Every game during the NFL season tells a story. GIFs -- pronounced "gifs", "jifs" or "gee-oafs" -- can do the same thing. Let's explain Wild Card Weekend through GIFs.
I've spoken on this topic endlessly in my time at NFL Media, but please indulge me one more time: Being an NFL placekicker is a hellscape I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. I know the weirdos behind the "Saw" franchise eventually ran out of ideas to torture its characters, but if they ever get the itch for another sequel, may I point you to the 2018 season of one Cody Parkey, who struck the upright or crossbar on missed kicks six separate times this season. Because God has a sick and twisted sense of humor, he made sure Parkey hit both in the season's biggest moment.
That, my friends, is a loss that sticks to a franchise. Every team has kicker horror stories -- Gary Anderson in Minnesota, Blair Walsh ... in Minnesota, Scott Norwood in Buffalo, Nate Kaeding in San Diego, Lin Elliott in Kansas City, Doug Brien in New York, Billy Cundiff in Baltimore. The list goes on, and now Parkey gets to join it forever. Of course, Parkey's pain was Philly's ecstasy ...
There's Nick Foles, who is living a blessed life these days. This is house-money time for Foles, who has already secured legend status in Philadelphia and is set to cash in this offseason, potentially with a team shopping for a playoff-tested veteran who has magic in his bones. Foles was ordinary for most of Sunday, but he came up huge when it counted, engineering the 12-play, 60-yard drive that ended with Golden Tate's go-ahead touchdown reception with 56 seconds to play. Foles has done some incredible things in the past year, but leading that drive against the NFL's best defense in a chaotic road setting, man, that's the good stuff. The man has onions for days. He's also stacking paper.
These men are fathers.
Philip Rivers is having a Moment. You know the Dad of Many is feeling good about life when he's dropping the first-down signal after a scramble. Rivers wasn't at his best on Sunday, throwing for just 160 yards on five yards per attempt. But a big Rivers day wasn't necessary because the Chargers' defense made Ravens rookie Lamar Jackson look like a clipboard holder for an AAF team.
Jackson lived through a rookie nightmare on Sunday, and I suppose that John Harbaugh's decision to stick with Jackson instead of turning to backup Joe Flacco showed faith in the kid and trust in the future. But c'mon, Harbaugh blew this one. Five minutes into the fourth quarter, here were Jackson's passing numbers: 3-of-10 for 25 yards, with an interception. His passer rating was 0.0. You can get excited about the two late touchdowns if you want, but that was all cosmetic to me. Harbaugh should have thrown in the towel on the rookie and it cost Baltimore any real chance of a comeback on Sunday.
I've just had the realization we'll be watching this routine for another 30 years or so.
The Jerrah Suite lives for another week. Long live the Jerrah Suite.