Worst Wildcard Playoff Weekend Ever


Not Even Close

The opening round of the NFL playoffs is finished and it may very well have been the worst Wildcard weekend ever.  There wasn’t a single game that was within one score in the fourth quarter, as all four home teams won convincingly.

The total margin of victory for the four games was 76 points, the highest since the league began this format in 1990.

Will next weekend be better?

It certainly has to be.  What we saw this past weekend (in most cases) was that the home teams were significantly better than their opponents and we should see at least one or two upsets in the next round.

Aside from the Houston-New England game, which has a 16-point spread and is expected to be a blowout, the other three matchups could go either way, and Pittsburgh is even favored on the road over Kansas City.

The Boat Ride Didn’t Matter

The New York Giants were throttled in the second half of their 38-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers.  Superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. caught just four passes for 28 yards with a pair of drops and he wasn’t a factor.

The team made news when the wide receiving corps took a trip to Miami on their day off Monday to hang out on a boat with Justin Bieber.

Make no mistake, that’s not the reason why they lost.  The defense couldn’t stop Aaron Rodgers and although the drops certainly hurt the cause, the Giants couldn’t get the Packers offense off the field.

Hail Rodgers

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed his third “Hail Mary” throw in the last year when he found Randall Cobb at the end of the first half.

“It felt amazing,” Rodgers said later. “It felt like it was meant to be today.”

There isn’t another quarterback living or dead who has been better at throwing these passes.  Rodgers elite arm strength allows the ball to go higher than anyone else, which makes it difficult for the defense to defend.  His pinpoint accuracy is something to marvel at, not only with these crazy plays but with nearly every throw he makes.

We are witnessing one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game which is lost on a lot of people due to Rodgers having just one Super Bowl ring.

Hole In The Wall

Following the Giants 38-13 loss to the Packers, wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. apparently punched a hole in the wall of the locker room.

This action seems nothing short of contrived as Beckham had to do whatever he could to prove that he cares about the game.  It was childish and unnecessary.

Antonio Brown Is The Best WR In The Game

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown helped put their Wildcard game out of reach very early as he caught not one, but two long touchdown passes from Ben Roethlisberger on the team’s first two possessions of the game in the team’s 30-12 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Brown grabbed a hitch and took it down the sideline 50 yards for a score and then caught a slant and took it 62 yards to the house.

He finished with five catches for 124 yards and the pair of touchdowns, once again proving himself to be unguardable.

Le’Veon Bell Is The Best RB In The Game

As good as Antonio Brown was during Sunday’s victory, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell was his equal.  Bell set a new Pittsburgh record for rushing as he tied Franco Harris’ 158 rushing yards by the end of the third quarter.  He then pushed the mark to 167 yards on 29 carries with a pair of touchdowns.

“Le’Veon was beastly,” said Brown, who finished with five receptions for 124 yards and the two scores. “All day, controlling the line of scrimmage, just running guys over and finding a way to put the ball in the end zone. Any time he’s playing like that, we’re going to be a hard team to beat.”

With the best running back in football, the best wide receiver in football and a future Hall of Fame quarterback, it’s no wonder why the Steelers are favored on the road in their next game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Arrested Development

Steelers linebackers coach Joey Porter was arrested after the game outside a Pittsburgh bar.

Police said security guards at The Flats on Carson summoned a police officer who was working at a nearby restaurant “due to an unruly customer who was in the process of assaulting the doorman.”

“We are still gathering information as it pertains to the situation, and we will have no further comment until we get more details,” team spokesman Burt Lauten said.

There’s no certainty on what sort of discipline Porter will face as the team gets ready to head to Kansas City – but one thing is certain – Joey Porter is a maniac.




About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.