The Monday morning briefing on the NFL playoffs

Playoffs baby! The NFL postseason is finally here, after a 17-game wait this time, inspiring the hopes of many a fan base and capturing the eyes of even the most passing fan. It’s a special time, with extraordinary moments and a little more meaning in every single action. It’s also a day to learn a lot about the current top teams in National League Football. Above all about those who are still dreaming of the Super Bowl!

So before the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams complete NFL Wild Card Weekend tonight, let’s take a look at what happened and draw some conclusions.

Surprise: An outstanding quarterback helps in the NFL

The five euros have long been stuck in the phrase pig, but this year’s Wild Card Weekend proved this old truism once again in an impressive way. Josh Allen, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes are difference players, icing on the cake of the talented NBA player. You can hide a lot in the regular season and you can also be successful with alternative means, but in the league of this millennium you simply can’t get past a good thrower.

Jalen Hurts, who likes to run, rookie Mac Jones and also the more sedate gentleman with the name of a London landmark are simply not enough at the current level with their playing style, either no longer or not yet or maybe never. No matter how good a defense can be, no matter how sophisticated a game plan can be, in the cold NFL January you need a golden arm to not run after the wrong rabbit in the race of the very fast horses.

Pittsburgh says goodbye to “Big Ben” and old traditions

When it comes to defense, the Pittsburgh Steelers unit may immediately come to mind. A group that the team has carried around all year long, most notably on the broad shoulders of TJ Watt. They also started strong against the Chiefs, without the help of their offense (again with a creepy offensive line) but their house of cards collapsed in the face of Mahom’s gust of wind. Bad attack, good defense? It’s not that easy in the Steel City.

In their last four NFL playoff games since 2016 (all losses), the Steelworkers have conceded 36, 45, 48 and 42 points. How about that, Mike Tomlin? This is not because you can no longer win with defense in 2022, but rather because the Steelers have not been able to send a balanced defense onto the lawn in recent years. A lot can be blamed on Ben Roethlisberger’s aging arm this season, but that’s no longer the case. “Big Ben” puts the horse ointment in the drawer, he needed it more often than almost any other quarterback after the millions of hits he’s had over the years. With him, not only a great, at times controversial but always tough thrower leaves the stage, but a real football player.

The NFL playoffs once again reveal the Cowboys’ weaknesses

tough? Hardness? So what is that? Please send any entries to: One Cowboys Way Suite, Frisco, Texas, copies to Jerry Jones, Mike McCarthy, Dak Prescott…oh, post it right away. After their last triumph 26 years ago, the Dallas Cowboys are still waiting for the next NFL title in their illustrious history. A key reason: individual talent cannot make up for a lack of focus, mental vigor and physical dedication. The San Francisco 49ers’ first drive in Dallas was an absolute statement, telling the league, themselves and their opponents who’s wearing the pants, boots and hat this afternoon in Texas. San Francisco’s opponents stood in line, as if they were careful not to get their own jerseys dirty.

It’s been like this with the Cowboys for decades: the squad is peppered with top talents and individual stars, who occasionally set off fireworks. But what if it gets hairy? If someone has to say, up to here and no further? When you have to get “dirty”? In sports one often speaks of culture and even the new coaching staff in “Big D” was not able to change that in the long term. With which he may soon find himself in the long line of job-seeking trainers. If financial support is needed, they could ask their millionaire quarterback.

Which NFL teams are “for real”? Who is currently more of a “paper tiger”?

The teams that are still standing tend to have fewer such worries. Many a pundit, if we call Rex Ryan that, is praising the Buffalo Bills after bulldozing the helpless New England Patriots into the top tier of NFL title contenders. And why not? They’ve got a furious quarterback, a newfound running game, rock-solid defense, and on top of that, they know what it feels like to be back after the Super Bowl from last season in the NFL.

When it comes to “for real,” there’s no need to talk about the number 12 in Tampa Bay or Mister Mahomes. Joe Burrow also made a good impression on the big stage, and the Bengals are enjoying their newfound winning mentality in the manner of a college team that is allowed to play a bowl game for the first time in years. A lot is possible with this, but everything? Cheers to the running game and defense of the 49ers, Kyle Shanahan and his staff have done a lot right on every level over the past few weeks in the NFL. However, whether “Jimmy G” will be enough to tackle a really big hit is more in the stars.