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The Pioneer Press

The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

NFL Wildcard week playoffs shock viewers with numerous upsets

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Caitlyn Feay
A landscape view of an animated football stadium, with a sunset background.

With week one of the NFL 2024 playoffs in the books, a lot happened in this three day span. From some of the coldest temperatures in football, to record breaking games for others. Here’s week one recapped. 

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans:

While the Browns were the away team, they were favored at the start of the game. With Houston being led by rookie quarterback CJ Stroud, I thought it was very exciting for them to even be in the playoffs. Then suddenly, I realized that the Texans are true competitors. In the first two quarters, the game was relatively slow with back and forth scoring. The Browns had a total of 14 points, but little did anybody know that the Browns were going downhill from there. Browns QB Joe Flacco had two interceptions that led to two Houston touchdowns, giving the Texans a 38-14 lead over the Browns. The Browns failed to even attempt a comeback, with an underperforming offense putting up zero points in the second half. The Texans scored again in the fourth, which led to a 45-14 win. Shocking myself and other sports watchers. 

Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs:

This game was one of the coldest in history, which ultimately was the worst scenario for Miami. With the team used to playing in warm temperatures, the players were in for a chilly surprise. Both teams were struggling with injuries, so I wasn’t expecting much with this game. The Dolphins offense struggled in the first quarter, but eventually scored their first touchdown six minutes into the second quarter. Then, they declined. Luckily for their lacking offense, Kansas City was stopped to 3 field goals in the second quarter. When the second half began, the gameplay felt slow and unentertaining. Kansas City was only able to put up 10 points in the second half. I felt like this game could’ve had a lot more potential, but it wasn’t played as well due to the freezing temperatures. Hopefully these two teams can meet again, and play to their full potential. 

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys:

This felt like the complete opposite of the Miami and Chiefs game, as it was a very interesting, fast paced, and high scoring game. Dallas was favored as the home team, but to the Packers, that didn’t matter. The Packers were a seven seed going into the playoffs, so it wasn’t expected that they’d play as well as they did. With four touchdowns in the first half, they led Dallas 27-7. Even though I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of either team, I loved how intense these two played against each other. Green Bay played extraordinarily well against such a high seeded team. A few times, due to their lead, Green Bay pulled Quarterback Jordan Love, to protect him from injury. The game ended 48-32, Packers. 

Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions:

This game was very important to Lions fans, as they’ve had a nine-game playoff losing streak, which was the longest in NFL history. From the start, I felt like this would be a really close game. The Lion’s offense was very strong in the first half, scoring three touchdowns. Although it felt like the Rams were shaky in the first quarter, they quickly got to business to prove why they’re in the postseason. With a 50-yard pass, and a 38-yard pass, Quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Rams were rushing to catch up. Luckily for Detroit, their defense came into clutch and stopped LA from scoring anymore touchdowns. The game ended 24-23 for the Lions, to finally break the postseason losing drought. 

Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills:

This game was the most anticipated for me, as I am a Bills fan. Although this game was scheduled for Sunday, Buffalo received a snowstorm that filled the entire stadium and placed travel bans throughout the surrounding counties, so the game was moved to Monday so fans and players could be safer. Buffalo started out strong with multiple touchdowns, one by tight end Dawson Knox, and another in the same quarter by rookie TE Dalton Kincaid. Then, quarterback Josh Allen completely stunned everyone in the second quarter with his amazing 52-yard touchdown run, which was the second longest run in history by a QB. With the Steelers blocking a field goal, Pittsburg was able to score a touchdown before the end of the half. Buffalo seemed determined to stay in the lead; with every score from Pittsburgh, Buffalo would copy to stay 14 points on top. The final score was 31-17 for Buffalo. 

Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Philadelphia has had a tough road of luck, from going to the best NFC team, to then making the playoffs as the fifth seed. Even though they were an away team, Philadelphia was favored to win this because they’ve shown how well they can play during the playoffs in previous years. Yet, during actual gameplay, they didn’t look like themselves. By the second quarter, they had scored only nine points–a field goal and touchdown. When they went for their famous “tush push” play for two points, the play failed which had shown viewers that the Eagles were truly defeated. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay’s offense was breaking out, and scored 6 or more points each quarter. This ended Philadelphia’s playoff run, 32-9. Just to add to the punch, star center Jason Kelce announced his NFL retirement immediately after the game

Conclusion:

Although I expected maybe one game to have an underdog winner, I wasn’t expecting the results we got from the first week of the playoffs. The most surprising to me was certainly Green Bay, since they were the lowest seed playing the second seed. Keep a lookout for next week’s games, including Texans at Ravens, Packers at 49ers, Buccaneers at Lions, and Chiefs at Bills.

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About the Contributor
Caitlyn Feay, Staff Writer, Editor
Caitlyn Feay is a junior and this is her third year in journalism. Caitlyn is also an editor. Outside of school, Caitlyn is in our High School treble choir. She enjoys playing and watching many sports. She plans on attending college to study either sports journalism or hospitality. Caitlyn would describe herself as geeky or preppy, which sums up her style well. She is excited to write more sports related content this year.

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