NFL division round in review

The Back to the Future scenario for the NFL has virtually become a reality.

In 1966, the Chiefs played the Bills in the AFL title game and the winner went on to play Green Bay in the first Super Bowl.

This year, the Chiefs are playing the Bills in the AFC title game and the winner is almost certain to play Green Bay in the 55th Super Bowl.

—Green Bay now seems almost a lock to make the Super Bowl after crushing the Rams in the divisional game. They will now meet the Bucs, who beat the Saints. Five years ago, an Aaron Rodgers-Tom Brady Super Bowl would have been a must watch game. But Brady showed his age in the victory over the Bucs. Rodgers is six years younger and still at the top of the game and the Packers are home and should win easily.

—The Chiefs kept their streak alive with their eighth win in a row by one score in the win over Browns (Chiefs lost to Chargers in season finale after Chiefs had clinched). But it shouldn’t have been that close if not for a gaffe by Chiefs coach Andy Reid,who had Patrick Mahomes run an option on a short yardage play. He suffered a concussion and missed the rest of the game. Chad Henne bailed the Chiefs out by milking the last four minutes off the clock, scrambling on a third and 14 play to come within inches of a first down and then throwing a fourth down pass for the first down that clinched it. But if not for Reid’s bad call the Chiefs would have won easily although they got a break with a fumble out of the end zone when the Chiefs should have been penalized for a helmet hit. Reid has now taken two teams to the conference title game three years in a row but has won only one Super Bowl. He also lost one to the Pats in 2004 game when he didn’t go to the hurry up trailing by 10 in fourth quarter and lost by three. Reid is a good coach but not a great one.

—The Bills did not look particularly impressive in the win over the Ravens, but Lamar Jackson handed them the game with an ill-timed Pick Six. Now the Bills have to wait to see if Mahomes passes the concussion protocol and is allowed to play. It is hard to imagine Chad Henne beating the Bills.

—Drew Brees will likely now retire to the broadcast booth but it is obvious he stayed one year too long. Brees didn’t have much zip on the ball in the home loss to the Bucs. Brees finished his two decade career by losing on the last play in the playoffs three years in a row and then going out with the loss to the Bucs. Brees is a HOFer but wound up winning only one Super Bowl in his career. But it is one more than Dan Marino won.

Leave a Reply