Wednesday Morning QB (Wild Card Weekend)

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Parity is alive and well in the NFL even if it doesn’t seem to be making its way to the top of the mountain.

This week marked the first round of the playoffs and although some familiar teams still came into the second season as favourites there were a lot of new faces.

Some of the longest playoff droughts in the league, and in one case the longest one in professional sports in North America, were broken this year.

The Jacksonville Jaguars made their first appearance in 9 seasons while the Tennessee Titans broke their 8 season drought this year.

The Los Angeles Rams broke their own 12 season drought that including the time in St. Louis while it was the first time Los Angeles saw a playoff game since 1989.

The biggest of them all was the Buffalo Bills who broke a 17-year playoff drought which was the longest active streak in North American sports.

It was a weekend with a lot of new teams making their first appearance in a very long time and breaking out their droughts.

That theme continues as the Philadelphia Eagles will make their first appearance since 2013 and Minnesota will make only their second appearance in five years.

They might not be suffering as long or as bad as the other franchises but they are not regular members of the playoffs.

There are the usual suspects though as Atlanta, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and New England are all back in the playoffs for another year.

These teams are used to playing in the playoffs and having that experience heading into this second season.

That, along with their ability has many of the teams that are used to this time of year as the favourites in the playoffs.

If what is predicted will happen does actually happen then the parity in the league will seem like it is non-existent.

That won’t be the full picture though as more teams are getting more of a shot in the playoffs.

It might not get many to notice and at a point, the parity has to translate to the top of the heap as parity will only ever be seen if it is in the title game.

That will always continue the debate about parity in the league as some people believe that parity is not necessarily the best and others want it more than anything.

There is a theory about the fact that great teams grow interest in the game and the league.

In this theory, dominant teams provide someone to love and someone to hate bringing plenty of people to the league.

Those dominant teams get everyone watching games because they either want that team to continue to be dominant or they want to the Goliath fall.

Eventually, though those dominant teams get old and things aren’t as exciting as teams everywhere need to be successful to help them develop.

The better teams are the more people want to see them and the healthier they become which makes the league healthier.football-sidebar

Although the dominant teams do provide that powerful feeling in big games parity provides a lot of variety that allows more teams a chance.

As of right now, the parity in the league is good although it has been good to cheer for or against those big dominant teams seeing more teams have a shot is overall better for the league and the sport.

This year that chance of a new champion is still very much alive and Super Bowl droughts are in the crosshairs for a number of teams.

Out of the eight teams left in the playoffs, five of them have never won a Super Bowl in their entire franchise history.

Philadelphia, Minnesota and Tennessee last won any title when they won NFL Championships before the merger of the NFL and AFL in 1966.

The Atlanta Falcons came close to winning their first-ever title last year and are back after the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history ended their hopes a year ago.

Meanwhile, the Jacksonville Jaguars have never won in their 23 years of being a franchise but they, like the rest of the teams are still in the hunt.

Pittsburgh, New England and New Orleans represent the other side of the coin as all have been successful recently.

The Patriots are a year removed from their latest title while the Saints last won in 2009 and Pittsburgh in 2008.

There is a good chance that a new champion could be crowned and a possibility that a franchise could get their first ever title.

Parity would be fun to watch but the dominant teams are still there this year to love and to hate.

That makes this year an interesting one with plenty of great teams all still in the hunt for the Super Bowl.

 

Fifth Quarter

Chucky is Back

He has been one of the biggest names thrown around over the last few years every time a coaching job rose up. Through it all, he remained steadfast in his belief that he was better off in the announcer booth rather than on the sideline. Things were changing though and this year Jon Gruden got a job that he wanted and one that took him out of the announcer booth. He will return to Oakland to coach the Raiders next year and he has a lot of talent to work with along with a lot of expectations to meet.

Another Job Gone

This week a number of the top coaching prospects found their seasons over and so they began to look forward to the future. The first one to fall was Matt Nagy who couldn’t help the Kansas City Chiefs move beyond the wild card weekend but he did find a head coaching job. The former offensive coordinator will take over in Chicago and will look to turn things around with Mitchell Trubisky under centre for the Bears.

The Crop Grows

The 2018 NFL Draft was always looking like a great one with a lot of talent and a lot of potential franchise-changing players. The only thing left to do was for the players to declare that they were going to enter the draft and pass over their final year of eligibility. The quarterback crop could be the most intriguing in years and although Baker Mayfield was already in the draft with no eligibility left there were some that many were waiting for. This week the whole picture was created when Lamar Jackson, Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold declared for the draft to join Josh Allen who declared earlier to create a deep pool of talent.

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