Welcome to the 2023-24 NFL playoffs. Some teams have wondered if this could be the year they break their playoff-winning drought. For some teams just getting to the playoffs is a big weight on the franchise’s shoulders. The 14 teams currently in the postseason are trying to win Super Bowl 58 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Some teams succeed in the playoffs, leading to many Super Bowl titles. The two teams that lead with Super Bowl titles are the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers. Right behind them are the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers, Steelers, and Cowboys are all in the 2023-24 playoffs. Then on the flip side teams like the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns have never been to a Super Bowl.
The Detroit Lions had the longest playoff drought without a win for 32 years. The last time they won a playoff game was in 1991 over the Dallas Cowboys. The #1 song back then was “Black and White” by Michael Jackson. They were the only team not to win a playoff game in the 21st century. Their last appearance was eight years ago when they lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the wild-card round 26-6. The Lions hosted a playoff game for the first time since 1993 against the Los Angeles Rams. The interesting part about this game was the two quarterbacks, Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff. They were traded for each other a few seasons ago and Stafford won the Super Bowl the following season. Both have done well for their respective teams.
What transpired was a great game between the two teams that would end with a Lions 24-23 victory sending them to the next round of the playoffs next week against the Tampa Bay Bucs. The win for the Lions was not just a win for the organization. It was a huge win for a fan base that has waited so long for this moment. But it would take a defensive stand that would deny Stafford and the Rams a game-winning drive.
Tampa Bay Bucs
This is a team that won the Super Bowl two years ago with the great Tom Brady at the helm. A team that made the playoffs last year in Brady’s final season and would lose to the Dallas Cowboys in the opening Wild-card round. A team that would open the 2023-2024 season and not sure who their quarterback would be. They would settle on Baker Mayfield and all he did was lead this team to an 11-6 record and a big Wild Card win over the defending NFC Champions the Philadelphia Eagles.
They would jump out to a 13-0 lead and never looked back in the 32-9 win that saw Mayfield go 22-36 for 337 yards and three touchdowns. Not bad for a guy who was questionable before the game. It was an improbable win for a team that was not projected to make the NFL playoffs this year. Next up, they go to Detroit to try to advance to the NFC Championship Game.
Green Bay Packers
This season was all about life after Aaron Rodgers. Life with Jordan Love finally getting his shot at being the man behind center for the Pack. A season that saw the team wait until the last moment to make it to the NFL Playoffs. This is after going 8-9 last year and not making the playoffs. Their opponent in the Wild-card game would be the mighty Dallas Cowboys, America’s Team. They came into this game as a huge underdog and not many could see them even giving the Cowboys a test in this one.
What they got was a four-touchdown first half en route to a 48-32 blowout of the Cowboys. Love would go 16-21 for 272 yards and three touchdowns while Aaron Jones rushed for 118 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns of his own. It was the most complete performance of the year at the right time. It is safe to say that the Pack have moved on from the Ridgers era and are now all in on Love.
The Pack and Bucs have a huge task ahead of them if they wish to play each other in the NFC Championship Game. Both teams have a good season but now is when it counts the most. The Lions won the NFC North for the first time in a while and are looking to the Super Bowl. What a start to the 2024 NFL Playoffs huh?
Leave a comment below.
For all your NFL news log on to NGSCsports.com.
For more follow me on Facebook: Bradley Louis Walker, On X: bradwalker3083, and my weekly sports podcast: The Walker Report.