An Artsy Guide to the NFL Playoffs

BY CAILIN BURKE

As the playoffs are in full swing with one game finishing a few hours ago, two more games       tomorrow, a championship game for each division, and finally THE SUPER BOWL, I thought I might simplify the playoffs for those who find the whole thing confusing.

Since some of us don’t like reading those lengthy sports articles, would rather watch a reality show instead of SportsCenter, or only watch their team’s games, a visual representation of “who’s still in it” will get you all of the info you need to be knowledgeable at those upcoming Super Bowl parties!

To start off, there are four rounds of playoffs. First, the Wild Card Round, second, the Divisional Round, third, the Conference Championship Round, and fourth and finally, the Super Bowl! Six teams from each of the two conferences make it to the playoffs and this year the teams for the American Football Conference (AFC) are (left to right): The Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals, San Diego Chargers, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, and New England Patriots.

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As many of us have a visual memory, I thought using the team’s logos would help you remember which team played which, who won, and who’s continuing on in hopes of making it to the Super Bowl!

Now as the Super Bowl works, the top AFC team plays the top NFC (National Football Conference) team. Again, there are six teams in the NFC playoffs (left to right): The San Francisco 49ers,     Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, and Green Bay Packers.

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Before we make it to the Super Bowl though, we need some eliminations! That’s where the first Wild Card Round comes into play. Four teams from each conference play each other in the first round, while each conference’s two highest seeds wait until the second round to begin play.

For the AFC, this is how the first round went:

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In the NFC, this is what happened:

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As it works in the NFL, playoffs run by single-elimination. This means once you lose, you’re out. With four teams out (two from each conference), we’re currently in the midst of round 2. In this Divisional Round, the top seeds finally get a chance to play with two games already in the books after today.

Today it was the AFC second seed, New England Patriots, playing the Indianapolis Colts and the NFC first seed, Seattle Seahawks, playing the New Orleans Saints. If you want to be super           impressive and be able to recite the scores, the Patriots won 43-22 while the Seahawks won 23-15. Clearly, the Patriots and Seahawks displayed why they were at the top of their conferences by both claiming spots in their designated Conference Championships.

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Now the only questions left are: “Who will take the last AFC and NFC Conference Championship spots?,” and “Which two teams will make it the Super Bowl?” To give you an idea of what’s to come, let’s again get some visuals.

Here’s what games are happening tomorrow, where two teams will make it to the Conference Championships!

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And looking even further ahead, who will be joining the Seattle Seahawks and New England      Patriots in Round 3?

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Soon enough the Super Bowl will be here and you’ll be able to say you knew how the two final teams got there! Everyone needs a visual aid once in a while, but if you want to “really really” know what’s going on in the playoffs, watch them for yourself! The 49ers and Panthers will be playing tomorrow at 1:05PM while the Broncos and Chargers will be playing at 4:40PM. I         personally can’t wait for what will both be two great games!

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