Super Bowl

Super Bowl Sunday is upon us, but basketball remains at the top of our minds.

Even if you are focused on watching the Super Bowl on Sunday, that does not mean that you cannot have a basketball perspective on it. Having a basketball outlook could make the NFL a lot more interesting.

So, with that being said, let’s take a basketball look at the NFL, more specifically the 2022 NFL playoffs. All football players are great athletes, we’ve seen multiple players, including first-time Super Bowl appearing wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr, dunk on a regulation hoop.

How would the NFL playoffs work out if it were a basketball tournament? Things would shape out a lot different. In this article, we take a look at that very hypothetical. 

In this scenario, every teams quarterback will be the point guard, running back as the two, two wideouts as the small and power forward, and tight end as the center. From there, we will redo the NFL playoff bracket and crown a final champion.

AFC

Wildcard Weekend

Chiefs vs. Steelers

Chiefs:

PG: Patrick Mahomes

SG: Clyde Edwards-Helaire

SF: Tyreek Hill

PF: Mecole Hardman

C: Travis Kelce

Steelers:

PG: Ben Roethlisberger

SG: Najee Harris

SF: Juju Smith-Shuster

PF: Dionte Johnson

C: Pat Freiermuth

Najee Harris is a great option at shooting guard, with dynamic moving and shifty footwork. Dionte Johnson adds some good physicality at the four as well. But Tyreek Hill at small forward will result in a lot of fast-break points for Kansas City, and Travis Kelce adds great size at the center position. Big Ben as a point guard cannot win a game. Chiefs move on.

Bills vs. Patriots

Bills:

PG: Josh Allen

SG: Devon Singletary

SF: Stefon Diggs

PF: Cole Beasley

C: Dawson Knox

Patriots:

PG: Mac Jones

SG: Damien Harris

SG: N’Keal Harry

PF: Nelson Agholor

C: Hunter Henry

Talent goes a long way in hoops. The size of Josh Allen gives Buffalo and automatic advantage in this game, and Mac Jones is not big enough to keep up with him. Hunter Henry has Knox beat on the boards, and the shooting guards will be trading buckets all game. But talent does not matter if the scheme is not right. Belichick knows how to win. Patriots sneak into the next round.

Bengals vs. Raiders

Bengals:

PG: Joe Burrow

SG: Joe Mixon

SF: Ja’marr Chase

PF: Tee Higgins

C: CJ Uzomah

Raiders:

PG: Derek Carr

SG: Josh Jacobs

SF: Hunter Renfrow

PF: Zay Jones

C: Darren Waller

Like the football game, this one comes down to the wire. CJ Uzomah and Darren Waller is a fantastic matchup in the paint, and this one could get chippy. Ja’marr Chase could prove crucial for the Bengals. In a close game, it’s Cincy’s bench that gives them the win. On an Even McPherson buzzer-beater three, Bengals take the win.

Divisional Round

Titans vs. Patriots

Titans:

PG: Ryan Tannehill

SG: Derrick Henry

SF: Julio Jones

PF: AJ Brown

C: Anthony Firkser

Patriots:

PG: Mac Jones

SG: Damien Harris

SG: N’Keal Harry

PF: Nelson Agholor

C: Hunter Henry

Bill Belichick can only win so many games on the sidelines. Derrick Henry at shooting guard is just absurd, and if he even thinks about slashing to the hole that is an easy two points. Julio Jones and AJ Brown are just too big to defend for the smaller Patriot forwards, and Mac Jones does not provide an incredible advantage for New England. Titans win handily.

Chiefs vs. Bengals

Bengals:

PG: Joe Burrow

SG: Joe Mixon

SF: Ja’marr Chase

PF: Tee Higgins

C: CJ Uzomah

Chiefs:

PG: Patrick Mahomes

SG: Clyde Edwards-Helaire

SF: Tyreek Hill

PF: Mecole Hardman

C: Travis Kelce

Ah, we meet again. In perhaps a game-of-the-year rematch, the Bengals are tasked with a red-hot Chiefs team on the hardwood. This one is simple. The matchups are very even all around, except at the point guard position. Joe Burrow has the swag, has the fan support, but unfortunately for him in this hypothetical tournament, he does not have the ability to avoid defenders like Mahomes. That brings the Chiefs to the AFC chip.

AFC Championship

Titans vs. Chiefs

Titans:

PG: Ryan Tannehill

SG: Derrick Henry

SF: Julio Jones

PF: AJ Brown

C: Anthony Firkser

Chiefs:

PG: Patrick Mahomes

SG: Clyde Edwards-Helaire

SF: Tyreek Hill

PF: Mecole Hardman

C: Travis Kelce

The Titans pure size gives them an instant advantage in the contest, but the Chiefs speed brings them right back into it. In a back and forth battle, Tennessee makes a defensive stop on the last possession as CEH cannot get passed the big body of Henry.

