Just when you thought football couldn’t get more thrilling, Saturday, Sunday and Monday just happened. Between the wild, wild wild card playoffs and the College Football Championship game on Monday, games were almost too exciting to handle.
And as we enter the divisional playoffs, let’s make an entrance like Lane M-F’in Kiffin on his way to win a national championship with Alabama…
But if your team got bounced out of the playoffs, or even out of your city (sorry Rams and Chargers), there are still many reasons to celebrate. Fans have been bandwagoning for years, and although everyone loves a winner, there are even more reasons to fall in love with your favorite playoff team.
A month from now, we’ll have a new Super Bowl champ. Here’s a list, in order, of the teams you want to be rooting for over the next four weeks.
#8 (as in LAST) – New England Patriots
First off, as you well know by now, I am done with football if this team wins again. On top of that, I found out that Tom Brady has never had COFFEE, as if there was anything to make him less relatable. Their hit or miss play over the last few weeks makes them suspect for playoff success, yet with a week one bye and cold weather always on their side, it’s hard to ever count them out. And you know cheating is playing some kind of role in their playoff schemes. Just this week, their WR Chandler Jones paid a shady visit to the ER from a reported overdose after a party at the Gronks, and Bill Belichick showed up to a presser with a black eye. What is going on in the Patriots camp? I’ll be rooting hard for the Chiefs this weekend…let’s end this run now.
Pros – Hard to think of any, but I guess if you have no belief whatsoever in karma this is your team.
Cons – Oh so, so many. Just go back to the hailmaryblog archives, set aside a few hours and get started.
#7 – Seattle Seahawks
On the plus side, if you want a bandwagon team, this is the one that most people have chosen. And luck is on their side; they were given an absolute gift with Minnesota’s field goal miss last week.
Pros – You really have to love Pete Carroll’s positive attitude, and the longer they play, the more Future will be calling out Russell Wilson on Twitter. Good for all.
Cons – Fans who know shockingly little about the team or its history, but continue to blather on about “12s” the “legion of boom” and Bam Bam Cam. Enough. Plus they couldn’t even beat the goddamn Patriots last year, so what good are they?
#6 – Carolina Panthers
Another example that God does not believe in karma. Seeing Cam Newton weasel out of any consequences for past indiscretions is disappointing to say the least. They say that this is the team that your grandma hates, with the selfies and the dabbing and the stealing of laptops. So congrats to me, I guess I am officially old now.
Pros –Love Riverboat Ron Rivera’s play-to-win style. And Luke Kuechly is dreamy.
Cons – Bunch of showboaters. Annoyingly cocky. Didn’t get to 16-0, so no one really cares that much anymore.
#5 – Pittsburgh Steelers
Now normally I am a Steelers gal, but I can’t get over last week’s game at the Bengals. It was such a terrible scene on both sides. Between the coaches on the field to the fisticuffs (again with the grandma stuff) to the overall penalties and angry vibes being bandied around, it felt less like a football game and more like a jailyard throw down. Not my scene. Steelers lucked out to get this far, but with an ailing Ben and Antonio Brown likely out, this is likely not their year. Plus they already have a legion of loyal fans so they don’t need you anyway.
Pros – Mike Tomlin is just a bad ass. Loyal fans who travel anywhere and wave those cute terrible towels.
Cons – Coach Joey Porter. Ugh. Roethlisburger may or not be a rapist. And haven’t they won enough Super Bowls?
#4– Green Bay Packers
I have mixed feelings about this team this year. Normally I love me some Pack, but since Eddie Lacy blew all fantasy hopes out of the water for me this year, I harbor anger, and also worry that Olivia Munn may have Yoko Romo-d Aaron Rodgers a little bit. Still, I liked their play last weekend, albeit against Washington, and if their O-line can show up, they could get a run going.
Pros – It’s the Packers. Hard not to root for them, given their storied history. And, they certainly are an underdog this year.
Cons – James Jones’ hoodie makes me want to yank his head off if an opponent doesn’t first. And their fashion forward cold weather gear won’t make an appearance at the next few road games.
#3– Kansas City Chiefs
One could argue that no one has earned a Super Bowl berth more than the Chiefs. Starting 1-5 and clawing their way back to a Wild Card spot, they’ve now won 11 straight and are looking unstoppable. Alex Smith is a little vanilla, but he’s getting it done on the team that is probably the most complete in the playoffs.
Pros – With names like Tamba Hali and Dontari Poe to pronounce, Dan Fouts will be fun to listen to. Travis Kelce is one of the better white guy dancers I’ve seen.
Cons – They already won the World Series this year, so does Kansas City really deserve this embarrassment of riches?
#2 – Arizona Cardinals
Although they are the two seed, the Cards are the favorite of all of the grandmas who hate the Panthers. This team often gets close, but still hasn’t won the big one.
Pros – I’ve talked enough about the Kangol. But I do think Bruce Arians is one of the most likeable coaches in the game. And Larry Fitz tho.
Cons – Do we really want to hear about Carson Palmer, Super Bowl winning quarterback? And is a Cardinal really a good mascot anyway?
#1 – Denver Broncos
You officially don’t have a heart if you don’t want Peyton’s story to end like this. My eyes tear up when I think of it. Peyton coming back from injury, leading his team through a playoff run and winning his last Super Bowl. Drops mic, retires. Please, please, let it be.
Pros – Door opens for totes adorbs QB of the future, Brock Osweiler, to take over next year. Peyton moves on to lucrative acting career.
Cons – John Elway seems to annoy a lot of people. And these hats.
So go forth and bandwagon. Borrow a jersey if you can; next week, you may have to switch it out so keep the investment low. Now we make like Stan Kroenke and leave. Enjoy the weekend, football lovers!