The home team in the NFL Playoffs used to have an advantage in the Wild Card round.
But this year is just like so many others, seeing a majority of the road teams (wild card teams) pull off the upsets in the first round.
Three of the four Wild Card games this past weekend were won by the actual wild card teams. San Francisco went into Green Bay and defeated the Packers, the Saints went into Philadelphia and took out the Eagles, and the Chargers defeated the Bengals. The only home team to win was the Colts and they barely got past the Chiefs who were up four touchdowns at one point.
Playing at home is supposed to give an edge over the traveling team but as years past have shown that advantage seemingly means a whole lot less than it used to.
Since 2000 there have been four wild card teams that have gone all the way to win the Super Bowl. They were the 2000 Ravens, the 2005 Steelers, the 2007 Giants, and the 2010 Packers.
A wild card team that somehow wins the Super Bowl had to play three playoff games on the road before competing in the big game itself — certainly not an easy task.
There have only been four wild card teams win the Super Bowl since 2000, but every year there is at least one wild card team who makes it interesting.
This season there are still three of these teams alive going into the second round of the playoffs.
The 49ers have to travel to Carolina and play the surprise Panthers who are in the playoffs for the first time in ages while the Saints will be traveling to Seattle which happens to be one of the toughest places to win.
In the AFC the Chargers will travel to Denver to play their division rivals who they have already beaten on the road this season.
There are still plenty of really good teams and matchups left in the playoffs, but there is a good chance that some of these wild card teams could make a run at the Super Bowl.
The 49ers have a really good team that knows what it is like to get to the Super Bowl (let’s not forget last year). On top of that they are going to Carolina, who barely has any playoff experience on their team, I am predicting San Francisco winning this weekend and giving a good run at the Super Bowl again.
The Chargers are historically an awful playoff team, but they are playing against the Broncos who they have had some success against recently. But at the end of the day the Broncos are going to take out their divisional rivals and move on to play the Patriots.
The Seahawks are going to take care of the Saints and meet up with the 49ers for a divisional NFC Championship.
The Super Bowl is right around the corner, I’m not a genius when it comes to picking these games, so don’t be surprised to see a wild card team in the Super Bowl again this year.
Tyler Rollason is a Winder-Barrow High School graduate and mass communications major at the University of West Georgia. He writes a weekly sports column for the Barrow Journal. You can e-mail comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.