I’m not going to lie; I’m still trying to get over the weekend’s action. After the huge disappointment that was “Super” Wildcard Weekend, the ever-reliable Divisional Round weekend delivered a set of games that will live in the memory forever.
Even before the BIlls and the Chiefs conjured up one of the greatest games of all time, the six teams playing beforehand served up three excellent games that all went down to a swing of the visiting team’s kicker’s boot. You couldn’t have scripted it any better.
This week’s voters were Ron Kopp Jr., Stephen Serda, Pete Sweeney, Bryan Stewart, Rocky Magaña, Jared Sapp, Talon Graff, Mark Gunnels, Kristian Gumminger and myself.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2nd)
We are in quarterback eutopia right now, Chiefs Kingdom. Think about it for a second: No fanbase in the history of the sport has had the joy of watching their quarterback get off to the type of start to his career that we have. Yeah, some quarterbacks have won rings early, but very rarely did it match up with the stats, highlights, etc. that Mahomes has created.
His output is historic. His best plays are unforgettable. His comebacks are heroic.
Simply put, we are five years into what we hope will be a two-decade-plus career of the greatest player to ever grace a football field. Savor every single moment.
2. Los Angeles Rams (5th)
The Rams came too close to becoming another victim of a Tom Brady-led comeback. After dominating proceedings for the first half, the Rams continued to find new ways to breathe life into the Bucs season.
Although they got away with it this time around, that’s now two of the last three games in which the Rams have allowed big comebacks against them. That will be a cause of concern for all going into the championship round.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (7th) | This week’s high riser
The Bengals’ offensive line was a turnstile all game against the Titans, yet somehow they managed to put up enough points to win the game and America’s hearts.
Looking ahead, there is no doubt Zac Taylor will be looking to find ways to isolate his receivers against the Chiefs cornerbacks once again this coming weekend. We’re hoping that Spags will make the necessary adjustments.
4. San Francisco 49ers (8th)
What is it about this team and beating the Packers in the playoffs? I mean, it doesn’t matter which version of the 49ers turn up — they always find a way against the green and gold. Now they face the Rams in SoFi — and to be honest — it wouldn’t surprise me if there are more 49ers fans than Rams fans in attendance.
We’re one weekend away from a repeat of Super Bowl LIV.
5. Buffalo Bills (3rd)
The Bills put in a performance on Sunday night that would have defeated any other team in the NFL. Maybe any NFL team of the last decade. The problem that the Bills had was that they ran into a man that — when he feels slighted — is impossible to beat.
Yes, I predicted the Bills to win on Sunday, but I stupidly didn’t account for the petty Mahomes factor. The national narrative went too far last week. Instead of saying the Bills have a great chance of winning, a lot of media members went over the top and started saying that Josh Allen is better than Patrick Mahomes. Unfortunately for Bills fans, Mahomes takes that stuff personally and you were doomed from the off.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4th)
Is this the end of Tom Brady’s career? I always imagined that he would go on some farewell tour. You know, the type that Paul Pierce went on a few years ago. Only, the big difference between Paul Pierce and Tom Brady is that people might actually care about Brady retiring.
We’ll have to wait and see if he does it or not. At the moment, I’m guessing he’ll be back for one more year.
7. Green Bay Packers (1st) | This week’s big faller
That defeat must’ve been a tough one to swallow. Actually, can you swallow anything while you’re choking?
On another note, I never want to hear Aaron Rodgers’ name mentioned in the same breath as Tom Brady’s ever again. In fact, I kinda don’t want to hear Aaron Rodger’s name mentioned again this upcoming offseason. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case.
8. Tennessee Titans (6th)
An excellent D-line, the most feared running back in the league, a monster of a receiver in A.J. Brown and... Ryan Tannehill. It would be reckless if the Titans didn’t at least dip their toe in the quarterback market this offseason. Think about the Chiefs pre-Mahomes, Tennessee probably needs a new quarterback that can come in and take them over the hump.
17. Baltimore Ravens
19. Miami Dolphins
21. Cleveland Browns
22. Denver Broncos
23. Seattle Seahawks
25. Chicago Bears
26. Atlanta Falcons
28. Houston Texans
29. New York Jets
30. Detroit Lions
32. New York Giants