The NFL playoffs are as compelling a drama as there is in professional sports and it is not hard to understand why. The single-elimination tournament nature of the playoffs is unique to the NFL among the four major professional sports.
Players and coaches alike take their games to another level and the games take on new meaning: win or go home. Here are four reasons why the playoffs are so much different than the regular season.
Increased intensity is also seen in certain ways during the game. Guys might take some borderline shots on other players that they might not take in the regular season. During the regular season there is an unwritten code of ethics regarding certain blocks or techniques that most players follow. In the playoffs, that code no longer exists.
Offensive linemen are much more likely to be seen working downfield finishing blocks until the whistle blows. Though there are players, such as San Diego Chargers guard
Wide receivers like New England's
On the other hand, you have veterans like the Patriots'
During my time in the playoffs with the Patriots in 2005,
The vets refuse to allow younger players to take this time for granted and expect them to ratchet up their preparation and focus throughout the week while dismissing any thoughts they may have about the length of the season or the dreaded rookie wall. Saturday must get this message across to the many Colts' rookies like
What makes certain players excel while others falter in these situations is anyone's guess. The playoffs are an opportunity to witness firsthand whether young quarterbacks like
An interesting component of the playoffs is that it truly is not about the money at this point. Though the players do get paid throughout the playoffs, it is often a fraction of what they earn during the regular season.
The financial implications no longer matter at this point. The opportunity to win a Super Bowl trumps any thought of material gain and is one of the reasons why the playoffs are so special.