The NFL regular season has concluded, and the postseason is well underway.
The regular season saw its fair share of standout players. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson became a clear cut MVP candidate, and truly established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Jackson did so by not only passing his way to the accomplishment, but rushing to it as well.
Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Kyler Murray fit much into the same category, though his performance did not carry his team into the playoffs like Jackson’s did. Continuing with breakouts, Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas broke the single season receptions record after he caught his 145th reception during Week 17, further implementing his status as the best wide receiver in the NFL.
The Titans and the Bills also broke lengthy playoff droughts. The Titans made the playoffs in 2017, but this season was only the second time since 2008. The Bills much of the same, making it in 2017, but was this season being the second time the team has made the playoffs since 1999.
“I might have recency bias, but I think the overall biggest storyline of the NFL season, at least thus far, is the fact that Tom Brady was eliminated in a playoff game at home, and by a team that hasn’t had much success lately like the Titans. That’s crazy,” junior Chase Christian said.
As for the playoffs, those same Titans rode running back Derrick Henry and defeated Tom Brady and the Patriots in Gillette Stadium in Foxborough for the Wild Card game, by a score of 20-13. It was the first time since 2012 the Patriots had lost a playoff game at home. The Bills did not fare as well as the Titans, as they lost to the Houston Texans in overtime by a score of 22-19, thanks to a Texans field goal. In the NFC, The Vikings defeated the Saints in overtime thanks to a touchdown pass by Kirk Cousins to tight end Kyle Rudolph in overtime. The Seahawks and the Eagles also played in the wild card round, and the Seahawks won that game to go on and play the Packers.
“I think this NFL season has been really intriguing. It’s been the end of some eras potentially with Tom Brady and Drew Brees both retiring. Also some teams that have been bad recently have broken out like the Bills which is always good to see. Overall I think the Chiefs win the Super Bowl because they have a stacked team,” senior Dalton Ottewell said.
The Titans went on to defeat the Ravens in a lopsided game in Baltimore, defeating MVP candidate Jackson by a score of 28-12. The Chiefs led an impressive comeback against the Texans at home, coming back from a 24-0 first quarter deficit to win 51-31.
The Vikings also lost to the 49ers by a score of 27-10, and the Seahawks were defeated by the Packers in the final conference round matchup.
The Titans and the Chiefs matched up in the AFC Conference final game, and though the Titans led at the half, Patrick Maholmes lead another comeback in the second half, leading the Chiefs to a win, and to the Super Bowl, by a score of 35-24. The 49ers rolled through the Packers in the NFC Conference final, as San Francisco won that matchup by a score of 37-20.
The Super Bowl will be held in Miami this year at Hard Rock Stadium, on Sunday, February 2, with kickoff at 5:30 local time.