The first wave of pretenders were tossed aside over the weekend. The Rams, Chiefs, Bills, and Panthers all swung and missed. And see you next year.
Of the four losers, only the Panthers had a realistic hope of getting to the Super Bowl. The rest were just playoff fodder.
The 49ers played four of the wild card teams during the season, losing to the Rams and Panthers, and winning against the Jaguars, Titans, and Rams in the year end rematch that the Rams failed to attend. Both losses, of course, occurred during the pre-Garoppoloan era, when anybody who could field 22 guys could beat the Niners.
The Jax/Bills game was a true QB clinic. Tyrod Taylor: 17/37 for 134 yards and Blake Bortles: 12/23 for 87 yards. Bortles had more yards rushing (88) than passing. He demonstrated every conceivable way to throw an inconceivably ugly pass. His receivers were working overtime to not display a WTF!! face as they watched balls wind up everywhere but anywhere near them.
The Falcons were the final team to qualify in the NFC, but probably have the easiest path to the Title game. First they got the not-ready-for-prime-time Rams and next week they get the crippled Eagles. New Orleans had to beat the Panthers and next week travel to Minnesota.
The AFC has virtually no drama until the Title game weekend. The only thing the Steelers and Patriots have to worry about in their games next weekend is injuries to star players. Not to be a cretin, but if the Titan defense could manage to break one of Brady’s legs next Sunday, I would gladly tolerate listening all week to the whining and wailing coming out of Foxboro, MA. After all, who doesn’t want to see Brian Hoyer leading his team to the Super Bowl?