We did it, guys. We made it. We watched 240 minutes of the most lopsided wild-card football since the last days of the Carter administration and lived to complain about it.

That’s right: This weekend’s four games had a total margin of victory of 76 points. That 19.0 point differential average is the highest of any Wild Card Weekend since 1981 and makes this opening round the most lopsided since expanding to four teams in 1990, per NFL Research. 


Such a metric isn’t so surprising, considering this year’s selection of first-round teams included three bona fide contenders with playoff pedigree and home-field advantage (Steelers, Seahawks, Packers), two Wild Card opponents stumbling into the playoffs with backup and third-string QBs (Raiders, Dolphins) and a team that hadn’t won a road playoff game since 1957 (Lions).

The Texans and Giants‘ performances surprised — for different reasons. Who would have guessed that a team led by six-foot-eight, tall, very tall starting-backup-starting quarterback Brock Osweiler would embarrass the 12-4 Raiders by 13 points? Who foresaw New York’s weekend-worst 25-point beating at the hands of the Packers, especially considering how well Big Blue had played down the stretch?

See, even when the games are blowouts, they’re unpredictable.

On the bright side — if there is ever a dark side to any weekend with professional postseason pigskin — the night is darkest just before the dawn. Harvey Dent and Florence and the Machine said that.

In other words, brace yourselves for a quartet of close contests and thrilling finishes next week:

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