The time has come to see who wins the 50th Lombardi Trophy during the Super Bowl in Santa Clara, California on Feb. 7.
Over the weekend, we saw all four wildcard games play out. All four road teams emerged victorious, shocking the majority of the fans in the stadiums as their favorite team’s season came to an end.
It wasn’t surprising that all four road teams won. The two hottest teams coming into the playoffs were the Seattle Seahawks, led by Super Bowl MVP quarterback Russell Wilson, and the Kansas City Chiefs, who won 10 straight regular season games before entering the wildcard weekend.
The Chiefs routed the Houston Texans 30-0 after a 106-yard opening kickoff return touchdown by running back Knile Davis along with Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer throwing four interceptions.
On the other hand, the Seahawks were fortunate enough to emerge with a 10-9 win over the Minnesota Vikings as a result of a missed 27-yard field goal by Vikings kicker Blair Walsh. The chip shot miss left both Vikings fans and current NFL players in disbelief, some taking to Twitter to show their shock.
The Green Bay Packers played a solid game, defeating the Washington Redskins 35-18 after a strong second half by the Packers.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, initially leading 15-0, escaped a Cincinnati Bengals comeback in the fourth quarter, winning the game 18-15. The whole ordeal was an emotional game that broke down the Bengals. Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was trash-talking the Steelers the whole game and displayed poor sportsmanship throughout.
On the Steelers’ final drive, down 15-16, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was unable to come up with a catch down the field. As soon as Brown missed it, Burfict ran in and hit Brown near the upper shoulder, causing a 15-yard penalty for a late hit. This was followed just one minute later by another 15-yard penalty on Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones for bumping an official. This set up a short field goal by Steelers kicker Chris Boswell with 14 seconds remaining to seal the win.
The divisional round should be the most interesting yet. Everyone wants to see how the 15-1 Carolina Panthers do after dominating regular season play. The Seahawks-Panther game should be entertaining as the Seahawks, on the rise lately, play against the best team in the NFL.
Any team can lose on any given night – home-field advantage isn’t a major factor in the playoffs. The Steelers are attempting to win the Super Bowl as the sixth seed for the second time, as they won three straight road games before defeating the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. Ironically, 10 years later, the Seahawks are trying to win it as well as the sixth seed. Perhaps we might have a rematch.