The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

NFL Post-Season Madness: Highlights Leading up to Super Bowl LVIII

AP Photo / Frank Franklin II

The competition heats up for this year’s NFL showdowns as temperatures fall. The postseason has brought everything from sub-zero temperatures to jaw-dropping upsets. Here are the most notable highlights and headlines from the 2024 NFL playoffs. 

Packers Upset the Cowboys During the Wild Card Weekend

The wild-card game on Sunday, Jan. 14, had many Cowboys fans watching through their fingers and contemplating turning the broadcast off. On the other end of things, Packer fans saw a glimpse into the bright future of Jordan Love— Aaron Rodger’s successor and future of the franchise. After patiently waiting four seasons following his rookie signing, Love broke through with an impressive performance on the season. Love’s caliber of play lived up to the lofty expectations that fans had for him, and by season’s end, he was in the conversation for the MVP award. In the wild-card showdown against the Cowboys, Love threw three touchdowns and 272 passing yards on only 15 completions.

Meanwhile, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott’s impressive regular season performance did not translate to the big stage. His out-of-character finish involved two first-half interceptions and a lagging offense that ended in a disappointing 48-32 loss. Prescott added to a streak of subpar postseason performances; his record is now 2-5 through seven career playoff starts. Prescott heads into the final year of his contract, leading to a difficult decision for the Cowboys. They are left to contemplate the risk of offering Prescott a contract that would make him one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league without having proven himself capable of achieving playoff success. The Cowboys’ embarrassing loss to the youngest roster in the NFL playoffs brings possible coaching staff changes in the off-season. 

In a statement released by Cowboys General Manager Jerry Jones on Jan. 17, he affirmed that the team would stay its course, at least regarding their head coach situation. 

“I believe this team is very close and capable of achieving our ultimate goals, and the best step forward for us will be with Mike McCarthy as our head coach. There is a great benefit to continuing the team’s progress under Mike’s leadership as our head coach,” Jones wrote.

Next season will be McCarthy’s fifth at the helm of the team

“We have established a championship program. It’s just not a world championship yet,” McCarthy said during a news conference.  “We have not crossed the threshold winning playoff games […] It’s extremely disappointing to be sitting here talking about [that]. But I know how to win. We will get over that threshold. I have total confidence in that, and that’s why I’m standing here today.”

McCarthy has impressive career stats as head coach of the Cowboys, including two NFC East titles in the past three seasons and a 42-25 record. Although Dallas has made the playoffs for the past three seasons, they can’t seem to find the necessary spark for postseason success, with two of those three playoff exits coming in the first round. 

Bills Battle it Out Amid Lake Effect Frigidness

Real competitors can play through rain, sleet or two feet of snow, and the Bills proved that in the AFC Wild-Card game on Monday, Jan. 15. The playoff game was initially scheduled for Sunday but was delayed due to a lake-effect storm that swept the western New York region. The team paid fans $20 an hour and a meal to shovel Highmark Stadium in preparation for the game. Weather delays didn’t faze star quarterback Josh Allen as he performed at the top of his game, recording three touchdown passes and a franchise playoff-record 52-yard touchdown run, leading Buffalo to a 31-17 victory over Pittsburgh.

After the game, Allen commented on the potential postponement.

“We would have played yesterday, would have played Saturday, would have played Friday — it wouldn’t have mattered. We would have come out here and played when we were told to play,” Allen said.

His confidence and competitive mentality helped move the Bills forward in the battle for the Super Bowl. However, it was not enough for them to overcome Kanas City in the divisional round. 

Hypothermia and Below-Zero Temps in Kansas City 

The fourth coldest game in NFL history was recorded at the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Miami Dolphins Wild Card Round on Saturday, Jan. 13. The temperature at kickoff was -4 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of -20 degrees. The frigid temperatures proved dangerous, leading to numerous reports of hypothermia symptoms

Kansas City Fire Department (KCFD) Battalion Chief Michael Hopkins told CNN that the KCFD aided 69 spectators, of which “close to 50% […] were for hypothermia symptoms.” 

By the conclusion of the game, the temperature was -9 degrees and felt like -28 degrees, according to the Peacock broadcast. Fifteen of the aided fans were transported by KCFD, seven for hypothermia symptoms, three for symptoms of frostbite, and five for various other reasons, according to Hopkins.

Far from Miami’s warm weather and white sand beaches, the Dolphins fell to the Chiefs in a 26-7 loss.

Jason Kelce’s Shirtless Celebration in Frigid Buffalo

The Chiefs advanced to the AFC Divisional round against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Jan. 21. They secured a 27-24 victory over the Bills and a belly show from a shirtless Jason Kelce — brother of  Travis Kelce, the Chiefs’ standout tight end. The future Hall of Famer and recently retired Philadelphia Eagles center held nothing back in celebrating his brother’s two touchdowns and the Chiefs’ advance to their sixth straight AFC championship game. 

In the Kelce brothers’ podcast New Heights, Jason Kelce explained his shirtless celebration.

“I got caught up in the magic of ‘Bills Mafia,’” Jason Kelce said. “It’s electric.”

As the Chiefs advance to the AFC Championship against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Jan. 28, Travis Kelce shared the excitement and energy of his brother about the title matchup in a press conference.

“I want it more than I’ve ever wanted one in my life,” Jason Kelce said. 

In the past two weeks, the playing field has narrowed to two remaining teams: the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, with the grand finale just within reach on Feb. 11. Super Bowl LVIII will be hosted at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nev. 

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