Wednesday Morning QB (Wild Card Weekend)

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The playoffs are underway in the NFL and they provided almost everything that could happen in an NFL game. There was a convincing win and a comeback as well as a bitter rivalry. There were young quarterbacks and veterans facing off while some players may have been entering their last games with their teams. It was a weekend full of great stories but the predominant storylines were those of two teams trying to end a long history of postseason futility. The Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys have become known for something that neither of them wanted. They are the two teams with great reputations in the regular season that quickly turns to terrible reputations in the playoffs. The Bengals once again came out strong in the regular season as they quickly rose to the top of the AFC North. They were again a strong team and one that many had said were a team to watch in the playoffs. The only issue is that they had not won a playoff game in 23 seasons with their last win coming in 1990. It has been a long period of struggle and in the last few years it has only been worse. They have been better than ever in the last few years seeming like a Super Bowl favourite with a great defence and quick striking offence. Yet when it comes to the playoffs that all seems to go away and the Bengals continue to be eliminated in the first round. Much of the criticism has fallen to their quarterback as Andy Dalton has been seen as the reason why the Bengals can’t get that win. It is far from accurate that he is the reason and the only reason for the Bengals continued struggles in the playoffs but as the years go on the talk about Dalton becomes that much more real for the franchise. He had another chance to change that as he led the Bengals against the Indianapolis Colts and Andrew Luck. The Bengals once again looked sluggish in the playoffs and without A.J. Green to provide a top target Dalton struggled. He did as much as he could but in the end I was all for not as the Bengals dropped another playoff game marking the 24th season that the Bengals were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. It was a familiar end for the Bengals and the Cowboys were hoping to avoid the same thing. The Cowboys had only one playoff win since 1996 and much like the Bengals a lot of the blame had fallen on their quarterback. Tony Romo has taken a lot of heat since becoming the Cowboys quarterback as many believed he couldn’t lead the Cowboys back to the Super Bowl. Much of that had to do with the perception that he couldn’t play well enough in big games to bring the Cowboys to the championship. Many believed that Romo’s time was done when this season started poorly for the Cowboys. Then Romo turned things around and with the help of DeMarco Murray and a great line made the Cowboys a true contender for Super Bowl XLIX. Then the playoffs came and the doubt began to rise again as many had seen the Cowboys with plenty of promise only to have that promise fall away when the games mattered the most. The Cowboys almost did that again, coming out lethargic in the first half as the Detroit Lions got ahead early and looked to be in control. A controversial call reversed the fortunes though and the Cowboys mounted a comeback. They finally finished it off with a win as they move closer to the end goal. Joining the Cowboys and the Colts in the next round were the Baltimore Ravens who beat their longtime division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Carolina Panthers who were in control from the start of their game against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cowboys will take on traditional rivals Green Bay in a matchup that has been done time and time again in important games. The Panthers, meanwhile are on their way to Seattle where they will deal with the league’s best home field advantage. In the AFC the Ravens continue their goal of two Super Bowls in three years by taking on the always tough New England Patriots. The Colts on the other hand will see a matchup of the old Indianapolis legend in Peyton Manning against the new developing legend in Luck as the Colts take on the Broncos. The best time of year in the NFL continues as the divisional round gets going this weekend with four more promising games and plenty of stories to follow.

Fifth Quarter:
(Thoughts on Wild Card Weekend)

The Wrong Call
The Detroit Lions where in control of their Wild Card game against the Cowboys until a pass interference was called and then taken back in what the NFL deemed as a blown call that changed the face of the 2015 NFL playoffs

Marrone out in Buffalo
Just after Black Monday saw plenty of coaching openings another one showed up as Doug Marrone decided to take advantage of a clause that allowed him to opt-out of his contract while still getting paid for 2015 as the Bills are now in search of their next head coach

Last time Out
The Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions did not come out as winners on Wild Card weekend and they may suffer more after the season as Larry Fitzgerald is set to be a free agent along with Ndamukong Suh with both seeming likely to leave the only teams they’ve known

Vinatieri Tested
Adam Vinatieri has been kicking for a long time in the NFL and on Wild Card weekend he was his stable self even kicking a 53-yard field goal and for that he was “randomly selected” for a drug test

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