NFL Playoff Preview

It is that time of the year once again, the NFL playoffs! Teams, players, fans, and coaches are ready for the competition! Teams have been moving from seed to seed all season long. Once again the format is the same with the first seed in each conference getting a bye and home-field advantage for the playoffs until the Super Bowl. What not was the same was how the season ended. 

On January 3rd, 2023 on Monday Night Football with 5:58 left in the 1st quarter, Bills player Damar Hamlin collapsed after a sudden hit and received CPR on the field. He was immediately rushed to the University of Cincinnati Hospital and was admitted. He was in critical condition and was in cardiac arrest. Both of the teams refused to resume the game because both teams refused to resume the game it had playoff implications for the whole AFC conference. 

Nyheim Hines (#20) is celebrating his kickoff return for a touchdown on the first play of the game on Week 18 against the New England Patriots, which is the Bills first game since the tragic injury of Damar Hamlin. (WIVB)

However, it seems that this injury galvanized the team they have the motivation to win it all for him. 

The Buffalo Bills are once again Super Bowl favorites. The Bills have also been proving that they can win the Super Bowl all season long. Quarterback Josh Allen is once again an MVP candidate. He was sixth in the league in passing yards with 4,283 along with 359 completions and a touchdown to interception ratio of 35:14. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs finished fifth for the most yards in the season this year with 1,429 yards along with 108 receptions and 11 touchdowns. 

At the start of the season, if you asked any NFL fan I doubt they would predict that the Philadelphia Eagles would get the first seed in the NFC. After acquiring A.J. Brown during the 2022 NFL Draft the Eagles came ready for the season. With Jalen Hurts’ wide receiver help with A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith, they had a remarkable season offensively and defensively. Jalen Hurts had the best season of his career and is an MVP candidate in just his 3rd year. A.J. Brown finished fourth in the league with receiving yards this season. Brown had 1,496 yards with 88 receptions and 11 touchdowns. The Eagles rushing game was very good. Miles Sanders finished fifth in the league in rushing yards with 1,269 along with 11 touchdowns. The offense was not the only help the Eagles had, their defense stepped up. Darius Slay and Fletcher Cox both had remarkable seasons. I will not be surprised if we see Philadelphia in the Super Bowl. 

The Kansas City Chiefs are another Super Bowl favorite. Despite trading Tyreek Hill in the offseason, the Chiefs still had an excellent season. They acquired JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kadarius Toney. Travis Kelce once again had such a good season. He was eighth in the league in receiving yards with 1,338 leading all tight ends. Along with all of those yards, 110 receptions, and 12 touchdowns. Patrick Mahomes is also once again a top MVP candidate. He led the league in passing yards once again with 5,250 yards, 435 completions, and a touchdown to interception ratio of 41:12. 

Head Coach, Doug Pederson (left) and starting quarterback, Trevor Lawerence are celebrating after beating the Titans in Week 18 to win their division. (Yahoo News)

The San Francisco 49ers had a really good season. Trey Lance, their starting quarterback, broke his ankle in Week 2 of the regular season and was ruled out for the rest of the season. During the season, the 49ers made a trade that helped them reach the number two seed in the NFC by trading for Christian McCaffrey who was a huge help to the 49ers’ offense. In Week 13, the 49ers’ backup quarterback Jimmy Garopolo suffered a season-ending injury by breaking his foot. The 49ers had one quarterback left which was their rookie quarterback, Mr. Irrelevant, the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Brock Purdy to step up and lead the 49ers to the playoffs. Purdy finishes out the game versus the Dolphins to get the win. In his first career start, he destroyed Tom Brady on the road. Purdy finished off the season really well by leading the team to the two-seed. The 49ers can make a deep run in the playoffs. 

The Bengals are back in the playoffs. After making a deep and unpredictable playoff run last year. They are ready to win it this year. Joe Burrow and his stellar offense had another amazing season. Burrow finished fifth in the league in passing yards with 4,475 along with 414 completions and a touchdown to interception ratio of 35:12. Burrow is not the only one doing it all, wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd each had stellar seasons. Joe Mixon was also a huge help. The Bengals struggled with some injuries during the season, but they are fortunately not dealing with them anymore.

Another team that had an unbelievable season is the Minnesota Vikings. Justin Jefferson was a huge help. Jefferson led the league in receiving yards with 1,809 along with 128 receptions and eight touchdowns. Jefferson could not do it by himself. Kirk Cousins finished fourth in the league in passing yards. He had 4,547 yards with 424 completions and a touchdown to interception ratio of 29:14. In the middle of the season, the Vikings traded for tight end T.J. Hockensen who helped a lot. The rushing game for the Vikings this season was very successful. Dalvin cook finished sixth in the league in rushing yards with 1,173 and eight rushing touchdowns. The Vikings offense progressed a lot this season which helped them get the three seed.

The players, coaches, teams, and fans are ready for the playoff competition. Once again it will probably be a fun and competitive playoff. Let us know your predictions in the comments below! 




Wild Card:

(7) Miami Dolphins vs. (2) Buffalo Bills – Bills win 31-23

(6) Baltimore Ravens vs. (3) Cincinnati Bengals – Bengals win 34-20

(5) Los Angeles Chargers vs. (4) Jacksonville Jaguars – Chargers win 28-10


Divisional Round: 

(5) Los Angeles Chargers vs. (1) Kansas City Chiefs – Chiefs win 45-42

(3) Cincinnati Bengals vs. (2) Buffalo Bills – Bills win 21-17


Conference Championship:

(2) Buffalo Bills vs. (1) Kansas City Chiefs – Bills win 38-35



Wild Card:

(7) Seattle Seahawks vs. (2) San Francisco 49ers – 49ers win 34-3

(6) New York Giants vs. (3) Minnesota Vikings – Vikings win 30-7

(5) Dallas Cowboys vs. (4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Cowboys win 24-16


Divisional Round:

(5) Dallas Cowboys vs. (1) Philadelphia Eagles – Eagles win 26-24

(3) Minnesota Vikings vs. (2) San Francisco 49ers – Vikings win 27-24


Conference Championship:

(3) Minnesota Vikings vs. (1) Philadelphia Eagles – Vikings win 33-30


Super Bowl: 

(3) Minnesota Vikings vs. (2) Buffalo Bills – Bills win 42-38