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Horse Tracks: NFL playoffs suffer without the Denver Broncos

If you're like me, you found football tough to watch this weekend.

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

At the conclusion of Sunday's Packers-Giants game, pundits from all over the twitter-sphere proudly chirped that this weekend's slate of Wild Card games was the most lopsided, depending on the metrics used, since 1995, 1980, and other years. Metrics and history aside, let's call these games what they were: Awful.

Actually, that's not entirely true. On Saturday, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Raiders fairy tale season come crashing to earth. I know they've been horrible and many feel that Oakland deserves the benefit of the doubt. Pfft. Then there's those with conflicted feelings about Brock Osweiler finally getting to start in the playoffs and winning. All that is well and good, but as old bumper stickers and the dankest of memes have stated, as Broncos fans we root for two teams: The Denver Broncos and whoever is playing the Raiders.

The Lions-Seahawks game was downright unwatchable. I don't even know what to say other than the Lions clearly had no business being there and they knew it because they never showed up.

The Dolphins-Steelers game had some value only because Miami's many miscues and mistakes kept it interesting. I will say this, I have never seen a potential head coach candidate do so much to ruin his prospects of getting a head coaching job. Vance Joseph's defense looked exceptionally bad on Sunday and to say that it hurt his stock in the eyes of Broncos Country would be an understatement.

Lastly, the Giants-Packers game had all the potential to be a great game that would likely go down to the wire. Aaron Rodgers eviscerated that notion with two amazing touchdown passes at the end of the half. By the time the game was over, the Giants were headed to the offseason and Aaron Rodgers looked like a stone-cold assassin.

How would the Broncos have fared this weekend? it's east to say that Denver would have beaten both the Dolphins and the Raiders, but such thinking is nothing more than fantasy that really doesn't do anybody any good. I will say this: Not making the playoffs is vastly preferable to making it and getting embarrassed. Don't get me wrong, I'd have loved another week of Broncos football, but it was nice to casually watch this weekend without all the stress.


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