They wouldn't be called wild-card games without a little controversy, right?
On Saturday, there was the Marcus Mariota forward-progress call, among others, robbing the Chiefs of a turnover -- and leading to Jeff Triplette's name trending on Twitter. (Poor Jeff Triplette.) Then on Sunday came the intentional grounding penalty in the other exciting matchup of Wild Card Weekend, Panthers at Saints. Carolina went from second-and-long to third-and-longer, the key sequence that decided the fate of the Panthers' final endeavor to win the game.
What a close shave that play was. And not everyone agreed with me. Intentional grounding is the definition of a judgement call, from gauging if the quarterback is still in the pocket to whether the ball was headed in the general area code of a receiver.
Even college football's national title game wasn't immune to the catcalls of social media, with an obvious false start missed on Alabama's game-tying touchdown in the fourth. Still, you have to admire a freshman quarterback making those big-time throws late. Which leads us back to the NFL -- and one particularly juicy theme of this Divisional Round: A bevy of inexperienced quarterbacks vs. a few big-time resumes.
Never seen a divisional round with such a disparity.
How does this impact the league pecking order entering Round 2 of the postseason? See below. You'll find that even the losers from Wild Card Weekend are included for closure's sake, as the Chiefs, Rams, Bills and Panthers all have different question marks going forward. Your questions ----> @HarrisonNFL is the place.
Let the dissension commence!
PROGRAMMING NOTE: For more in-depth analysis on the updated league pecking order, tune in to NFL Network every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. ET for the "NFL Power Rankings" show. Want to add YOUR voice? Provide your thoughts at the bottom of this page or tweet @HarrisonNFL, and your comments could be featured on air.
In fact, this situation reminds of a fiasco that involved an advisor of Belichick's, Jimmy Johnson. Johnson's run in Dallas lasted all of five years before he and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones split over an issue of who was really behind the team's success. They divorced after winning back-to-back Super Bowls. That unfortunate situation should show you how lucky fans in New England have been to see Brady, Belichick and Kraft work together as they have. If Troy Aikman were a "me" guy or had been a grizzled veteran at that time (he was in Year 5), the JJs might not have even lasted that long. Bet you a Mike Greenwell rookie card the Patriots' big three will be in the playoffs, together, next January.
**Trivia:** The [Vikings](/teams/minnesotavikings/profile?team=MIN) and [Saints](/teams/neworleanssaints/profile?team=NO) met in the postseason for the first time in the 1987 campaign. A current [Saints](/teams/neworleanssaints/profile?team=NO) player's dad caught a touchdown pass in that game. Who was it? ( [@HarrisonNFL](https://twitter.com/HarrisonNFL)) </content:power-ranking>