5 Overreactions to the NFL Divisional Round


Jan 23, 2024

Nothing generates as much buzz and excitement as the NFL. Week after week, the intensity continues to be ratcheted up as we race toward the postseason. As usual, several noteworthy headlines emerged from this week’s gridiron action.

Without further ado, here are five overreactions to what we saw in the NFL in Week 18:

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5. Patrick Mahomes is the NFL’s Golden Boy

We could spill into annexes of how the NFL has tailored calls to their Golden Boy, Patrick Mahomes. But for the sake of brevity, let’s look at the Kansas City Chiefs’ 27-24 win over the Buffalo Bills during the Divisional Round. 

Two contrasting examples occurred in the fourth quarter, highlighting the league’s affinity for prioritizing Mahomes. First, Dorian Williams was called for pass interference on a well-timed hit on Rashee Rice within five yards of the line of scrimmage. A late flag flew after the play was dead, and shockingly, the Chiefs were awarded yards and a first down instead of being forced to punt. 

Second, Mike Pennel absolutely buried Josh Allen into the ground after the play was blown dead. A call that will continue to go the Chiefs’ way in perpetuity. 

Whether he gets free time to change his helmet or calls go his way, the league needs to be more discreet with their approach.

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4. Jason Kelce Should be Protected at All Costs

The Philadelphia Eagles season mercifully ended in the Wild Card Round, but that didn’t stop Jason Kelce from continuing the festivities while cheering on his brother. 

Kelce was christened into the Bills Mafia, participating in all the pre-game activities. He followed that up by appearing shirtless in Taylor Swift’s suite, helping young fans get a glimpse of their favorite pop star. 

It would be a shame if Jason Kelce didn’t return to the gridiron but put that man in front of a camera and protect him at all costs. He’s precisely the type of personality the NFL needs more of.

3. Kyle Shanahan Has a Timeshare He Needs to Use at the End of January

There’s no other explanation for Kyle Shanahan’s consistently poor record in the postseason. He must have to use his timeshare weeks before they expire at the end of January because he seemingly has no interest in playing football in February.  

Every season, the San Francisco 49ers put together one of the most dominant regular seasons in the NFL. And consistently, they fall flat on their face in the postseason. It’s an aversion unlike any seen in professional sports. 

One thing is for sure. After another disastrous playoff performance, San Francisco is undeserving of its place atop the Super Bowl futures board.

2. Nobody Talks About the Baltimore Ravens Offense Enough

For years, the Baltimore Ravens’ identity was premised on tough-nosed defense. And that’s still a crucial part of their success. But lost in the ten-point outings is an offense that has metamorphosed into a dynamic juggernaut. 

Led by Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have left a trail of top defenses in their wake. Week 18 notwithstanding, the Ravens have totaled 30 or more points in four of their past five, averaging 406.2 yards per game. 

Baltimore has put together one of the most dominant offenses in the NFL. Ranking sixth in yards per game and second in points, this isn’t a Ravens team of years past that needed stout defense to beat you. If you haven’t already, it’s time to take notice.

1. Everybody is Rooting for Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions

I mean, how could you not? Dan Campbell is one of the few people who walks the walk and talks the talk. He backs up everything he says in press conferences, getting his team to buy in on his philosophies. That’s the type of coach players will run through brick walls for, and we’re seeing that play out this postseason. 

Detroit was terrible for so long that nobody really hates them, but the hater bus will start to fill up if Campbell builds this team into a perennial contender or dynasty. Until then, everyone is rooting for the Lions in Super Bowl LVIII.

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Thumbnail photo via Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

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