The 2021 Super Spreader Bowl: NFL Playoffs Like You’ve Never Seen Them
Even though the NFL didn’t play its season in a bubble (like other leagues) and there were a few COVID outbreaks, all 17 weeks were played. Even though many people thought it would, the league didn’t shut down at all. The regular season was completed as planned (with a few minor hiccups) and now the playoffs are set to begin.
This was one of the strangest regular seasons in the league’s history and there’s no doubt the playoffs will be just as wacky. Below you’ll find a few storylines that are sure to shape this year’s playoffs.
Photo: Jamie Squire (Getty Images)
COVID at the forefront.
A season without many fans, players wearing facemasks on the sideline, multiple teams having COVID outbreaks -- this was a wild season. The playoffs will be no different. Maybe, if we’re lucky, we’ll see a wide receiver play quarterback again.
Good teams were left out.
It’s a fact that regardless of a team’s record if they win their division, they make the playoffs. This year, the Washington Football Team finished the regular season 7-9 and made it while a 10-6 Dolphins team didn’t. It might not seem fair, but it is. Get over it.
Teams without players?
The Titans and a few other teams had to shuffle multiple games during the regular season. Now, we learn that the Browns will be without a few players and their head coach for their first-round game. How that changes the team strategy we won’t know until this weekend. What happens when a team is without its star players? Things could get ugly.
Buffalo is on fire.
No, not the actual city of Buffalo. That would be terrible. The Bills have made the playoffs in three of the last four years, but they haven’t won a playoff game since 1995. The boys in Buffalo finished with a record of 13-3 and have thrashed their last three opponents. Will they stay as hot as the city’s famous chicken wins in the playoffs?
Minimal home-field advantage.
There’s little to no home-field advantage during this year’s playoffs. Even teams that are allowing fans have them scattered throughout mostly empty stadiums. Will it be easier to win in Kansas City or Seattle without fans? You bet. Everyone plays better when they don’t have shirtless, painted up drunk people screaming at them.
Socially distant parties.
With COVID still ravaging the country, Super Bowl parties will look a little different this year. There will be no giant house parties. Instead, socially distance with smaller parties with your “pod." Sure, it’s not as fun but at least you won’t have to pay for a sheet pizza this year.
Kansas City is still the champ.
Regardless of how you feel about the Chiefs, they’re still the champions until someone beats them. Also, they win 12 games so thinking they’re a cupcake is pretty dumb. We wouldn’t be surprised if they repeat as champs. Although we hope they don’t, regardless of how much we enjoy seeing overjoyed Andy Reid.
Anything can happen.
With few fans, COVID rampant, and the wild west of offensive firepower on many of the playoff teams, anything can happen. While Kansas City is the top pick to win again, literally any team could hoist the trophy (except Washington).
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