Despite home-field advantage, the Philadelphia Eagles weren’t favored to win their playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday. Starting quarterback Carson Wentz had suffered a season-ending injury in December, and so the Eagles had to rely on backup Nick Foles. Though Foles had a shaky start, the Eagles combined a little bit of good luck with a fantastic defensive performance to come out on top, winning 15-10.
The game may have seemed like a throwback to the league’s low-scoring, smashmouth days of yore. However, it actually portends an exciting, though frightening future: an NFL overrun by adorable dog-men (who may or may not be monsters and an insult to our natural order).
When the refs blew the final whistle on Saturday, Philadelphia offensive line”man” Lane Johnson removed his helmet to reveal his true self.
Some may argue that Johnson is actually wearing a mask, and that this was an elaborate visual joke—a play on how his team were underdogs to the Falcons. That argument is silly. I mean, look at him—that’s a 310-pound, German shepherd-headed creature who is forced to play football for our amusement. There’s no other way to explain it.
The NFL is a copycat league. If one team finds success with exotic formations or situational reads (like the run-pass option), other teams will inevitably imitate them. Now that Lane Johnson has won an NFC Divisional round playoff game as a tragic castoff from The Island of Dr. Moreau, look for football’s sharpest minds to follow.
This is a gift for the NFL. The league has been mired in bad vibes and unwelcome press all season. If the players and coaches morph into cuddly canine-homo sapien hybrids, all that will be forgotten. It’s so simple, even Roger Goodell won’t be able to mess it up.
There are downsides, of course, like how a man-dog football league will eat into Puppy Bowl’s viewership. More pressing is the fact that football is a violent sport, and no one wants to see dogs get hurt. Still, all these guys knew what they signed up for when a twisted madman in his dark and horrid laboratory spliced their DNA with that of a dog’s. That’s just football, baby.