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The Importance of Momentum in the NFL Playoffs

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    This is one talking point in the NFL I think really holds up. Lots of stats really go straight out the window come playoffs because there is always that one team or two that peaks right at the end of the season and into the playoffs. And that's the team to watch, that no one wants to play.

    It was the Giants the 2 times they won their Super Bowls. It was certainly the Eagles in SB 52.

    Wonder who that team is for SB 53? We have a few contenders.. the most obvious to me is the Eagles, yet again. Feels like history is repeating itself with them becoming underdogs where Nick Foles propels them. Though he might be hurt now. Not sure the extent of it. That could damper their chances dramatically. If Foles plays, look out. If not, I think they lose their first game.

    Then there's Seattle. They have won it all before, solely off of late season momentum.

    New Orleans and the Rams seem to be steady but more like walking into the playoffs, instead of rolling. So if they lose early I won't be surprised one bit.

    In the AFC, Indy is that team to me. I feel the same way about Kansas City and New England that I do about the #1 and #2 in the NFC, primed for a loss.

    Really all the AFC #3-6 teams have momentum on their side. So I fully expect the Colts or Chargers to go the furthest.

    And if momentum rules the day for SB 53... that means the wild card games will have the 2 super bowl teams in it this year. That's my prediction.

    How important do you think momentum is going into the playoffs? Think it was dumb or smart for the Saints to rest Drew Brees even though they got a first round bye, for example?

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    Oh. Just saw this. Eagles to start Nick Foles vs. Bears in NFC wild-card game. Like I said, look out.
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    Momentum is such a funny thing. I feel like it's super important to have strong momentum going into the playoffs for a sport like the NBA, but not so much in the NFL and others. For example, I would put my money on a team that's won 5 consecutive NBA games to win the championship, but I'd go for the opposite team in the exact situation for the NFL. I can't really pinpoint exactly why that is, but if I look back at my predictions it's always rang true for me.

    And as far as the Saints go, I wonder what Drew Brees thought about sitting that game out. He's definitely seasoned enough to know that it would be a loss of momentum of they didn't win. And not only did they lose against the Panthers yesterday, they got destroyed up until the last quarter. 30 to 0 for most of the game had to sting. In my opinion, that's going to affect them going into the next game.

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    I think it all depends on the team and the year. Its always a game the media plays, after the first playoff game is played, to say 'well they obviously shouldn't have sat their starters in Week 17' or 'they obviously should have given their stars more reps heading into such an important game'. lol. See? Doesn't matter. If you lose, you will get criticized no matter what.

    So obviously the important thing to do is win. And for some teams, that means never taking a break so mentally you don't lose your edge and that feeling of winning momentum. I think those are the teams that are younger or less proven in the post season.

    For players like Brees, he doesn't need more reps. The dude's been playing for forever. He could use some rest though. And the Saints earned it. 2 weeks rest, that should be really good for him after a full season.

    On the flip side, take my Cowboys. I applauded them NOT resting Dak. Prescott needs as much game time practice as he can get, as he is still young and learning. Week 17 proved to really boost his confidence to me, regardless of him winning against Seattle in the Wild Card round. To me it was really smart.

    So it depends entirely on the team, and really it comes down to the players. Vets need less feeling of momentum going into the biggest of games, but they still need to feel some, for sure. And for younger teams and players, it's their fuel, man. So it is pretty damn important across the board. Very few teams look flat heading into the playoffs and suddenly turn it on during.

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    Who do you think has the most momentum heading into the divisional round?
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    So far all the home teams are advancing. I sorta saw that coming, but hoped the Cowboys would be the lone upset. They played well except for terrible run defense. And Zeke never got going. So hats off to the Rams for a great game plan.
Categories: NFL Playoffs