NFL Playoffs Overview


Charlotte Cooke

The Patriots take on the Rams at the Super Bowl.

Aidan Stroup, Sentry Staff Reporter

As the temperature falls below freezing and the calendar flips to the new year, the National Football League (NFL) playoffs are starting. From the usual suspects like Tom Brady and the Patriots, to first timers such as Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, these playoffs should be one of the best in the past few years.

Wild Card Round

In the National Football Conference (NFC) the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Seattle Seahawks for a spot in the divisional round against the Los Angeles Rams. The other matchup resulted in the Philadelphia Eagles upsetting the Chicago Bears for a game against the New Orleans Saints. In the American Football Conference (AFC) the Indianapolis Colts won against the Houston Texans and moved on to the next round against the Kansas City Chiefs. Lastly, the Los Angeles Chargers beat the Baltimore Ravens to play against the New England Patriots.

Divisional Round

In the NFC, the Rams and Cowboys were matched up against each other, with the Rams being the favorite due to their elite running back, Todd Gurley and their quarterback, Jared Goff. The Cowboys still held a solid chance with running back Ezekiel Elliott and a great defense. Ultimately, the Rams held their own and beat the Cowboys by a score of 30-22. The other NFC matchup was between the Saints and the Eagles. The two teams played each other earlier in the season which resulted in a lopsided victory for the Saints, and in this matchup they were favorites due to that and their home-field advantage. The Eagles started out strong with a 14-0 lead, but Drew Brees and the Saints came back and won 20-14. In the AFC the Chiefs and Colts were up against each other. The Chiefs dominated the game from the beginning and won by a score of 31-13. The final divisional matchup was between the Chargers and the Patriots. The Patriots used their overwhelming playoff experience to win 41-28, although it felt that the Chargers lost by a much larger score.

Championship Round

The NFC matchup was between two of the top three offenses in the NFL: the Rams and the Saints. These teams had a game in November in which the Saints won by a score of 45-35. The Saints were in the middle of a hot streak, but the Rams have the strength to take down any team. This was a great game and was one the best this year. Although there was arguably the most controversial plays in the past few years that could have altered the result of the game, the Rams won by a score of 26-23. The AFC matchup between the Chiefs and the Patriots was another rematch from earlier this year, when the Patriots beat the Chiefs by a score of 43-40. This was another great game with the Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, in the midst of a possible MVP season. On the other hand, the Patriots have the best playoff quarterback of all time in Tom Brady and should never be counted out. The game was ultimately very close, but Brady and Patriots ended up winning 37-31 in overtime.

The NFL playoffs this year have been great and the Super Bowl should live up to or exceed those standards. The Rams dominant offense should be a handful for the Patriots, but they proved they can defeat any team after their AFC championship win. With Brady trying to win his sixth Super Bowl, this should be an intense Championship matchup between the Rams and the Patriots.