Monday, January 18, 2016

How about Those NFL Playoffs?

Eric has done a great job with the 1969-70 NFL playoffs, but the playoffs for the 2015-16 season haven't been too bad either.  Here are the scores from last weekend, with the home teams listed first and the final AP poll ranking for each team in parentheses:

American Football Conference:
(5) New England 27 - 20 (3) Kansas City
(2) Denver 23 - 16 (9) Pittsburgh

National Football Conference
(4) Arizona 26 - 20 (11) Green Bay (Overtime)
(1) Carolina 31 - 24 (6) Seattle

Which gives us the following championship games:

(2) Denver v. (5) New England
(1) Carolina v. (4) Arizona

You couldn't have had it work out much better than that, unless you really hate the Broncos and Patriots, which some people do.  Personally, I am surprised that this will only be the fourth time that Peyton and Brady have met for the AFC crown.  In each of the other three match-ups, the home team won:

2003-04:  New England 24 - 14 Indianapolis
2006-07:  Indianapolis 38 - 34 New England
2013-14:  Denver 26 - 16 New England

By the way, since 2000, Tom Brady has won the AFC title six times (2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2011, and 2014), while Peyton has won it three times (2006, 2009, 2013).  The last five AFC title games have been played in either Foxborough or Denver.  I don't know that we will ever see this type of dominance again.

Two other points:

1.  Cam Newton should be even more famous than he is.

2.  The Arizona/Green Bay game was one of the best NFL games ever played.  If that game had been played, say, in 1978, it would now be the subject of several documentaries.

I understand that some nostalgia is inevitable with the coming of middle age, but middle-aged fans should quit complaining so much and enjoy some of these amazing games and talents.  As for myself, this is one of the most entertaining seasons I can remember.


  1. The playoffs this year have been outstanding. And you're totally right about the Packers-Cardinals game. The first Aaron Rodgers (fourth-and-20-from-his-own-end-zone) Hail Mary, the second Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary (for the tying touchdown) and the Larry Fitzgerald catch and run (with the amazing stiff arm on the defensive back coming up on him from behind) were each among the greatest plays I've ever seen.