NFL Playoffs | Teen Ink

NFL Playoffs

May 11, 2022
By Xavier_Chanoine SILVER, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
Xavier_Chanoine SILVER, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The Super Bowl is set and the hectic and exciting NFL PLayoffs ended with both 4 seeds meeting at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, February 13. The first round of the playoffs mostly went according to predictions. The Chiefs, Buccaneers, Bills, Rams, and Bengals all took care of business at home. All of those teams but the Bengals blew out their opponents making for an uninteresting Wild Card weekend. The sole upset happened when the San Francisco 49ers went into Dallas and beat the Cowboys 23-17 in a thriller. 

The divisional round was more than a few steps up from the boring wild card weekend. It was possibly the best weekend of football the NFL has ever had. Three of the bottom seeds went on to have upsets on game-winning field goals, and the Chiefs and Bills played possibly the greatest game ever. In the first game of the weekend, the Titans traveled to Tennessee and upset the Titans on an Evan Mcpherson game-winning field goal. The Titans were favorites going into the game with Henry, Jones, and Brown all healthy, but Ryan Tannehill crushed their Super Bowl hopes with 3 interceptions. Later that day the other one seed and Super Bowl favorites, Green Bay Packers, fell to the 49ers after letting up no offensive touchdowns. Fred Warner and Nick Bosa were able to hold Aaron Rodgers and the Packer's offense to only one touchdown, and when their special teams stepped up with a blocked punt touchdown all they needed was 2 field goals to win the game. Robbie Gould stepped up in the cold in Lambeau to win the game for the underdogs. Saturday brought both one seeds losing games on walk-off field goals, and if you can believe it Sunday was even better. 

The early game on Sunday had preseason Super Bowl contenders travel down to Tampa to face the reigning Super Bowl champs. Stafford, Kupp, and OBJ against the incredible Buccaneers defense. Early on this game looked to be a blowout as the Rams were up 27-3 in the third quarter. However, as we all know you can never count out Brady and the Bucs were able to tie the game at 27-27 with 42 seconds remaining. The Rams quickly drove down the field on the back of the triple crown, and OPOY winner Cooper Kupp and then kicked a walk-off field goal with seconds remaining. Brady and the reigning champions were knocked out of the playoffs and the NFC Championship was set between NFC West foes in LA. The late game on Sunday was a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game and it lived up to and surpassed all of the hype. The matchup of the two best young quarterbacks in the league and the most exciting offense vs the number one defense in the league proved to be an instant classic. The game started even and was 14-14 at the half with two touchdowns scored in the final two minutes. The fiery end of the first half foreshadowed an amazing second half. The third quarter had more back and forth and ended with the Bills up 23-21. The end of the fourth quarter was the greatest two minutes in NFL history. The Bills scored with 1:54 left to take the lead 29-26 and then the Chiefs came back with a 64-yard TD to make it 33-29. The Bills drove down the field with 1:02 left and scored a TD to take the lead with 13 seconds remaining. However, you can’t count out the best QB in the league Patrick Mahomes took his team into field goal range with two plays in 10 seconds and Harrison Butker kicked a field goal to send the game into OT. The Chiefs won the toss and never looked back as the game ended on an 8-yard pass to Travis Kelce. Now the AFC championship was set between the Bengals and Chiefs at Arrowhead.

The first game of the day was Bengals vs Chiefs and the Chiefs were heavy favorites. They took a commanding lead of 21-3 at the half and the game looked like it was over. However, Burrow and the Bengals stormed back and took the lead 24-21 with 6:04 remaining. The Chiefs were forced to go down the field and try to win the game again, but they could only come up with a field goal to force the game to OT. They got the ball first and everyone counted out the Bengals, but Von Bell came up with a huge INT, and Evan McPhearson kicked a game-winning field goal to send the Bengals to the Super Bowl. After not winning a playoff game in 31 years the Bengals were now in the Super Bowl. The second game of the day was the 49ers vs the Rams and was the third time the teams met this season with the 49ers coming out on top both times prior. This time was different though. This was the NFC Championship in LA with a chance to host the Super Bowl at their house. Stafford had turnover problems and San Francisco got out to a 17-7 lead, but just like the Bengals showed no game is ever over. The Rams stormed back and took a 20-17 lead with 1:46 remaining. Aaron Donald forced pressure on a third and 13 and Jimmy G threw an interception to seal the game for LA. Playoffs that started with the Bills, Chiefs, Packers, and Bucs as the favorites ended with the two four seeds facing off in the Super Bowl.

LA came into this game at home and as the heavy favorites and they embraced it. They had stars such as Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, OBJ, and Matt Stafford all sporting the blue and yellow. On the other hand, the Bengals came in as underdogs; just like they did in their last two games. The Bengals embraced this role too ready to ruin the party in LA. The scoring opened with a 17-yard OBJ touchdown and an 11-yard Cooper Kupp TD. The Bengals pulled it closer with a 6-yard pass to Tee Higgins from Joe Mixon to trail 13-10 at the half. The second half started like a story for the Bengals as the first two plays from scrimmage were a 75-yard TD and then an INT. The Bengals were only able to get a field goal off of the turnover, but they took the lead 20-13. The Rams got a quick field goal to only trail by 4 going into the fourth. The defenses stepped up big time in the final quarter of the season as the score was still 20-16 after the Bengals punted with 6:20 remaining. Cooper Kupp and Matt Stafford executed a masterful drive down the field to score a TD with only 1:25 remaining. Burrow and the Bengals got the ball back only down by 3 with a chance to win the Super Bowl. After a first down pass and a 9-yard gain the Bengals looked to be in business, but an incompletion and run for no gain forced a 4th down with 43 seconds left. The Rams got good pressure and forced a bad throw by Burrow which one the game on their turf. A great playoff ended with an exciting finish for a team playing at home. Cooper Kupp won Super Bowl MVP and next season is shaping up to be more exciting than this one.

The author's comments:

Hi my name is Xavi Chanoine. I am a 15-year-old sportswriter who is interested in getting more younger kids into sports. I enjoy watching all sports, especially football and basketball. My goal in doing this is to give a community for younger people to read, write, and comment about any type of sports. I want people to enjoy reading my articles and to feel inclined to comment on them, and even write their own. I want to create a community online of young writers who are excited about sports.

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