2020 NFL Divisional Playoffs: The Young and the Ageless
The “Great Eight” when it comes to the National Football League features six franchises that have won at least Super Bowl title and a team that is one of four not to make an appearance in the league’s “Big Game.” But keep in mind that all of these clubs have had their moments in NFL history. The Green Bay Packers have won 13 league titles and the Cleveland Browns own eight professional titles – four in the National Football League and four more in the All-America Football Conference (1946-49).
The Kansas City Chiefs (2), Baltimore Ravens (2), New Orleans Saints (1), and Los Angeles Rams (1) have hoisted a combined six Lombardi Trophies. The latter also won NFL titles in Cleveland (1945) and Los Angeles (1951) pre-Super Bowl era. The Chiefs also won a title in the American Football League in 1962 when the franchise was known as the Dallas Texans. And lest not forget the Buffalo Bills, the only team to reach the Super Bowl four consecutive years (1990-93) but a franchise that captured back-to-back AFL titles in 1964 and ’65.
That’s some interesting history. And while we are on the subject, three of the teams are led by quarterbacking legends and the others by five talented performers who have been in this league five years or less. The final game of the NFL Divisional Playoffs features Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ signal-caller Tom Brady and New Orleans Saints’ hurler Drew Brees. They sit atop the NFL record book when it comes to passing yards and TD passes – Brady No. 1 in the latter and No. 2 in yardage, Brees tops in passing yards, and No. 2 in TD tosses.
Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers joins Brady and Brees as one of only seven players in league annals to throw at least 400 touchdown passes in the regular season. His 412 TD throws opposed to only 89 interceptions remains mind-boggling.
Then there’s the other five, three of which were selected in the first round in 2018 in the form of Baker Mayfield (Browns), Josh Allen (Bills), and Lamar Jackson (Ravens). Jared Goff was the first overall selection in ’16 and Patrick Mahomes went 10th overall in 2017. The latter pair have already reached the Super Bowl – the Rams losing LIII to the Patriots and the Chiefs rallying to beat the 49ers in LIV.
It really makes for quite a weekend in Green Bay, Buffalo, Kansas City, and New Orleans. And no one truly knows what will happen Saturday or Sunday. All told, it’s an opportunity for these up-and-coming quarterbacks to establish themselves as a new generation of leaders when it comes to these playoffs. Certainly, it’s been fun watching Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and, of course, Tom Brady, take the past postseasons by storm.
The young ones have grown up watching these ageless wonders play exceptionally good football. We have great teams remaining in the eight-team field. Enjoy these match-ups and make way for the young!