We’re only a few months away from another blockbuster sports event, Super Bowl LVII.
At the time of writing, we already know that the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Chicago Bears have not qualified for the Playoffs and there are still more teams yet to be eliminated.
With that in mind, we thought we’d put together a little explainer for the acquainted and unacquainted of how the competition is going to heat up when we start 2023.
Who are the front-runners? Who could get that First Round Bye? Will we see a new Super Bowl Champ or a returning great? Read on and let’s find out what’s coming up…
Where are we right now?
At the time of writing, we’re entering Week 15 or Round 15 of this season with only 3 weeks left in the 18 week slate of games.
Our two Football Conference Leagues, the American and National, have a mixed bag of front-runners including teams which have never been to the Superbowl, some which made it to the final but were relegated to runners-up and teams who walked away with the trophy and the ring.
American Football Conference League
As one of the teams pipped as a Superbowl favourite, Buffalo Bills have delivered an impressive performance. The Bills opened their road to the Playoffs with a comprehensive 31 – 10 win against last year’s winner Los Angeles Rams and a narrow win against the 2020 winners Kansas City Chiefs.
They’ve maintained a consistent set of wins including punishing blows to teams like the Tennessee Titans (41 – 7) and Pittsburgh Steelers (38 – 3).
Kansas City Chiefs
The 2020 Superbowl Winners started out with a sputter as they maintained a pattern of 2 wins and a loss before building a win-stream towards the end of October.
They too managed to knock down the 2022 Superbowl winners with a 26 – 10 win. In general, their tally of wins has been marked by very close wins including the 24 – 20 stampede over the Buffalo Bills or the 41 – 31 slaying of Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
National Football Conference League
The Eagles soar high in this season as the only team to have achieved a consistent win-streak. It was all going so well until the Washington Commanders rematch put an end to it in November. Has that stopped Eagles? No…
They currently lead the National League with a 12 – 1. They grew in notoriety over the season with their technical dissection of teams like the Minnesota Vikings or the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Dallas Cowboys have an interesting route to this point with some impressive victories over teams like the Los Angeles Rams (22 – 10) and the Indianapolis Colts (54 – 19).
This is also while the team struggled without star Quarterback Dak Prescott out for some weeks following a hand injury.
Could these teams be in the Playoffs? If they maintain positions in the top 5, they could very well be in the Playoffs in January.
How does the Playoff work?
After Week 18, the final 14 top-scoring teams from the competition, that’s 7 from both Leagues, will qualify for the Playoff games which begin on January 14th.
Wild Card Weekend
What kicks off first is the Wild Card Weekend stage where the top-seeding teams are given what’s known as the ‘First Round Bye’. That means they get a free pass for the first game.
The remaining 6 in both leagues will face eachother in this format with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th seeds hosting:
No.2 vs No.7
No.3 vs No.6
No.4 vs No.5
The winners of the WildCard Round will then move on to the Divisional Round weekend where they then face the top No.1 seeds of each Conference.
The following weekend is the Conference Championship. This is where the remaining teams in each conference scrap it out to be the leading team to represent the League in the Super Bowl.
The 2022/23 Super Bowl
Only a few short weeks later the top teams from each league will head to the Super Bowl.
This year’s Super Bowl is expected to take place on February 12th and at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale Arizona, the home of the Arizona Cardinals.