2015 NFL Playoffs – Who Opens For Coldplay – Wild-Card Weekend

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About one-half second after it was announced British band Coldplay would headline Halftime at Super Bowl 50 all heck broke loose across “social” media with opinion, mostly negative. This is not unusual for such an outpouring of reaction because as we know for most people who watch the Super Bowl the game is secondary to Halftime. The two teams are inconsequential.

And you can’t please ever-y one. Ever.

I don’t happen to be one of those folks infatuated with Halftime at the Super Bowl. I’d be good with a marching band. I don’t have a beef with Coldplay – I like some of their songs.

But an awful lot of people do have a problem with them. One presented a rationale why Hip-Hop artists would be more appropriate. Bob Lefsetz of Variety pointed out music actually “lives” on streaming services and in fact, Drake is a bigger mover of music than Adele. Drake has five Number 1 hits in his career. Coldplay has one. He also wasn’t moved by the fact Beyonce and Bruno Mars were thrown into the performing mix after the initial Halftime performer announcement. His disgust at the NFL’s choice not reflecting these music metrics was best reflected in a singular quote:

“Music is all about marketing and sports are all about protecting the past and taking no risks – at a time when society is living on the cutting edge, knowing what happens today probably won’t be remembered tomorrow.”

This IS the 50th Super Bowl. In a society where we put so much emphasis on the Super Bowl being one of the most important global events on God’s Day Planner this anniversary means a little bit more to the NFL. They don’t want to screw this up. Enter Coldplay.

If not screwing this Super Bowl up was indeed high up on the priority list in the League’s offices I still haven’t figured out why the NFL is playing this one in Levi’s Stadium where, having just opened in 2014, folks now find themselves discussing putting in fake grass for 2016…because grass doesn’t root for long. We will root for the NFL to install a quality turf that can handle The Big Game. We will root weather doesn’t cause an issue with it. Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News has a theory the architectural design of Levi’s Stadium features suite windows angled toward the fields which latch onto the morning sun and scorches real grass mercilessly. That design also has made it quite interesting in warm weather periods for fans in one part of the stadium that deal with that sunshine due to a lack of overhangs. Godspeed Santa Clara as you prepare for the universe to tune in.

And on that note let’s take a closer look at NFL Wild Card Weekend as we begin to find out who gets to open for Coldplay.

Kansas City (11-5) at Houston (9-7) – It certainly figures after this wacky season the hottest team in football (10 straight wins) would start the NFL post-season without a bye…and on the road. Ironically it is exactly where the Kansas City Chiefs started the 2015 season, winning 27-20. Remember Kansas City RB Jamaal Charles? He led the Chiefs that day. Houston QB Brian Hoyer has had enough concussions this season to forget he was benched during that opener. Kudos for Texans HC Bill O’Brien for producing amazing results without RB Arian Foster…but even though they appear to be peaking now…we can’t ignore they played in the AFC South. Kansas City is a reflection of their HC Andy Reid. They take the ball away from you and they protect the ball when they have it. They grind it out on offense and make you grind it out on defense. Wait…that’s pretty much how Houston rolls now too. One note from a guy who has seen a lot of Reid…he was famous in Philly for not making in-game or halftime adjustments. If O’Brien throws a few wrinkles in early and the Texans get ahead that might be the difference. A low-scoring affair? Likely. The law of averages (so many close, consecutive wins) catching up with the Chiefs? Possibly. Can Houston win this game? Definitely. Will they win this game? I think not. I like Kansas City in a nail-biter.

