NFL Weekly Recap: Divisional Round

Who doesn’t love the divisional round of the NFL playoffs? In my personal opinion, this is typically the most exciting football of the year, and this year did not disappoint. Each of the four games this weekend were decided by a 3-6 point differential, and the stars came to ball out for their respective fanbases. We saw underdogs win, star studded players return from injuries, and the two Goliaths of the NFL go toe to toe in an instant classic. Let’s break down the divisional round of the 2022 NFL playoffs. 

The weekend was kicked off with Joe Burrow and the steaming hot Bengals traveling to Nashville to take on the No. 1 seeded Titans. With King Henry fully healthy and back in action, it was assumed that Tennessee would ride on the back of their stud running back. So what do the Titans decide to do on the first play from scrimmage? Well, Tannehill takes a few steps back and chucks up an interception! I’m sorry, it’s almost laughable. You have a 6’3”, 250 lb beast of a man who rushed for 937 yards in only 6 weeks of playtime (still crazy). You know he’s itching to carry the rock, and you throw it on the first play? I get that it’s all strategy and mind games, but C’MON MAN! The Bengals capitalized with two first quarter field goals to go up 6-0 early. King Henry said he’s seen enough at that point, and reminded everyone that he’s a touchdown machine with a beautiful 3 yard touchdown out of the wildcat formation, bringing the score to a 6-6 standstill before Evan Mcpherson kicked another field goal to see the score at a 9-6 Bengal’s halftime lead. The third quarter proved to be the most entertaining quarter, as Joe Mixon got the scoring started with a 16 yard scamper to the endzone, giving the Bengals a comfortable 16-6 lead. However, the No. 1 seed in the AFC was not going to go down without a fight, as Tannehill led his team to a field goal and then an incredible play to AJ Brown for a 33 yard touchdown. Oh boy, we have a tied game going into the fourth, 16-16. The fourth quarter was a defensive battle as both teams clung onto their hopes of an AFC Championship appearance. Tannehill led his team onto the field with under three minutes left in hopes to win the game, but threw the ball to the wrong team as Logan Wilson intercepted him with 20 seconds left at the Cincinnati 47 yard line. With ice in his veins, cool Joe Burrow threw a DIME to Ja’Marr Chase for 19 yards to put the Bengals in field goal position. Then, as confident as any kicker ever will be, Evan Mcpherson came through for his team and absolutely DRILLED a 52 yard field goal to win the game. THAT’S WHY YOU DRAFT A KICKER. For real, I’m giving the game ball to a kicker, man. Four field goals, and two of them over 50 yards. Joe Burrow finished the game with 348 yards, and 109 of them went to Ja’Marr Chase. On the other side of the ball, AJ Brown had 142 yards and a score, while Henry added another 62 yards on the ground with a score. The downfall for the Titans in this game lays in the quarterback, as Tannehill threw three untimely interceptions that would completely shift the momentum of the game. Is his time in Tennessee coming to a close? And the No.1 seed falls; The Bengals move onto the AFC Championship game after defeating the Titans 19-16. Chase that prized Burrow Rookie card here!

Now we head to the NFC, as the over achieving 49ers travel to Lambeau to take on the No. 1 seeded Packers. On the first drive of the game, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense started off cooking by going 69 yards down the field and scoring a 6 yard touchdown off the legs of AJ Dillon. Unfortunately for Packers fans, this was the most exciting drive of the game as both teams played incredibly stout defense from here on out. The Packers had an opportunity to go into halftime ahead 10-0, but Mason Crosby had his field goal blocked as time expired. The third quarter was another defensive battle, only seeing a Robbie Gould field goal bring the score to 7-3. Following a Mason Crosby field goal, the Packers seemed to be comfortable with a 10-3 lead late in the game. However, you need to play perfect football in all areas of the game, and the Packer’s kick coverage did not show up as the 49ers had a blocked punt returned for a touchdown with four minutes left in the game. The 49ers defense then forced a three and out to effectively give the ball back to Jimmy G and the offense. Garoppolo once again did what he had to do by getting his team in field goal range before Robbie Gould kicked the game winner with time expiring. Two games in a row decided by a field goal with time expiring. WHAT A DAY OF FOOTBALL. Now the question is: Will Rodgers be in Green Bay next year? Will Davante Adams be in Green Bay? The NFL might look a little different! 49ers shock the Packers 13-10, and both 1 seeds are officially eliminated.

