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NFL: JAN 14 NFC Wild Card - Packers at Cowboys

Source: Icon Sportswire / Getty

The first round of the NFL Playoffs is in the books and while most of the games weren’t very close score-wise there was still plenty of good and bad from the three-day slate.

Bad Scary: The NFC East Goes Out With A Whimper

Both the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles had pretty great regular seasons with 12 and 11 wins respectively.  But neither advanced out of Wild Card Weekend.  It wasn’t even that they didn’t advance, it’s that they didn’t even show up in either game.  The Cowboys were manhandled on both sides of the ball to the young upstart Green Bay Packers in a game that got out of hand in a hurry.  Dak Prescott and the offense couldn’t get going and the vaunted Cowboys defense was shredded by Jordan Love and company.  For the Eagles, they limped into the playoffs having lost five of their last six games and had injuries galore, but they still should have had a better showing than 9 points to Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Jalen Hurts looked lost, the rest of the team looked disinterested and serious questions about Nick Sirianni’s future are being asked.  It was an awful weekend for the NFC East no matter how you look at it.

Good Scary: The Lions & Their Fans Finally Get Redemption

It’s been a long, hard last 32 years for the Detroit Lions organization and their fans but on Sunday night all bad vibes were cast aside as they edged former franchise QB Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams in the best game of the weekend and at long last got something to celebrate in the post-season. Ford Field was electric all night with Eminem leading the charge and Lions legends like Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson in the house.  Jared Goff put the Lions on his back and led the way to victory and Dan Campbell continues to look like the perfect coach for that city and team.  Unless you were a Rams fans you had to be pulling for the Lions.  They and their fans have suffered enough, and it was great to see them get the monkey off their back.  Can lightning strike twice at Ford Field?  We’ll find out when they host the Buccaneers in the Divisional Round.

Good Scary: C.J. Stroud, Jordan Love Show Out In Post-Season Debuts

In what could be the top two young quarterbacks of the next generation behind the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert are C.J. Stroud and Jordan Love who both played phenomenal in their post-season debuts. Both guys had eerily similar stats with Stroud racking up 274 yards and 3 touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 157.2 in the Texans rout of the Browns while Love had 272 yards, 3 touchdowns and a QB rating of 157.2.  Both guys put the ball wherever they wanted it and carved up the supposedly stout defenses they faced.  Strong debuts from both and now the real tests come in the Divisional Round as Stroud and the Texans take on the Ravens while Love and the Packers travel to the Bay Area with a date against the 49ers.

Bad Scary: Subscribing to Peacock and Having To Listen To Jason Garrett

In case you lived under a rock, the NFL broadcasted the first ever playoff game exclusively on a streaming service when Dolphins-Chiefs could only be watched on Peacock.  It was the first (but likely not last) time people needed to fire up a streaming service just to watch a playoff game and people weren’t happy with the concept of a pay to watch concept.  It didn’t help that after begrudgingly plucking down some coin for this game one of the first voices you heard was Jason Garrett, who was on the call with Mike Tirico.  Garrett is not good as a color analyst.  He’s boring, he’s very vanilla on the microphone and he offers nothing to the broadcast.  And the fact that you had to pay to hear him painstakingly try to add any insight to the broadcast made it that more intolerable.  I would have preferred Tony Dungy or Bob Costas or pretty much anyone outside of Jak Collinsworth as a replacement.  We’re kind of in an analyst valley at the moment.  Outside of guys like Greg Olsen or Troy Aikman I don’t find the likes of Tony Romo or Garrett very good at all.  Put me in the minority but I like Cris Collinsworth and if I’m NBC I’m paying him whatever he wants so he can call every game that NBC broadcasts because the alternatives are simply not good at all.

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