The last 10 yards

Courtesy+of+Zyanna+Almonacy+%2716+Multi+Media+Design+Class

Courtesy of Zyanna Almonacy ’16 Multi Media Design Class

courtesy of Zyanna Almonacy ’16 Multi Media Design Class

For football fanatics, the next few weeks will be a great way to start their new year off with a bang. The National Football League playoffs have finally begun, and 12 teams will fight for the chance to be the Super Bowl XLVII champions.
The New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens, from the American Football Conference division, have earned places in the NFL playoffs. Also competing are the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins from the National Football Conference division.
Though not division winners, the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals from the AFC division have also made it into the playoffs for having the two best regular season records. The Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks from the NFC division will also advance to the playoffs as wild card teams.
As each team prepares for game day, so do many fans. The playoffs mark the start of devoted fans cheering their team on to victory.
“In my house, the playoffs are a really big deal,” Convent of the Sacred Heart sophomore Grace McKenney said. “We always try to watch our favorite team but we’ll also watch the other games just because we like watching football.”
The first weekend of the NFL playoffs was the wild card round. The Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Houston Texans by a score of 13-19 on January 5. The NFC wild card winner, the Minnesota Vikings, played the Green Bay Packers and lost 10-24. The Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins went head to head on Sunday, January 6, ending in a 24-12 Seahawk win. Finally, the Baltimore Ravens beat the Indianapolis Colts 24 to 9 on January 6 . This was the final chance for these teams to make it into the next round.
The weekend after, January 12 and 13, the four winners from the wild card round will play against the top two division leaders in their conference. The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots from the AFC division have already made it into the divisional playoffs.
“My dad, brother and I are really big Pats fans so there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll win in the divisional round. They clinched very early on in the season and have done so for previous years, so I think as always, they are here to bring it,” junior Amy Lafluer said.
The Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers  from the NFC division are automatically admitted into the divisional playoffs. These division winners will play two out of the four wild card winners.
The following Sunday, January 20, will be the Conference Championship where two teams from the AFC division and two teams from the NFC must compete against each other to be one step away from their ultimate goal of being Super Bowl champions.
“The Patriots have made it so far last year and I think that they are going to redeem themselves from last year,” sophomore Vanessa Raskin said. “I believe that the Patriots will in fact make it to the Super bowl and win.”
 
– Jessica Johnson, Staff Writer