Sports Perspective: NFL Playoffs: A look back and ahead - The Explorer: Sports

Sports Perspective: NFL Playoffs: A look back and ahead

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Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 4:00 am

As the final whistle was blown in Washington D.C Sunday night, the NFL regular-season concluded and the post-season began. After 17 grueling weeks of football, 12 teams prevailed and gave themselves a chance to win the Super Bowl. 

Before we look ahead to the playoffs, lets take a glance back at all the milestones achieved throughout the regular-season.

It all started with the rookie quarterbacks taking the league by surprise and continued throughout the season, ultimately resulting in three rookies leading their teams to the playoffs. The standout rookies are Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts (1st pick), Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins (2nd pick) and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks (75th pick).

Beyond the impressive rookie play, veterans such as Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson have done much more than was expected of them as they returned from their injuries. Manning sat out all of last season as a Colt due to a neck injury. As for Peterson, he tore his ACL and MCL only eight months ago.

Now, Manning has his Denver Broncos as the top seed in the AFC after a 13-3 season and poised for a Super Bowl run. Peterson and his Minnesota Vikings have also made the playoffs as the sixth seed. 

Individually, both of these players are not only the front runners for the Comeback Player of the Year award, but they are also the front runners for the Most Valuable Player award. In addition, Peterson fell just nine yards short of Eric Dickerson’s record for most yards in one season. Peterson finished with 2,097 rushing yards making him the seventh player in NFL to reach 2,000 rushing yards in a season.

The final remarkable feat of this year’s NFL season is the story of the Indianapolis Colts. After winning only two games all of last season and losing their 14-time quarterback, they restarted. That restart transformed into an 11-5 record and a playoff spot.

However, the most impressive part of it all is that Colts’ head coach,

Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia and was sidelined since the third week of the season. Now, Pagano is back and leads his Colts into the playoffs.

The first playoff match-ups, also known as the “Wild Card” round consists of the Green Bay Packers at home against the Minnesota Vikings and the Washington Redskins at home against the Dallas Cowboys. In the AFC, the Houston Texans have a home game against the Cincinnati Bengals, while the Colts go on the road to play the Baltimore Ravens. 

The top two seeds in each division receive a first round bye. The Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49‘ers receive byes in the NFC, while the Broncos and the New England Patriots receive them in the AFC. 

Although the regular-season is over, the excitement is only beginning. From a snowy game in Green Bay at Lambeau Field to a game in the high altitude in Denver at Mile High Stadium, home field advantage could be the difference in this year’s playoffs.

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Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

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