The journey to Miami begins on Wild Card weekend.
Please don’t call me Captain Obvious.
The NFL’s 100th season has reached the playoffs, and the playoff field is as strong as it’s ever been.
Six playoff teams – the Baltimore Ravens (14-2), Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) and New England Patriots (12-4) from the AFC, and the San Francisco 49ers (13-3), Green Bay Packers (13-3) and New Orleans Saints (13-3) from the NFC – won at least 12 regular-season games, tied for the most such teams in a single postseason in NFL history.
I don’t know what it means when picking a Super Bowl winner, but these six teams are in the playoffs with a very reliable quarterback under center.
The combined winning percentage (.708, 136-56) of this season’s field is the highest in 14 years since it was .719 (138-54) in 2005.
The offense was the name of the game for individuals this season also. Derrick Henry of the Titans, who led the NFL with a career-high 1,540 rushing yards, has averaged 149.3 rushing yards over his last six games with ten rushing touchdowns in that span. Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (149) broke the single-season receptions record held by Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (143).
Also, Bills quarterback Josh Allen (nine) and Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (seven) ranked first and tied for second, respectively, in rushing touchdowns among QBs in 2019. Allen, in his second NFL season, threw for 3,089 yards and 20 touchdowns. Watson joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young as the only quarterbacks ever with 25-or-more touchdown passes and five-plus rushing touchdowns in multiple seasons
Five teams – the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans from the AFC, and Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers from the NFC – made the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2018. Since 1990 – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.
For entertainment purposes, the beat goes on, but it will be a wild start.