Well, that was fun wasn’t it? Super Wild Card Weekend was a whole lot like Wild Card Weekend … but SUPER! Everything is more fun when you throw “Super” in front of it. See: Mario Bros., Nintendo, man, and bowl. Sorry, I can’t keep up this facade. This was all an attempt by the NFL to make more money, so congrats I guess.
We really, really didn’t need to see the Buccaneers blow out the Eagles or the Chiefs destroy the Steelers in a three hour broadcasting ode to Ben Roethlisberger — but we did, and it was easily the most boring part of the weekend.
More isn’t always more. The four game weekend structure was already perfect. The two NFC, two AFC symmetry was there and it was delightful. Now we’re pushing this whole thing into Monday, with an unbalanced three game Sunday. I understand that raging against the machine is an unpractical enterprise, I just hope the players see some benefit in the next CBA of being put at risk in an extra week of regular season and an additional playoff game.
Now, let’s not invest any more time in why this weekend was bad and instead look at the amazing stuff that happened.
Winner: Josh Allen
There were a lot of big winners at quarterback this week, but none more than Josh Allen. Beyond the incredible stats it was far more about the statement Allen made on Saturday than anything else.
Don’t get me wrong, normally I abhor this idea of a “statement game.” It’s one of those buzz-word sports phrases we cook up for narrative’s sake, but don’t really represent the reality of the athletes who are playing the game. They don’t care about “statements,” they operate to win, move on, repeat.
However, the optics of Bills vs. Patriots is massive. It’s big in the regular season, and mammoth in the playoffs — even considering the wild card. This is a rivalry forged in a crucible, and the first stoked with the frustration of decades of the Bills being second. A year ago we were talking about the shift in power in the division heading to Buffalo, and that turned back mid-2021 as it became apparent New England was far from dead.
For while it seemed that the…