For the first time in the history of dozonlife.com the New England Patriots are not a playoff team; very sad indeed, but I'm actually sorta glad it happened this season. It's much easier to cope with the end of the double-dynasty when society is crumbling like coffee cake. 7-9 doesn't seem so bad when Capitol Police protect like Luke Joeckel. Hey, at least the Punter went All-Pro!
As for the 2020 (respect the league year) NFL Playoffs, ya boi's got no dog in the fight for the first time since 2008. Don't get me wrong, I'm down to foster one for the next month and there's a few puppers I definitely have zero interest seeing hoist the Lombardi Trophy on February 7th. That's what these power rankings are all about. I could be like the "big guys" and write some boring shit about how the Chiefs and Packers are the best teams in the NFL, but that's not why a handful of people come to DOL. You come here for the D on life; what's the Doz man got to say on this?
While one of my 2021 goals is to have more followers than pounds on my body, the fact of the matter is right now I'm niche AF. Most of my readers are people who know me personally (if you don't fall in that demographic I fucking love you for being here) and likely Patriot fans too. Maybe you don't know what to root for? Feel free to follow my personal power rankings of who I want to see win the Super Bowl.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers
When the Steelers kneeled it out against the Texans in week 3 to keep TML alive I claimed I'd never talk shit about them again.
But I've already cut off my nose to spite my face in a blogging/content sense enough by abandoning my Red Sox fandom until John Henry is gone. If I stopped hating the Pittsburgh Steelers I don't know if I'd even be me anymore.
Sure, I can respect the organization in some ways, but the last thing I want is for them to surpass the Pats for most Super Bowl titles as they're currently tied with 6 each. Patriot haters love to mention how bad the Pats were until Brady, but the Steelers sucked for like 40 years until they started winning Super Bowls. They were undeniable worst in their dark days. At least the Patriots were contenders in the 70's and won two AFC championships. The Steelers didn't even win a playoff game until the Immaculate Reception. The Patriots were just founded almost 30 laters and most people have no sense of history.
Oh and it's always been fuck Big Ben. People don't forget.
13. Baltimore Ravens
I used to be somewhat neutral-to-pro Raven because they were one of the Steelers biggest rivals. Then they beat the shit out of the Patriots in the 09 playoffs, but even then it wasn't full fledge hate. That didn't come until they ruined my Christmas present/early 2013 when they beat the Patriots in the 2012 (respect the league year) AFC Championship Game in one of the most frustrating losses in Patriots history.
He may be gone but I'lI always loathe Terrell Suggs. That bleach pouring, baby teeth having, piece of shit was calling the Patriots arrogant after the game as if he did create a fake college dedicated to himself. I don't like how this franchise came about either, those poor Browns fans (we'll get to them soon). Oh and Edgar Allen Poe would've hated football.
TBH I'm v worried about the Ravens going on a run because they're playing fantastic football going into the playoffs and just seem to do better in the postseason when they're on the road. Jon Harbaugh is 8-5 on the road and only 1-2 at home in the playoffs.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Look, I'll always love Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, but shit is not cool right now. Those unfunny Tommy and Gronky videos make my skin crawl. It breaks my heart to know Belichick drove away the two greatest players in franchise history (sorry John Hannah). Yes, I was rooting for Gronk to score 10 TDs, but that's mainly just because I despise Travis Kelce and want to see Gronk retire with better numbers (even though it's almost a certainty Kelce will end up with more yards).
I am not one of these Patriot fans that is rooting for the Bucs to win the Super Bowl. Au Contraire, I'd love to see the Football Team knock them out, but I'm not holding my breath.
There has been enough awful shit to deal with these last 10 months/29 years and I straight up cannot mentality take Tom Brady winning a Super Bowl with the goT damn Tampa Bay Buccaneers right now. I just hate the Steelers and Ravens that much, otherwise they'd be #14 like Chris Godwin after Tom Brady made him give up his identity.
