NFL Playoff Picture – Who’s In, Who’s Out?


Evan Kerzner

Paul Brown Stadium: This is where the Raiders play the Bengals this wild card weekend. This game is at 4:30 eastern time on Saturday on NBC.

Evan Kerzner and Austin Lermayer

     The longest NFL regular season in history has recently come to a close. Throughout this extended season, there have been many shocking moments and crazy plays, which have now led to the close and down-to-the-wire playoffs. Since last year, the NFL has added an extra wild card spot. There are a total of six games during this wild card sequence, while two other teams get a bye due to them having the best record in their conference. 

     The top seed in the American Football Conference, or the AFC, is the Tennessee Titans. They ended with an impressive 12-5 record, even after losing star running back (RB) Derrick Henry. They were carried by impressive performances from quarterback (QB) Ryan Tannehill, as well as his #1 target A.J Brown.

     The top seed in the National Football Conference (NFC) is the Green Bay Packers. The Packers clinched the top seed two weeks ago and ended with an impressive 13-4 record due to extremely impressive performances from star QB Aaron Rodgers, star RB Aaron Jones, and arguably the best wide receiver in the National Football League, Davantae Adams.

     The rest of the NFC was in a very close race in order to secure a playoff spot. These teams are the Buccaneers, Cowboys, Rams, Cardinals, 49ers, and Eagles. The Vikings, Saints, and Falcons were almost included in this list but came up just short in the final few weeks of the NFL season.

     The 49ers and Eagles are two shocking teams that squeaked their way into the postseason. Carried by Jalen Hurts and Jimmy Garrapolo, these teams went on late season runs in order to stamp their ticket to the playoffs. The Eagles ended with a 9-8 record, after starting with an underwhelming 3-6 record. The 49ers also started off 3-6, and yet were able to finish the season with an impressive 10-7 record, ending as the 6 seed in the NFC playoff picture.

     As for the rest of the playoffs, six other teams made the playoffs in the AFC. Throughout the season, 15 teams were holding onto a playoff spot at one point or another. But, as the regular season comes to a close, seven teams ended up securing a postseason slot. 

     These teams are the Chiefs, Bengals, Bills, Patriots, Raiders, and Steelers. The Chiefs, Bengals, Titans, and Bills were able to secure their divisions, while the Raiders, Patriots, and Steelers were able to hold onto a wildcard, narrowly beating out the Dolphins and Chargers who had respectable 9-8 records, but sadly came up just short. 

     Now with the NFL playoffs about to begin, students and faculty at Foran High School are getting ready to tune in to watch their team, or just watch the playoffs in general due to the true excitement that this time of football is. 

     Andrew Richetelli, a junior at Foran High School, is a Buffalo Bills fan who is very excited to watch the 2021 NFL Playoffs, especially with his team in it. Richetelli states, “I think it’s great that many new teams that have not been successful in recent years have stepped up and made the playoff picture. I think that the Bengals certainly have a great shot at the Super Bowl and they have frankly blown me away. But nobody beats my Buffalo Bills, Bills Mafia is taking home the gold this year!” 

     There are also faculty at Foran who are also interested in the NFL playoffs. Mr. Jeff Blude, a business teacher at Foran, is a Seattle Seahawks. Bludestates, “I think that there’s a really good mix of teams and I am looking forward to how it plays out the next couple of weeks.” 

     On who’s going to the Super Bowl, Blude states, “I have the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers with the Packers winning.”

     While many people have their predictions to win, according to, the Green Bay Packers have the best odds to win the Super Bowl with a +380 and the Chiefs with the second best odds being +450. We will see how this year’s playoffs turn out and who will be crowned the Super Bowl champion.