Sports

NFL Playoffs

DANNY DIAZ

Staff Writer

Before the NFL season started, no fan could predict what happened with crazy overtime thrillers and game-winning drives. This season has been wild. The Super Bowl is up for grabs as there hasn’t been a pure winning team ready for the Lombardi trophy. 

San Marcos Freshman and Football player, Anthony Obispo said this when asked about his Super Bowl prediction match-up. “The Buccaneers and the Patriots in the Super Bowl.” 

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This would mean that Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, and 44-year-old quarterback Tom Brady would go head to head after winning six Super Bowls together with the New England patriots.

 “The Buccaneers will take the victory and be back to back Super Bowl champions.” Said Obispo. 

This year the NFL announced it was going to be the longest season ever. By extending it to 18 weeks, one more than before. But that last week did not disappoint at all. The Colts were eliminated by the 3-14 Jaguars in the last week of the season. The Ravens lost on an overtime game winning field goal by Pittsburgh Steelers kicker, Chris Boswell. As then the Ravens were eliminated from playoff contention. Since the Steelers beat the Ravens and the Colts lost to the Jags it would mean that Ben Roethlisberger would extend his career into the playoffs only if the Raiders and Chargers game would not end in a tie. But after four quarters, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback, Justin Herbert threw a perfect throw on the last play of the regulation to wide receiver, Mike Williams. After 60 minutes the score was all even at 29-29. Steelers fans were in shock, were their playoff hopes going to be smashed? But no. In overtime Derek Carr made tight widow passes look easy and Josh Jacobs closed the game out by getting a first down to get them in field goal range, and then Daniel Carlson kicked it right up the uprights to get the Raiders in the playoffs since 2016 and eliminate the Chargers from the playoff contention.

Image courtesy of Danny Diaz

One team that should get the credit they deserve in the AFC is the Bengals. After an awful last season with problems on their defensive side and losing key players on the offensive side, following an ACL tear in their hopeful franchise QB, the Bengals have clinched the AFC North division for the first time since 2015. 

This electrifying team is led by LSU standout and former national champion, Joe Burrow. Burrow has been playing exceptional for the Bengals, putting up 4,611 passing yards (5th in the NFL), 34 TDS, 14 INT and a passer rating of 108.3 the second highest in the NFL. Along with all these career-high stats, he has also made a strong case for Comeback Player of the year. But Burrow couldn’t do this on his own, young rookie WR Ja’marr Chase out of LSU  (played with Burrow in college) is heavily fun to watch. A big candidate for offensive rookie of the year. This Bengals team has the ability to make a deep playoff run if they want. Keep an eye out for them on the AFC side.

Now the big story on the NFC side is that over the last years, the Packers have dominated the NFC North winning the division seven times out of the last ten. But although Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are winning division titles, they struggle in the playoffs. Most specifically the NFC Championship. In the seven times they have won the division, the Packers have lost in the NFC Championship five times. For the third straight year the Packers are in the same spot as Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers ran through the division but this year is different, With all the speculation that Rodgers will leave or even retire? He is on an expiring contract and he recently declined a max extension that would make him the richest player in the league. This could be the last year the Packers make the playoffs for a while, but for Packer fans be hopeful as they have some promise to make a far run with the Reigning MVP. 

The 21-22 NFL season is almost in the books, for some fans they are already ready for the off-season but for other fans they can’t wait for what is in store for the playoffs. Get ready to watch some crazy wins and some tough losses because the playoffs are here!

DANIEL DIAZ

Staff Writer

Categories: Sports