NFL playoff teams news and notes not to be missed

Jordan Stephenson

South Bureau Chief

This 2022-23 NFL season had so many ups and downs, but the great thing is that the playoffs are finally upon us. This is the 1st season that the 17-game season and extra playoff spot, with a bye week for the top seed in each conference, have been in effect. So far, the early returns of the few tweaks, have been pretty overt in NFL circles. The playoffs officially start on Jan. 14, with Wild Card games, with the Seahawks @ 49ers, at 4:30 PM; and Wild Card weekend continues with five other games. 

The Chiefs officially locked up the #1 seed with a commanding win vs the Raiders, which means they are awarded a bye week as well. Patrick Mahomes has had an MVP caliber season, by leading the league with 5,250 passing yards, and with 41 touchdowns and is definitely a favorite to win his 2nd MVP. 

The Bills have had a difficult couple of weeks to say the least, but in-spite of everything they were still able to secure the 2nd seed, by defeating the Patriots. A week ago today, safety Damar Hamlin had a tragic cardiac arrest, after making a routine tackle against WR Tee Higgins. He was immediately treated given CPR on the field, and then was rushed to the UC Hospital. He was in the ICU and on a ventilator for multiple days, but each day he was able to get better and better. The past three days he was able to speak to people, make social media posts, and thankful to be discharged from the hospital. 

The Bengals locked up the #3 seed by defeating the Ravens. They ended the season winning five plus games and are poised to make another Super Bowl run. Their playoff matchup is vs their divisional rivals, the Ravens. The Jaguars secured their 1st playoff berth in multiple years and the 4th seed, by defeating the Titans. Doug Peterson has showed them how to be professionals and win. Their playoff matchup is vs Justin Herbert and the streaking Chargers. 

The Chargers secured the 5th seed going 10-7 on the season. Their 2nd best WR, Mike Williams, was carted off with a back injury vs the Broncos; luckily it was reported earlier today, that he’s expected to play, in their playoff game vs the Jaguars. The Ravens luckily were able to secure a playoff berth, as well as the #6 seed, without Lamar Jackson, with a knee injury for a month plus. They did it by their stifling defense and playing complimentary football. Coach Harbargh said today that Jackson is doing everything possible, to be cleared to play in their playoff game vs the Bengals. 

Lastly the Dolphins were able to end their playoff drought, as well as secure the #7 seed; by playing complementary football, led by their 3rd string QB, and by the Bills defeating the Patriots, who will coincidentally be their playoff opponent. Tua Tagovailoa is still in concussion protocol, more clarity will be given on him later this week, and hopefully he’ll be able to play because the Dolphins don’t have a chance to win without him. Also, RB Raheem Mosert suffered a broken thumb yesterday, and is uncertain if he’ll play. 

The Eagles officially secured the #1 seed, by defeating the resting Giants. Jalen Hurts was finally able to play, after being out with a shoulder injury. Now he’s able to rest one more week because of the bye week. The 49ers secured the #2 seed by playing complimentary football, with a backup QB. Hopefully they star players, like Debo Samuel, will be able to play vs the Seahawks. The Vikings secured the #3 seed by winning their division, winning many clutch games, and going 13-4 this season. They play vs the Giants at home. The Buccaneers secured the #4 seed, by winning their division and only needing an 8-9 record. They play vs the Cowboys at home. The Cowboys secured the #5 seed, by getting at 12-5 record. They end the season on a terrible note, by losing by double digits to the 3rd string QB of the Commanders, which makes analysts wonder if they’ll even win a playoff game. The Giants and Seahawks secured the #6 and #7 seeds respectively. 

Mahomes and Hurts secure #1 seeds; Courtesy of