We all know the NFL playoffs aren’t rigged. But if they WERE being written by a team of storytellers in New York, here’s how it would go down.
Houston: No NFL team has ever won a Super Bowl in the year their city hosted the game. The host city needs the tourist revenue. So no Houston this year. 1st round out.
Oakland: Their QB is out so they should have no chance. BUT, that wasn’t supposed to happen. The NFL needs the Raiders to become America’s favorite team so that either Oakland or Las Vegas will build them a new Billion Dollar stadium. Oakland is going to the Super Bowl behind a rookie QB who has never started an NFL game. Cinderella plus history + need for stadium = NFL preference.
Seattle: This is a tough one. The NFL finally had a team full of interesting characters a few years ago. Richard, Marshawn, Earl, Russell, Kam, and everyone’s favorite grandpa coaching them. But then something happened and the storytellers saw their characters go off script. Beast Mode quit, the goody-two-shoes QB married 50 Cent’s ex, Earl got hurt and spoke of retirement, Sherman seems to have lost his cool. This isn’t a team the NFL loves anymore. This is the team that goes down inexplicably this year.
Detroit: The Cavaliers, Cubs, Indians, Donald Trump… notice a trend? The world is conspiring to provide some relief to the Rust Belt. Detroit gets a cinderella win this year, even though they stink.
Miami: No one cares about the Dolphins, including Miami. If a team loses a playoff game and no one in the city notices, did they actually lose? Doesn’t matter. 1st round out.
Pittsburgh: I’m pretty sure the Rooneys and Maras have a deal with the NFL that one of them gets to win the Super Bowl every 4-5 years. They also fit well into the Rust Belt conversation. I see them to the AFC Championship where they do what is best for the league and lose to Oakland.
Giants: The Giants vs Cowboys rivalry is going to be THE rivalry for the next 3 years. But it starts in earnest next year. This year is the appetizer where we learn how important the regular season will be to each team. The Cowboys get a bye, the Giants go down in the best game of the 1st round. OR, they win a few games and end up losing to Dallas in the NFC Championship where home field matters. This is a tough one.
Green Bay: Is it the end of an era? Or is this the transition year where Aaron Rodgers gets a new cast of characters to make great? Once Tom Brady is gone, Aaron Rodgers will have another 5-7 years. I think Green Bay gets a win but goes on a Super Bowl drought until Rodgers’ final year when he gets to have his Peyton Manning Swan Song. OR, they have to bow to New York and let the Giants vs Cowboys NFC Championship game take shape.
New England: Every year, they could be the team that wins it all. They’re the guys you know will get there one or two of every three years. And this year they are simply going to need to take one for the league and let Oakland get to the Super Bowl. It’s just good business sense to let Oakland beat them.
Kansas City: Blah. No one outside of Kansas City cares about Kansas City. A league that saw TV ratings go down this year needs a HUGE Championship weekend and Super Bowl. Neither of those lead to Kansas City success. Out as soon as possible.
Atlanta: The Falcons have managed to get tax payer money to get a new stadium built. That was rewarded with a trip to the playoffs. But the idea of Aaron Rodgers vs Dak Prescott is too good to pass up.
Dallas: GOD the NFL needed Dallas this year. It’s a ratings bonanza. Kids love Dak and Zeke. Old guys love Dez and Whiten. This is NFL gold. Pencil them in to go all the way to the Super Bowl.
AFC: Oakland (5) over Houston (4) and Pittsburgh (3) over Miami (6)
NFC: Detroit (6) over Seattle (3) and Green Bay (4) over New York (5) (or vice versa)
AFC: Oakland (5) over New England (1) and Pittsburgh (3) over Kansas City (2)
NFC: Dallas (1) over Detroit (6) and Green Bay or New York (4 or 5) over Atlanta (2)
AFC: Oakland (5) over Pittsburgh (3) in a classic AFL battle that makes the old people happy.
NFC: Dallas (1) over Green Bay or New York (4 or 5) in a classic NFL battle that makes old and new young people happy.
Super Bowl: TBD.