Pittsburgh (10-6) at Cincinnati (12-4) – The weather forecast for Saturday in Cincinnati is a 100% chance of rain with plunging temperatures. That’s worth mentioning because Pittsburgh RB DeAngelo Williams may not go and Cincinnati RB’s Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard haven’t provided much go. Elements aside…the Steelers and Bengals are probably both better off traveling through the air. That means Cincinnati QB AJ McCarron versus Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh wins, right? Not so fast. (For the record the teams each won on the other team’s field in the regular season) Big Ben, even with a ton of talent to throw to, has been pressing of late and making poor decisions. Since Andy Dalton got hurt trying to make a tackle during the home loss to the Steelers in Week 14 McCarron has been on-the-job-training as the Bengals have been scrapping for enough offense to get by. But the thing is…they don’t often need much. In fact Cincinnati has sort of become Kansas City…grind it out on offense and make you beat their very-solid defense. And the Bengals are also quite familiar taking the ball away much more than giving it away. The Steelers defense? Pass-wise they’re just about the worst around. If they don’t get turnovers…oh my. I know well the curse of Cincinnati HC Marvin Lewis and all the Bengals’ post-season failures…but they now get another shot to personally escort their rival out of the playoffs on their home turf (mind you Pittsburgh has won 14 of the last 17 the two have played in Cincy). The way the Steelers played at Baltimore in Week 16 was truly perplexing and, to be honest, they didn’t look truly inspired last week at Cleveland even in a win. If McCarron is allowed to throw enough and Lewis doesn’t curl up the Bengals offense in a corner Cincinnati wins…another nail-biter.

Seattle (10-6) at Minnesota (11-5) – Just a month ago Seattle went into Minnesota and won 38-7. The only score the Vikings had that day was on a 101-yard kick return. But it wasn’t zero degrees then. Yes, that’s the weather forecast for Minneapolis Sunday. Zero. The Vikings have looked really good since that home humiliation at the hands of the Seahawks, barely losing in Arizona followed by routing Chicago and the Giants at home before sailing into Green Bay last Sunday night and winning the NFC North…and the right for this rematch. Is it be careful what you wish for? Whether Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch returns this week or not is a bit irrelevant because this team has gone all Wilson-mode instead of Beast-mode. QB Russell Wilson has taken this team and put it on his back offensively. Their defense? In fine form, thank you. That being said if I am calling out Pittsburgh for their play in Week 16 let me do so regarding the Seahawks as well. Two weeks ago they lost at home to St. Louis – for the second time this year mind you. It was the only loss in their last seven games but it was extremely disappointing and made little sense. Minnesota has had a wonderful season but RB Adrian Peterson is going to have to have the game of his life and he temporarily had to back off of last week’s game against the Pack with his bothersome back. QB Teddy Bridgewater is usually quite careful (that’s code for low-risk) with the football but this week careful is just not going to cut it. The Seahawks have given up the fewest points in football and they have been scoring in bunches. The Vikings will need to throw the ball down the field and that’s just not something they do. I think even at ground zero (degrees) Seattle – who has made the last two Super Bowls and has shown fight considering a slow start this year – will warm to the occasion and win this game…not by as much as the first meeting but a convincing win nonetheless.

Green Bay (10-6) at Washington (9-7) – With that NFC North title on the line versus Minnesota at home Sunday night Green Bay continued to look bizarrely off on offense…and man did they look bad in Arizona the week before that. Granted the Vikings and the Cardinals play serious defense but Packers QB Aaron Rodgers looks confused, disgusted and out of sorts. You would be too if you were sacked 13 times over the past two, very important games they’ve played. When was the last time you found yourself saying the Packers defense might be ahead of their offense? Now. As for Washington, champions of the NFC East (yuck), at least they won their last four and took the title instead of bobbing softly on the surface of mediocrity. Truth is these Redskins are very good at home, which is where they find themselves due to the flawed function of the NFL playoff structure. QB Kirk Cousins (an unrestricted free agent at season’s end) has led an offense that finds themselves higher-ranked than Green Bay’s is. His enthusiasm sometimes leads him down “turnover alley” but more than not it leads Washington to points. Their defense leaves a bit to be desired – they have been known to give up an alarming number of yards – but the way the Packers offensive line has been playing that levels the playing field a bit. Here’s the thing…I have been saying for weeks – no – months…Green Bay has to be better than this but maybe it’s time to admit they aren’t who I thought they were. This will be the Packers seventh consecutive playoff appearance. Green Bay is way, way more experienced at this point in the year than the Redskins are. Yet, that is exactly what Minnesota didn’t have going for them when they went into “Titletown USA” several days removed and took the title from the Pack. The Packers aren’t who I thought they were…and now THEY know they aren’t who they thought they were. Stat courtesy of USA Today – over their past eight games (admittedly some versus division (yuck) opponents) the Redskins have managed to hold teams to a 33% third-down conversion mark which over a full season would rank second in the entire NFL. The Packers offense ranks 28th in favorably converting such situations and have failed to reach 30% six times this year. The weather forecast is for a 100% chance of rain on Sunday. I’ll go ahead and forecast a Washington win but that prediction is far from 100% certain. The one pick of these four I am least sure. If you have any nails left to bite…this too should be another nail-biter.

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About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside the City of Brotherly Love. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen of our United States and Canada (twice). Addicted from birth to Television/Movies/Sports. Took three years of French and got credit for two of 'em.
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26 Responses to 2015 NFL Playoffs – Who Opens For Coldplay – Wild-Card Weekend

  1. SportsChump says:

    First of all, the half time show.

    I’m not quite sure why everyone hated the Black Eyed Peas and Bruno Mars. Those were two of the hottest artists at the time and I thought they put on a helluva show. I was even okay with Bruce Springsteen and U2. I mean, you can’t go wrong with those guys.

    I’m pretty iffy on Coldplay. I mean, are we trying to put fans to sleep?

    I know they’re popular but I’m not a fan.

    How about we do this. Every year we just take the rock and roll hall of fame inductees and have them play the Super Bowl. Someone get me the commish on the phone. And has Journey ever done a halftime show? Not sure why they wouldn’t, even with the new guy.

    Okay, on the the games. You and I agree on most everything.

    I’ll have my thoughts on the division winners (i.e. Minnesota vs Green Bay) up shortly but a friend told me an interesting statistic last night that I could not verify. He told me home dogs in the playoffs were 25-6. Let’s see if that holds true this weekend in Minnesota, Cincy and Houston. With those odds, you’d figure at least one of them would have to win, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. garym6059 says:

    I’m guessing the Bengals would have liked to play the 86 Bears before drawing the Steelers. That town is literally on pins and needles this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Does anybody watch football for the halftime show? As a kid I could never understand how the halftime marching band became a tradition. When I was in high school somebody told me the marching band performed at every game because it meant fifty extra kids in the bleachers and one hundred parents would come to watch. That’s an extra 150 people who might not otherwise come to a football game. The NFL doesn’t promote the halftime show with the hardcore football fans in mind. The halftime show is all about counter-programming and bringing in a handful of football-indifferent eyeballs. Any complaints about the NFL choosing a halftime act without taking key demographics into consideration should probably address why the NFL does a month of Breast Cancer Awareness events. Convert the unconverted.

    I’m a Green Bay fan and I don’t expect a nail-biter. Green Bay will get trounced. I can’t remember watching such a listless, confused offense. Watching the offense reminds me of childhood touch football games when play after play was called ‘Everyone run and run until you get open.’ Bring back Joe Philbin in 2016!

    I like KC, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Washington.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Green Bay has absolutely been reduced to schoolyard football once the traditional run/pass plays fail them. Sad to watch. Your scenario against Washington would be consistent with how they’ve played for weeks. Thanks for stopping by with your thoughts.

