NFL Wild Card and divisional playoff weekend

Jordan Stephenson

South Bureau Chief

On Jan. 14, Jan. 15 and Jan.16, the NFL Wild Card games took place. Rookie 3rd string QB, Brock Purdy and the 49ers, beat Geno Smith and the Seahawks. It was close at halftime, but eventually they overwhelmed them in the 2nd half. The scores was 41-23, in a divisional rivalry game. Three reasons why the 49ers won was because their defense made adjustments in the 2nd half, Christian McCaffrey rushed for 119 yards, also Purdy went 18-30, for 330 yards, and four total touchdowns. 

Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars defeated Justin Herbert and the Chargers, in a wildly contested game. The score was 31-30, in an extremely close game in the 2nd half. Some reasons why the Chargers lost was because mainly they blew a 27-7 lead at halftime, didn’t run the ball effectively with Austin Ekeler, didn’t convert more on Lawrence’s four 1st half interceptions, and because Riley Patterson hit a 36-yard game-winning field goal. Their head coach, Brandon Staley will definitely be on the hot seat, because Sean Peyton is looking to return to coaching somewhere. 

Josh Allen and the Bills beat a rookie 3rd string QB, in Skylar Thompson and the Dolphins. The score was 31-34, in a very close divisional rivalry game. Three reasons why the Dolphins lost was because mainly Tua Tagovailoa wasn’t able to play because of his concussion injury, their run game wasn’t effective because their starting RB, Raheem Mosert wasn’t able to play because of a broken thumb, also because they had too many penalties and communication issues. Their main offseason focus is to get Tua a 100 percent healthy, try to resign him to a reasonable deal for both sides, and get more reliable backup QB help for Tua. 

Daniel Jones and the Giants beat Kirk Cousins and the Vikings, in an upset alert type of game. The score was 31-24, back and forth adjustment game. Three reasons why the Giants won is because Brian Daboll instilled confidence in his team all season, their defense limited Justin Jefferson’s impact on the game, also Jones carried them by going 24-35 for 301 passing yards with two touchdowns, and with 78 rushing yards. 

Joe Burrow and the Bengals defeated Tyler Huntley and the Ravens, in a down to the wire game. The score was 24-17, in a throwback divisional rivalry game. Three reasons why the Ravens lost was because Lamar Jackson wasn’t able to play because of a PCL injury, Ja’Marr Chase carried with nine receptions for 84 yards, and a touchdown and because Huntley fumbled at the goal line, which led to Sam Hubbard’s 98-yard fumble recovery touchdown, which definitely was the deciding factor. Their main offseason focus is to get Jackson 100 percent healthy, sign him to a long-term contract, and find another Offensive Coordinator. 

Dak Prescott and the Cowboys beat Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, in a blowout win. The score was 31-14, in a statement game. Three reasons why the Buccaneers lost was because they couldn’t consistently run the ball, they allowed Dalton Schultz to have seven receptions for 95 yards, and their defense allowed Prescott to dominate the game by going 25-33 for 305 yards, with five total touchdowns. The Buccaneers cleaned house and Tom Brady is more than likely signing with another team, rather than retiring again. 

On y Jan. 21 and Jan. 22, the Divisional Round playoff games took place. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs beat Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars, in a great battle. The score was 27-20, in a very close game. Three reasons the Chiefs won was because Isiah Pacheco had 95 rushing yards, their defense allowed Travis Kelce to have 4 receptions for 98 yards, with two touchdowns and Mahomes was still able to make plays, even with a right ankle sprain. 

Jalen Hurts and the Eagles defeated Daniel Jones and the Giants, in an embarrassing loss. The score was 38-7, in a divisional rival game. Three reasons why the Eagles won was because their run game was allowed to go for 268 rushing yards, with three touchdowns, led by 28-0 at halftime, and their defense accumulated five sacks. The Giants offseason focus is to sign Jones and Saquan Barkley to long term contracts. 

Joe Burrow and the Bengals defeated Josh Allen and the Bills, in a highly anticipated game. The score was 27-10, in a snow game. Three reasons the Bills lost the game was because their run game was ineffective, their defense allowed Joe Mixon to go for 105 rushing yards, with a touchdown, and their offense wasn’t efficient. Damar Hamlin was in attendance at the game and will continue his offseason recovery. 

Brock Purdy and the 49ers beat Dak Prescott and the Cowboys, in a close contested game. The score was 19-12, in a storied playoff matchup. Three reasons the 49ers won was because their defense intercepted Prescott twice, stifled their run game, and George Kittle had five receptions for 95 yards. 

Jimmie Ward and Noah Brown during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game
Courtesy of Godofredo A. Vásquez/Alamy Stock Photo