It's the most wonderful time of the year! No, not the holiday season—the NFL's postseason.
Football's "second season" will bring us joy, fun, happiness, and, hopefully, a better offensive showing than the regular season did.
Whatever the case may be, we'll be glued to the TV this Saturday and Sunday (the same position we played in college).
So join us as we preview the NFL's Wildcard Weekend, arguably the best football-watching weekend of the year.
Kahleel Bragg contributed photo research to this story.
The postseason opener looks good on paper—a 10-6 KC team against a 9-7 Tennessee club. However, the similarities end there. The Chiefs boast a 415-339 point differential, while the Titans are 334-356 and saw their quarterback throw six fewer touchdowns all season than a guy who got hurt before the midway point of the season. So... this one may be the clunker of the weekend.
Raise your hand if you saw the newly relocated Rams, with a 31-year-old rookie head coach, going 11-5 and taking the division. Keep your hand raised because you're a liar—nobody saw that coming.
The St. Louis Los Angeles Rams will have a shot at proving they're for real as they hosts last year's NFC champs in the first day's nightcap. The Falcons, meanwhile, will try avenge their 28-3 Super Bowl meltdown from last year.
The third time's the charm—at least that's what the Panthers are hoping. These divisional foes met twice already this season, with New Orleans taking both matchups—34-13 in Week 3 and 31-21 in Week 13. The former kick-started an eight-game winning streak for the Saints after an 0-2 start. The 11-5 teams kick off the final game of the playoffs' opening weekend.
Oh, and you may have missed it, but Drew Brees broke the single-season completion percentage record. That likely won't mean boo if the Saints lose—and probably even if they win too—but it's something on which to hang their hats.
Oh, man: Two teams that have been dying to get in the postseason will finally quench their playoff thirst come Sunday. The Jags haven't played meaningful football in January since 2007, while the Bills just ended the longest playoff drought of any team in the four major U.S. sports (1999). Take a look at the pure joy of the team and Buffalonians in general. Yep, 18 years out of the tournament will do that to you.
The even-Steven Jags have seen a resurgence this year thanks to a revamped front office, and have almost as many wins this year (10) as they did in the previous three years combined (11).
Meanwhile, Buffalonians have been showing their gratitude to the Bengals for beating the Ravens last Sunday, which put the Bills into the playoffs.
It's a damn shame one of these teams, and its fans, will have to go home.