FRAUD – Steelers
The entire Pittsburgh Steelers franchise counts one big fraud on this one. Big Ben was the focal point with his four interceptions, sure, but the once famous "Steel Curtain" defense, as well as Pittsburgh's coaching staff, deserves just as much blame here. The Steelers never showed up for a home playoff game in which they were favored by nearly a touchdown. The Steelers were 6-point favorites and had every advantage that a team could have heading into last week’s Wild Card playoff game against the division rival Cleveland Browns. Had the Browns not let off the gas after the first quarter, they could’ve scored 60+ points and really embarrassed this Steelers squad. The city of Pittsburgh needs to look itself in the mirror and ask who or what is the biggest reason for the Steelers not winning a title at least once over the last 10 years.
FRAUD – Seattle
The Seattle Seahawks feel much like the Steelers after their own Wild Card Weekend home loss. The Seahawks never came to play either, as mistakes on both sides of the ball, combined with turnovers and countless penalties, held this Seattle team back against a division rival Los Angeles Rams team with a one-thumbed quarterback. The Seahawks, just like the Steelers, were also home favorites (-3.5 in most shops at close), but it simply didn't matter. The quarterback play from Russell Wilson was far below what anyone expected, even in a tough matchup against the likes of Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey & Company.
GOD(S) – Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette
Both of these players really impressed me on the road in Washington, coming up with with B.I.G. wild card weekend games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mike Evans went down was carted off the field in Week 17, and he was a game-time decision heading into this playoff contest. Evans was visibly not 100%, but he gave 110% effort. Evans opened up the rest of the field for his teammates and made life miserable for the Washington secondary throughout this game. Leonard Fournette, on the other hand, got the call early to be the bell cow after Ronald Jones went down with an injury in pregame warmups. Fournette looked like the lead back the Buccaneers expected all along, as the former first-round pick grounded up 93 yards rushing and scored a touchdown to boot. Fournette also caught four passes, and once again, depth in the playoffs is something you must have if you want to advance. RoJo & Fournette provide that for Tampa.
GOD – Jeffrey Lurie
His team did nothing this season and didn't make the playoffs, but he did make a wise decision by firing head coach Doug Pederson in what might've been one of the most important results of wild card weekend. Lurie saw what many Philadelphia Eagles fans saw throughout the season - that Pederson was simply holding this team back. Lurie knew it, and he didn't hesitate. Had Lurie kept Pederson, the entire franchise would be on the brink of explosion. Lurie should be applauded for his stern call fire Pederson.