Strange wildcard weekend, that’s for sure. I picked all the winners, but the strange thing was, all the home teams lost. No fun for the fans, that’s for sure. Kansas City finally exorcized their playoff demons with a convincing 30-0 win over the Hapless Houstons. And Washington put up a fight before succumbing to the league MVP and the semi-resurgent Green Bay Packers. But really, the cities of Minnesota and Cincinnati must be in a state of mourning once again.
Minnesota (0-4 in Super Bowls) is especially heartbroken after controlling their game against the Seahawks for 55 of the 60 minutes. Cold, brutal, and windy, the game was a field position game that saw little in the way of offense, and mistakes leading to points. Russell Wilson had a pick turned into a FG, a muffed punt snap turned into a FG, and Adrian Peterson (hello, Jeremy Hill) fumbled the ball as Minn tried to salt the game away, leading to the lead-changing FG by Seattle. that Minnesota was able to drive to the 9, only to miss the 27 yard FG is a tough nut to swallow.
Almost as tough as Cincinnati (0-8 in their last 8 playoff games, dating back to 1990, including 1 and done 6 out of the last 7 years) completely losing its cool as time was winding down in their game with Pittsburgh. Cincy managed to turn a 2nd and 10 from the 47 yard line (a 65 yard FG attempt) with 22 seconds left and Pittsburgh out of timeouts to a 1st and 10 from the 32 yard line (a 50 yard attempt) to finally a 1st and 10 from the 17 as Vontaze Burfict and then Pacman Jones committed unsportsmanlike conduct penalties during and after the 1st down pass over the middle to Antonio Brown. I chalk that loss up to the refs letting the game get way out of hand, but that’s little solace to Cincy fans, as they gear up for another depressing offseason bemoaning a season that totally got away. Marvin Lewis has always been under fire for having a team that reacts badly in the face of adversity, and this is the worst example of that in the team’s recent history.