NFL Mailbag- Wildcard Weekend Edition!

It’s Wild Card Weekend baby! As always, Matt Drufke- who watches none of the games- has so many questions. Fortunately, Fancy Boys Football experts Brendan Andreasen and Jack Baker do and are usually happy to answer some of them. Let’s mailbag.

Well, we did it! We got to the playoffs. Before we talk about who is playing this weekend, let’s take a moment to look at who isn’t. Which team is the biggest surprise that they AREN’T in the playoffs? And why aren’t they there?

Brandon-Arizona Cardinals. I had them as a top five team in my power rankings a few times this season. They have the foundation of a great offense, and a rising defense. But holy hell, they are piss poorly coached. Kliff Kingsbury was a chic coaching candidate two years ago when Arizona signed him. Now it is becoming glaringly obvious why he couldn’t keep a job in college. 

Jack-Brandon took my initial answer, so I’ll go with Miami. Although no one really expected them to make the playoffs at the start of the year, they were very solid throughout and seemed to be well on their way to a Wild Card. Brian Flores has done an incredible coaching job and if he’d played Fitzpatrick more than Tua, he might be coaching another game this weekend. It’s a shame that a 10 win team doesn’t get in while a team with a losing record does. 

Let’s ask the boring question right now: the Packers and Chiefs each get a bye this week for winning their respective conferences. Are they the presumptive favorites in each conference? And what makes them both so good?

Brandon-The Packers offense is just a grim, efficient offense that does its job coldly and effectively. I’m not sure anyone is really close to them in the NFC.

On the other hand, the Chiefs might not be the best team in the AFC. They are good, but they don’t seem like they are playing as hard as they can. Almost like they are going through the motions.

Jack-These teams have the two best players in the NFL so they should always be in the running. Their defenses have been pretty good as well and don’t really need to do all that much. As long as they keep the Chiefs and Packers in the game, Mahomes and Rodgers will give them a great chance to win at the end. We’re probably looking at a Chiefs Packers Super Bowl. 

There are some fun, young quarterbacks in the playoffs: Josh Allen, Mitch Trubisky, Lamar Jackson, and Baker Mayfield. Clearly, Jackson is the most exciting of these options. But is he the best quarterback? And, if so, who is number two?

Brandon-Josh Allen is the best quarterback on that list, and it might not be close. He keeps getting better every season, to the point where there are going to be inevitable amount of “Josh Allen 2021 MVP?” think pieces. Jackson is second best of that group. Mayfield is 3rd. Trubisky is 8,782nd.

Jack-Boy was I wrong about Josh Allen. I didn’t think he’d be good, but he’s been great. Buffalo has built a really solid team and surrounded him with the right pieces. 

Jackson is number two and although he hasn’t been able to do it in the postseason yet, he’s the scariest player every time he steps on the field and can single handedly take over any game with his legs. 

Mayfield and Trubisky are well behind those two. 

Make a case for one of these wildcard teams to win the Super Bowl. Who should not give up and not give in until they reach the end… if this sounds familiar, it’s because it is the chorus from the Shakira banger “Try Everything” from Disney’s Zootopia.

Brandon-Powering through, here. The only two real options are the Colts and Bucs. That said, they are both quarterbacked by aging stars, whose best days are behind them. I don’t give a damn about Tom Brady’s stat padding the past two weeks. He is still old with a noodle arm.

Jack- The Colts and Bucs are both solid teams all the way through. The Ravens and Browns will run it down your throat and may be able to bully teams in the cold weather. The Rams have no shot without their QB and maybe the Bears defense starts making some plays and they get lucky. 

Ok. Let’s jump into predictions. Last year, y’all were GOD AWFUL at predicting the playoffs, and I’m looking forward to seeing you both improve. So, this weekend’s matchups are: Saints-Bears, Seahawks-Rams, Washington-Tampa Bay, Bills-Colts, Steelers-Browns, and Titans-Ravens. Who do you both like?

Brandon-Seahawks, Tampa, Bills, Browns, Ravens, and God help me, Bears.

Jack-Seahawks, Bills, Titans, Washington and the Saints, but only because I don’t want to jinx the Bears.

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