Throughout the 2022-2023 National Football League (NFL) season, there were many teams who were believed to be championship contenders. The ones who made it through the season into the playoffs and to the Super Bowl have had great success this year. Other teams were close, some falling due to injury or being outplayed but most will be back around for a fight next season.
Going into the Wild Card round each game was foreseen to be a close match. In the NFC, the round consisted of the Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what would end up being Tom Brady’s last career game. Dak Prescott would throw four touchdowns and Brady and the Tampa offense would never end up getting it going, leading to a Dallas win. New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings was one of the best games of the round similar to when these two teams played on Christmas Eve and the Vikings won on a game ending field goal. This time, the Giants had revenge with a close win of their own. Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers was one of the least interesting games with San Fran taking over complete control when Nick Bosa forced a fumble of Geno Smith late in the third quarter, and the 49ers would win by a good margin. The Philadelphia Eagles had the first seed and a bye into the Divisional round. The Eagles were met by the Giants and that game was not nearly as close as the Giants’ previous game with the Eagles rolling them 38-7. The 49ers and the Cowboys was the much more anticipated matchup in this round with the 49ers surviving a battle of great defenses 19-12. The Giants had a very good season by the low standards that were set by fans coming into the season, while the Cowboys pulled off what they typically do in January after a good regular season, a disappointing loss to another NFC powerhouse. The NFC Championship was highly anticipated with how deep both the Eagles and 49ers rosters were, but the 49ers lost both of their active quarterbacks (Brock Purdy and Josh Johnson) to injury and the Eagles won 31-7 at home. With the win, the Eagles go to their second Super Bowl appearance in five years.
Similar to the NFC, the AFC playoffs had some close games amongst great teams. The Wild Card round consisted of the Los Angeles Chargers at the Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, and Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills. The Kansas City Chiefs were the first seed and had a bye into the Divisional Round. The Chargers went to Jacksonville as young superstar quarterbacks Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence both made their first career postseason starts. The Chargers went up 27-7 at halftime and only scored 3 more points in the second half and Lawrence would will the Jaguars all the way to a 31-30 victory. The Bengals played the Ravens at home and won 24-17 which was a close matchup even without Baltimore starting quarterback Lamar Jackson playing. The other match up was the Dolphins and the Bills. This game was not predicted to be close, but a combination of Josh Allen turnovers and Miami finding a way into the end zone with their third string quarterback Skylar Thompson led to Miami giving Buffalo a good fight. The Bills would come out on top at home with a 34-31 victory. The Divisional round saw the Chiefs draw the young and unexperienced Jaguars which lead to a 27-20 victory, closer than anyone expected, mainly due to a Patrick Mahomes ankle injury which would become a leading storyline throughout the rest of the postseason. Then Cincinnati traveled to Buffalo in the snow to come up with a win to get Cincinnati to back to back AFC Championship games. The Bengals won 27-10 with a dominant victory over the Bills who looked like they need to add some assets over the offseason. This lead to the second straight AFC Championship matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs vs Cincinnati Bengals. The Chiefs were at home with some injuries but Mahomes proved his ankle injury from the Jacksonville game was not a problem and helped get his team the win 23-20 on a game winning field goal. This sent Mahomes and the Chiefs to their third Super Bowl in four years.
The Super Bowl is the game of the year that every staff member and every single player works for all season. From the offseason to now they have never worked harder but they still have one more game to go. The most challenging game of them all, the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the Philadelphia Eagles down in Arizona for the Lombardi Trophy. We have the Kelce brothers playing in the Superbowl against each other for the first time in history and Andy Reid playing his former team. Going into this Super Bowl, Mahomes, Andy Reid and many of the Chiefs have been here, winning one before but for the Eagles from the head coach to the wide receivers to the quarterback they have never been this far and have their greatest chance to win it all this year.
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