A Battle for Number One

Sophomores, Chester Parker and Jacob Swarthwood, debating on who will win the Super Bowl.

Jonathon Woedl

Sophomores, Chester Parker and Jacob Swarthwood, debating on who will win the Super Bowl.

After an eventful and memorable season, the National Football League’s season has officially come to an end. There were opportunities for success, broken records, and even some broken hearts. For some fans, this was one of the greatest years in their favorite team’s history, but for others, it was rather disappointing. 

The NFL playoffs have come and gone, and now the Super Bowl is approaching very quickly. Teams like the Green Bay Packers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Kansas City Chiefs were almost certain picks to make the playoffs. However, teams like the Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, and the New England Patriots were considered underdogs this season to make the playoffs. The other teams that made the playoffs this season were the Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, Las Vegas Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, and the San Francisco 49ers. 

Each team that made the playoffs received a seed. A seed defines what team is the best in the playoffs. The number one seed in each conference gets an off week and is considered the best team in their conference, while the number seven seed is considered the worst in each conference. The Packers managed to secure the number one seed in the NFC with the Buccaneers at number two, the Cowboys were number three, the Rams were four, the Cardinals were five, the 49ers were six, and finally the Eagles were the seventh seed. In the AFC, the Titans got the number one seed, the Chiefs had the second, the Bills got the third seed, the Bengals got the fourth seed, the Raiders had the five, the Patriots were the six seed, and the Steelers were the seventh seed. 

Of RHS students surveyed, 65.6 percent thought that the Cincinnati Bengals were the most underrated team that had a chance to make the Super Bowl. The Bengals finished the season 10-7 and won their division. The Bengals had to make it through multiple tough rivals in order to make it to the Super Bowl. But after beating the Raiders for their first playoff win since 1991, then beating the Titans in a nail-biting victory, and finally shocking the world by beating the Chiefs, the Bengals found a way to make it to Super Bowl 56. Nobody would’ve thought that the Bengals would make it to the Super Bowl considering their competition, but they found a way, and now they are one win away from hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in the air. 

Along with the Bengals, the Rams were able to make the Super Bowl for the NFC. In order to get to where they are now, the Rams first defeated the Cardinals, then had to beat none other than Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. They did just that and moved on to defeating the San Francisco 49ers to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl. The Rams will have home field advantage, just like how the Buccaneers did last year, but it will be no easy task to defeat the Bengals. 

There were also some broken hearts this year. Of RHS students surveyed, 21.9 percent predicted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl. Tom Brady is the quarterback for the Buccaneers, and he has won seven Super Bowls and he made the playoffs for the 19th time this season. Knowing these statistics, it was pretty likely that Brady would win his eighth Super Bowl this year, but that wasn’t the case. 

Other upsets include teams like the Baltimore Ravens, the Los Angeles Chargers, and the Indianapolis Colts, who barely missed the playoffs. Those teams, along with others, had the chance to make it, but couldn’t push through. 

Colby Adams was asked who the most disappointing team was this season and stated, “The Browns definitely, because we were expected to be Super Bowl caliber, and we didn’t make the playoffs.” 

After a successful season last year, the expectation this year was for the Browns to have an even better season and potentially get a Super Bowl win. Obviously, they did not meet those expectations and came up short.

Despite the disappointment, going into this postseason, there were several records broken. For example, Ja’Marr Chase barely broke the Bengals record for most receiving yards in a single season with 1,455 yards. Chase passed Chad Johnson, who had 1,440. Another record that was broken was most completions in a season. Drew Brees held the record with 471, however Tom Brady broke his record and completed 485 passes with the help of his wide receiver Mike Evans. Along with Brady, Evans broke his own record for most touchdown receptions in a season for a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. Evans’ previous record was 13 touchdowns, and this season he caught 14. 

This season could’ve been described as either amazing or disappointing, but it was an eventful season nonetheless. The Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams made it to the Super Bowl for what should be a very entertaining game. Each team has their chance to win, so let’s see who comes out on top as Super Bowl 56 champions.