The Long Winding Road to Super Bowl LII: Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots face off in this year’s Super Bowl.

      The road to the NFL’s greatest game, the Super Bowl is not as simple as advertised. Eight teams from two conferences compete for the two coveted spots in the greatest football game of the year. The journey was troublesome for some teams, but exciting for others as the points were scored and the games were played. In the end, only two teams have enough magic left in the tank to play the game of their lives. Let us look back at the road to the 2018 Super Bowl LII.

     Starting with Wild Card weekend, the Tennessee Titans won their game against the Kansas City Chiefs 22-21. Down 21-3 at halftime, Tennessee fought back to win it, partly thanks to a pass to quarterback Marcus Mariota for a touchdown. The ball reflected off a Chiefs defender and Mariota caught it as he went into the endzone. The other wild card game in the AFC featured the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Buffalo, who was in the playoffs for the first time since 1999 gave Jacksonville a run for their money until the second half when the Jaguars scored a touchdown on a one yard run by tight end Ben Koyack and sealed the win.

      On the NFC side, two teams from the same division squared off to see who would play the Minnesota Vikings in the divisional round. On the third meeting of the year, the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints went back and forth scoring, but ultimately the Saints won 31-26 to meet the Vikings in the divisional round. The other wild card game in the NFC featured the Los Angeles Rams who were making their first playoff appearance since moving back to the City of Angels and the Atlanta Falcons the defending NFC Champions. The Falcons proved that they were the better team, with Matt Bryant

kicking four field goals to seal the 26-13 win.

     The Divisional Round of the playoffs began with the defending NFC Champions going to Philadelphia to face the Eagles. A nail-biter to say the least; a goal line stand with a minute to go in the game sealed the Eagles 15-10 victory for their first trip to the conference championship game in 10 years. Their opponent in the NFC Championship game had not been decided until the next day, when the Minnesota Vikings took on the New Orleans Saints in an instant playoff classic, capped off by a 61 yard touchdown pass in the final seconds from Case Keenum to Stefon Diggs to give the Vikings the improbable 26-23 win.

        In the AFC side of the divisional round, the Tennessee Titans were no match for Tom Brady’s New England Patriots as they moved on to the AFC Championship game with a 35-14 win. The other AFC Divisional Round Game featured the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. With a stout defence, the Jaguars pulled the upset over the Steelers 45-42 to meet the Patriots to decide the AFC Championship.


      On Jan. 21, 2018, the two Super Bowl LII teams were determined by the AFC and NFC champions. The first semifinal game on the docket was the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots, playing for the AFC title. The Jaguars led by two touchdowns with a score of 14-3 in the second quarter, but as the second half unfolded, the Patriots did what they had done all season: comeback. With 2:48 to go in the game, quarterback Tom Brady completed a pass to wide receiver Danny Amendola for a game winning touchdown and a 24-20 win. It will be New England’s tenth Super Bowl appearance and eighth under the duo of Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick.

     In the NFC title game later that evening, Philadelphia Eagles fans packed Lincoln Financial Field to see the Eagles take on the Minnesota Vikings for their third Super Bowl appearance in team history. After giving up a first drive touchdown, Philadelphia went on to score 38 unanswered points to win the game 38-7, erasing any doubts that the Philadelphia Eagles are the finalist team who will go head to head with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

     Save the date and time: Febr. 4, 2018 at six p.m. Epic? A major understatement to say the least.


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