This divisional round weekend was one of the best playoff weekends in NFL history. Each game came down to the final possession and 3 out of 4 divisional round-away teams came up with a win.
This year’s divisional round was one of the greatest playoff rounds in NFL history. After having each game result in the last minutes to pull off the victory, it showed how competitive this year’s playoffs have been and that no team has as much an advantage as they think. The Tennessee Titans hosted the Cincinnati Bengals this weekend after coming off a first-round bye and ready to take the battle to hopefully host the AFC championship game being the No, 1 seed in the AFC.
With getting Derrick Henry back and him being able to score in his first game back after being placed on IR this year due to a significant foot injury, the Titans were expecting to pull off a victory and try to make it to the Super Bowl to win their first and earn their second AFC Conference title since winning in 1999. After sacking Joe Burrow a total of 8 times, you would think they would have pulled out the victory, however, Joe Burrow and company kept composure and matched everything the Titans were able to do. Defensively, Cincinnati had a stellar outing intercepting Tannehill a total of 3 times and making it an uncomfortable game for the Tennessee QB, AJ Brown was able to reel in 142 yards on 5 catches and a touchdown, but it was not enough to hold the Bengals off to advance to their first AFC Championship game since 1989 and a chance to advance to their first Super Bowl since that same year.
Burrow and Chase were able to put up strong numbers without a touchdown, however, it was enough to put them in a winning situation and a chance to beat the reigning AFC champs in the AFC championship game. Last time those two totaled over 600 plus combined and look to produce that same outcome at 3 PM in Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium.
Saturday night the San Francisco 49ers were able to advance to the NFC championship game after beating the Green Bay Packers 13-10. After being up 10-3, the 49ers were able to block a punt and tie the game at 10-10. They were able to stop Aaron Rodgers one more time and Jimmy G drove down the field to set up a game-winning field goal by Robbie Gould. Many believe this would be the last game we see Rodgers in a Packers uniform, and I am one of those who agree with the statement, People would think it would be the right decision to fight to keep Rodgers, however, I think it’s time for Green Bay to let the future Hall of Famer walk away.
After an off-season full of controversy and wondering if he would even play this season, the Packers made a lot of accommodations for the vet bringing back his old pal Randall Cobb listening more to his concerns, and trying their best to keep him happy. Although they tried to accommodate Rodgers, they still fell short in the divisional round and Aaron Rodgers is not 0-4 against the San Francisco 49ers. Even though it was a snowy game in Green Bay, you would expect one of the best league offenses to put up more points in a playoff game regardless of the conditions and this game falls more on Rodgers than what people think. Special teams did not have a great outing, however, given a chance to put up points before the game was over, the Packer’s offense failed to do so and was eliminated Saturday Night. The San Francisco 49ers are set to travel a couple of hours to LA to face off against the Rams in the Conference championship Sunday night in Sofi Stadium.
The Los Angeles Rams and the defending Super Bowl Champs Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced off Sunday afternoon in a rematch from week 4. The game came down to the final moments as Matt Stafford hit Cooper Kupp down-field on a deep bomb that set up the Rams to beat the defending champs 30-27 in a divisional-round matchup. Although the Rams were leading the majority of the game and had the Bucs down 27-3, Brady was able to mount a comeback off 4 turnovers the defense forced to tie with nearly two minutes left in the 4th quarter. Many was beginning to believe maybe Brady can pull off one more comeback win, however, Stafford and company were able to weather the storm and end up winning with a game-winning field goal at the end of the game.
Some believe this may have been Brady’s last game of his career and in his post-game interview, it looks like he may have been contemplating it. However, we know the competitive spirit Tom and he will more than likely come back next year to try to finish on a high note and win more Super Bowl before riding off in the sunset. The Rams will face off against San Francisco Sunday night in Sofi Stadium where the Super Bowl will be hosted and looks to be the second team in NFL history to host the Super Bowl in their home stadium and win it as well. They will be facing off against a tough 49ers defense that has Fred Warner and Nick Bosa leading the way, however, with the talent that surrounds the entire team for the Rams it’s hard to believe they will not finish the task and be representing the NFC this year in the Super Bowl.
The Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs faced off Sunday Night in Arrowhead where it will probably be the best divisional game ever after the clashing of Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. The Bills was able to strike first off a Singletary touchdown followed by a great drive from the Chiefs with a rushing touchdown from Mahomes as well. This battle was epic as both Quarterbacks threw for more than 300 yards and put up a total of four touchdowns apiece making it a game to remember in those final moments before heading to OT. Gabriel Davis had one of the best post-season performances as a wide receiver, scoring four touchdowns and putting up a total of 201 yards receiving, Allen was able to hit Davis for two clutch touchdowns in the final minutes, as both put them ahead to keep the pressure on the Chiefs.
Mahomes responded by hitting Hill across the middle, where the Cheetah could not be caught as he put the Chiefs ahead in the final minute to make it 33-29. Allen responded with another Gabriel passing touchdown putting them ahead 36-33 in the final 13 seconds where people believed that was the end of the game. Mahomes was able to hit Hill once again to put them around the 40-yard line, then connected with Kelce to put them in a field goal range and set up a game-tying field for Harrison Butker that took it into OT. The Chiefs won the coin toss and a red hot Patrick Mahomes was back on the field to lead another game-winning drive in OT.
He was able to connect with Kelce to extend the drive and then set up McKinnon on a screen that put them in enemy territory. Then Mahomes was able to connect to Hardman across the middle that put them near the opponent’s 10-yard mark to set up a game-winning back-shoulder throw to Travis Kelce pushing the Chiefs to their 4th straight AFC Championship game that will be hosting in KC for the 4th straight year. Both teams gave it their all, but the Chiefs were able to come out victorious and meet Joe Burrow and the Bengals in the AFC Championship game.
Next weekend will be eventful and as fans, we will be spoiled with a great conference championship game weekend. The Bengals and the Chiefs will kick it off at 3 PM in Kansas City and the 49ers and Rams will be the finale Sunday night in LA. The Bengals have a chance to get back to their first Super Bowl since 1989 and the 49ers and Rams look to get back after their most recent visits to the Super Bowl they both lost and would love to erase those memories. That leaves the Kansas City Chiefs with a chance to go to their 3rd straight Super Bowl and look to erase the travesty they had last year and win their second Super Bowl in three years.