NFL PLayoff Excitement

Nate Gibson, Contributor

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Every franchise in the NFL wants to be part of the best time of the football season, the playoffs. Every team in the NFL strives to get into the playoffs because the game is all about winning championships. The playoffs this year have been a bit crazy due to teams that don’t usually make it but did due to significant injuries to players.

Wildcard weekend was one for the record books with teams like the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars replacing teams like the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals for the AFC. The AFC looks a little unusual with these teams, but in the NFC the teams are a little bit wilder. Teams that are usually in the playoffs include the Seattle Seahawks,  the Detroit Lions, and the Green Bay Packers, but they’ve been replaced by the Philadelphia Eagles, the Minnesota Vikings, and the New Orleans Saints. Some teams didn’t make the playoffs because of injuries. Take the Green Bay Packers, for example: Aaron Rodgers is one of the greatest quarterbacks of the era, but due to a broken collarbone, he was put on IR (injury reserve) and didn’t play until week 15 when he went back into the game only to disturb his collarbone again. Another team that was hurt due to injuries was the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks lost big-time defensive players, Kam Chancellor and Michael Bennett. Later in the season Cornerback, Richard Sherman went out with a torn achilles. He announced in a press conference after the game, “It’s been bothering me all season. It’s one of those things you play through as long as you can, and then when it goes, it goes.”  This injury resulted in their defense not being as good as they were and keeping them out of the playoffs. The wildcard weekend also had a few interesting facts about it.

The Buffalo Bills made the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Sadly, the Bills lost 10-3 against the Jags at EverBank Field. Here’s a fact about the Jaguars: Blake Bortles, the quarterback, rushed for more yards than he passed for in the game. He rushed for 89 yards and passed for 88, which means he is the third quarterback to run for more yards than they passed for in a playoff game. The only other quarterbacks to do this are Michael Vick and Steve Young. The game between the Titans and Chiefs was crazy! The Chiefs led by 18 points at the half, but with the perseverance of quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back Derrick Henry, the Titans overcame the lead by the Chiefs to win 22-21. The Atlanta Falcons beat the Los Angeles Rams 26-13 after everyone thought the Falcons didn’t have what it takes to beat a team like the Rams. The New Orleans Saints beat the Cam Newton-powered offense of the Carolina Panthers 31-26.

So far, this playoff season is shaping up to be a good one with the Eagles taking on the Falcons, the Saints matching up against the Vikings, then the Jaguars playing the Steelers. The Patriots game looks like it’s going to be a landslide with most people predicting the Patriots will blow out the Titans, but we can only wait and see.

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