100 DeMatha Men, 1 Super Bowl Champ


William Walker, Staff Writer

The 2022-23 NFL playoffs are now upon us and will begin on the 14th of January. The playoff seedings came down to the wire, as in week 18 there were a total of three playoff spots still yet undecided. After week 18, the teams were finalized, the AFC (American Football Conference) consisting of youthful quarterbacks as opposed to the NFC (National Football Conference) consisting of older single callers.

The top seed in the AFC is the Kansas City Chiefs. With a record of 14-3, the Chiefs were able to clinch a first-round bye and establish home-field advantage in the AFC bracket.  The Chiefs are led by their explosive offense. With the quarterback-receiver duo of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, the Chiefs conducted the highest-scoring offense this season with 29.2 points per game. Heading into their 8th straight playoff appearance, Kansas City will look to reach their fifth conference championship, third super bowl, and second super bowl win in five years.

The most surprising team in the AFC is the Jacksonville Jaguars. Coming off a forgetful three-win season, the Jaguars were expected to win about four to five games this year. However, with the ascension of second-year Quarterback Trevor Lawrence coupled with the faltering of the Titans, the Jags went on a timely winning streak that resulted in them clinching the AFC south and garnering the fourth seed in the AFC.

The top seed in the NFC is the Philadelphia Eagles. This season the Eagles amassed a 14-3 record, previously holding the best record in the league until star quarterback Jalen Hurts got injured. With Hurts’ probable return, the Eagles will look to win their first Superbowl since their legendary 2017 run.

The most surprising team in the NFC is the Seattle Seahawks. With the departure of franchise quarterback Russell Wilson last offseason, The Seahawks were expected to be bad to the point where fans lobbied for the team to start tanking. However, behind an unprecedented pro bowl season from Geno Smith, The Seahawks went a surprising 9-8 and secured the last playoff spot in the NFC as the seventh seed.

With the top 14 teams remaining, The NFL playoffs cause for heated debates regarding which team will win the super bowl. Due to this fact, the Dematha Stagline (with the help of some companions) conducted a poll asking 100 Dematha students which team they believe will hoist the Lombardi trophy.

In a poll asking 100 faith-filled gentlemen their super bowl picks, here are the results:

Some of the most intriguing observations from this poll are the lack of votes for both the Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins. This season the Vikings had an astounding record at 13-4, producing both the receiving yards leader in Justin Jefferson and the best 4th quarter offense this season. Despite clinching the 3rd seed in the NFC, only one student believed that Minnesota will be super bowl bound due to their negative point differential and their knack to get blown out. The Dolphins are also enticing on this poll as only a few weeks ago (week 13), the Dolphins possessed a super bowl contending team led by MVP candidate Tua Tagovailoa. From that point on, Tua’s injuries and inconsistencies headlined the Dolphins conceding five of their last six games of the regular season, resulting in a disappointing 9-8 record and no votes on the poll to win it all.

Decisively standing atop the poll is the Buffalo Bills. With 21 votes, Buffalo had six more than the next-best team. When asked why the Bills will be crowned victorious, Junior Champion Shipley stated that they have a “great offense and defense” and mentioned the likes of “Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Micah Hyde, [and] Jordan Poyer”. Allen and Diggs headline this offense, as their unstoppable connection has allowed them to become one of the best quarterback-wide receiver duos in the league. With both players in conversation as the best player at their positions, Allen and Diggs pose a threat to any team they may encounter. On defense, Hyde and Poyer arguably give the bills the best starting safeties in the NFL. With their unique ball-hawking abilities and high IQs, Hyde and Poyer lead a daunting defense that is able to shut down an entire offense.

Shipley also added that the Bills’ championship aspirations are aided by the tragic situation of Damar Hamlin, stating that, “When players or teams experience tragedies, those individuals want to win more.” This sentiment has been proven true as Shipley listed examples such as Isiah Thomas’ 53 points after his sister died, and Mike Piazza’s game-winning homer after 9/11. A week after the Hamlin catastrophe, The Bills would have their first kickoff return touchdown in three years, and Bills kick returner Nyhime Hines became the first Buffalo Bill ever to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in a single game. With their astonishing roster ignited with the ambition of winning the super bowl for Damar, the Bills are a good bet to be the last team standing, hence why Dematha voted them as the favorite.

Second place on the poll was a tie between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles. With both teams equaling 15 votes, the Eagles and Niners have both accumulated a bunch of super bowl belief from Dematha.

When asked why the 49ers will win, Junior Jalen Jackson argued due to their abundance of superstars, proclaiming that the 49ers have a “top five running back, top three tight end, great receiving core, and good defense.” On offense, the 49ers are one of the only teams ever to have an all-pro running back, wide receiver, and tight end with Christian Mccaffrey, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle. Coupled with running back Elijah Mitchell and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, the 49ers have a stacked set of skilled position players that can each carry the team at any moment. On defense, potential all-pros Fred Warner and Talanoa Hufanga alongside DPOY (defensive play of the year) candidate Nick Bosa propelled the Niners to the no.1 ranked defense this year. Coached by defensive coordinator DeMarco Ryans, the Niners gave up the fewest points per game (16.3) and yards per game (300.6) this season.

When asked why the Eagles will win, Junior Andrew Bing first reasoned due to the Eagles having “one of the best-receiving duos in the league” in A.J Brown and Devonta Smith. In the offseason, the Eagles signed Brown in order to pair with Smith and have two “wide receiver 1’s” on the same team. In their first season together, Brown and Smith combined for the second-most yards and the most touchdowns by a wide receiver duo this season. The two receivers accomplished this through the success of the deep ball, as their big-play abilities shined throughout the entire season. The person throwing the deep balls was Jalen Hurts, who Bing stated that his MVP play and superb leadership “makes [the Eagles] better”. In the 15 regular season games Hurts played, the Eagles went 14-1 and had a scoring margin of 9.9 per game. When Hurts didn’t play, the Eagles went 0-2 and had a scoring margin of -8 per game.

With the 49ers’ influx of illustrious talent, and the Eagles’ astonishing QB and weapons, both franchises are on super bowl watch in Hyattsville.

From the results of the poll, Dematha selected the Bills, followed up by both the Niners and Eagles to win Super Bowl 57. With all the predictions set, all there’s left to do is witness who will become the next team idolized in super bowl history.