EDIT: There is still a game to play. I can’t make predictions until the game is complete. The post will go up on Tuesday, and usual comics for both Wed and Fri

Welcome, fans of the Vikings, Giants, TEAM, Bears, Lions, Seahawks, Panthers, Falcons, Saints, Browns, Ravens, Texans, Jaguars, Colts, Jets, Dolphins, Chargers, and Broncos. That time of the year has come once again. Well maybe you Seahawks fans don’t really know what this is like, but those of you who watched football before 2012 did. Here we sit, our team has gone home, and we have nothing left to root for except…other people. Gross.

Right now, you got a couple of options.
1: You could be one of those people who care only about your team and just ignore the playoffs entirely since your team sucks and isn’t here.
2: You could go the conventional route and root for other teams/players you like and want to see win a championship. The traditional playoff watcher.
3: You could be like me, a guy who has seen far too much football, and now wants to watch the world burn and just relish in the anguish of fans of teams better than you

Chaos is #3. Good football is great. Having yourself a wagon to hitch to can make this a fun time of year. But the most fun of all is something deeper and darker. It is upsets and fury. Watching a team that on paper should win get blown up by some ragtag screwups that barely made it is the most satisfying result of all. If it were me, I would take two wildcard teams in the Super Bowl every year, because just imagine how fun it would be to see the fans of those top teams get their hearts wrenched from their chest cavity. Chaos is pure. Chaos is glorious. Chaos takes what you expect and throws it in the trash. If you think this is weird, you are on the wrong site. Go play outside and have friends. We are here to languish in the suffering of those better than us.

Lets take a look at the offerings this year, in the 3 tiers of chaos potential.

Packers– Easily the lowest chaos of all. The Packers are exactly as good as expected and an easy favorite to go all the way, led by an MVP quarterback we’ve seen play for over a decade. The only interesting thing the Packers can do this year is lose. If you bandwagon the Packers, you’re a piece of shit.
Buccaneers – Hard to feel like an agent of chaos when you won the whole thing a year ago and are largely in a better spot this year, the main difference being injury complications. However, if Brady wins a second ring in the NFC before Rodgers does…that would be hilarious
Chiefs – The Chiefs are a chaotic team to watch, always doing weird stuff especially on offense and Daniel Sorenson giving up big plays on defense. But we’ve seen it by now, and it doesn’t hold the same charm it used to.
Bills – The Bills were a high chaos franchise a year ago, but what a difference a year makes. Now we know these Bills. We know what they are good at. We know what they are capable of. It’s less exciting, but would be more fun than the other teams here.
Rams – Similar deal for Los Angeles. Stafford brings a fun chaos factor all by himself, but we are at the stage where we know this team. When a team falling apart is the more interesting and unexpected result, you just aren’t high chaos.

Cowboys – The Cowboys haven’t gotten past the divisional round since I was a kid, and if this team can’t pull that off, it’ll be incredible. A fun team to watch with notable flaws that could crop up at any second that nonetheless is the Cowboys and fuck the Cowboys.
49ers – The Niners are the unexpected loser underdog of the NFC bracket. They have some fun game-breaking players like Deebo and Kittle, but we’ve been watching boring ass Jimmy G for years now and it’s old hat. The mere idea of them winning several games however could entirely disrupt the bracket and are worthy of our attention for this potential.
Patriots – The Patriots are moderate chaos because there is no reason any of us expected them to be here. They held the #1 seed for a time too. The problem with this Patriots team is that they aren’t any fun to watch. Mac Jones is a rookie, yet everything is safe and controlled and Belichickian to a fault. I’m not sure the Patriots could ever be a high chaos team under Billy B, but this is one of his more interesting teams put forth in basically two decades. Plus, watch out for any team playing with house money.
Eagles – The highest of all the moderate teams, or the lowest of the high chaos teams. The Eagles are also playing with house money, having a great second-half season to squeeze into a slot nobody said they belonged in. Their mere presence and winning a game is high chaos, but the team isn’t that interesting. They just run the ball a lot. If you disagree with me and put this team high-chaos, I won’t argue with you. They are on that line.

Steelers – It brings me no actual joy to put them here, but I have to face the facts of my own standards. The Steelers are high chaos. They suck. The offense is terrible. The defense is fine. Big Ben is a pile of shit, as a person and now as a player. And yet, by simple virtue of even reaching the playoffs, that’s what sends them over the top. Out of every team in the bracket, a deep Steelers playoff run and SB win on the Big Ben retirement tour would piss off the most people. Sometimes chaos is not on our side, but it must be respected.
Bengals – The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since I was 2 years old. Joe and Chase are a delightful combo, the team isn’t a sure thing and still occasionally crumbles, and they are very enjoyable to watch, but the mere idea of the Bengals even winning a playoff game sends this team to the top shelf.
Cardinals – The “lowest” of all the high chaos teams, and arguably shouldn’t be here. However, the Cardinals are a complete mystery now. They were one of the best teams in the league for half the season. Then they became one of the dumbest. The potential for anything to happen with this team is sky-high. What Cardinals are we getting?
Raiders – The Raiders, this season, lost to the Bears, TEAM, and Giants. They also beat the Chiefs and Cowboys. The Raiders have been a mystery since week 1 to everyone except a coin. When a coin, flipped randomly, is the most accurate predictor of your season, your team makes no damn sense. They’ve gutted out nonsense wins. I love watching the Raiders this year, a complete nonsense team.
Titans – Can you remember a #1 seed that felt less like a #1 seed than the 2021 Tenessee Titans? They somehow own the best record in the AFC and…they never looked all that good? This feels like a wildcard team that squeaked in but they are the team with the bye week. Nobody was impressed by this team all year. Tannehill wasn’t anything special. The defense and offense were mediocre. They lost their best player early on and faced more injury turnover and cycling than anyone else. They also lost to the JETS AND TEXANS. A glance at their 2021 schedule tells a tale of a well-coached team overcoming adversity against some weak opponents. But they aren’t all that weak. They beat the Chiefs, Bills, Colts, and Rams in 4 weeks, back to back. I have no idea what this Titans team is, and they are getting Derrick Henry back. The Vrabel/Henry Titans have been masters of chaos since 2019, and I am extremely here for them.

As for my own rooting preferences? Pretty much anyone out of the AFC besides the Steelers or Chiefs. The NFC is stacked full of teams I personally don’t like, and the Rams, who I am mostly ambivalent towards. The AFC has all the teams I want to see succeed in it. But at the very least, I hope we get a new matchup and some new teams in the mix.