NFL: Super Wild Card Weekend


Ashton Erickson, Staff Writer

Super wildcard weekend just came to an end with a crazy series of games. The NFL playoff picture this year saw some new teams that were never expected to make the playoffs this year. 

To start off the weekend the Seattle Seahawks traveled to California to take on the 49ers. Seattle making the playoffs was a shock to many considering they traded their franchise quarterback to the Denver Broncos and turned to their benchwarmer of 4 years. He had an historic year leading them to a playoff game. 

This game was a game… up until the 3rd quarter. Many had faith in the underdog Geno Smith and the Seahawks, however the rookie from Iowa State has proven his spot in the league and played another dominant performance. Brock Purdy is the hottest quarterback in the league right now. San Francisco has been through 3 quarterbacks now leaving them with their last pick of the 2022 draft. The rookie has shined this season being 7-0 with the 49ers. 

Purdy isn’t doing it alone and has a great group of guys surrounding him. An amazing receiving core consisting of Aiyuke, Samuel, Kittle, and a shifty back Christian McCafferey. This dominant offense had no problem blowing by 41-23.

  To end the first playoff day was the Chargers facing off in Jacksonville against the Jaguars. Yes, I mean the Jacksonville Jaguars, the same team that went 3-14 last year getting themselves the first pick in the draft for the second year in a row. There was a spark to this team that not only got them to the playoffs, but they won their division getting the right to host a home playoff game. 

The start, everything was going right for the Chargers. Their offense was connecting on everything, scoring 3 touchdowns in the first half and adding 2 field goals from Dicker. In addition their defense shut down Trevor Lawerence getting 4 interceptions in the first half having a 27-0 lead. 

However the game is never over until the clock strikes zero. Trevor Lawerence turned his game around, throwing for 4 touchdowns and help from the Jags defense holding the Chargers to just one field goal in the second half. This amazing comeback ended with Patterson kicking the game winning field goal as the time ran out making the comeback come true. 

The game to follow on Sunday morning was the Bills vs Dolphins. This game everyone expected to be a blowout win for the Bills especially because Tua is out and the Dolphins are starting a 3rd string quarterback. It looked like it was going to be a blowout in the early stages of the game. However the Bills got too comfortable with their 17 point lead and quarterback Skylar Thompson started to do what many thought was impossible. Closing the game to just a 3 point game late in the 4th quarter, the Dolphins had their last chance with a final drive. But with costly penalties and delay of games, the Bills barely hung on to win 34-31.

The next game was the Vikings and Giants. The New York Giants is another team no one expected to make the playoffs this year. Being 4-13 last year and having an early draft pick in 2022, the Giants were lucky to even go positive this year let alone make the playoffs. 

The Vikings have had such a dominant season with only 4 losses and were getting hot at the end of the season. And it looked like it carried over into the first round with a first drive touchdown score. However Daniel Jones looked very promising, striking back with another touchdown. This game became a shootout and every team scored once they got the ball. Ultimately the Giants defense held out and got the last touchdown of the game, upsetting the Minnesota Vikings. 

The final Sunday game was another divisional game between the Bengals and Ravens. Yet another quarterback was out leaving Huntley to start for the Ravens. These 2 teams played last week in the last regular season game, and the Bengals blew them out. But the story was a little different this time. 

It was a slow start to the game with only a 9-0 lead by the Bengals. The Ravens took advantage of the Bengals offense starting slow and finally got their first touchdown. The game was back and forth between possessions and not a whole lot of scoring. It was tied at 17 in the 4th quarter when the Ravens ran down to the 1 yard line looking like they were going to score a huge touchdown to put them in the lead. 

But the Bengals had other plans causing Huntley to fumble on the 1 yard line and what turned into a scoop and score for the Bengals sealing the game 24-17.

The last game to this super wildcard weekend ended with a Monday night matchup between Tom Brady and the Bucs against Dak Prescott and the Cowboys. This was a game that was hard to say who would be the winner for many reasons. Although the Cowboys have been a much more dominant team this year, it’s hard to say what Tom Brady can do in the playoffs with as much experience he has. 

The game didn’t start well for Brady as the Cowboys started bullying the Bucs defense. Tom Brady threw his first interception in the red zone since 2019 and didn’t help with their hole they dug. The Cowboys had 18 unanswered points in the first half. And came out in the 3rd scoring yet again. 

However with 4 missed extra points from kicker Maher this only made it a 3 possession game and knowing Brady, any comeback is possible. Unfortunately this go around the stars didn’t align for Brady as his offense only scored 14 points and their defense allowed another 7 against them. 

The Cowboys moved on with a 31-14 win against the Bucs. The question now is did Dak end Brady’s football era. This was only his 6th time in his career he wasn’t in the divisional round of the playoffs… kinda crazy. 

This weekend’s match ups are set and there are many underdogs that have the potential to shock the world.