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#110 Wildcard Recap: Slime, Bad Punts & Lots of Points

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Wildcard weekend is in the books and it did not disappoint...

  • Big Ben filled up the stat sheet in garbage time, but the coach-less Browns upset the Steelers in a game where Nick Chubb did damage through the air and Kareem Hunt scored the rushing touchdowns.
  • The Saints are back to firing on all cylinders with Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamra healthy. At least the Nickelodeon broadcast kept things interesting. More on that in a second.
  • The Ravens shut down Derrick Henry and Lamar Jackson exploded for a huge touchdown run that the Titans could never recover from. Bills-Ravens next week is going to be fun.
  • On Saturday, the Washington Football Team put up a valiant effort on the back of Taylor Heinicke, but just couldn’t pull it off...DK Metcalf was a grown ass man, but Cam Akers salted the game away for the Rams...The Colts gave the Bills a scare, but the Josh Allen-Stefon Diggs connection is just too good. 

Some other highlights and lowlights from yesterday...

  • Mike Vrabel dialed up one of the worst punts in the history of football yesterday. According to Pro Football Reference, it was the first time a team in the playoffs punted on 4th and 2 from that field position while down one score in the 4th quarter. They didn’t even attempt to draw the Ravens offsides before doing it. Egregious. 
  • Not to be outdone, Mike Tomlin also dialed up one of the worst punts in the history of football yesterday. Tomlin elected to punt from the PIT 46 on 4th and 1 with 14:52 remaining in the 4th quarter while losing 23 to 35. The “Surrender Index” ranked the punt at the 94th percentile of cowardly punts of the 2020 season and the 92nd percentile of all punts since 2009. 
  • The Nickelodeon broadcast was legitimately, unironically very enjoyable. Nate Burleson is a star broadcaster and Gabrielle Nevaeh Green was a breath of fresh air (“Go big or go home” she said on an early 4th down decision!). Conor Orr put it nicely in SI this morning: “To have the game stripped of all its self-importance and hubris was an absolute delight.”
  • The Browns-Steelers game absolutely buried me yesterday. I went to bed at halftime winning multiple DFS tournaments and woke up with no winnings. I recapped the disaster sweat on my YouTube channel this morning.

Injury rundown. Sean McVay said John Wolford is day-to-day with a stinger, Aaron Donald has a rib injury but should be fine, and that Cooper Kupp has bursitis in his knee and “the hope is to have him ready to go”...Kevin Stefanski will return to his team this week and coach next Sunday at Kansas City...

Loose ends. The NFL will be deciding on the fate of the 2021 combine this week. Schefter has the details...Here is the divisional schedule


- Peter Overzet


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