11. Kansas City Chiefs
Despite being heartbroken and personally offended that Tom Brady is no longer of the New England Patriots, I still don't want to see another QB win as many Super Bowls as him or god forbid surpass him. I know absolute worst case scenario he's only in Tampa 10 more years before the world sees him as a Patriot again. If the Chiefs win the Super Bowl this year Patrick Mahomes would already be a third of the way to tie after just three seasons as a starter.
While Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill can fall off the face of the earth for all I'm concerned, I don't have anything against the simple midwestern people who root for this franchise. I was happy to see this organization win last year and I'm not a monster; I love Andy Reid. I just would much rather see another team who hasn't won in some time/ever do so this season.
10. Los Angeles Rams
I don't hate the Rams by any means, I appreciate them for getting completely shut down by the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII, but I also don't fuck with them at all. I nothing them. I'll never root for L.A. (Chargers don't count) in anything, I don't like the uniforms or Jaylen Ramsey.
Even though I have teams with worse records above them in my personal power rankings, I've been known to be a hypocrite before and I cannot stand when sub-11 win teams win the Super Bowl. The world has already seen one too many 9-7 Super Bowl champs and I would hate for this Rams team to become the second in the final year of a 16 game schedule.
9. Chicago Bears
The '85 Bears might've beaten the Patriots by 36 points in Super Bowl XX, but I was negative -2149 days old when that happened so I have no ill will toward the Monsters of the Midway. This should almost be a tier of its own. I am 100% okay with any of these next nine teams winning it all.
I've never been there, but always I've kind of gravitated towards Chicago in sorta of a reverse Blue Jean Committee situation. It's like midwest Boston IMO.
Even though they're 8-8, I think it would be sort of cool for a team to go from 5-1 to 5-7 to 8-8 Super Bowl champs despite what I just said about the Rams. Plus, I love Big Cat and the Barstool Chicago guys and would like to see them be happy.
8. Indianapolis Colts
I used to hate the Colts with the passion of a thousand suns during the Peyton Manning days, but now that Phil Rivers is here in what could very well be his last chance at a Super Bowl I'm rooting for him, not the horseshoe. I'd love to see the Bolo got a crack at the big one. I'm just not a Jim Ursay guy, so I can't go any higher than eight.
7. Tennessee Titans
I fuck with Vrabs, Tracorcito a lot and even like seeing Ryan Tannehill succeed to spite the Dolphins, but this is still the team who ended the Brady-Belichick era in another incredibly frustrating playoff loss. I'll never get why the Pats punted on 4th and 3 IN Titan territory, but that's not what this post is about. Even though I just typed that, I really don't dislike this franchise. Had I not left Nashville so quickly they'd probably be my step-team.
As a narrative guy in sports I can appreciate the storyline of the Titans coming back even stronger after a surprise AFC Championship Game run. It'd be huge for the "gotta lose before you can win crowd". I just don't see them getting back there with this defense, but I sure wouldn't mind it.
6. Washington Football Team
The NFC East was the media world's punch bagging all season, but the Football Team's defense is legit. Between Ron Rivera and Alex Smith how can you not be happy to see these guys doing well after battling cancer and nearly losing their leg respectively?
Unfortunately, I don't think Alex is going to be healthy enough to play in the Super Wild Card Round, but just the fact that's played and won games this year is a miracle.
If there was to ever be a team to win it all with a losing record, the prospect of it being "The Football Team" is objectively hilarious.
5. Cleveland Browns
After 18 years the Browns are back in the playoffs and while I'd love to see the great Cleveland fans win it all, I think it would be a little too fast for them to have it happen this year. The fact that they have kept Cody Parkey all year almost makes me want to root against them for being so ignorant and tempting fate. You're the Cleveland Browns, perhaps the most snake-bitten franchise of all time and you think Cody "double doink" Parkey is gonna get it done when it matters most? I know you're not supposed to talk like this anymore to victims, but Jeez, talk about asking for it when he misses a 39 yard field goal to go home.
