Some observations from the Super Wild Card Weekend.
— I was pleasantly surprised with the Nickelodeon broadcast of the NFC wild card game between the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints. The production was geared toward kids, but I enjoyed the slime zone (the end zone with digitally produced slime sprayed when there was a touchdown). Seeing Spongebob Squarepants rise from the goal posts during extra points and field goals was neat. Noah Eagle, son of CBS and YES broadcaster Ian Eagle, was solid. Nate Burleson did an outstanding job of explaining what was happening.
CBS has Super Bowl LV this year. Viacom, which owns CBS and Nickelodeon, should think about having another alternative broadcast.
— The Cleveland Browns rolling out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers was stunning. I never expected that.
— I was shocked that Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry couldn’t get going against the Baltimore Ravens.
— It was good to see members of the Bills Mafia in Bills Stadium last Saturday.
— It was wonderful to watch playoff games stress-free. Thanks, my Philadelphia Eagles.
— I was 3-3 with my picks last week. Here are my divisional round selections.
Green Bay 40, L.A. Rams 14
Buffalo 24, Baltimore 23
Kansas City 37, Cleveland 34
Tampa Bay 28, New Orleans 24
(Announcers, games subject to change)
FOX23 (WXXA) — NFC: L.A. Rams at Green Bay, 4:35 p.m. (Kevin Burkhardt, Daryl Johnston, Pam Oliver).
NBC13 (WNYT) — AFC: Baltimore at Buffalo, 8:15 p.m. (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya).
CBS6 (WRGB) — AFC: Cleveland at Kansas, 3:05 p.m. (Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson).
FOX23 — NFC: Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 8:20 p.m. (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi).