The NFL playoffs are here, and after 18 weeks of on-field turmoil, now is the time for the race to the Super Bowl.
This wild card Saturday it is also a battle of firsts, as the QBs from the Las Vegas Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals are both making their playoff debuts.
A Tale Of Two QBs
Both Derek Carr and Joe Burrow have had unbelievable seasons for different reasons. Carr has persisted through the tumult of the Jon Gruden coaching scandal where a toxic treasure trove of his past email indiscretions was revealed, with him ultimately resigning before a very likely firing could occur.
Absolutely electric entrance from Derek Carr 🔥
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) January 10, 2022
Las Vegas Raiders Woes
Through all the hate that Gruden brought to the game, Carr had to maintain his leadership position, new coach and all, to persist. His teammates began being embroiled in scandals to add more flames to the smoldering fire.
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Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was involved in a fatal car accident. Prosecutor accounts reported that Ruggs was arrested after police said he caused a crash going 156 mph and crashing into an SUV with a woman and her dog inside.
The crash killed Tina Tintor when Ruggs’ Corvette crashed in the back of her Toyota. Ruggs’ blood-alcohol level was .161 when blood was taken from after the collision. Ruggs now faces four felony charges and could be sentenced to 52 years in prison. In addition, a gun was found in Ruggs’ car.
First playoffs for Derek Carr.
No one in the NFL deserves it more. pic.twitter.com/ZnYpaVXqiP
— StatMuse (@statmuse) January 10, 2022
More Raiders Problems
Then Raiders cornerback Damon Arnette posted a video of himself brandishing a gun and threatening someone online. The disturbing video cost Arnette his job.
Las Vegas Raiders Used To Be The Blackest Team In The NFL Until Jon Gruden Came
Both Arnette and Ruggs III were the Raiders’ top two picks from 2020.
This angle of Derek Carr's entrance 🔥
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) January 14, 2022
Still, Carr is hungry to go and get it.
“Like my favorite player Kobe (Bryant) said, ‘Job’s not done,'” Carr said to ESPN about the postseason.
In his eighth NFL season and 127th career game, Carr is going to the postseason.
Burrowed In The Postseason
However, he must get through Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals first.
Burrow is preparing for his first playoff run with the Cincinnati Bengals, alongside former LSU teammate and AP Offensive Rookie of the Year front-runner Ja’Marr Chase. The two are looking to carry their success against the Las Vegas Raiders during the regular season into their Saturday Wild Card matchup.
Joe Burrow has played 6 “have to have it games” in his career.
Georgia (SEC title)
Ravens (Week 16)
Chiefs (Week 17)
In those games:
2,669 Pass Yds (444/game)
0 Int @PaulHembo 👊🏻
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) January 12, 2022
“I’ve got great people around me and great coaches that prepare me for the moment and just staying even-keeled through the ups and the downs throughout the game,” Burrow said.
“Don’t get too excited, don’t get too down on yourself when you make a mistake. Just play this game like you have all year and we’ll get the job done.”
Now the second-year quarterback is ready to step into the postseason. Burrows has the confidence of the coaching staff, the franchise, and the city, which believes in his abilities.
This Is Football
Who will lead the charge into the next round between the two quarterbacks? Either one will set the tone for the future of their franchise and their career. Carr has worked to get to this point, and Burrows is stepping up after a short career.
The battle of firsts is one of many storylines that will define this postseason.