By Luke Winkie
January 02, 2015

The NFL playoffs are here, which means the false hope most football fans have been carrying around all season is threatening to balloon into flat-out irresponsible optimism. It’s a wonderful feeling; you get to back up your Super Bowl dreams with statistics and logic. You let your emotion grow and transform, which is as dangerous as it is euphoric.

Don’t worry, we’re here to cut you back down to size. Your team isn’t going to win the Super Bowl. That stuff just doesn’t happen, right? If you don’t believe me, I’ve laid out exactly why each and every one of the teams in the playoffs are completely doomed. You’ll thank me later, I promise. Remember: aim low, and you’ll never be disappointed.

Denver Broncos

Listen Denver, if you wanted to win a Super Bowl you probably should’ve done it in the year Peyton Manning threw for 55 touchdown passes. Now you have to try and explain why we should be confident with a team that gets bossed around by Cincinnati, New England, St. Louis, and anyone else with a pulse on the defensive line. You’ve already seen the heights of the Manning Renaissance, even if you don’t want to admit it.

New England Patriots

2004. It’s been a decade. I think I speak for the entire sports-viewing public that Patriots fans talking about their team like they’re still defending champs is seriously the most annoying thing in the world. Unless the “Patriot Way” means “being unable to string together more than two wins in a row in the playoffs,” it’s time to let go.

You guys aren’t going to win because that’s just not what you do. You don’t win. You aren’t the Bird Celtics, you’re the Maddux Braves. Deal with it.

Pittsburgh Steelers

If the Steelers do manage to win the Super Bowl, it will be because Ben Roethlisberger will be throwing the ball 50 times a game to receivers who weigh about as much as a pudding cup. From what I understand from the bleating rigmarole of sports-talk, that’s “not Steelers football. You gotta run the ball between the tackles in the blood and guts and mud and punch ‘em in the mouth!” Or something.

Seriously, if Pittsburgh takes home a Lombardi this year they have to immediately melt it down right? Because it doesn’t count if a team wins a Super Bowl with a quarterback taking more than 400 dropbacks in a season, right Pittsburgh?

Indianapolis Colts

Boston Globe

It’s as if Andrew Luck keeps making the playoffs only to build a callous resentment towards the city of Indianapolis for continually saddling him with a garbage supporting cast. There’s no way that can end poorly, right? Revenge is a powerful motivator, I guess.

Cincinnati Bengals

The words “Super Bowl Champion Andy Dalton” is only slightly less hilarious than the words “Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco.”

Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens are a marginal football team. When a marginal football team makes the playoffs, its fans will usually say something like “Whatever, man, the Giants beat the Patriots back in ‘07 and they were only like 10-6.”

Here’s the thing: “There’s still a chance we could luck out way into a title we totally don’t deserve!” is not a particularly strong argument.

Arizona Cardinals

I can’t even make jokes about this. It feels too mean. All I’m going to say is being 5.5 point underdogs to a 7-8-1 team after starting 9-1 is pure football apocalypse.

Green Bay Packers

It’s gonna be fun watching Aaron Rodgers trying to reattach his achilles during every timeout.

Detroit Lions

I’m so happy we’re finally at the cusp of the “wait, Matthew Stafford isn’t very good at football” era. Those couple years where Calvin Johnson was carrying him to dubious top-10 status were fun, but welcoming Stafford to the Jake Delhomme Hall of Fame is something I’ve been waiting for since the day he was drafted.

Carolina Panthers

The worst part about this is how Panthers fans will say, “Haha, we made the playoffs this year after all! Eat it, haters!” Yes, because Drew Brees self-immolated and Mike Smith coaches with old G.I. Joes, you were able to round out that putrid 7-8 with an inexplicable tie to push you into postseason glory.

The worst part? You’ll probably end up winning your first game, because football is unfair.

Seattle Seahawks

Whatever man, I saw this team get disrupted by the Chargers this year. I can’t wait for the hubris drain out of Seahawks fans when you finally have to bite the bullet and admit throwing to Doug Baldwin isn’t a sustainable formula.

Dallas Cowboys

No this is fine. I’m sure the previous decade of middling, tasteless football with effectively the same roster has no bearing now, and it absolutely won’t rear its ugly head in the playoffs.

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