4. Seattle Seahawks
If this was 2016 I would have the Seahawks close to the bottom of the list. I couldn't stand the Seahawks in their Legion of Boom hayday and used to think Russell Wilson was the biggest square in sports. But over the last few seasons I've really grown to respect and appreciate not only Russell, but this franchise as well. There's a lot of guys I love on this team (Russ, Seattle's entire offensive skill position unit and Bobby Wagner) and frankly I picked them to win the Super Bowl in my season preview and wouldn't hate looking somewhat smart there. Plus I think it'd be pretty cool to see Russ win it all without the LOB after costing them a 2nd ring in Super Bowl XLIX.
3. Green Bay Packers
I originally had the Packers at 4 and Seahawks at 3, but called an audible after Aaron Rodgers did something much cooler than recycling Will Ferrell quotes.
As a pure football fan it's impossible to not appreciate what Aaron Rodgers accomplished this season; especially after the Packers traded up to draft his potential replacement after finishing 13-3 with much more glaring needs. I respect a good fuck you and Aaron Rodgers has been in full fuck you mode this season. Even though I started saying like eight years ago that there's a great chance he turns into Brett Favre only winning one Super Bowl in GB despite being an all-time QB, as a narrative guy, I love the story of Aaron winning his 2nd ring a full decade after his first after the Packers basically told him to fuck off by drafting bust-in-waiting Jordan Love.
2. Buffalo Bills
Bills fans might hate the Patriots, but I don't care. I love Bills Mafia and have a fucking soul. The Buffalo Bills have dealt with arguably more heartbreak than any other franchise in NFL history. The Lions just suck. The Bills have had their hearts ripped out and then sucked for 20ish years. This team is so easy to root for, even if Cole Beasley has lame shaved-sides long hair.
Perhaps this is a tad bit pandering since they've literally never been a threat to the Patriots until the double-dynasty on its last leg, but I have absolutely nothing against the Buffalo Bills. I hate the Jets and Dolphins, but the Bills have always been alright in my eyes. Rooting against the Bills is like rooting against a single mom trying to get back on her feet. I'd absolutely love to see them win it all before the Patriots miraculously are the class of the NFL again.
1. New Orleans Saints
I know the Saints won the Super Bowl in 2009 (respect the league year), but since then it's been nothing but heartbreak for this vagabond franchise. 2010 they lost in the beast quake game to a 7-9 Seahawks. In 2011 they went 13-3, but were a wild card team and ended up losing in San Francisco in the Divisional Round in the Catch III. 2012 there's the bounty. 2013 they weren't legit Super Bowl contenders, but almost beat Seattle in Seattle. Then it was three straight years of 7-9 despite having a top 10 offense every year. Then they get back to the playoffs in 2017 and lose on the Minnesota Miracle. In 2018 even though they did plenty on their own volition to blow that game that they led 13-0 in, they were robbed by the most egretious missed call I've ever seen. Finally last season in 2019 they went 13-3 again and somehow ended up a wild card team and lost in OT on a very questionable no call. From 1990-2019 when the playoff format was six teams in each conference with the top two teams getting byes only three teams went 13-3 and didn't receive a first round bye; two fo them were the Saints (the other was the 1999 Tennessee Titans were who a wild card team since the Jags went 14-2).
With Drew Brees likely retiring this year, again I'm not a monster, I think it'd be a great story to see him go out on top after what the Saints have dealt in the playoffs the last few years. Sure I was a little butthurt with his anthem comments this summer, but I've moved on. I know Drew Brees is a good guy and he did a lot to help New Orleans after Katrina. He's not exactly a corpse like 2015 Peyton Manning and has the help of Taysom Hill so yes even though it's kind of lame to root for one of the better teams left, I want to see the Saints win it all.
Who are you rooting for in the NFL playoffs? Be sure to sound off in the comments below!