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Professional football so amazing, you'll make up new words.


Football fans may be a little worse for wear today after this weekend's four NFL games, each one decided on the final play. There were furious comebacks that fell short and miraculous finishes that broke hearts. It was the kind of weekend that makes you make up words like cuckoo-pants (ph) ridiculous to describe it, which is exactly what Jason Gay of The Wall Street Journal did in his latest column. And he joins me now.

JASON GAY: Oh, thanks for having me. And, yeah, cuckoo-pants, ridiculous-pants (ph) - I don't know exactly what I wrote, but it's not in Merriam-Webster. I'm certain of it.

KHALID: So after this weekend, would you say you're feeling more of the cuckoo-pants or more ridiculous after what you saw?

GAY: I'm feeling kind of tired. There's, like, a chalk outline of my body on the couch. This was just an incredible football weekend. If you're a football fan, it was just this series of escalating insanity from game to game. The first game was a great, wild game. The second one was wilder than that. The third one was this incredible comeback near disaster. And then the last one was arguably one of the great NFL games of all time, this overtime thriller with the Bills and the Chiefs. I don't think the NFL has ever had a series of games that goes back to back to back to back like that. There's usually a stinker in the bunch.

KHALID: Yeah. So which one would you say stood out for you, if you had to pick one?

GAY: You have to go with the Bills and the Chiefs strictly because you have two really incredible talents in the Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, the Bills quarterback, Josh Allen. You're looking at players who will really kind of dictate the terms of the NFL for the coming decade. Playing at maximum power. I mean, statistically speaking, no two quarterbacks had simultaneously played as well as the two of them did over the course of Sunday night. And so really, it was both a thrilling game but also kind of a harbinger, hopefully, for good years to come.

KHALID: It is worth adding that two players who lost this weekend will still be the source of a great deal of speculation. That's quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who very likely will be MVP this year. He may have played his last game with the Green Bay Packers. And Tom Brady, arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, may have played his last game, ever. So what do you see happening in the next few weeks with those two?

GAY: Well, there is no way I'm going to bet on Tom Brady at this point. If he's playing a hundred years from now for, like, a lunar crater Martian team, I will not be surprised. That guy's probably had - already had three workouts by the time we're having this conversation. As for Rogers, he didn't seem in any mood to be playing with Green Bay this season as the season - and whether he sticks around next year is an open question. I will say this. I think the Packers are the best team available to him, so it'll be interesting to see what happens over the course of the season. That thing you know about football is that the season never stops. These things do not stop. And we'll be talking about this well into June and July.

KHALID: OK. So I do want to ask you, though, about next weekend. Do you anticipate the same kind of drama and intensity that you all saw this past weekend? Or do you feel that that's just kind of impossible to maintain?

GAY: I mean, law of averages say we have to get some kind of clunker in here - right? - some kind of rout. But hard to say. I mean, I'm really pulling for, you know, fun things to happen with Cincinnati. This is a team that had not won a playoff game in 31 years. I would love to see them be competitive in the game. They're going to have a very tough opponent in Kansas City. As for the other two, the Niners and the Rams, the Rams get to host this game. And then if they win, they get to host a Super Bowl, something we haven't seen happen since last year, when Tampa got to host the Super Bowl. That had never happened in the history of the NFL. Now it's possibly happening twice in two years. There are some really interesting storylines going into the weekend.

KHALID: Jason Gay of The Wall Street Journal joined us via Skype. Thanks so much. And go get some rest.

GAY: Thank you. You, too.

(SOUNDBITE OF ANDY SUMMERS' "TONIGHT AT NOON") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Asma Khalid is a White House correspondent for NPR. She also co-hosts The NPR Politics Podcast.
Justine Kenin