’23 NFL Playoffs: Review


Ric Tapia

Battle for the Trophy: 14 of the top NFL teams battle it out in the playoffs rounds, leaving both of the top seeds heading to the Super Bowl.

Mikaela Woo, Staff Writer

For a non-football addict, the NFL playoffs may seem a bit confusing. With some NFL legends falling off of their thrones during the first round, quarterback injuries, odd-ball decisions costing teams their games, and so much more, it’s hard to keep up. Of the 14 top NFL teams this season, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles finished as this year’s top seeds and were tough competitors for the rest of the bracket leading up to championships. 

Regardless, upsets and new contenders always come out to surprise during the playoffs. Especially after a disappointing season from last year’s champions, the Los Angeles Rams, this year’s Super Bowl will be wide open for any of the remaining contenders. 

This year’s playoffs started with the Super Wildcard Weekend and one of the biggest NFL rivalries, the Baltimore Ravens vs. the Cincinnati Bengals. 

With the game coming down to the wire in the closing minutes, Sam Hubbard and the Bengals defensive end broke an NFL record with the longest fumble return at a whopping 98-yard touchdown, clutching the win for the Bengals.  

The Bucs and Cowboys also faced off the same weekend, and although the whole NFL world thought it would be the Cowboys going home after the game, they ended up with a win.  The face-off between two elite quarterbacks, Buccaneer’s Tom Brady and Cowboy’s Dak Prescott, ended with a Cowboys victory at 31-14, with Prescott and company completely blowing the Bucs out of the water during Tom Brady’s potential last game.

Moving on to the second round, the Bengals and Bills advanced for an awaited and almost sentimental rematch. Their last matchup in the reg season was cut short after Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest mid-game. The final score was in favor of the Bengals at 27-10, carrying them to play in the next round of the playoffs, the Championships. The Kansas City Chiefs also advanced, upsetting the Jacksonville Jaguars, despite Chief’s star quarterback, Patrick Mahomes being out due to an ankle injury during the second and third quarter. 

After the divisional round, the four teams left were the Cincinnati Bengals, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the San Francisco 49ers to play in the championship round. During the third round matches, the Bengals lost 20-23 against the Chiefs, despite being social media’s number one pick. On the other side of the bracket, the Philadelphia Eagles beat out the 49ers after the niners resorted to their fourth string quarterback, following Brock Purdy’s elbow injury in the first quarter. After the conference championships and as of Feb. 4, the two teams who will be facing off at Super Bowl 57 will be the top two seeds in the league, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs.