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Elements of all four winter sports represent the hard work, achievements and memories of the past season.
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Callie Hobbs, Sports Editor and Opinions Editor • February 26, 2024

The 2023 - 2024 CSD winter sports season has come and gone and it’s time to look back and recap. Four winter sports teams (swim/dive, indoor...

2024 Super Wildcard Weekend lives up to the hype

A+shocked+Luke+Wetherbee+%28%E2%80%9826%29+sees+the+score+of+the+Packers+vs.+Cowboys+game.
Ben Gallagher
A shocked Luke Wetherbee (‘26) sees the score of the Packers vs. Cowboys game.

The NFl’s Super Wild Card Weekend is one of the craziest few days of the season. Six hungry teams face off for spots in the Divisional Round and every player puts it all on the line. 

The Baltimore Ravens and the San Fransisco 49ers, as the top seeds in their respective divisions, watched the games closely and enjoyed their first-round bye while waiting to see who they’d face off against the next week. 

Wild Card Weekend always holds upsets and crazy games and as the 2024 playoffs began it was clear that this year was no exception. 

AFC

The Texans and Browns took the stage to get Wild Card Weekend started. This was one of the most anticipated playoff games due to the two quarterbacks leading their respective teams. The Texans quarterback, CJ Stroud, is a rookie who has very little experience in the pros while Browns QB, Joe Flacco, has had a super long career and took over the Browns halfway through the season. 

This game seemed like it was going to end up being a very tightly contested game but it was not. In the high-scoring first half, CJ Stroud played like a veteran, throwing for 236 yards and three touchdowns. His willpower and the rest of the Texans offense led them to a 45-14 rout.

The Chiefs and Dolphins capped off the first night of Wild Card Weekend. While both teams have stars on both sides of the football, it was the temperature that dominated conversations. Temperatures reached negative 7 degrees with a windchill of negative 26 degrees.

The conditions turned out to be a problem for the Dolphins quarterback, Tua Tagaviloa. He had many problems throwing the ball in the wind. Many times he under threw receivers which resulted in turnovers. 

The Chiefs, who are very accustomed to the conditions, looked the best they have in many weeks. The cold didn’t stop them as they went on to win 26-7. Their strong play set a tone for the rest of their playoff run.

The last AFC Wild Card matchup took place in Buffalo, New York, between the Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers. While the temperatures dominated the first game’s conversation, it was the snow in Buffalo that led this one. The game got moved from Sunday to Monday due to a horrible snowstorm that caused conditions to be unplayable.

At kickoff, the game was supposed to be a blowout in favor of Buffalo, however, the Steelers were able to hang with the Bills the entire game. It wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter when quarterback, Josh Allen, threw two game-sealing touchdowns. 

The winning atmosphere in Buffalo was insane as Bills fans threw snowballs on the field when the Bills scored and threw them at the Steelers not only in the red zone but also on the sidelines.

Eventually, the Bills pulled out the win by a final score of 31-17.

NFC

The NFC’s first matchup was the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys boasted a 12-5 record and a quarterback in Dak Prescott who is a front-runner for MVP. The Packers were just above a .500 record at 9-8. Jordan Love led the team strongly for the past several weeks and hopes were high for the Green Bay fans.

The Packers received the kickoff and quickly marched down the field to score. The Cowboys and the Packers were stuffed on their next drives and punted. 

In the last seconds of the first quarter, Prescott tried to force a pass and was picked off. 

This small spark ignited an explosive second quarter for the Packers. The Packers quickly added twenty points to the scoreboard and the Cowboys jogged, heads down, into the locker rooms down 27-7. 

The second half was better for the Cowboys, but the hole they had dug themselves was too deep and the clock simply ran out of time.

The first NFC game finished in an upset. The entire NFL fan base was shocked 

The next NFC contest was the Detroit Lions and the Los Angeles Rams. The Lions won their division for the first time since 1993 with a record of 12-5. The Rams, at 10-7, had to travel to Detroit.

This game had huge emotions behind it because Matthew Stafford, who was a long-time Lion, came back to Detroit. His wife and kids came to the game and were booed by the Detroit fans. 

Following the Ford Field kickoff, Detroit jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the first quarter and went into halftime up 21-17.

The third quarter was ruled by the defenses with each team only scoring one field goal apiece.

Going into the fourth it was 24-20 and the game came down to the wire. The Rams kicked a field goal but the Lions pulled it out to win 24-23.

The last game on the NFC’s schedule was the Philadelphia Eagles against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Eagles were seen as juggernauts early in the season with a 10-1 record but then fell off at the end. They finished the season 11-6. Tampa and quarterback, Baker Mayfield, were 9-8.

The day before the game, Eagles wide receiver, AJ Brown, was ruled out because of an injury from the previous week. Jalen Hurts, the Eagles quarterback, also suffered from a finger injury on his throwing hand but played.

The game began with a Bucs opening drive field goal and immediately it showed that the Eagles weren’t in top form. They missed tackle upon tackle and repeatedly blew coverages in the first quarter alone.

The second quarter was the only bright spot for the Birds who scored nine points. They went into the locker room down 16-9. 

The second half started and it was all Tampa Bay. They racked up multiple touchdowns and field goals and the final score was 32-9. 

Disappointed Eagles fans then endured another blow as rumors began to spread that the Bird’s center, Jason Kelce, a shoo-in hall-of-famer, was retiring.

Wild Card Weekend lived up to the hype this year. Every game had many ups and downs and included their own unique tension.

Four talented teams now advance to the next round and have legitimate chances to win a Super Bowl but they have to get through the now rested top seeds, Ravens and 49ers, first.

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About the Contributors
Ben Gallagher, Editor-in-Chief

Ben Gallagher, a junior, has been at CSD since eighth grade. In his third year of journalism, he hopes to improve his interviewing skills, cover new topics and see stories through different angles. 

While at school, Ben loves to play volleyball in the gym and learn about our nation’s past in AP US History. He is also looking forward to starting English and Psychology now in eleventh grade. He plays football as a wide receiver and is a middle infielder and outfielder in baseball for the Spartans. One of his favorite memories was freshman year when Matthew Ferguson hit a walkoff three run homer against Trinity High School to send CSD to the state regional finals.

“Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.” - Lewis Caroll 

 
Conner Shelton, Sports Editor. Podcast Editor

Conner Shelton is a junior at the Community School of Davidson and is returning to journalism for a second year because he wants to  further his skills by interviewing more people and exploring different types of journalistic writing. He looks forward to meeting new people and gaining knowledge on how to become the best journalist possible. 

Conner loves to play baseball and is a member of the school’s baseball team. In his free time he loves to hangout with friends, workout and play with his dog, Charley. He has one sister who is in the 7th grade and is on the middle school volleyball team. His favorite subject is chemistry. Why? Conner enjoys the hard work and dedication that the subject takes to master.

"Hard work and dedication set the foundation for achievement." -  Wander Franco

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