Fordham Students Discuss NFL Playoffs


The 2016 NFL season has culminated in the Super Bowl matchup between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. (KEITH ALLISON/FLICKR)


After a tumultuous regular season that saw the National Football League (NFL) face decreasing viewership, poor officiating, suspensions, injuries and other scandals, the 2016 season is nearing its final game, where the world champions will be crowned. It will either be the number one seed from the American Football Conference (AFC), the New England Patriots, or the number two seed from the National Football Conference (NFC), the Atlanta Falcons who will be the champions of Super Bowl LI.

The NFL playoffs are split into three rounds featuring the top six teams in each conference, and then the champion of each conference plays each other in the Super Bowl, which will take place in Houston this year. The first round is the wild card round, followed by the divisional round and the penultimate games are in the conference championship round.

The wild card round saw the demise of the bottom two seeds in both the NFC and AFC: Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders and the hometown New York Giants. Jon Oak, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’18, a passionate Giants fan, stated, “I was disappointed, but I am hopeful for the future, with the young players and coach that we have, we should be able to succeed for years to come.” Many other students on campus expressed similar feelings about the Giants, with overwhelming support being felt for the team that represents New York.

In the divisional round the Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Kansas City, where they battled below-freezing temperatures and the Chiefs, and were victorious. The Patriots defeated the Houston Texans, who had a chance to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium. The Seattle Seahawks fell to the Atlanta Falcons, whose high-flying offense was too much for the Seahawks to handle on the road. The Green Bay Packers’ faithful supporters packed their hopes onto the leg of their kicker, Mason Crosby, who made a game-winning field goal to down the number one seed Dallas Cowboys. Pete Haplan, FCLC ’17, a rare Kansas City fan in New York, said, “The Chiefs went out there and fought. We didn’t let [the Steelers] score a touchdown, but I have some very big questions about the team, especially at quarterback.” While he may have questioned the players in their loss, Marcus Lewis, FCLC ’20, was excited about his team, the Dallas Cowboys: “I am more than okay with how the playoffs went. I would’ve loved a win, but now Dak and Zeke have playoff experience, and that’s invaluable.” Dak Prescott and Ezekial (Zeke) Elliot are the two rookie sensations on the Cowboys who led them to the playoffs.

In the final round before the Super Bowl, Pittsburgh and New England faced off in the AFC, while the Packers and the Falcons faced off in the NFC. Neither game went well for the away teams, as both lost by more than 15 points. These games not only saw the end of the Steelers’ and Packers’ seasons, but also the Falcons’ stadium, the Georgia Dome, as they will be moving to a new stadium at the conclusion of the season. Katherine Tracy, FCLC ’18, a Packers fan, said the following on her team’s loss: “It’s disappointing to see them end on such a bad note, but they turned around what looked like a lost season, and did excellent throughout.” Tate Miller (FCLC ’18), a fan of the sport, said the following on the Atlanta Falcons season: “The Falcons haven’t been to the Super Bowl since 1999, and have a chance to prove that they belong in the upper echelons of the league. I myself am a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it was frustrating to see the season fall apart in such a spectacular way, but many of the players improved throughout the course of the season.”

The NFL postseason brought students’ hopes of seeing a local team hoist the Lombardi Trophy dashed. However, plenty of students still have their hearts full of hope, and will have their eyes glued to the TV when the Falcons and Patriots face off on Feb. 5.