Previewing the NFL divisional round

Now there are eight teams left with their eyes on the NFL prize – the Vince Lombardi trophy.

Reputations will be made and lost that will last a lifetime in the final seven games starting with divisional round this weekend.

Only two coaches in the final eight –Andy Reid and Bruce Arians – have won Super Bowls and both are going for their second one. If Reid wins his second in three years, it will punch his HOF ticket, although he may make it anyway. Arians is trying to enjoy the select group that won back to back titles.

Surprisingly, Reid is only 18-15 in the playoffs in his two-decade coaching career.

Three of the eight quarterbacks left have won Super Bowls. Tom Brady is going for his eighth and Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes are going for their second one. Brady is trying to join Terry Bradshaw as the only quarterback to repeat twice.

Reid and Mahomes are going for the third consecutive Super Bowl appearance, trying to join Bill Belichick and Brady, who made it three times in a row as did Don Shula and Bob Griese. The record is four times in a row by Buffalo’s Marv Levy and Jim Kelly, although they lost all four.

Two coaches, Sean McVay of the Rams and Kyle Shanahan of the 49ers, are trying to reach the Super Bowl for the second time after losing their first appearance.

McVay changed quarterbacks since that loss and is going with Matthew Stafford, who won his first playoff game last week.

The 49ers are still going with Jimmy Garoppolo, who is back for the 49ers after he threw two picks in the Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs two years ago. Garoppolo could be traded at the end of the season because the 49ers have Trey Lance waiting in the wings. But if Garappolo wins the Super Bowl, do the 49ers move on from him?

Garoppolo is the only one of the eight quarterbacks whose job is in jeopardy. Brady could always retire but then retiring doesn’t seem to be his thing.

Matt LeFleur of the Packers, Mike Vrabel of the Titans, Zac Taylor of the Bengals, Sean McDermott of the Bills are all going for their first Super Bowl appearance.

The four home teams are the Titans, Bills, Bucs and Packers. The road teams are the Bengals at the Titans, Bills at Chiefs, 49ers at Packers and Rams at Bucs.

The best game will probably be the Chiefs-Bills. These two teams could play a lot of playoff games against each other in the coming years. Both seem set for long runs.

Green Bay is considered to have a big home field edge at Lambeau Field, but they are only 7-6 in their last 13 home playoff games.

And if the wild card round was a barometer, the TV ratings are likely to be off the charts.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: