After a long, chaotic, and somehow not-totally-pandemic-derailed NFL season, the playoffs are here. And just about anything can happen—just ask the Buffalo Bills, who have somehow become the best team on the planet. But Josh Allen and pals will have plenty of company. Here’s everything we’re stoked to see, starting with Saturday’s kickoff.
1. Two Extra Games!
With an additional wild card in each conference, this is the most football-y football weekend in recent memory, with six games over two days. Apologies to significant others everywhere.
2. An Atomic Derrick Henry Stiff-Arm
Barry Sanders had the quicksilver juke. Emmitt Smith kinda just ran through dudes. Alabama back Najee Harris jumped over this guy last week. Titans titan Henry doesn’t need any of those techniques. Instead, the 6’3” basher employed the simple stiffarm to wondrous effect this season, dishing it out left and right on his way to only the eighth 2000-yard season in league history. Here’s hoping he saved a couple really insulting ones for the playoffs.
3. The Quarterback Hilarity in Los Angeles
Jared Goff is probably playing this weekend, but if he doesn’t, it’ll be John Wolford (??). And even if it’s Jared Goff, it’s still…Jared Goff, only with a recently-surgically-repaired thumb. Can the Rams offense, so recently the most exciting thing in football, overcome its enormous question mark at quarterback?
4. Jalen Ramsey and DK Metcalf Face Off
One of them is the league’s best corner, who loves talking trash as much as he loves locking down receivers. The other is the game’s most dangerous young wideout, capable of running at speeds not allowed in school zones. Not bad for a first-round matchup.
5. The Best Team in Football Is…the Buffalo Bills?
We’re as surprised as you are. How did this happen, exactly?
6. Josh Allen Is a Maniac, for Starters
Buffalo’s charmingly oafish QB is obviously a lot less oafish this year, upshifting from Basically Large Sam Darnold to a genuine MVP candidate. While that transformation has entailed a more efficient, less rambunctious style, we’re still betting Allen has something kooky in store. This, after all, is the Beautiful Mind running QB responsible for this gem. Whaddya got for us, Josh?
7. The Stefon Diggs Show
The NFL’s leader in receptions and receiving yards is also its leader in sideline flossing. Sit back and enjoy.
8. 6,000 Bills Fans Will Try to Sound Like 50,000
It’s been a while since the Bills had a legit shot at the Super Bowl. The Bills also have some of the rowdiest, most joyful fans on the planet. (Just ask Pinto Ron.) And while the pandemic made it tough to imagine a world where 70,000 of those fans could cram into Buffalo Stadium and scream at the top of their lungs, a last-minute intervention means that 6,000 of them will be allowed inside. We’re betting they’ll manage to get pretty loud.
9. Chiefs, Titans, and Bills—oh my!
The Chiefs, Titans, and Bill all average right around 400 yards of offense and more than 30 points per game. Which means that if we see any of these two teams face off against each other, we’re in for some offensive fireworks. Prepare for a basketball score—and probably take the over.
10. Will Tyreek Hill break the single-game yards from scrimmage record?
In a week 12 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs running back Tyreek Hill went off for 269 yards and three touchdowns. But what’s really insane is that he went for 203 of those yards in the first quarter (on 7 catches!). The record for yards from scrimmage in a single game is 336 by Flipper Anderson. If anyone can break that, it’s likely to be the most explosive player on one of the NFL’s all-time explosive offenses.