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The NFL Divisional Round Was Bad For Football

The divisional round of the NFL Playoffs drew a ton of eyes and the ratings were high, but it was not a great weekend for the league as a whole.

On the daily NFL podcast Peacock and Williamson, Matt Williamson sounded off on why the divisional round was not a good weekend for the NFL.

Williamson: I have a strong negative spin on the weekend. Bear with me here but one of my least favorite things about football is it is such a war of attrition. This time of year, a lot of teams lose key components, they are not what they used to be, and you would not think this of a Pittsburgh guy who is looking at a lot of snow outside the window right now but weather to me can derail what would be better games with sleet, snow, rain, and hail. In such a passing league, a high-flying league, sometimes the weather gets in the way of what could be classic games.

But taking it a step further this weekend, we saw what I believe is the best kicker in history, Justin Tucker, miss two key field goals because of wind. When that guy misses, he hits the upright. He doesn’t shank it into the seats.

We saw what might be the best defensive player I have ever seen, Aaron Donald. He probably should not have dressed. I watched every snap of him intently and was a total shell of himself and probably should not have been out there. And to a lesser degree, Myles Garrett too. He is a shell of himself too.

We saw the last two NFL MVPs of the league leave the game with concussions. Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, maybe the two most thrilling people to watch in the entire league left the game with concussions.

We saw an all-time great Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees play his last game and sort of embarrassed himself. He probably should not have been out there. He was not the player that he used to be and cost his team the game. The game would have been much more of a blowout in my opinion if Bruce Arians does not neuter what is maybe the greatest quarterback of all-time in Tom Brady by running the ball over and over on early downs and keep that game close.

And lastly, we saw what I think is the worst rule in football that hurt the Browns. They fumbled the ball going into the endzone and the Chiefs did nothing to pick the ball up or add possession, but the ball rolls out of the endzone, so the Chiefs get the ball.