As NFL playoffs heats up, Super Bowl dreams are reachable


The Boston Globe

Los Angeles Chargers running back, Melvin Gordan, attempts to hurdle a defender in the NFC Divisional Round, on Jan. 6, 2019, which the Chargers won 23-17.

Zach Lustbader, Staff Writer

During Wildcard weekend, four teams have fallen short of a Lombardi trophy: The Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, and the Houston Texans. All but one of these games (Colts beating the Texans 21-7) had viewers hanging on the edge of their seats as the game winded down to the final minutes. 

One of the most heartbreaking losses, if you’re a Chicago sports fan, was the game between the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles.  Most football fans hadn’t been able to predict just how tightly contested the entire game was going to be.  After all, the Eagles were the sixth seed, while the Bears where all the way up at the third seed. However, after a last-minute touchdown by Philadelphia, it was crunch time for the Bears, being down by three with just less than a minute to go. 

After consecutive substantially large gains of yardage, the Bears got within field goal range. However, kicker Cody Parkey was unable to successfully kick the field goal, which would have won the game for the Bears, since there was only ten seconds left on the game clock. A stunning defeat for Chicago, but an even more shocking victory for the Eagles. Will this Cinderella story keep its hype during the playoffs? The team’s next task is a big one, going up against the number one seed Saints led by Drew Brees in the Divisional Round. 

Besides the Eagles game, there are plenty of matchups that are quite intriguing, and numerous different Pro-Bowl matchups to be played. In addition, there are also many sleeper picks that many are starting to latch on to. 

“A team that I believe can go very far into the playoffs this year is the Indianapolis Colts,” said sophomore Ethan Fine.

This is a bold pick as the Colts are going against the number one seed Kansas City Chiefs, led by MVP frontrunner Patrick Mahomes. The Colts are red hot, winning five in a row, and many believe they have a chance to beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium, one of the loudest in the league. 

“Marlon Mack also ran for 148 yards and a touchdown in the contest, and he should be able to put up a similar number against the Chiefs defense ranked sixth worst against the run during the regular season,” said Fine. 

These statistics laid out by Fine make up a substantial amount of evidence that should encourage serious contemplation as to whether the Indianapolis Colts can combat the high-powered Chiefs offense. This exciting matchup is one of many reasons why millions will be watching the NFL Playoffs this year. Over the past few years, NFL viewership has been skyrocketing, and this is due to many things: Star-players, high stakes, great plays, and historic moments just to name a few. All of these things will be on display throughout this month and through the Super Bowl. 

“I love how the NFL Playoffs are so addicting, like how you do not want to look aware, with the feeling that if you do you will miss a crazy moment in the blink of an eye. During the whole week, all I can think about is how I can fast forward to game day and how thrilling the competitive matchups will be,” said sophomore David Weiner.

As fun as the playoffs are to watch, and as memorable every moment from every team is, there is no denying that everybody has their own individual pick for which team will win the trophy. From the beginning of the season, football fans have been placing their bets and discussing with fellow fans exactly which team they believe will come out on top.

 “I believe that the New Orleans Saints will win the Super Bowl for one reason. And that reason is Drew Brees. He will single-handedly carry the team to the win in what is most likely to be an offensive showdown,” said senior Jackson Treneman. 

Like Treneman, who was very definitive in his answer, a lot of others feel the same way, as Drew Brees, quarterback for the Saints, put up MVP-caliber numbers throughout the regular season. Whether you’re siding with Jackson, thinking that a top dog will remain on top, or with Ethan, believing that an underdog like the Colts could make a run at the Lombardi Trophy, or somewhere in between, the NFL Playoffs are going to be a must-watch throughout these next few weeks. So, as you sit through class thinking the week will never end, remember that the NFL Playoffs are waiting for you right around the corner.