Christmas is over, the New Year and decade is here, college football is winding down, but the best time of the year has finally arrived! The NFL Playoffs start this weekend with the Wild Card round- and I’m stoked! (Also looking for any excuse to move on from my Badgers shitting the bed in their 4th Rose Bowl in a row)
It’s only January 3rd, but you’ve all seen a million stupid Facebook posts from your annoying cousins, your loser high school friends and that one chick you used to talk to in college that was into cross-fit, selling shakes online and dreamt of opening her own chicken yoga studio. They’re all posting the bullshit #NewYearNewMe crap and quite frankly, I’m sick of seeing everybody’s bogus plan to lose weight, be a better environmentalist… blah blah blah Shut up Tiffany nobody cares!
BUUUTTTT…. It is a New Year for the NFL because the league size shrinks to 12. The season is only guaranteed to be one game with the chance to play more. It’s actually compelling enough for people to really care what each team may want to change about themselves, unlike the morons that just paid for a 12-month gym membership that will see a treadmill 3 times this entire year.
Here we go, each NFL Playoff team’s New Year’s Resolution:
Starting in the AFC, Bottom to Top- first up we have the 6-Seed Tennessee Titans.
This is simple: Give Derrick Henry the ball as much as possible and give Derrick Henry the money he deserves. This will set up long-term sustainability, and more things will fall into place as Mikey Vrabel continues to build this program.
The 5-Seed Buffalo Bills are America’s sweethearts, with arguably the 2nd-best fan base in the world, and a scrappy, young QB who is looking for his first playoff win. Their New Year’s Resolution is a 2-parter:
Be more selfish– just like 1/3 of the Facebook posts you’ve seen, yes the Bills need to be more selfish and stop letting other teams pursue their dreams of winning a Super Bowl and start chasing their own. Houston, it’s a bad year to be friends with Buffalo because they’re done letting people walk all over them.
Try their first threesome– Devin Singletary has grown into a good running back capable of being the feature back. Frank Gore is the ageless veteran who is still very able and will continue to be valuable, especially in this year’s playoffs. Josh Allen is a fearless SOB who happens to be an extremely effective runner. These three combined for 1,885 rushing yards this season.
Buffalo’s offense is at its peak when all three of these guys are getting touches and moving the ball on the ground. It’s time for OC Brian Daboll to get a little exploratory and get all three of these guys running. If they shake it up a little Baltimore-esque, they might just be able to pull off one of the greatest runs of all time.
Houston is the 4-seed and their New Year’s Resolution should be obvious, unleash Deshaun Watson and let him play his game. This dude is a scrambler, a playmaker, and dangerous when he doesn’t have a leash. 2020 should be the year he loses his leash and starts making the plays he’s capable of with his legs.
New England is the biggest question mark in the playoffs. Obviously the single-most dominant team the last 2 decades, but have had a strange end to the year; which was culminated with them losing to Miami in week 17 to lose their first-round bye.
The Patriots’ New Year’s Resolution is one of the most annoying ones to see on the internet, but it needs to be said. It’s time for them to get back to their old selves. The key to NE’s success has been: Dominant defense + effective run game from no-name backs + undervalued WR’s coming out of nowhere to catch perfectly-thrown balls from old TB12. It’s the only recipe they’ve been able to win with and you can bet Bill Belichick will be getting back to it. Expect James White, Philip Dorsett and the entire defense to be stepping up in big, big ways.
The Chiefs might be the hottest team coming into the playoffs and their New Year’s Resolution is a long-time coming: Win. The. Big. Game. Something Andy Reid has failed to do, time after time. I don’t have to say any more than this. He’s too damn good of a coach to only have one Super Bowl appearance. Patrick Mahomes is healthy and he’s playing loose, which is dangerous for the rest of the league.
The Baltimore Ravens have been the dominant team all year. Lamar Jackson has revolutionized the QB position and John Harbaugh has reinvented his coaching philosophy. The only thing that can derail this freight train is the people driving it.