NFC

Wildcard Weekend

Buccaneers vs. Eagles

Buccaneers:

PG: Tom Brady

SG: Leonard Fournette

SF: Chris Godwin

PF: Mike Evans

C: Rob Gronkowski

Eagles:

PG: Jalen Hurts

SG: Miles Sanders

SF: Jalen Reagor

PF: Davonte Smith

C: Dallas Goedert

This matchup pits size against athleticism. The Bucs bring tremendous height and strength with Gronk and Evans in the frontcourt. Fournette is a physical shooting guard who will have some crucial defensive stops. In Philly, Jalen Hurts should not have trouble posting a big game on Tom Brady. However, in the final play of the game, Hurts’ full-court pass to Reagor falls through his hands and allows Brady and the Bucs to escape the upset. Sorry, Eagles fans.

Cowboys vs. 49ers

Cowboys:

PG: Dak Prescott

SG: Ezekiel Elliott

SF: Amari Cooper

PF: Michael Gallup

C: Dalton Schultz

49ers:

PG: Jimmy Garoppolo

SG: Elijah Mitchell

SF: Deebo Samuel

PF: Brandon Aiyuk

C: George Kittle

Similar to the previous game, the point guard matchup is very uneven. However, the Niners match-up very well with the rest of the Cowboy lineup. George Kittle is arguably one of the best tight ends in football, and that should bode well for the hardwood. Michael Gallup has a height advantage at the four, but Deebo should be able to take control of this game and send the Cowboys home early.

Rams vs. Cardinals

Rams:

PG: Matthew Stafford

SG: Cam Akers

SF: Cooper Kupp

PF: Odell Beckham Jr.

C: Tyler Higbee

Cardinals:

PG: Kyler Murray

SG: James Conner

SF: AJ Green

PF: DeAndre Hopkins

C: Zach Ertz

Cooper Kupp, one of the best route runners in the game, will be coming off of screens like crazy this game. Stafford to Kupp will give the Cardinals nightmares all game, but the offensive firepower is undeniable in Arizona. Hopkins at power forward is a key reason the Cardinals steal this game and move on.

Divisional Round

Packers vs. 49ers

Packers:

PG: Aaron Rodgers

SG: Aaron Jones

SF: Davonte Adams

PF: Marques Valdes-Scantling

C: Robert Tonyan

49ers:

PG: Jimmy Garoppolo

SG: Elijah Mitchell

SF: Deebo Samuel

PF: Brandon Aiyuk

C: George Kittle

The 49ers pulled off the massive upset over the Packers on the gridiron, and look to be in great shape to do so again on Lambeau Court. Deebo Samuel once again looks to present issues for the opponent, but Aaron Rodgers’ squad has much more discipline than the Cowboys. Rodgers experience comes into play, but the Packers still fall short. Niners move on.

Buccaneers vs. Cardinals

Buccaneers:

PG: Tom Brady

SG: Leonard Fournette

SF: Chris Godwin

PF: Mike Evans

C: Rob Gronkowski

Cardinals:

PG: Kyler Murray

SG: James Conner

SF: AJ Green

PF: DeAndre Hopkins

C: Zach Ertz

You could not pit a more evenly matched game in a basketball-style NFL playoff remake if you tried. Conner and Fournette match up well. The receivers and center have similar traits. But the point guards? Tom Brady in season 22 versus Kyler Murray, someone drafted in two professional sports. Cardinals will play for a spot in the Super Bowl.

Conference Championship

Cardinals vs. 49ers

Cardinals:

PG: Kyler Murray

SG: James Conner

SF: AJ Green

PF: DeAndre Hopkins

C: Zach Ertz

49ers:

PG: Jimmy Garoppolo

SG: Elijah Mitchell

SF: Deebo Samuel

PF: Brandon Aiyuk

C: George Kittle

Getting repetative though, but the MVP of this tournament, Deebo Samuel, will have yet another huge game. But the Cardinals and Kliff Kingsbury make a crucial adjustment and go zone to make up for the Niners speed and slashing ability. Kyler Murray shows out, and AJ Green takes advantage of a fatigued Deebo. Cardinals are champions of the NFC.

Super Bowl

Titans vs. Cardinals

Titans:

PG: Ryan Tannehill

SG: Derrick Henry

SF: Julio Jones

PF: AJ Brown

C: Anthony Firkser

Cardinals:

PG: Kyler Murray

SG: James Conner

SF: AJ Green

PF: DeAndre Hopkins

C: Zach Ertz

It is the moment you never knew you were waiting for. If you’ve made it this far, and you like fun hypothetical articles, make sure to let us know.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. What a ride it has been. Tannehill and Murray highlight the matchup, but it will come down to AJ Brown and DeAndre Hopkins. The Titans have a comfortable lead, but Murray begins to push the pace to bring the Cardinals within 1 with 30 seconds remaining. James Conner gets a swing pass from Murray and misses the three-pointer. The rebound kicks to the weak side where 6’1” Brown and 6’1” Hopkins are fighting for it, but Brown’s 36.5” vertical just outstretches the 36” jump of Hopkins. Brown knocks down both free-throws and Murrays full-court prayer is not answered. The Titans win the Super Bowl.

By Samuel Bass

Writing sports, college basketball, ACC hoops

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