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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.

HORSE TRACKS

The Denver Broncos put together a video of every Broncos touchdown from the 2016 season. Every Broncos touchdown from 2016 | Denver Broncos

Love for the Broncos last Super Bowl-winning coach is still flowing. Editorial: Gary Kubiak an example to generation - Longmont Times-Call

2016 was a down year for Denver and John Elway has his work cut out for him this offseason. John Elway embraces challenge of rebuilding Denver Broncos - Canon City Daily Record

Now that the Dolphins are out, the Broncos have set their interview with Vance Joseph. Broncos to interview Vance Joseph in Denver on Tuesday | 9news.com

What might Joseph's staff look like were he to become head coach? SN source: Mike McCoy may return to Broncos as OC if Vance Joseph hired as coach | NFL | Sporting News

Former Bronco Ben Garland weighs in on coaching prospect Kyle Shanahan. 'The guy is incredible:' Ben Garland, former Denver Bronco, believes in Kyle Shanahan's future | Colorado Springs Gazette, News

Could Todd Haley's turtlenecks be commanding the Broncos sideline next season? Todd Haley would interview this year, if asked | ProFootballTalk

Could the Colts be making a play for Wade Phillips? Jim Irsay’s plane was apparently in Houston last night - Stampede Blue

It looks like folks in Chicago are slowly realizing that they hired John Fox to coach the Bears. Did the Chicago Bears hire the wrong coach?

Andrew Mason looks ahead in his weekly mailbag feature. Mason's Mailbag: A look ahead to free agency | Denver Broncos

They say free agency killed division rivalries. Not true! LOOK: The Broncos were delighted to see the Raiders lose in the playoffs - CBSSports.com

Kansas City loves them some Andy Reid. Chiefs will reportedly try to extend Andy Reid's contract this offseason - CBSSports.com

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr says he could have come back in time for the Super Bowl. He still can. He just has to buy a ticket like everyone else. Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr insists he would have come back from broken leg to play in Super Bowl | ESPN

The Steelers looked solid on Sunday. Steelers will finally get explosive trio together in playoff action - Pittsburgh Steelers Blog- ESPN

So solid, in fact, that linebackers coach and former player Joey Porter got himself carted off to the hoosegow after an altercation at a bar following the game. Steelers LBs coach Joey Porter arrested after reported altercation with police | FOX Sports

Aaron Rodgers was amazing on Sunday night. If Aaron Rodgers continues to play like this, no one can beat the Packers | FOX Sports

Odell Beckham took out his disappointment in the 2016 season on a wall. Nothing exudes maturity like assaulting an innocent piece of dry wall. LOOK: Odell Beckham reportedly punches hole in Lambeau wall after loss to Packers - CBSSports.com

Next week's slate of games looks to be a lot more competitive... All except for one. Patriots open as 16-point favorites over Texans in historically lopsided playoff matchup | FOX Sports

So who is going to ascend to the Super Bowl crown this year? Dallas? Green Bay? New England? Pittsburgh? Ranking the final 8 NFL playoff teams' chances to win the Super Bowl | FOX Sports