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The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

2023-2024 NFL Playoff Recap

The logo for Super Bowl 58 which ended up being the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs
The logo for Super Bowl 58 which ended up being the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs

On February 11th 2024,  Super Bowl 58, between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs kicked off from Las Vegas Nevada in Allegiant Stadium.  This matchup was a rematch of the 2020 superbowl, 49ers vs Chiefs. In that game the Chiefs won 31-20. 

After the 2020 49ers superbowl loss, 49ers tight end George Kittle said at the Super Bowl 54 postgame press conference“I will be back here, and I will be back with a vengeance.”

The Super Bowl started off slow with the 49ers leading 10-3 at halftime. The game soon became a back and forth battle which ended up with the big game tied 19-19 at the end of the 4th quarter. The 49ers won the coin toss and elected to receive and marched down the field managing a field goal to lead Kansas City 22-19. Patrick Mahomes immediately took the Chiefs down the field and threw a game winning touchdown to Mecole Hardman. This gave the Chiefs their third Super Bowl win in five years and solidified them as a dynasty.

Let’s take a look at how we got to the big game this year with a playoff season,

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that contained shocking upsets, blowouts, and everything in between. 

Wild Card Round:

The first game of the weeknd was the Houston Texans vs the Cleveland Browns. The big storyline in this game was the playoff debut of Texans rookie quarterback CJ Stroud, going up against a late career resurgence by Browns backup QB Joe Flacco. The headline coming out of this game was that CJ Stroud had one of the best games he had played in his career as he blew out the Browns 45-14.

The next game was the Kansas City Chiefs vs Miami Dolphins in -4 degrees fahrenheit and exclusively on Peacock. This was the fourth coldest game in NFL history. The effects were certainly there as the Dolphins, who are used to playing in sunny Miami Florida, got beaten like a drum 26-7 by the Chiefs.  

The first game on Super Wild Card weekend Sunday was the Dallas Cowboys led by their fantastic defense up against the Green Bay Packers who snuck into the playoffs after getting hot at the end of the season. The result of the game shocked the world as the Green Bay Packers dominated the Cowboys 48-32. The game marked the first time the 7 seed won a playoff game.

The fourth game of Super Wild Card weekend was one of the most anticipated matchups of the postseason, the Los Angeles Rams vs. Detroit Lions. Quarterback of the Los Angeles Rams Matthew Stafford used to be the quarterback of the Detroit Lions until he got traded to the Rams. The player traded to the Lions for Stafford was Jared Goff, who was the quarterback for the Rams at the time. The game was close and suspenseful, but the Detroit Lions were able to pull out the win 24-23 against the Rams. This marked Detroit’s first playoff win in 32 years.

The next game in the Super Wild Card weekend schedule was the Buffalo Bills taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bills were heavily favored coming into this game because the Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback Kenny Pickett had been injured leaving inexperienced backup Mason Rudolph to start this game. The predictions for this game turned out to be true as the Bills easily took care of the Steelers 31-17. 

Colton Luczak, a freshman and Pittsburgh Steelers fan said, “This season was hardships up and down like a roller coaster, it was just a win we lose but as long as we win something we can keep winning. Next year we’ll have all of our starters back so we could go further in the playoffs, maybe the divisionals.”

The final game of Super Wild Card Weekend saw undoubtedly the biggest upset of the playoffs with the defending NFC champions the Philadelphia Eagles taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs were heavily favored to lose this game but, with an absolute debacle posted on the field by the Eagles, the Bucs dominated and stopped the once thought unstoppable Tush Push. Tampa Bay ended up coming out on top 32-9. 

 Divisional Round:

The first game we got this weeknd was the Houston Texans vs the Baltimore Ravens. People were wondering how the rookie QB for the Texans CJ Stroud would do against the top MVP candidate Lamar Jackson. We certainly got an answer as the Ravens demolished the young Texans team 34-10, further supporting the claims that Lamar Jackson should win MVP.    

The second game of the weekend was The #1 seed in the NFC, the  San Francisco 49ers up against the Green Bay Packers. The Packers looked like they were going to beat the 49ers early in this game but a huge comeback and a game sealing interception the 49ers beat the Packers 24-21. The 49ers advanced to the NFC championship game.   

The third game of this divisional weekend pitted two playoff underdogs up against each other with the Detroit Lions hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There wasn’t much doubt about who would win this game as the Lions beat down the Bucs after a game losing interception and won 31-23.  

The final game of the divisional round had without a doubt the most anticipated game of the weekend, with old rivals the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs facing off for the third time in four years in the playoffs. Both times the Chiefs played the Bills in the playoffs in the past, the Chiefs won and Buffalo was out for revenge. There was optimism for the Bills as they had a great team in 2023 and the Chiefs seemed to have regressed during the year. The Bills looked like they might win the game, but the Chiefs stormed back into it like they seem to do every time they play the Bills. With 1:47 left in the fourth quarter Tyler Bass came up to kick a game tying field goal for the Bills and he missed it. The Chiefs have gone to the AFC Championship every year since Patrick Mahomes became starting quarterback. 

Conference Championships:

After multiple crazy endings, there were only four teams remaining. The Ravens, Chiefs, 49ers, and Lions. The first of the two games was the AFC Championship which was the Kansas City Chiefs vs the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens had looked unstoppable in the normal season, ending with a 13-4 record, so it’s not surprising that the Ravens were the superbowl favorites. But the Ravens story would come to an end after a fumble in the endzone and a game sealing interception. This led to the Chiefs winning the game 17-10, advancing them to Superbowl 58.

The NFC Championship matchup was the Detroit Lions vs the San Francisco 49ers. In the first half of the game Detroit looked unstoppable as the teams went into halftime with the score being 24-7, Lions. After halftime a spark lit within the 49ers team as they made an amazing comeback against the Lions. The 49ers won the game 34-31 advancing them to Superbowl 58.

Ms. Brunk, English teacher and Lions fan said “My reaction to Detroit’s loss in the NFC championship was utter devastation. I really thought we had it and I kind of tuned out of the game for a while, and to my utter horror, it all started to slip away.”

Now we wait until September 5th 2024 for the start of a new season, and to see how these storylines pick up next year. 


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