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Top Five Takeaways From the 2016 NFL Wild Card Weekend

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A Look at the Top Five Takeaways From This Weekend in the NFL
Date & Time Monday January 11, 2016, 12:00 PM (EST)
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Question of the weekend: Why would you lateral the ball to Jeremy Hill on a two-point conversion attempt? Answer: Because you’re the Cincinnati Bengals in the playoffs. As per usual, things fell apart for the Bungles in the postseason. More on that in a minute, though. It was a crazy wild card weekend featuring the first playoff shutout in ten years, two incredibly close games, and the seeming resurgence of the Green Bay Packers. All in all, well worth the wait. This morning, we’ll run through the top five takeaways you should be thinking about before the next set of games. 

 

1. Marvin Lewis probably shouldn’t still have a job.

I’ve never quite grasped how Lewis is the longest tenured coach in the league next to Bill Belichick. The man has gone 0-7 in the playoffs, for pity’s sake. After Saturday’s debacle with Vontaze Burfict and Pacman Jones (where there is, admittedly, blame to be shared all around), he’s also proven he can’t control his players worth a darn. I honestly expect Lewis to be asked to hit the road after this past weekend’s disastrous player management issues. 

 

2. Brian Hoyer looked historically bad on Saturday.

Hoyer, by the numbers, became one of the ten worst playoff quarterbacks in NFL history on Saturday afternoon. You can look-up the full stats yourself, but try this one on for size: The Texans had six first-half possessions and four of them ended with Hoyer turnovers. Ouch. JJ Watt and his defense probably could’ve kept Houston in the game if the offense could have done anything when they were on the field. Instead, they found themselves the first team shutout in the playoffs in a decade. Anyone need a quarterback? 

 

3. It’s difficult to tell how good the Kansas City Chiefs really are. 

When you’re facing the aforementioned Brian Hoyer in the postseason, it’s kind of tough to get a gauge on how poised you really are to make a Super Bowl run. This team, though they are on an 11-0 run, haven’t had some of the prettiest wins in the world lately. They beat the Cleveland Browns, for example, by a grand total of four points. I’m interested to see them take-on the New England Patriots in Foxboro this weekend. It’s Alex Smith and Andy Reid’s chance to prove themselves once and for all.

 

4. The Green Bay Packers may finally be on the right track.

Do I think my early season Super Bowl prediction will hold true and the Pack will take it all? Heck no. I don’t see them getting past the Arizona Cardinals. Nonetheless, the way Aaron Rodgers and Co. looked yesterday, they may have finally gotten some of their mojo back. They won’t get routed again next week. In stark contrast to their last two regular season games, in which the team had 20 total points and 25 first downs, the Packers put-up 35 points and 23 first downs in just over a half against the Washington Redskins. They finally look like they know what they want. 

 

5. The Seattle Seahawks must play better offense this weekend.

All things considered, the frigid conditions in Minnesota on Sunday undoubtedly played a role in the lack of offense we saw from both teams. Nonetheless, the Seahawks, by virtue of Blair Walsh’s missed 27-yard  field goal (ouch), must play better offensive ball this weekend in North Carolina. Cam Newton and his Panthers aren’t going to go down without a fight and while I think the Seahawks can beat them, they’re going to have to be able to score more than 10 points over the course of the game. 

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