What a crazy weekend in the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys finally moved on from Jason Garrett (and appear to have hired Mike McCarthy as their new head coach), two of the four wild card games went into overtime, and the officials still continue to find ways to influence games.
After everything that has gone down and with the divisional round matchups set, here's three things I learned after Wild Card Weekend:
- Yes, the Patriots dynasty is over- Can we call a spade a spade? You could see the writing on the wall in New England for at least a month as Tom Brady doesn't have the weapons around him that he's accustomed to having. The Patriots had no threat on the outside to compliment Julian Edelman, no production from the tight end position, and the injury bug has bit them all season. You can also make the case that Tom Brady's arm is starting to feel like the arm of a 42 year old man. What the Patriots have been able to do over the last 20 years is nothing short of incredible but Father Time remains undefeated and all good things must come to an end at some point. You can call this some point for the Patriots. The dynasty is over.
- It's time to get off Kirk Cousins' back- He's finally done it. It took eight years but Kirk Cousins has finally won a playoff game and has the Vikings on their way to Santa Clara to take on the No. 1 seeded 49ers. Much has been made about Cousins' inability to win the big game, or win a game on the road against a team with a record over .500, or whatever the case may be and he put an end to that on Sunday. After the Vikings win over the Cowboys (in prime time on the road) I wrote this explaining why the Vikings were the Super Bowl contender that nobody was talking about and Sunday showed that they very well could go all the way. Go ahead and give to 'em Kirk.
- The Eagles have the most heart of any team- A team decimated by injuries all season long. A team that needed to win their final four games to make the playoffs, a team missing their top weapons at end receiver for much of the year, and a team that had to play against the Seattle Seahawks after losing their starting quarterback after the second series after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Jadeveon Clowney. Yes, the Eagles only scored nine points but they were in this game the entire way and that's with Josh McCown, who at 40 years old was making his playoff debut. The Eagles have fought hard all year and they have shown to have the most heart and most fight of any team in or out of the playoffs.