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The Sports Report

The 2011-2012 NFL Playoffs

In the NFL (National Football League) there are two conferences, eight divisions, with four teams in each division. Each year the teams with the best win-lost-tied record for the season those teams make it to the Playoffs. There is also a wild card. Which is when two wild card qualifiers from each conference (the non-division champions with the conference’s next best winning percentages, which are the seeded 5 and 6.  There are four rounds in the playoffs, week 1 is Wild Card Week, week 2 is Divisional Week, week 3 is the Conference Championships week, and week 4 is the Super Bowl. Also in the playoffs the overtime rules are a little different than in the regular season. In overtime in the playoffs to win before sudden death a team has to score a touchdown or a safety at any point in overtime, or an unanswered field goal on the first possession. Ways sudden death begins the team that gets the ball first doesn’t score on their possession, field goals on the first two possessions, and failed opportunity to possess the ball (successful onside kick or turn over on a kicking play). In Wild Card Week all the wildcard teams play against the AFC (American Football Conference) and NFC (National Football Conference) division winners three and four. In the Divisional week the winners from the previous week play division winners one and two. For the Conference Championship week the teams that won the week before play to see who goes to the Super Bowl. Super Bowl week is the AFC and NFC champions playing each other to find out who will be that year’s Super Bowl Champion. This year AFC division winners were the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, and Denver Broncos. The NFC division winners were the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, and San Francisco Forty-niners. The AFC Wildcard teams were the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Cincinnati Bengals. The NFC Wildcard teams were the Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons.

Wildcard Week: The Cincinnati Bengals V.S. the Houston Texans, the Texans won 31-10. In the first quarter both teams scored a touchdown so it was 7-7 at the end of the first. In the second quarter the Bengals scored a field goal and the Texans scored a touchdown and a field goal. So at the end of the second quarter it was 17-10 Texans at the halftime. The third quarter and fourth quarter were controlled by the Texans. The Texans had a touchdown in both quarters; the game ended 31-10.The second game was the Detroit Lions V.S. the New Orleans Saints. First Quarter: Lions 7 points and Saints 0 points. Second Quarter: Lions 14 points and Saints 10 points. Third Quarter: Lions 21 points and Saints 24 points. Fourth Quarter: Lions 28 points and Saints 45 points. So the Saints won 45 to 28. The third game was the Atlanta Falcons V.S. the New York Giants. The first quarter was scoreless. The second quarter 7 to 2 Giants. The third and fourth quarter were dominated by the Giants. The Giants scored two more touchdowns and a field goal to win 24-2. The last game of the week was the Pittsburgh Steelers V.S. the Denver Broncos. In the first half of the game the Steelers had scored two field goals, and the Broncos had scored two touchdowns and two field goals, so at the half it 20-6. In the second half of the game the Steelers scored two touchdowns and a field goal, and the Broncos only had a field goal. This made it tied at 23. So they went into overtime which was the first overtime with the new rules. The Broncos won the coin toss so they got the ball first. On the first snap the first play of the game Demaryius Thomas 80 yard pass from Tim Tebow for a touchdown and the win 29-23. So all the wildcard teams lost and the Giants, Saints, Texans and Broncos made it to the Divisional week.

Divisional Week: The first game was the New Orleans Saints V.S. the San Francisco 49ers.In the first quarter the 49ers scored two touchdowns and the Saints were scoreless. In the second quarter the Saints rebounded by scoring two touchdowns, but they still let the 49ers score a field goal so at the half it was 17-14 49ers. The third quarter wasn’t very exciting the Saints didn’t score and the 49ers only scored a field goal, but the fourth quarter was very exciting. Both teams scored two touchdowns and a field goal, so the game ended 36-32 49ers. The second game was the Denver Broncos V.S. the New England Patriots. The whole game was dominated by the Patriots they scored 14 points in the first quarter, 21 points in the second quarter, 7 points in the third quarter, and 3 points in the fourth quarter. They totaled 45 points, Denver only scored twice, a touchdown in the second quarter, and a field goal in the third quarter. So the final score was 45-10 Patriots. The third game was the Houston Texans V.S. the Baltimore Ravens. The first half was pretty exciting, the Texans had 13 points and the Ravens had 17 points by halftime. The second half wasn’t very exciting the on score was a field goal by the Ravens in the fourth quarter, so the Ravens won 20-13. The last game of the week was the New York Giants V.S. the Green Bay Packers. This game was very entertaining and surprising because the Giants beat the number one seed Packers and reigning Super Bowl Champions. The whole game the Giants out played the Packers by a lot. The first quarter they outscored them 10-3, second quarter they outscored them 10 to 7. At halftime it was 20 to 13. They didn’t outscore them in the third quarter, but they only let them score three points. In the fourth quarter the Giants killed the Packers 17 to 7 to beat the Packers 37-20.

