Every football fan is excited for this weekend and weekends to come, because it’s finally playoff season. Every football fan is basing their weekend around the playoff schedule. If I’m being honest there’s nothing like watching football all day but playoff football is just different, many people become even more invested even if your favorite team isn’t playing. This year’s playoffs are going to be a little bit different. The NFC is full of young and unproven teams while the AFC has a very unique situation, one that we have never seen in playoff history.
The NFC is full of teams that are unproven or have qualities that are causes for concern. Starting off is the 6th seeded New York Giants who have a young quarterback named Daniel Jones who is still developing but has had a promising season. They have a few superstar players like Dexter Lawrence and Saquon Barkely but have a weaker roster all around. Despite that, they arguably have the most momentum of all the teams left. Their opponent is the 1st seeded Philadelphia Eagles who are coming off a bye and had a conference high 14 wins. With arguably the best roster in the NFL and a 3rd year QB who is an MVP candidate. Looking at the other matchup in the NFC the 2nd seeded San Francisco 49ers who are arguably the hottest team in current football, winning 11 in a row and doing so with a 7th round 3rd string quarterback who is currently 6-0. They play the 5th seeded Dallas Cowboys team that people haven’t had confidence in since the 90’s in the playoffs. They have inconsistent quarterback play and a defense that has struggled at times, but when firing on all cylinders, could be dangerous.
The AFC is drastically different from the NFC, the AFC consists of 3 teams with arguably 3 of the top 5 Quarterbacks and were labeled Super Bowl contenders before the year even started. The AFC is also dealing with a home field advantage issue due to lack of games played. The Chiefs played all 17 games while the Bills and Bengals who face off this weekend had a week 17 game canceled. The game was canceled for the right reasons as a player on the Bills named Damar Hamlin suffered Cardiac Arrest after making a tackle. While the cause of the Cardiac Arrest is unknown, Hamlin is now well. He is neurologically intact, and has been released from the hospital. This is only the second time this has ever happened and every football fan was glad he was able to make a full recovery. Those two teams that had to witness a tragic event are now scheduled to face off. This game should be a candidate for game of the year by the time the clock hits zero, both teams want to prove they were better and deserve the number one seed which would have granted them a bye week during the first round of the playoffs. The Bills and Bengals both beat the Chiefs during the regular season so a win in their week 17 matchup would have granted them the number one overall seed. To accommodate this the NFL has stated that depending on the outcome of the Bills vs Bengals and Chiefs vs Jaguars the AFC championship game could be played at a neutral site.
Despite the controversy the next couple weekends should be filled with lots of fun and eventful football. Fans should buckle in and enjoy the ride this weekend and the rest of the playoffs!