The NFL Push for the Playoffs

Xavier Fiacco ‘23, Jeremy Gisiora ‘23, Staff Reporters

With the NFL season underway, the top dog in the NFL looks to be the Arizona Cardinals, in the NFC, after an unexpected beat down to the powerhouse Los Angeles Rams. In the AFC, the Buffalo Bills, who just came off of a week 4, 40-0 win against the Houston Texans, can also be considered the best of the best.

The Arizona Cardinals are number one in the NFL’s week 5 power rankings and are the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL. The Cardinals are led on offense by their strong-armed quarterback Kyler Murray, who was the first overall draft pick in 2019, and superstar wideout Deandre Hopkins, who has been regarded as the best receiver in all of football. 

Their defense consists of two future Hall of Famers’ in outside linebacker Chandler Jones, and newly acquired defensive end J.J. Watt.  

Although cornerback Patrick Peterson has found a new team in free agency, they signed a proven star on the offensive side of the ball in A.J. Green drafted an explosive slot receiver, Rondale Moore out of Purdue. 

The Arizona Cardinals have proven their worth as the team to beat in the NFL after dominating the Super Bowl favorite Los Angeles Rams in every aspect of the game and winning 37-20. 

On the AFC side, the Buffalo Bills are listed as number one. Although they lost a close game to the Pittsburgh Steelers in week one, their lockdown defense helped them to two shutout wins in the past three games, outscoring their opponents 118-21. 

When asked about what to expect from the Bills this season, junior Xavier Fiacco stated, “although they played a terrible game week one,[the Bills] have bounced back thanks to their elite defense, I was a little shocked that they were ranked first in the AFC because their offense hasn’t been that hot, but after their performance Sunday night against the Chiefs, I feel they that  have truly earned the number one spot in the AFC.” 

The Bills rolled off of a blowout win against the Texans as they prepare for next week’s primetime game against the Chiefs, who eliminated them from the playoffs last year.  Even though they are first in many people’s mind in terms of favorites to win the AFC, the Bills find themselves in a tight race to clinch a bye going into the playoffs. The Bills flaunt an explosive offense led by quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who week in and week out look to light up the scoreboard As for the defense, they are led by cornerback Tre’Davious White, middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, and first-round pick Greggory Rousseau on the edge. It is no doubt the Bills will make a push come December, it is how far they will go after that that is the question.  

Although they haven’t found the same success as the Cardinals and Bills, the Eagles are still in contention with other NFC teams as well. Their new young quarterback, Jalen Hurts has continued to grow as a performer and a leader. 

Junior Ethan Menezes stated, “With Jalen Hurts starting the season for the Eagles, he has to prove himself to earn the position as a franchise quarterback.  After starting off strong against the Falcons, the Eagles ended up leveling out and losing 3 games in a row. There is a lot of the season left for Hurts and rookie Head Coach, Nick Sirianni to prove themselves to the city of Philadelphia.” 

His thoughts on the Eagles season so far relate to many Eagles fans’ frustration since their Super Bowl victory in 2017. 

With there being so much more football to play, it is still undetermined who will make the playoffs. However, if both the Cardinals and Bills continue to play remarkably well, we may see them in Super Bowl LVI.