Their New Year’s Resolution is to Stick With the Formula. You see it every so often in the NFL- a team dominates the regular season doing something unique (Panthers in 2015) and once they get to the playoffs, they forget what got them there and roll out a vanilla scheme. The Ravens have to keep their foot on the gas pedal and keep rockin’ with what got them this far.
Moving to the NFC and the 6-seeded Minnesota Vikings, and no I won’t take this time to make jokes about their coach not being able to see or their historic inability to win a Super Bowl, that’s just lazy writing.
I obviously hate the Vikings. I dislike everything about this team. However, I respect Adam Thielen more than most any player in this league. The Vikings’ New Year’s Resolution is to treat Adam Thielen like the elite talent that he is. Thielen is the X-factor that makes me think the Vikings are capable of a Super Bowl run comparable to the Packers in 2010. (I sleep better at night knowing that Kirk Cousins doesn’t win prime time games)
The Sea Chickens of Seattle are the 5-seed and their New Year’s Resolution is to stop letting Pete Carroll have any control of what happens on the offense on 3rd & 4th down. Plain and simple, that guy stinks at decision-making on those 2 downs.
The Philadelphia Eagles, without Big Dick Nick, are somehow the 4th seed, despite playing like a High School JV team for over half the season. Since they can’t trade for Nick Foles, their New Year’s Resolution is to get the ball in Miles Sanders’ hands as often as possible. That dude single-handedly carried this team to the playoffs and he’s capable of flipping the field at a moment’s notice.
The New Orleans Saints at the 3-seed, after the year they had, is still laughable to me just because I’m a Packers fan. This team was arguably better with their backup Quarterback, and they continue to use their 3rd string QB Taysom Hill just to slap the faces of the rest of the league.
The Saints New Year’s Resolution is to STOP BITCHING ABOUT THE REFS!!! Wanna know who wins games? The players and coaches do. Wanna know who loses games? The players and coaches do. Any bad or missed call that has ever happened, was not the only event in a game that caused a team to win or lose, and I am sick of hearing Saints’ fans whine about the refs. The best way to not let a referee’s decision influence the outcome of the game is to score more often and stop the other team from scoring. Piss off New Orleans.
The Green Bay Packers, the #2 seed of the NFC, “the worst 13-3 team in history” and the NFC North Champs are back in the playoffs after a 2-year drought with their new coach Matt LaFleur. Their New Year’s Resolution is to Try New Things.
You’ve seen your annoying Facebook friends claim they’re going to try new things this year, every year for the last 10 years, and they continuously do the same stuff. The Packers have shown glimpses of innovation and creativity all year. But it’s been overshadowed by the offense’s stagnancy and the defense’s inability to get off the field on 3rd downs.
This year, this playoff run, they need to try new things. I want to see a flea-flicker, end-arounds, zone blitzes, and fakes in the special teams schemes, anything NEW. LaFleur has the brain to do it, now he needs to find the BALLS to do it.
The 49ers are the NFC’s #1-seed and besides the Ravens, were the most dominant team this year. BUT, they showed their weaknesses late in the season. The Falcons drowned Julio Jones in targets and he came away with 13 catches and 134 yards, much like the Saints did with Michael Thomas earlier in the season.
If there’s an NFC team out there that is going to have a chance to beat the 49ers, they’ve got to fearlessly target their stud WR. Michael Thomas, Davantae Adams, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, maybe Tyler Lockett are all capable. It’s not conventional logic, but watching those games has me convinced it’s the best way to stop the 49ers.
New Year’s Resolutions are dumb. Mine rarely pan out and I hate seeing them on the internet. I don’t care about your New Year’s Resolutions, but I do care about your NFL team’s resolutions. If your team wasn’t included because they suck and didn’t make the playoffs (Lions fans) or I didn’t get your playoff team’s resolution correct, let me know!
Thanks for reading
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