      Like

  4. Nail biters for sure.
    The half time show? Maybe they juts want to let people have some time off to get food and bathroom breaks so they won’t miss the commercials? I’d rather they have some marching bands – some of those are really great and showy. Really fits football better, so give some marching bands a venue besides competitions which few get to see. (The half time shows have gotten so overwhelming and dominating it over shadows the games….like the Houston Rodeo concerts.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I heard Beyonce is being added to the half-time show. I think she and Coldplay have a song together plus they can only increase appeal with diversification, dontcha think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Diane…I apparently “scooped” the world by already putting Beyoncé and Bruno Mars on stage with Coldplay in this post. I had caught wind of their acceptance before the NFL made a formal announcement. She has worked with them before. I’m OK with it…and I’m sure it will be fine. Maybe this is to be the NFL’s “apology” for not putting a team in England yet!

      Like

  6. George says:

    It should be an interesting post season considering the season itself was hard to predict from week to week.
    I like Coldplay but I think the NFL had much better options for their 50th Anniversary Game. But hey…if the game is good we’ll forget about the halftime show and underwhelming commercials.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For me at least, the commercials have been mostly underwhelming for years now. If interested, check out an Archived Post from February 2014 when I “covered” the entire Seattle-Denver debacle…complete with commercial reviews.

      Like

  7. Bruce, I like the Chiefs too. But, though the Bengals are a better team (in my opinion), something tells me the Steelers are so excited that they survived the Jets onrush down the stretch, that they’ll play like there’s no tomorrow. Ironically, as you know, that’s true. So I’ll take the Steelers here. Plunging temperatures and a long memory, equals me selecting the Vikings over the Seahawks, despite how much I like Russell Wilson—Bud Grant would be proud. The Packers and their problems have been the subject of much debate of late…but they’ll show up for this one, this one they’ll get. Not too sure about the following week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul, I wonder if Bud Grant would in this day still be allowed by the players union to disallow his team to use warming devices for such frigid conditions? Thanks for your thoughts on which teams will prevail. It is a very interesting weekend with home teams pretty much being cast as the underdogs in each contest.

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      • I doubt he would be allowed to do that now. But, I heard Fran Tarkenton talking on KNBR radio yesterday—he does so every Friday—and he was commenting on how Bud Grant was a great coach for preparing guys to deal with bad weather. He had a point, those Vikings were pretty good in foul weather.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Teams hated going to the “Met” to play those Bud Grant-led Vikings outdoors back in the day. I can see the frozen breath now. It was a great setting for post-season football!

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  8. So now Beyonce is also scheduled to appear? That should make people happy.
    As far as last weekend’s games….maybe the Texans’ coach and players should train with UH? Gads…obviously so out of their league…and another year left on quarterback’s contract. flinch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hoyer played as if he was still concussed. O’Brien left him in the game as if HE got a concussion at some point. (Bear with me, I saw “Concussion” over the weekend) Anyway…it was sad to see the Texans’ fans all standing and waving their towels while KC ran back the opening kick for a score. Did you know that Chiefs’ returner was born in Missouri City, partly located in Harris County? A hometown hero in reverse…

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was a brutal game – not only because of Hoyer. Although he was cleared and practiced during the week, brain whacks deserve more healing time. And Hoyer is a bit snake bit with KC. Not fair to him for coach to keep him in there. Houston fans often feel like Charlie Brown and Lucy holding the football…so no riots. Used to it.(Assist. coaches leaving – 3 so far…)
        This area raises a lot of NFL players- many come back to haunt us HA HA (We have to love them anyway)
        Gotta love those Bengals, too. And there’s Denver….onward

        Liked by 1 person

  9. OneDizzyBee says:

    Hubby and I generally use halftime to go make snacks for the second half. Though, if the Steelers manage to make it to the Super Bowl this year (fingers, toes and eyes crossed while sleeping with the Terrible Towel under my pillow so the angels hear my prayers), we won’t care if Lindsay Lohan is up on that stage playing the digeridoo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just give me a marching band. Take the drama out of the decision which rich people get more publicity and more record sales the next day. This lack of a halftime spectacular would also allow the two teams to actually return to the field and play the second half in their normal time frame.

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