Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers at the line vs the chiefs during their Wild Card Game in 2022

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers at the line vs the chiefs during their Wild Card Game in 2022

The moment that all NFL fans and teams have been waiting for has finally begun! Every NFL team’s goal at the start of the season is to make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl, and their fans are hoping they do that every year as they root for them all 17 weeks of the regular season. But it isn’t as easy as it looks. Let’s take a deep dive into the 2023 NFL playoffs and see what the rest of this season has in store for us.

 The first round of the playoffs didn’t disappoint! On Saturday, January 14th, The San Francisco 49ers eliminated Seattle Seahawks 41-23. San Francisco’s up-and-coming rookie quarterback Brock Purdy had a GAME, going 18/20, 332 yards, 3 touchdowns, including 1 rushing touchdown! Recently signed running back Christian McCaffrey ran for 119 yards, with one of those 119 being an explosive 68-yard run. And finally, 49ers star wide receiver, Deebo Samue, caught six passes, for a total of 133 yards and one touchdown. Later that night, the Jacksonville Jaguars came back from a 27-0 deficit and a first-quarter nightmare to eliminate the Chargers in a thriller with the final score being 31-30. Second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence turned it around in the second half, finishing the game by going 28/47, 288 yards, and 4 touchdowns. That following Sunday, the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins went head-to-head in an amazing back-and-forth battle with the Bills coming out on top, eliminating Miami with the score of 34-31. Immediately after, another crazy battle took place, touchdown after touchdown for both teams. The New York Giants took the win and eliminated the Minnesota Vikings 31-24. Later that night was a game that a bunch of NFL fans was looking forward to, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens faced off for the second week in a row in an intense battle with the Cincinnati Bengals surviving and eliminating the Ravens with a score of 24-17. The final game of the first round took place Monday night. It was between the dominant Dallas Cowboys and Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Dallas Cowboys got a crushing victory, eliminating the Buccaneers with a score of 31-14.

Tom Brady throws a deep one in Raymond James Stadium

Furthermore, the 2nd set of games began on Saturday, January 21st between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Kansas City Chiefs, and later that night the Philadelphia Eagles took on the New York Giants. And on Sunday, January 22nd between the Cincinnati Bengals, the Buffalo Bills, and the San Francisco 49ers vs the Dallas Cowboys. The Chiefs eked out a win and eliminated the Jaguars 27-20. Phenom Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes went 22/30, 195 yards, and 2 touchdowns, but suffered an ankle injury pretty early into the game. Chad Henne stepped in and went 5/7, 23 yards, and 1 touchdown, and star tight end Travis Kelce had 14 catches for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns. Mahomes came back later in the game but still wasn’t 100%. Later that night the Eagles had a dominant win over the Giants, beating and eliminating them with a score of 38-7. Jalen Hurts kept the momentum throughout the game, going 16/24, 154 yards, and two touchdowns. And running back Kenneth Gainwell ran for 112 yards and 1 touchdown. Then, on Sunday, January 22nd, Joe Burrow and the Bengals stunned the Bills by beating them 27-10. The main man, Joe Burrow, went 23/36, 242 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Follow that up with Joe Mixon rushing for 105 yards and 1 touchdown, and Ja’Marr Chase receiving for 61 yards and 1 touchdown. The final Divisional Playoff game occurred later that night with the 49ers eliminating the Cowboys in an entertaining back-and-forth battle with the final score being 19-12.

Tom Brady walking down the sidelines of Raymond James Stadium

I got the chance to talk to a sports superfan, Rich Schellhase, about all the games that have been taking place. I asked him which team/teams he thought had the most confidence heading into the AFC and NFC championship games. And he picked the Eagles and the Bengals. He thought both teams have their swagger, and he said both the Chiefs and the 49ers must keep that even keel and will be ready. I also asked him if he thought any of the four teams have a guaranteed win, and he said the games were constructed evenly especially if Mahomes is not 100%. And lastly, what were his picks to win it all? He said the Eagles and Chiefs. Why did he pick those two teams? He picked them because he thinks that they are the most well-rounded teams. The Chiefs have been to the super bowl and won it, and their run game is clicking. And he doesn’t think Brock Purdy can hang with the Eagles’ defense right now, and their already good offense. It will be close battles.

The NFL Playoffs once again have fans at the edge of their seats. What will happen in the AFC and NFC championship games? And which 2 teams will come out on top and make it to the Super Bowl? Stay tuned and find out!