The Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs brought great excitement this past weekend. From Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees to Lamar Jackson vs. Josh Allen. We got to see some great offense along with some great defense. There was also some drama and some sad endings. All four games were great to watch and I am here to recap all of them.
Rams at Packers: Packers Win 32-18
Going into the game there were some questions about how the Packers offense would deal with the Rams defense. After Seattle struggled with the Rams defense in the Wild Card round, it was fair to question if the Packers would play well. Or so we thought. The Packers were able to dominate the Rams defense starting with their run game. The Packers had 188 yards rushing on 36 attempts as a team. This allowed the Packers to open up their play action game and hit open receivers. For the most the Packers used a dink and dunk passing game. They wanted to be patient and methodical against this Rams defense to limit possessions for the Rams offense. Aaron Rodgers was sensational going 23-36, for 296 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no picks. With this performance Rodgers will lead the Packers to the NFC title game for the second consecutive year. This will be Rodgers fifth championship game overall. But this will be his first one at home in his career.
Ravens at Bills: Bills Win 17-3
Many people looked at this game thinking it would be a great battle between two young up and coming quarterbacks. Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson had been playing the best football of their seasons coming into the game. But the game was more about the defenses than the quarterbacks. The Ravens only scored three points on offense while the Bills only got ten. Buffalo got an extra seven points off a pick-6 to bring their point total to 17. Many will look at the wind as a cause for struggling offense. Josh Allen who completed 62 percent of his throws in the game, missed plenty of routine ones that he had made all season long. Justin Tucker also missed two field goals due to the wind. This made it tough to put points on the boards for both teams. In the end, Buffalo’s offense was a little better and they won the game. Buffalo will move on to the AFC Championship game for the first time since 1994. On the other side the Ravens will head home suffering their third playoff loss in three seasons. With the way the offense seems to have struggled come postseason scoring 17, 12, and 3 in each of their last three playoff losses. Many have wondered if the Ravens need a scheme change or if Lamar just needs to get better. The Ravens will have plenty of work to do to figure out how their offense takes the next step.
Browns at Chiefs: Chiefs Win 22-17
This game looked to be a lopsided affair when it had begun. The Chiefs offense was moving down the field at will and Patrick Mahomes had gone 21-30, 255 yards, 1 touchdown, no picks, and a rushing score. But in the third quarter with the Chiefs up 19-10, Mahomes went out of the game with a concussion and was replaced by Chad Henne. The Chiefs were able to extend the lead to 22-10. But, Cleveland was able to make the game 22-17 after a Kareem Hunt touchdown. Then with eight minutes left, Chad Henne threw an interception in the endzone. Many believed Cleveland would have a chance. But, they had to punt and give it Kansas City. In the end the game came down to fourth and inches and many people thought the Browns would get a chance. But Andy Reid decided to go for it and won the game with Chad Henne throwing a quick strike to Tyreek Hill. It will be the third consecutive AFC title the Chiefs have played. They will have to wait and see if Mahomes is available but, if he is, he should be able to win.
Buccaneers at Saints: Bucs Win 30-20
This game can be described in one word: Turnovers. In a game between two legendary quarterbacks, one did not have any while the other had three. Brees threw three picks and the Saints had four giveaways as a team because of a Jared Cook fumble. The Buccaneers took advantage of that, scoring 21 points off of three Saints giveaways. Tom Brady moves on to his 14th career conference championship game as he continues his pursuit for his tenth Super Bowl appearance. Meanwhile for Drew Brees it looks to be the end of his NFL career. Brees will be remembered as one of the greats at the quarterback position as he walks away as the all time leader in both passing yards and touchdowns.