Best Storylines From Super Wild Card Weekend

Updated: Jan 17, 2021


For the first time in NFL history, Super Wild Card Weekend took effect under the new playoff format that introduced a 7th playoff seed to both conferences. Super Wild Card Weekend led us being treated to 6 Wild Card games for the first time in NFL history. There were many amazing storylines that came from the weekend. From Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, and Josh Allen all getting their first playoff wins, to Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger potentially playing in their final playoff games. Here are the best storylines in the aftermath of one of the most exciting Wild Card weekends in the NFL.

 

Lamar Gets His First Playoff Victory


Credit: RavensWire-USAToday / The Tenneseean

Coming into the postseason many people had questions about Lamar Jackson. It sounds strange to hear that when he was just a year removed from being the unanimous MVP. But Lamar had played in two playoff games in each of his first two years and lost both. Many people from fans to the media, believed that Lamar Jackson could never come out victorious in the postseason. Lamar and the Ravens silenced those critics in a thrilling 20-13 win over the Titans in which Lamar went 17-29, for 179 yards, a pick. However as is usually the case with a dynamic player such as Lamar Jackson, his passing numbers only told half of the story from the game. Lamar added 136 yards on the ground and a 50 yard touchdown scramble that kept Baltimore in the game while serving as a momentum shift. Another narrative that was erased was that Lamar Jackson could not play from behind. The Ravens were able to overcome a 10 point deficit in the first quarter to win the game. Lamar Jackson finally got the monkey off his back and will look to carry this momentum into Buffalo.


 

Browns Stun the Steelers


Credit: AP Photo/Justin Berl

Many people, myself included, believed that the Steelers would dominate the Browns. This was the first playoff game for many of the players on the Browns roster. Due to positive tests for COVID-19 four of their coaches including their head coach Kevin Stefanski, could not attend the game. The Browns were also down their top 2 corners Denzel Ward and Kevin Johnson. Star left guard Joel Bitonio was also out due to testing positive for COVID-19. Meanwhile the Steelers were the relatively healthier and more experienced team. As a result many people, myself included, thought that Pittsburgh would win in a blowout. Many of us were right about the game not being close. But the team that won was what everyone was wrong about. The Browns defeated the Steelers 48-37. While the final score points to the game being a competitive shootout, it is very deceiving. The Steelers were down 28-0 after the first quarter and 35-10 at half. The Browns went into prevent defense allowing Pittsburgh to get some points, but in the end it was too little too late. The Browns will move on to face the Chiefs. This game also had people wondering about the future of Ben Roethlisberger after a 4 interception outing. In the end it was a great win for the city of Cleveland and a devastating loss for Pittsburgh.


 

Bears Face Uncertain QB Future


Credit: AP Photo/Brett Duke

Many people were stunned when the Bears moved up one spot to draft Mitch Trubisky number 2 overall in the 2017. Today, the Bears probably regret the move and Sunday’s game against the Saints may have sealed Trubisky’s tenure in Chicago. The Bears have talent at receiver with Allen Robinson who had 102 catches and 1,250 yards. They have an excellent running back in David Montgomery who had 1,000 yards on the ground himself. The defense ranked ninth in scoring only giving up 22.3 points per game. Throw in the fact that Matt Nagy is respected as one of the best coaches in the game, many people wondered why Chicago could only muster nine points against New Orleans. Many people will point to their quarterback. Although Trubisky wasn’t terrible completing 65 percent of his throws and committing no turnovers, he threw for less than 200 yards and just one touchdown once the game was out of reach. Trubisky was also benched earlier in the season showing that Chicago may have lost faith in him as the future face of the franchise. In the end the Bears could look elsewhere for a new franchise QB, whether that be in the draft, free agency, or via trade.


 

The Presence of Father Time


Credit: Gene J. Puskar/AP

Father Time's presence was undeniable in Wild Card Weekend, featuring the 2 oldest starting quarterbacks from both the AFC and the NFC taking part in 4 of the 6 wild card games. While their NFC counterparts Tom Brady and Drew Brees moved on to the Divisional Round (and will play against each other for what might be the final time), AFC veterans Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger may have possibly played in their final game. Each QB was selected in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Both players have accomplished a lot in their careers and they will be forever remembered for their accomplishments. Both men have made multiple pro bowls and Roethlisberger has won 2 Super Bowls. However, both suffered crushing losses in Super Wild Card Weekend. Complicating matters are the facts that Roethlisberger and Rivers are 38 and 39 years old, respectively. If the two men decide to call it a career then they will join draft classmate legendary Eli Manning in retirement, marking the end of the QB class of 2004.


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