NFL: 2023 Playoffs Roundup

With the 2023 NFL season in the books, take a step back and review all the events that led to this year’s Super Bowl Champions.


The NFL this year was absolutely chaotic, with Tom Brady unretiring, getting divorced, and then retiring again, the Broncos falling off a cliff after trading for Russell Wilson, and the 49ers somehow winning eight in a row with the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft at quarterback. Things can get really confusing, which is why we’re going to break the entire season down for you here.

Season Synopsis: 

AFC: As expected, the best team in the AFC was the Kansas City Chiefs, with quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight-end Travis Kelce pulling off MVP level seasons and leading their team to a 14-3 record. The Buffalo Bills also had a superb season, going 13-3, establishing themselves as Super Bowl favorites. Fending off the injury ridden Ravens, the Bengals won their division as well. Most surprising was the AFC South, which the Jaguars won after a phenomenal turnaround by Sophomore QB Trevor Lawrence. Missing out on a division crown, the Dolphins, Chargers, and Ravens still managed to make the playoffs with wildcard spots.

NFC: A huge improvement in accuracy from QB Jalen Hurts propelled the Eagles to a 14-3 record. The 49ers, with injuries to both first and second string quarterbacks Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, were forced to start rookie Brock Purdy, who somehow managed to go undefeated and lead them to a 13-4 record. A down season from the Packers led to the Vikings winning the NFC North, finishing with a flukey 13-4 record. In the absolute nightmare that was the NFC South, the Brady-led Buccaneers squeaked out a division title with a measly 8-9 record. The first Wild Card spot went to the Cowboys while the other two surprisingly went to the Seahawks and Giants—two teams that were not viewed as contenders going into the season.

Wild Card: 

Twelve teams played in the Wild Card. First, the 49ers’ lockdown defense dismantled the Seahawks at home. Next, the Chargers appeared to take an easy victory over the Jaguars, with a whopping 27-0 lead at the half. But then, the Chargers did what they do best: choke. In a truly Charger fashion, they allowed four passing touchdowns, giving the Jags the win. After the Bills squeaked by the 3rd-string led Dolphins 34-31, the Giants upset the fraudulent Vikings, which was followed by the Bengals beating the Ravens off a 98 yard fumble recovery. Finally, the Cowboys demolished the lackluster Buccaneers, sending Tom Brady into the retirement home, where he belongs.


In the Divisional Round, the Jaguars made things interesting with the Chiefs, as Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain in the 2nd quarter. The Jags D played well enough and the offense was clicking until veteran Jamal Agnew fumbled the game away, giving the Chiefs the win. Later, the Giants were thoroughly beaten by the Eagles, who won by 31 points. The upset of the week was when the favorites, the Bills, were blown out at home by the Bengals, who managed to contain Josh Allen and take away his playmakers. Finally, the 49ers won a thriller against the Cowboys, holding one of the best offenses in the league to only 12 points.


The Final 4: 49ers – Eagles, Chiefs – Bengals. These matchups promised extremely exciting games until the two evils of football struck: injuries and referees. In the NFC Championship, the 49ers lost Brock Purdy to a serious elbow injury on their first drive. That basically ended the game; the Eagles didn’t have to worry about the 49ers offense at all, and battered away at their defense.The 49ers’ defense actually held up until the 49ers’ fourth string QB, Josh Johnson, lost a crucial fumble and was concussed. This was the death knell, as the team possessed no more healthy QBs, and had to resort to trying out RB Christian McCaffrey at QB. The team was forced to run the season away, wondering what could have been. In the AFC, the Chiefs battled with Cincinnati, taking an early lead. Burrow and Mahomes duked it out, with Burrow scoring a beautiful touchdown to Tee Huggins before a hobbled Mahomes responded with a dart to the end zone. But just as the game got interesting, the referees took action, marring an amazing game with questionable calls against the Bengals. A foolish mistake by Cincinnati pushed KC into field goal range, resulting in the Chiefs winning by three as time expired.

Super Bowl: 

On February 12, the Chiefs faced off against the Eagles in the Super Bowl. With the best offenses in the league, there were high expectations for the game, and boy did it deliver. The Eagles took an early lead with big plays from AJ Brown and Devonta Smith, going up 24-14 at halftime. Then, after an awkward tackle near the end of the half, Mahomes limped off the field, injuring his injured ankle. But the Chiefs must have given him something extremely invigorating—which I’m not going to elaborate on for legal reasons—because Mahomes came back a man possessed (maybe even literally).

Following the Rihanna halftime show, the Chiefs scored 14 points while the Eagles only mustered a field goal. With the score at 28-27, the Chiefs forced a punt, leading to the biggest play of the game—a 65 yard punt return to set the Chiefs up at the goal line. In response, Hurts calmly led a 75 yard drive and capped it off with his 3rd rushing touchdown to tie the game. But Mahomes isn’t known as clutch for nothing: KC drove down to the Eagles red zone quickly, threatening to score. But controversy ensued when Eagles cornerback James Bradberry was called for holding on 3rd and long, setting up a game winning Harrison Butker field goal. With the 38-35 victory and the Super Bowl MVP, Mahomes and the Chiefs seem to have cemented an iron grip over the NFL, putting them in a tier of their own. Only time will tell if someone like Allen or Burrow can knock them off their throne, and so, let’s begin the off-season speculation!