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The Hudsucker is an online magazine made up of unique and dedicated writers with fresh voices from across the country and overseas. Our team of writers are passionate and driven, bringing forth their personalities in each article. Since its inception in 2012, The Hudsucker has continuously proven how writing is our strongest fingerprint. By creating a smart and ambitious environment for readers, the digital magazine focusing on popular culture aims to be relatable through experiences and passions.

The Hudsucker Presents NFL Weekly: Week 19 – Elite Eight Pack a Punch

The 2014 NFL playoffs are coming to an end as this last weekend of games remain before two teams battle it out in the Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey on Feburary 2. Last weekend the “Elite Eight” took their very best to the field but only four remained, with fierce plays by the Broncos, 49ers, Patriots, and Seahawks. As these four teams play today, with New England taking on Denver in just under an hour, you can guarantee it will be pack a punch into your weekend schedule! Who is are destined for the Super Bowl this year?

What a dramatic few weeks it’s been in the NFL. The divisional rounds of the postseason have been a constant stream of tense action. As NFC West foes, the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks will meet for a third time this season; the Denver Broncos s will see if they have the home-field advantage against their AFC rivals, the New England Patriots. The Broncos-Patriots game is bound to bring much excitement to fans alike as it may be the final heavyweight round between the legendary quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the playoffs.

As we wait for the games to start in a few short hours, let’s recap some of the plays from the Week 19. How did the games look? What’s ahead for the teams? Our writers Chris Hill, and Tania Hussain huddle up and share highlights from the post-season games, what they thought of the plays and what’s in-store for these few teams as we head to the Super Bowl!

New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks

Image Credit: NFL/AP Photo

Seahawks, 23-15


Earl Thomas was a brick wall that Jimmy Graham could not get past. The secondary of Seattle are probably the best in the league. The last five minutes were a bit of a let-down, but I’m sure it was because they were otherwise dominating. The Saints played well in the second half. If not for Colston’s forward lateral, they may have tied (and that’s no knock on the best receiver on the field). Seattle now must carry that home field advantage against the ONLY team that can possibly beat them in the playoffs.

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots

Patriots, 43-22


Sad end for the Colts. They returned to the field where they were defeated this time last year, in another blowout game. The Colts could have done it if they had only stayed consistent with their defense. After all, they came this far to advance to the AFC divisional playoffs, and had victories against the very best like Seattle, San Francisco, Kansas City, and even handed Denver their first loss of the season. They made it close in the second half, but the Patriots picked up the pace and stayed on the offense, tackling Indy in a 43-22 game. If there’s one thing that brings this team to their knees, it’s the Patriots. New England scored 43 points without Tom Brady even having to throw a touchdown pass. The Patriots have found a valuable asset in RB LeGarrette Blount, who pushed his way through Indy’s defense, scoring four TD runs. On the cold and rainy night, the Patriots gathered up a franchise-record six rushing TDs, gaining 234 yards on the ground which is now the second most in a postseason game for the New England name. Whatever the Patriots are doing to get this far, they are one game away from playing in the Super Bowl.


Simply put, the Patriots know how to win, and the Colts are still figuring out how to string successive good displays together. Andrew Luck can’t turn the ball over, because his team is terrible on defense. That running game of the Patriots might be the key to beating a Broncos defense that isn’t very speedy. I’ll be surprised if Brady doesn’t throw more, though.

San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers

Image Credit: Simon Bruty/Sports Illustrated

49ers, 23-10


QB Cam Newton will find other chances to win in the post season–maybe when he gets more weapons and calms down. Otherwise, Carolina’s defense proved a theory that I’ve been crafting all season: if TE Vernon Davis is on the field, everyone becomes much harder to mark. I think San Francisco will put up quite the fight, but the only way they will beat Seattle is if they completely abuse Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. If the Hawks don’t cover VD, they will lose. Plain and simple. Earl Thomas better come to play. San Francisco by 1-point.


The Panthers were pretty careless during the game last week to the 49ers, and you could tell with the outbursts from Coach Rivera. Carolina had eight penalties that cost them 73 yards, including five that awarded the Niners first downs. San Fran proved why they now stand just one win away from the Super Bowl last week. They were dominating the field and won their 3rd straight NFC title game. The 49ers defeated the Panthers 23-10, with QB Colin Kaepernick taking over the game on a pair of TDs, one a throw and one a run, all around halftime.

Later today, the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers play each other and it will be interesting to see because they are definitely two of the best teams in their division right now. I’ll be rooting for the 49ers to get into the Super Bowl. I do think they have a great chance ahead of them considering how they played this season. With how Seattle’s secondary defense is, the 49ers might have to move the ball quite a bit on the ground if they hope to snag the NFC championship title.

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos

Image Credit: Denver Post

Broncos, 24-17


I’m not sure what everyone else saw in the Chargers, but they are still very one-dimensional. If not for a very talented Keenan Allen, this game would have been a blow out. Denver is really good at scoring. Obviously, they put up a ton of points per game. But if they struggle to stop the run, it will come down to whether Denver can cover the slot. Defense will win this game–Patriots by 2 points.


What a game for the Chargers–and I mean that in accordance to Chris’ comment about them being “one-dimensional.” It’s true. I’m not sure how they got this far because this season, they have been kind of terrible despite having a five-game winning streak, but pressure has shown that they are incapable of showcasing their true potential. Throughout the first three quarters, they were dogged down by all type of execution problems in play; had first five downs to the Broncos, were constantly flagged for neutral-zone violations and lost their RB. It was not until the fourth quarter that they realized what exactly they were playing for and tried their hardest to defeat the Broncos but it was too late–the Chargers came up short. Denver was able to create a solid lead and hold off the Chargers from “charging” in. The Broncos rushed for 133 yards, including 77 of which were in the first half. Impressive for Denver since their last game against the Chargers was only 18 rushing yards. This improvement is evidence of a solid, tightly wound defense. Denver QB Peyton Manning ended the attempted comeback from San Diego with a pair of third-down completions to TE Julius Thomas. As the Broncos take on the Patriots later today, I do feel they will keep up with New England’s defense and win the game. I have a feeling we’re going to see Denver in the Super Bowl, and what a victory that would be!

Who are you rooting for to get to the Super Bowl? Let us know what you thought of this past season by sounding off in the comments below. What do you hope to see in today’s games?

About the Authors


Tania Hussain is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief here at The Hudsucker, and a freelance writer at the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF). She has her own column over at NBC News’ Newsvine and has completed a manuscript awaiting to be published. She is a member of  The Canadian Authors Association, a national organization dedicated to promoting a flourishing community of writers across Canada. Tania is an avid Colts, Elvis and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses. Follow her on Twitter as @westlifebunny.

Chris Hill graduated from Georgia State University in 2009 with degrees in Journalism and Creative Writing. He has spent a lot of time working with the media. From engineering radio broadcast for most of Atlanta’s major sports teams to shooting high school football games behind a camera, Chris has a lot of media experience. Besides that, he loves soccer, detective shows, and a buffet list of ‘nerdy’ things that would embarrass his wife. Follow him on Google+.

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