Conference Championship Week: So the final four teams were the Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, New England Patriots, and the San Francisco 49ers. The AFC Championship game was played by the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots. This game was very close. In the first quarter the Ravens didn’t score, but the Patriots only scored a field goal. In the second quarter they both scored two touchdowns and a field goal, so at halftime it was 13 to 10 Patriots. In the third quarter the Ravens outscored the Patriots 10-3, but the Patriots outscored them in the fourth quarter 7-0, to beat the Ravens 23-20. The NFC Championship game also was a very close game. First Quarter: Giants scoreless and 49ers scored 7 points. Second Quarter: Giants scored 10 points and 49ers 0 points. At halftime the game was 10-7 Giants. Third Quarter: Giants 0 points and 49ers scored 7 points. Fourth Quarter: Giants scored 7 points and 49ers 3 points, which put both teams at 17 points when regulation ended so this game would be settled in overtime. The Giants won the coin toss so they got the ball first. The 49ers defense held the Giants and forced them to punt. This is was started sudden death. The Giants defense was also able to hold the 49ers back so the 49ers had to punt the ball back to the Giants. The Giants still failed to score so the punted to ball back to the 49ers. When they punted it back the 49ers number 10 Kyle Williams dropped the ball and the Giants recovered it at the 49ers 20- yard line. They ran one play to the 10-yard line then kicked a field goal and won 20-17.

So the New England Patriots and the New York Giants will meet again in the Super Bowl within the last four years. The last time they met in the Super Bowl the Giants beat the Patriots so this will be a very interesting and exciting game to watch. Super Bowl forty-six is on February 5th at 6:20 Eastern Time on NBC.


Sarah Burke

Sarah Burke was born on September 3, 1982 in Barrie, Ontario, but she grew up in Midland, Ontario. She has been skiing since her teen years. At the beginning of her career she was a mogul’s skier, she often would sneak onto the snowboard half-pipe at the end of the day. As she got older she did a lot of freestyle skiing. She is one of the pioneers in the sport of super pipe skiing, fellow competitor American Kristi Leskinen also is considered a pioneer in the sport. They competed against both each other and male skiers. In her professional career she won first place in the 2001 US Free Skiing Open in the half- pipe event and finished second in slope style. When half-pipe made its debut at the 2005 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships, she emerged as the first world champion. She also has won the gold four times at the Winter X-Games in freestyle skiing. She also was the first woman to ever land a jump with a 1080-degree rotation in competition. She also won a silver medal in the Winter X-Games, ESPN’s 2001 Award for a female skier of the year, and was voted 2007’s Best Female Action Sports Athlete at the ESPY Awards. She was a promoter on trying to get the Super Pipe event and Slope Style in the Olympics Program. She wasn’t able to get them to put it in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, but was successful in lobbing the International Olympic Committee to have the event in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The 2014 Olympics are two years away and she was considered a potential favorite for the gold medal in Sochi.

On September 25, 2010 Sarah married fellow skier Rory Bushfield in Pemborton, British Columbia. Their house is in Squamish, British Columbia. On January 10, 2012 Sarah crashed and was seriously injured while training on the Park City Mountain Resort Eagle super pipe in Park City, Utah. This is the same super pipe that snowboarder Kevin Pearce was seriously injured on in December of 2009. Witnesses reported that she had completed a trick fairly well yet she fell on her head, and they said the accident didn’t appear to be very severe. Moments after, she went into cardiac arrest while still on the ski slope, making her chance of survival extremely low. She was resuscitated and air lifted to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, where she was reported to have been placed in an induced coma. Sarah underwent neurosurgery to repair a tear in a vertebral artery the next day. Nine days later Sarah died due to all her injuries. Later in week her publicist said that her injuries “had resulted in irreversible damage to her brain due to lack of oxygen and blood after the cardiac arrest, and that her organs and tissues were donated as she requested before her death.” Because the event at which she fell was unsanctioned and hosted by Sarah’s sponsor Monster Energy, Sarah was not covered under the insurance policy that applied to her when she competed for the Canada Freestyle Ski Association. Since she was not covered, the day after her death her agent established a website to raise $550,000 to help pay her estimated $200,000 hospital costs and establish “A foundation to honor Sarah’s legacy and promote the ideals she valued and embodied.”

Caela’s byline: I am the oldest of six children. I am a Christian. I love watching movies, playing on my computer, and I love watching sports. I want to go to Syracuse University, and eventually become a sports journalist. My favorite sports are hockey, football(soccer), and golf.

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