record. Then, all of a sudden, he’s a choker and “can’t win the big one”. So stupid.
Tampa Bay got Tom Brady and then basically sold their future for now. They got Leonard Fournette, a good receiving corp and offensive line, Bruce Arians as coach, and one of the best defenses. Kansas City reloaded after Hunt went to Cleveland. Hell, even Buffalo got Stephon Diggs to help Josh Allen. Aaron Rodgers has the other Aaron, a receiving corp that drops ball after ball, and a suspect defense made even more so by a cornerback whose kink is apparently getting beat like a drum every other play.
Chris accused me of “Brady hate” during our text exchange during the game. More on that later. The whole game, I just kept thinking how much this sucks for Rodgers. I hope he gets another chance to drag this corpse of a team up the mountain and shut everyone up. Oh, I forgot to mention earlier. You’re the coach of a team down 8 with about 2 minutes to go. What do you do? Oh, you’re kicking a field goal. Surely, you have the trickiest onside kick planned, right? Right? RIGHT?!
Buffalo Bills – Young Coaches Got Schooled
I quietly rode the Josh Allen bandwagon last year. He looked to be improving. However, I didn’t want to come out as a full Josh Allen fan. I’ve been burned before. Remember Kordell Stewart? I bought too many shares of that stock just before it tanked. The jury on Tua in the NFL is still out, but his college career is enough for me to hang my hat on. Therefore, unless your name is Patrick F. Mahomes, I reserve the right to be, uh, reserved in my adoration.
Even though I wanted to watch this game more than any other game so far this season, I didn’t. I tuned in to the Gamecast and saw KC was up 21-9. Texted Chris, “Well, at least something is going according to plan.” He agreed. I “watched” the Gamecast for a bit more and went to bed confident in the Chefs’ victory.
So, not having seen the game, I can’t comment with 100% accuracy. I will, instead, report from one of the various articles I’ve read in the past week. It looked to me like the two losing teams simply got outcoached. Yes, I realize that seems hypocritical when I just said the team wins and loses and that it can’t be blamed on one person. Nevertheless, the coach (especially in the NFL) has much of the power and decision making capacity.
Think of it like a game of Magic the Gathering (what’s this, gaming content?). Now, granted, football players are more than simply pieces of cardboard. But, stick with me for this possibly overwrought metaphor. The decisions that you make (right or wrong) add up over the game and one costly mistake can lose you the game. The point is the Bills will be back and I’m fully on the Josh Allen bandwagon now.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Oh, God, Not This Again
I already said that Chris accused me of Brady hate. He said this in response to my preview article where I said that I don’t hate Brady as a football player or a person. I assure you, all of that is true. Then again, by simply needing to assure you, I may have already exposed my guilt. So, what’s the deal? Do I or do I not hate Tom Brady?
I don’t hate Tom Brady the person. Yes, he is a consummate con man that peddles questionable medical and lifestyle advice. Basically, he’s Gwenyth Paltrow for sports dudes. But, he seems to actually believe the crap he says, so it’s not like he is Trump level con man. I also don’t hate Tom Brady the football player. He does what a quarterback is supposed to do and he does it very well.
I do hate, still, that he receives a bulk of the credit, especially for this game. He threw 3 TDs, that much is true. He also threw three interceptions and, in the second half, looked like Eli Manning. As mentioned, his defense bailed him out. It also helped that Green Bay’s coach isn’t very good at probability and statistics.
I read one article that credited the defense, which gives me some faith that bad actors in sports media are being ushered out the door. These guys are professional writer and speakers and the best they can come up with is “Tom Brady Good/Aaron Rodgers Chokes”. It infuriates me to no end. I even said to Chris this week, why do we pay for sports media content? Eff the sports media.
Kansas City Chiefs – Start Chad Henne?
In the closing seconds of the Green Bay/Tampa Bay game, I might have texted Chris, “I might consider starting Henne in this game to give Mahomes more time to rest and recuperate.” He texted about turf toe in an attempt to trigger my paranoia, so I responded in kind.
I forgot that the NFL has access to a wide variety of pain killing medication (surprisingly, even though it’s been decriminalized and legalized, that doesn’t include cannabis) that they can mix into cocktails to get a guy ready to take his 3 hours of abuse on the field. So, it most likely is that Mahomes was out there and tossing 3 TDs against a Bills defense that looked good earlier in the year and the week before, but wilted against decent to good offenses.
A couple of days ago, I went back and read my article previewing the Eagles/Patriots Super Bowl. I must cheer against Tom Brady. I cultivated my entire football fan identity around that key idea. And, so, as a former Pittsburgh native, I swallowed my pride and cheered for the Eagles. I took no joy in this.
This year, I can both root against Tom Brady and for Patrick Mahomes. I do this fully aware that the NFL loves a “riding off into the sunset” story and will push that above all else. Knowing that my heart might be ripped in two adds to the excitement. I take solace in the fact that Chris and I both agree that Tampa, unless their defense plays out of their minds, doesn’t have a chance in this game. Oh crap. That gives me no solace at all.
I enjoyed this past weekend. I did tune out of the Packers/Bucs game for the second and third quarters because I thought the Bucs might run away with the game. Chris got me back in by updating me on Brady’s three picks each time they happened. I then sat in stunned silence at the field goal call before texting Chris that I’m not a football coach but I did not understand it at all. You already know that I didn’t watch the Chiefs/Bills game, but the Chiefs won, so that’s all gravy. Thanks for reading my NFL Conference Championships 2021 Post Mortem and see you in a few days for the Super Bowl Preview.
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