What a time to be alive.
Christmas is cool and all, but if you’re a sports junkie like me, it’s truly the most wonderful time of the year when the NFL playoffs are in full swing.
The festivities kicked off on Saturday with the Colts and Bills locking horns in a game that never quite felt as competitive as the final score. I mean, sure, Buffalo only won by three points (27-24) after safety Micah Hyde batted down Phillip Rivers’ miracle heave in the closing seconds. But when you have Josh Allen throwing gas like this all game, did you ever really have a chance?
No, you did not.
With the Bills win, not only did they finally get the monkey off their back and enjoy their first playoff win since 1995—back when FuBu and the phrase “ill nana” were still very much a thing—but Allen became the first player in team history to run for a touchdown and throw two others in the same playoff game. He finished with 324 passing yards, 54 yards on the ground, three total touchdowns, and the admiration of Bills fans until the end of time.
Next on the menu was the upset heard around the world, with the Rams beating the shit out of the overwhelming favorite, the Seattle Seahawks, 30-20 despite having a quarterback 12 days removed from thumb surgery. Yes, you read that correctly. Jared Goff, who arguably plays like he doesn’t have thumbs anyway and wasn’t even supposed to play, took the field in the first quarter after backup John Wolford cracked his head on the turf and proceeded to give Seattle the business. But it was Cam Akers, who churned out 131 yards and a touchdown, and one of the greatest defensive performances in recent memory that shutdown Ciara’s baby daddy to seal the victory.
The win came at a steep cost, however, as human wrecking ball Aaron Donald and receiver Cooper Kupp were among Rams players who went down with injuries.
Reportedly Seahawks safety Jamal Adams suffered a bruised ego as well.
Saturday also gave us the surprise of the century when a 57th string backup quarterback tapped into mutant powers nobody even knew he had—more on that later—to do shit like this in order to almost beat Tampa Bay:
While Taylor Heinicke failed in his mission to destroy Tom Brady, losing 31-23 despite Chase Young’s best efforts, he did gain the respect and admiration of his peers and will likely receive a generous offer from a number of teams this offseason. But while we all love an underdog story—have you ever played a quarter of NFL football against impossible odds with a separated AC joint?—it turns out the source of his superpowers isn’t a bowl of Wheaties: it’s from being a BLM hating, far-right conspiracy spewing, unrepentant Trump supporter who likely celebrated White Privilege Appreciation Day by throwing a virtual dinner party on Parler.
So yeah, fuck this bootleg Proud Boy.
After spending the entire season hearing about how he couldn’t get it done in the playoffs, Jackson let it be known after the game how much the win meant to his entire team.
“We finished finally,” he told reporters. “Our defense was tired of hearing the noise. And they did what they were supposed to do.”
They were supposed to stop Henry, who tortured the Ravens in three consecutive games before Sunday, and finally succeed by holding him to only 40 yards on 18 carries—which is the type of dominant performance typically reserved for banning presidents from social media platforms.
As a reward for their exceptional play, they now get to face the
firing squad Bills in the next round of the playoffs. Let me know how that works out for y’all.
Next up were the Saints and Bears, which I skipped entirely—blame Clubhouse—because we all knew there wasn’t a chance in hell that Mitch Trubisky would miraculously become a competent quarterback against that defense. And to the surprise of absolutely nobody, Mitch got his wig split 21-9. But despite the Bears publicly embarrassing themselves for our entertainment, the only thing anyone is talking about is the #SayHerName shirt that Drew Brees rocked during pregame warmups.
To be fair, Brees and other Saints players have been wearing #SayHerName shirts throughout the season. But the timing, in which the phrase has been predictably co-opted by Trump acolytes in the immediate aftermath of Ashli Babbit being stupid enough to run her alabaster ass into the U.S. capital and get herself killed—but you knew about that already because you read The Root—is incredibly insensitive.
What also doesn’t help matters is the fact that Brees came for BLM mere months ago. So if he’s expecting the benefit of the doubt, sorry, bruh. Niggas are fresh out of grace. We’re gonna need an explanation post haste because your track record says otherwise. Please and thank you.
And last but least was the Browns and Steelers, which started out as a curb-stomping after Cleveland put jaws on the floor with an improbable 28-0 first-quarter lead, but somehow it became a quasi-competitive affair after Pittsburgh mounted a comeback.
Thankfully, the football gods were in Cleveland’s favor. And despite the fact that Cleveland was without first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski, Pro-Bowl guard Joel Bitonio and cornerback Denzel Ward because COVID-19 is a fucking terrorist, the Browns somehow prevailed 48-37.
And their fans don’t know what to do with themselves.
Now, who wants to be the one to tell them they have to face the Chiefs next?
See y’all next week.