NFL Super Wild Card Weekend Review

Jackson Roberts, Staff

The 2020-2021 NFL season has had some surprises throughout the season. There were teams and players no one expected to be good but had a good season. Some players and teams had high expectations, but they just didn’t perform. Once the playoffs come it doesn’t matter what players are good and what record you have; the players just go out and compete. All the players want to do in the playoffs is make it to the Super Bowl and win the whole thing.

People say playoff football is different than regular season football and they are exactly right. Your season can end with just one loss, and players get emotional when they lose because they’ve worked so hard to get to the playoffs.

            The NFL playoff bracket is different than most sports playoff brackets. The team with the best record from the AFC and the team with the best record from the NFC both get a first-round bye. This year, those two teams are the Kansas City Chiefs of the AFC who went 14-2 and the Green Bay Packers of the NFC who went 13-3. Next week in the Divisional round of the playoffs they play the lowest seed of the teams remaining in the conference.

            Saturday January 9th was the start of the super Wild Card weekend and the first game was between the Buffalo Bills and the Indianapolis Colts. The Bills were the favorites going into the match going 13-3 led by breakout quarterback Josh Allen and newly acquired Receiver Stefon Diggs. The Colts were the underdogs with a record of 11-5. In the end, the Bills won their first playoff game since 1995 and out played the Colts in a close game winning 27-24. The Bills would move on to play the second worst seed remaining in the AFC.

The next game of the Wild Card matchups on These two teams have already played twice this season, being in the same division. The series was tied 1-1 with each team taking one win against each other. The Seahawks were the favorites going into the match going 12-4 while the Rams went 10-6. Seahawks had one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Russel Wilson and breakout receiver DK Metcalf who combined to help the Seahawks have one of the best offenses in the league, while the Rams had the number one ranked defense in the NFL and had perhaps the two best defensive players in cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Aaron Donald. The Rams defense was too much for the Seahawks as they pulled off the upset and won 30-20. The Rams will move on and play the number one seed Packers.

            The final game of Saturday was the Washington Football Team versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers were the heavy favorites to win this game going 11-5 while Washington went 7-9. Tampa Bay has one of the best quarterbacks of all time in Tom Brady and a talented offense surrounding him. Washington struggled on the offensive end, but on the other side of the field, rookie defensive end Chase Young led one of the youngest and best defenses in the league. The Buccaneers pulled away with the win as most expected, but Washington didn’t go out without a fight. With Washington’s quarterback Alex Smith on the Injured Reserve list, backup Taylor Heinicke made the start and showed everyone that he belonged in the NFL.

            The first game of Sunday on January 10th was the Baltimore Ravens versus the Tennessee Titans. The Ravens were led by the reigning MVP Lamar Jackson on offense and had a strong defense. The Titans were led by this season’s rushing yard leader Derrick Henry. This game was a toss-up, both teams were 11-5 but the Ravens came out on top and won 20-13. The Ravens completely shut down Henry, who had his worst game of the season. The Ravens move on and will play the Buffalo Bills.

The second game of Sunday was the Chicago Bears vs New Orleans Saints. Bears finished the season 8-8 and were not expected to win this game. The Saints on the other hand are one of the better teams in the league finishing the regular season12-4. As expected, the Saints left with a victory, and held the Bears to only nine points winning by a final score of 21-9. The Saints will move on to play the Buccaneers.

            The third and final game of the super Wild Card weekend on Sunday was the Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers. This game was also a toss-up. The Steelers started out the season going 11-0 and then hit a wall and went 1-4 in their next five games finishing out the season 12-4. The Browns were the Cinderella story of the season. Just 3 seasons ago they went 0-16 and were known to be one of the worst NFL teams of all time. Since then, they’ve hired a new coach and been trending upwards.  They went 11-5 this season. At the end of the first quarter, it was obvious the Browns were going to win this game since they were up 28-0. The game went on to be 48-37 with the Browns winning their first playoff game since 1994. They will go on to play the number one seeded Chiefs next week.