Skip to content

The NFL Playoffs Simplified: Week 1

The NFL playoffs are one of the most exciting times for fans and players alike. The league’s best compete yearly in a 14-team tournament, with the one seed receiving a bye in the first round. The stakes are high, with the intensity rates rising during this time of year. This year’s teams include the Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, the Los Angeles Chargers. An elite group of teams looking to win! A win or loss could make or break a player, a coach, and a fan.

On wildcard weekend, we saw the Chiefs and Eagles receive a bye week for their regular season excellence by obtaining the first seed. Moving on in the NFC, the lowest-drafted rookie, Brocky Purdy, led the 49ers to a win over Geno Smith’s Seahawks in decent fashion, considering the score was 41-23. Purdy showed understandable nerves throughout the game but started settling in and making many outstanding plays after half-time. Meanwhile, the Cowboys finally ended the seven-game streak Tom Brady had on them. It was a game that never felt “close” but had exciting flashes. Dak overshadowed Brady heavily, and there’s a chance for a Brady exit or a possible retirement…?  In the final game of the NFC, the underdog New York Giants, led by Brian Daboll, Daniel Jones, and Saquon Barkley, defeated the Minnesota Vikings in a shootout. Daniel Jones had a marvelous performance with 301 yards and two touchdowns. The Giants will be playing the Eagles next. 

In the AFC, we saw tragedies, tactics, and many turnovers! It kicked off with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who defeated the Los Angeles Chargers in an outstanding comeback. Trevor Lawrence, the QB for the Jaguars, threw four interceptions in the first half. At one point, the Chargers led by 27. With poor efforts from the Chargers, Jacksonville’s coaching, and Trevor Lawrence’s redemption, the Jaguars managed to have four touchdown drives in a row. It finally ended with a field goal by the kicker, Riley Patterson, resulting in a tragedy for Chargers fans but a miracle for Jacksonville fans. The Dolphins entered Buffalo with a significant underdog story since their star QB Tua Tuagoiliva was injured. But the coaching of Mike McDaniels did not disappoint. The game kicked off with a 17-point lead for the Bills. After turnovers, the Dolphins started to make a comeback, but in the third, the Bills pulled away. The sloppy play of the Bills led to adjustments and “resilience” to win the game. To end off the AFC, we saw a heavily under-dogged Ravens versus the current runner-up of the playoffs. The Ravens came into the game without their star quarterback, Lamar Jackson, who seemed to be “done” with the Ravens. The game went back and forth back, but in the early fourth quarter, the Bengals recovered a fumble, making a 98-yard run. Due to the lack of experience, backup QB Tyler Huntley struggled to lead them back into the game. How different would the result have been with Lamar?

This weekend, after eliminating six teams, we’ll see eight teams putting their everything into football. Starting with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who will look to pull off the upset of the year versus the Chiefs, led by the number one candidate in the MVP race Patrick Mahomes. The Bills and Bengals will replay the match that ended in a postponement due to the tragic events in their previous contest. The Bills look to honor Damar Hamlin by winning in Highmark Stadium. The Giants will continue their underdog stretch, playing the Eagles next on Saturday. The Cowboys will face the 49ers, led by Brock Purdy, and their fantastic team depth. How Purdy will perform under pressure is the question everyone is asking right now.

To summarize, the postseason of 2022-2023 has been filled with thrilling events, with several rising to the top and others falling alarmingly. The playoffs will continue to do the same due to the quality of the teams left. All said and done; the NFL does an outstanding job of entertaining its fans, no matter the circumstances. This year was excellent for football fans and will continue to be!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *