author: ethan buttefield | staff writer
On to the playoffs with another season in the books
Another year has passed and with it, another NFL season. It was filled with twists and turns, solid games and weak ones, and one very special moment that made this writer leap for joy.
Yes, 2017 ended with quite the bang as the Cleveland Browns (say it with me now) went 0-16! A perfect record for all the wrong reasons, the Browns are now in a class almost all their own (ask any Lions fan what I’m talking about). However, before we get too far into Cleveland’s end of the year performance record, let’s take a look at the season as a whole.
Starting off, we have the underdog teams that managed to hit the big time in postseason pay dirt. The good news is, franchises like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings, and Philadelphia Eagles all managed to take lessons from last year and improve where they needed to most, whether that was offense, defense, coaching, or any number of areas.
The bad news is the Buffalo Bills. This team cannot catch a break. After almost two decades of not making the playoffs and being in the bottom end of the league, they blow their best chance at a divisional round playoff game (where they would have gotten killed by the Patriots) in an upsetting loss to Jacksonville. That being said, the Bills at least have something to build on for next year, even if it looks to be more mediocrity.
Speaking of building for next year, Cleveland! (I’ll stop now). No, in actuality I had Atlanta in mind instead. I’ll be honest with you dear reader; I didn’t think that the Falcons were going to make it back to the postseason this year. In the first handful of games that Atlanta played, they looked sloppy, out of focus, and just overall disappointing. I feel as though one would have to attribute that to the Super Bowl loss that was suffered at the hands of the darn Patriots. Still, it seems that Atlanta has gotten back to their winning ways. Come to think of it, we might have a solid rematch on our hands if things pan out the way they do. Just don’t pull an Andy Reid again.
Moving on from old rivals to new surprises, I think the biggest one for me was the Tennessee Titans. Hey Tennessee, where’s that kind of football been for the past ten years? I know that you’ve had to rebuild the franchise for some time now, but holy heck. I can remember the last time I was so invested in the AFC South. But it wasn’t just the regular season that was impressive for the Titans, oh no.
The postseason held its fair share of surprises as well. For those who didn’t see, The Titans came back with 19 straight points to beat what was once the only undefeated team in the league, the Kansas City Chiefs. I can say one for these Titans, they’re not in Kansas anymore (Oh wow, that was terrible).
On that note, what happened to the Chiefs (Well, other than Andy Reid)? They had a bigger dive then the Broncos without Peyton Manning, or The Minnesota Vikings last year when they did pretty much the exact same thing, bar one playoff game. Now, I’ll be honest, I never picked Kansas City to go all the way but it would have been a happy surprise if they did. Heck, I had the Chargers picked for coming out on top in that the division. Despite the odds though, Kansas City, indeed, did make it to the playoffs… and then immediately were eliminated from said playoffs. There’s always next year to improve, I suppose.
All the records and teams aside though, how was the season overall? Frankly, not bad, could have been better. I was happy to see that the kneeling which Colin Kaepernick started continued in this year of football.
Here’s the thing, kneeling doesn’t affect the game of football in the way that it’s played, it’s just a message that players are trying to get across to those who won’t listen. But that’s another article for another day, though. All in all, this 2017 season had some solid moments that made for an entertaining race to the playoffs. Unfortunately, not all teams deserving could make it to extra innings (looking at you Baltimore). Regardless, here’s hoping for another year of great football.