It was a little of everything this weekend, NFL wildcard weekend.
KANSAS CITY….Lots of questions now being asked around Arrowhead Stadium. Have they gone as far as they can with Andy Reid, who is a disappointing (1-4) in postseason games? What becomes of Alex Smith, coming off a spectacular season, with another disappointing result, and with one year left on his contract? Who are the real Chiefs, the quick starting team, the strong finish, or the erratic mid season and post season bad showing? An ugly finish to what many thought would be a great season.
TENNESSEE…You saw the cup half-empty and the cup half full, you saw failure and then potential. The Titans can be an enigma with Marcus Mariota, though his heroics in the second half, led by a power run game with Derrick Henry, and a tough guy defense got them the win. Consistency has not been part of the makeup of the Titans, but they won, and they will be better..
RAMS….A spectacular season even with the disappointment in the playoff game. There is so much to build on. Jared Goff is growing up on the job, and making more big plays than bad plays on a game by game basis. Credit to the organization for making 4-key acquisitions, left tackle, center, and the two big play wide receivers. The future looks bright in a city they have now recaptured emotionally.
ATLANTA…It’s not the same team that was in the Super Bowl, but it’s still really good. A great show by that secondary in choking off big passing plays, while slowing down the run game. Some games Matt Ryan and the receiver corps and their two headed running back group, look special. Other games they look out of sync. Still very good, but not great.
BILLS….Give them credit for getting as far as they did with a very limited offense, and lots of new pieces on a tour defense. To be decided, this 18M contract decision they have to make with Tyrod Taylor, or is it time to grow and develop Nathan Peterman. Hey a 9-win season when you consider where the Bills have been for nearly 2-decades but lots of work to do still on that roster. Yes they got there, but they don’t seem to be very good.
JAGUARS….Can you trust Blake Bortels, will he ever be a stud, or was the Sunday up and own performances him being him?. He may be playing his final games with the Jags. The defense is something special, and it should be considering all the free agent money they paid for talent and high picks. But they should not be confused with an AFC-power yet, till they get better quarterbacking.
SAINTS…No one could ever imagine a day where it would be okay to have Drew Brees throw for just 222-yards, and get a win. He can still air it out, witnessed by what he did against Carolina, but the strength of the run game, and a more physical defense means New Orleans is dangerous and very different than the years where Brees had to throw for 399-every Sunday just to be in a game.
CAROLINA….Cam Newton against the world on offense. He is asked to do so much, and he often does, it’s just too bad they don’t have enough firepower around him. Luke Kuechly and that defense is rugged. They proved a lot, even in the loss, and maybe being in the NFC South has actually made them a very good team. More good years going with this group.