Now the day you’ve all been waiting for! No offense to the Saturday games, but the Sunday lineup was mouthwatering for viewers. The day started off with Matthew Stafford and the Rams traveling to Tamba Bay to take on the high and mighty Buccaneers. The Rams came out firing as they quickly got off to a 10-0 lead with a touchdown pass to Kendall Blanton for 7 yards. I’ll say this once: no lead is safe with Tom Brady on the other side of the field. BUT the Rams were not done, as they added another 10 points before halftime following a 70 yard BOMB to Cooper Kupp on a blown coverage. Okay, maybe I’ll say it twice: no lead is safe when Tom Brady is in the game. Okay, fair enough. Matthew Stafford then opened up the second half by sneaking in a touchdown to bring the score to 27-3. Okay, safe lead, right? C’MON PEOPLE! Brady came back from a 28-3 deficit in the Super Bowl! NO LEAD IS SAFE. The Bucs woke up in the third quarter, capitalizing off of a Cooper Kupp fumble and scoring 10 unanswered points from Leonard Fournette. The score would stay this way until less than four minutes left in the fourth quarter when Brady threw a 55 yard dime of a touchdown to Mike Evans who burned Jalen Ramsey. It’s now magically a one score game, and Rams fans are starting to sweat. The Rams had a chance to run out the clock, but a late Cam Akers fumble would give the Bucs the ball back with a little over two minutes left. At this point, I think the entire NFL fan base has seen this story before; the writing is on the wall. Brady is going to overcome an incredible deficit ONCE AGAIN and win the game AGAIN. Well, Leonard Fournette capitalized once again on a Ram’s mistake by punching in a nine yard touchdown, and we now have a tied game at 27-27. So we’re probably going to OT, right? WRONG. Stafford dug deep inside himself, remembered all of the pain from the first half of his career in Detroit, and decided that it’s HIS time. With less than a minute left, Stafford threw a pass to Kupp to bring the ball close to midfield, but he wasn’t satisfied yet. On the very next play, Stafford drops back and launches a perfect ball to the triple crown winner, Cooper Kupp for 44 yards to the TB 12 yard line. LETS GO! Matt Gay then struts his stuff onto the field to kick the game winning field goal against his former team. WHAT A GAME. AND YET ANOTHER FIELD GOAL WITH TIME EXPIRING TO WIN THE GAME. THIS IS PLAYOFF FOOTBALL! I think I speak for everyone (besides TB fans) when I say that I am sick of seeing Brady just torment the league. So now the big question is: Does Brady retire? Let us know what you think! The Rams advance to the NFC Championship game with a 30-27 victory over the ultra powerful Buccaneers. 

Folks, we saved the best for last. The two Goliaths of the AFC clash in a game that most expected to be the AFC Championship game. The Buffalo Bills travel to Kansas City in hopes to exact their revenge against the Chiefs who knocked them out of the playoffs last year. With both teams playing at an exceptionally high level on both sides of the ball, this game was bound to go down as an instant classic. On the first drive of the game, Devin Singletary punched in a one yard touchdown to give the Bills an early lead, but Mahomes immediately responded with an 8 yard touchdown run of his own. Then, late in the second quarter, Byron Pringle caught a two yard touchdown pass from Mahomes, and it was Josh Allen’s turn to respond. With 37 seconds left in the half, Josh Allen found his talented second year receiver, Gabe Davis for an 18 yard touchdown strike, bringing the halftime score to a 14-14 stalemate. Following the half, Mahomes and the Chief’s offense started off hot with 9 unanswered points, with Mecole Hardman scoring on a 25 yard run. You thought Josh Allen would just let this game slip through his hands? HA. Allen found Gabe Davis yet again for a 75 yard BOMB of a touchdown to bring the score to 23-21 heading into the fourth. Harrison Butker kicked a field goal, but nothing much happened until less than two minutes left where this game went BANANAS. With 1:54 left on the clock, Allen found this guy named Gabriel Davis  for his third touchdown of the game on a 19 yard pass where he broke the defender’s ankles, bringing the score to a 29-26 Buffalo lead. However, Mahomes didn’t like Allen insulting his defense in front of his home crowd. So, on the very next drive, Mahomes threw a laser to Tyreek Hill who demonstrated cheetah-like speed as he sprinted to the endzone for a 64 yard touchdown. 33-29 Chiefs. You thought that was the end of the scoring, huh? Allen begs to differ. With less than a minute left, Allen marched his team down the field in a hurry before finding… am I reading this right?…. GABE DAVIS FOR YET ANOTHER TOUCHDOWN! That’s a record folk: four touchdown receptions in one playoff game. Simply incredible. Alright, so there’s 13 seconds left on the clock, and Buffalo has a 36-33 lead. Game over, right? Well, once again, you are very wrong. With all three timeouts left, Mahomes finds Hill across the middle for a solid 19 yard gain, before finding Kelce up the seam for 25 yards at the Bills 31 yard line. Butker kicks the 48 yard field goal with time expiring to send this game to OT. This might be the best game I’ve ever watched. The Chiefs win the coin toss, and Mahomes marches down the field before hitting Kelce in the endzone for an 8 yard game winner. Absolute heartbreak for Buffalo. Josh Allen finished the game with 329 yards and four touchdowns, all of which went to Gabe Davis who also finished the game with 201 yards. This was a huge breakout game for Davis.  Mahomes put up 378 yards and 3 touchdowns, with 150 yards and a score going to Tyreek Hill. The Bills lose a tough one to the Chiefs, 42-36.

Wow. That’s all I can say. What a weekend of football. Now we have Championship weekend to look forward to, where we’ll see the Bengals take on the Chiefs, and the 49ers take on the Rams. Who do you got going to the Super Bowl?

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