NFL Postseason Preview

Mark Elliott, Managing Editor


Despite many of COVID’s best efforts, the NFL had a full 17 week season. The only thing missing from years passed is no preseason, which may have had an effect on the players as there were record breaking numbers on injuries this season. Well known players that missed most or all of the season were running backs Christian McCaffery, Saquon Barkley, who were both considered top 5 running backs going into this year. Defensive end for the 49ers and defensive rookie of the year in 2019, Nick Bosa, and many more. 

Despite all these occurrences and events the NFL managed to persevere and have a successful season. A Jets broncos game, two not good tams, had more views and watchers than game 3 of the NBA Finals. The stage is set for postseason football, this year looks to be as good as last year’s playoffs.

In the AFC the playoff picture wasn’t too surprising this season. The one seed is defending champions, Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs did what was expected of them this year, having a 14-2 season, Mahomes, and MVP candidate, and great play from tight end, Travis Kelce, and wide receiver, Tyreek Hill. 

For the two seed in the AFC is breakout team Buffalo Bills, who went 13-3. The Bills acquired wide receiver from the Vikings, Stefon Diggs, who led the league in receptions and receiving yards. Also quarterback Josh Allen after being seen as too inconsistent, turns into a MVP contender, giving the Bills a great spot in the playoffs. 

The three seed in the AFC is the Pittsburgh Steeler, who finished 12-4. After an 11-0 start with a top 3 defense, and breakout rookie reciever Chase Claypool. Although wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster danced on logos many teams had it out for the Steelers. After being undefeated in the first 12 weeks of the season the Steelers had a 3 game losing streak, losing to bad teams and have lost all of their momentum going into the playoffs. 

For the last division winner in the AFC and 4 seed is the Tennessee Titans, finishing. 

11-5.The Titan have been a very inconsistent team with a bad defense, but one man on the team has been consistent, and it is running back Derrick Henry. Henry had back to back 2,000 yard seasons making him one of eight running backs all time to do so. Henry is the only one of which to have multiple. 

The first wild card team is the 11-5 Ravens, having a disappointing season compared to last year’s 14-2 season. The Ravens had a slow start to their season, as teams began to figure out their run heavy offense. Towards the end of the year the Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson finished the year strong and were almost able to comeback and win their division.

For the second wild card team as the six seed is the Cleveland Browns, who have not made the playoffs since 2002, and their last playoff win was in 1995. The Browns underperformed last year, going 6-10, but this year went 11- despite losing their best receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Browns running back core of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt will look to make a run this postseason.

The last wildcard team is the seven seeded Colts, also going 11-5. The Colts have a very good defense, and a good new young offense, but have quarterback Phillip Rivers well out of his prime. The Colts will be riding on their offensive line and impressive linebacker core.

For the NFC playoff picture, it had a few surprises. The one seed is the Green Bay Packers at 13-3, the Packers have relied on their overpowering offensive line, and connection between quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and receiver Davante Adams. Adams has been Rodgers favorite target all season long and they will look to keep that momentum in the playoffs.

The two seed is the 12-4 New Orleans saints. The Saints have had a lot of bad playoff luck in recent years between bad officiating and losing to teams that are not as good as they will look to bounce back this postseason as it is most likely quarterback Drew Brees’ last season in the NFL.

The three seed is the 12-4 Seahawks. A team that started off as one of the favorites to win the super bowl, they haven’t been able to play to their full potential toward the later half of the season. Quarterback Russel Wilson looked like an MVP candidate and then started struggling and throwing a lot of picks. The Seahawks will look to pick up momentum in the playoffs and make a trip back to the super bowl as they did in 2014.

For the last division winner in the NFC from the NFC East, is very surprisingly the 7-9 Washington Football Team. Just a year ago they were the Redskins but had their name changed to the Football Team. The division of the NFC Eats struggled heavily as teams underperformed  or were ridiculed with injuries. Regardless Washington came out on top and are looking to shock the world in the playoffs 

The first wild card team, as the 5 seed, is the new sensational Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the offseason they acquired the all time great Tom Brady as their quarterback. Tight end Rob Gronkowski also came out of retirement, and along with receiver Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and mid season addition Antonio Brown. The Bucs look to use their high powered offense and capture a second super bowl in franchise history. 

For the second wild card team, it is the 6 seeded Los Angeles Rams. The Rams defense helped carry the Rams to a 10-6 season. With Aaron Donald up front causing havoc, and shutdown corner Jalen Ramsey, the Rams defense has been unstoppable. They will look to avenge their super bowl loss in 2019.

The last wildcard team is the 8-8 Chicago Bears. The Bears had a very hot start to the season, starting 5-0, but fell off as they couldn’t find a set in stone quarterback. The Bears have had many struggles this year but somehow managed to get into the playoffs. 

This postseason looks to be one of the best yet with many teams looking to prove themselves, others having players towards the end of their career trying to finish strong.