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Clubhouse Meeting: NFL Playoff Bracket Extravaganza!

Some of our staff have taken a pass at NFL Playoff Brackets and have given a brief roundup of who they picked and why they picked them.

US Bank Stadium by Quintin3265 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Clubhouse Meeting: NFL Playoff Bracket Extravaganza!

Estimated Reading Time: 7 Minutes

We’ve made it through all 18 weeks of the regular season, finally! You know what that means? You guessed it! It’s time for The Turf writers to once again face off in an all-out bracket battle. It’s playoff time in the National Football League, so we’ve asked our team to fill out a bracket and address why they’ve chosen how they did.

Andrew Mark Wilhelm

Honestly, this is what I WANT to happen. But I also think it has a good shot of actually happening. Honestly, NE will probably spoil my entire bracket, and the Turf Slack will be insufferable, but I do think we’re on course for another team winning a Super Bowl in their own stadium… unless it’s played in Texas that is. This is exactly what Matt Stafford needs to be recognized as the HOF level QB he is as well, to run a gauntlet of Brady and Rodgers. This season has taught us every team is beatable, even more so than the standard “Every given Sunday…” thing. Bring the chaos.

Tyler Williams

The playoffs this year are pretty interesting. If I’m not mistaken first time we’ve ever had a Monday night playoff game. I have some surprises for this year. I don’t see many people picking #1 seed Tennessee Titans to make the Super Bowl but I have. I think the Titans get rolling with Henry and AJ Brown. They are built for the playoffs with an emerging coach.  I have Green Bay matching up with Dallas in the NFC Championship game. After beating Tampa Bay, Dallas and McCarthy hope to upset the #1 seed Packers. I just don’t for see that happening. Green Bay vs Tennessee in the Super Bowl. Winner Green Bay

Craig Kaufman

I wanted to put the Patriots in the AFC Championship game and have them losing to the Chiefs, but ultimately I settled for an upset win in Buffalo and their season ending in Tennessee. I don’t think Tennessee is spectacular, but the AFC is flawed and I don’t think the Chiefs have it this year.On the NFC side, it hurt me to pick the Packers led by their slimeball QB, but the other option was picking Brady and the Bucs, so pick your poison I guess. Feels like it would be the year that Aaron Rodgers can shake his tail feather in everybody’s face and then run off to green(Bay)er pastures.

Katie Pierce

In an NFL season where any favorite can look fallible any week it’s hard to pick clear favorite playoffs. In fact the only real favorite going into wildcard weekend is for the Steelers to lose to the Chiefs and to watch Rusty Roethlisberger just hobble off into retirement. After that it’s anyone’s guess going into the divisional rounds. Nothing will shock me this year. My hardest decisions came down to picking the Championship weekend matchups. You could easily have any combination of the Bills, Chiefs, or Titans in the AFC or Rams, Packers, Cowboys, or even the Bucs in the NFC. But for pure spite and petty reasons, as well as wanting the best for Matthew Stafford, I chose to advance the Rams over the Packers into the Super Bowl. But it’s realistic that I’ll be hate watching them (Green Bay) all the way into February.

Ryan Kelly

Overall, I think we’re gonna end up with a Super Bowl matchup that the NFL would be drooling over: Kansas City and Dallas. And while I think Dallas will lean on their playmakers on defense to get them there, it won’t be enough to stop the proven force of Mahomes, Kelce, and Hill in the big game. My big upset of this bracket is the early exit for Tampa. They’re banged up on defense, Godwin and AB are done, and I think they’ll get picked off by a scrappy Eagles team that is playing with house money.

Joe Danbusky

In the spirit of unpredictability that is our world since COVID arrived in our lives, I decided to go out on several limbs when filling out this bracket.

The AFC has been wild and crazy all season long, and I don’t see the playoffs being any different. I praised the Bengals earlier in the season and I’m sticking to my guns there, having them get past Las Vegas. I also think Big Ben may have one more miracle in him (though it’ll likely be Najee Harris and the pass rush that helps send KC packing).

In the second round, Pittsburgh will be undone by Derrick Henry and company, and Joe Burrow won’t fare well in Buffalo, pitting the Bills and Titans in the battle for the AFC title. Being from NY, I feel I need to represent the only NY team worth rooting for these days, so the Bills will punch their ticket to Super Bowl LVI.

On the NFC side, things aren’t QUITE as wacky. San Francisco seems to be the popular upset pick, and I’m a Giants fan so there’s no way I’m picking Dallas anyway. I think the Rams will get past Arizona on the back of Cooper Kupp. As for Tampa Bay and Philly – again, I’m a Giants fan so under no circumstances can I root for the Eagles. Besides, Tom Brady, even with some of his weapons missing, should be able to outduel Jalen Hurts.

San Francisco’s magical run will end in the tundra at Lambeau, and I think Brady will squeak past the Rams, but it’ll be a nail biter. In the battle of the Bays, I think the depleted Tampa Bay offense will finally catch up with them, and Aaron Rodgers’ janky toe will head to Super Bowl LVI.

In what I expect to be an entertaining game, Buffalo will climb to the top of the mountain, validating this New Yorker’s faith in the state’s best team. Of course, given the way my fantasy seasons played out, I’ll likely be wrong about 85-90% of this. Let the CHAOS begin!

Elmer Smith

I know Kansas City has looked bad at times, and Cincinnati has already beaten them, but they have too many weapons, and too much experience. Green Bay, regardless of how much I loathe Aaron Rodgers, has been the best team in the NFC by some margin for a large part of the season, and it feels like Aaron Rodgers is playing with a chip on his shoulder and that will probably be enough. On the NFC side, LA is coming on strong. I’d love to see the Eagles beat Brady, and I’d love for Dallas to get upset. I have a feeling this is the year the Cowboys stop choking (don’t tell anybody but I’m hoping I jinx them and my whole bracket blows up). In the AFC, I want New England to lose, so I’m hoping my picking against them manifests that result, but they will probably screw up my whole bracket. I like Cincy, but I think they might be a year away.

Kevin Michael Morin

I do think New England will be able to slam the door on Buffalo, and we’ll see some upsets throughout. While I think Cincinnati could easily get ousted early, I also think they have the ability to go all the way. If they can get through KC they have a legitimate shot to get to the big game. But I think ultimately the Rams are going to figure things out and become the team that they are on paper. And, come on, you can’t tell me you wouldn’t enjoy watching Matt Stafford lift the Lombardi Trophy.

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