The NFL divisional round of the playoffs sprung into action this past weekend. There were four total matchups in the NFL, each team fighting for a spot in the conference finals. Four teams now remain in the hunt for the Lombardi trophy. Check out the NFL divisional playoff recap below!
Green Bay Packers vs. Los Angeles Rams
The Green Bay Packers took on the Los Angeles Rams at home in Lambeau Field. The Packers came into this game as the clear favorite after securing the best seed in the NFC playoffs.
Aaron Rodgers picked apart the second best scoring defense in the league, who had allowed just 19.3 points per game this entire season. Rodgers put up 296 passing yards, and three total touchdowns to lead Green Bay’s offense to 32 total points.
The Packers scored on their first five drives of the game and punted the ball just twice throughout the entire game.
The biggest matchup to watch in the game was Devante Adams vs. Jalen Ramsey, two of the NFL’s best athletes in their respected positions. Adams certainly came out on top. He caught nine of 10 targets for 66 yards and one touchdown he scored early in the second quarter. His touchdown play was a beautiful play design by head coach Matt Lafleur.
The Green Bay Packers will play in their second straight NFC championship game next weekend. The last time the Green Bay Packers won an NFC championship game, they won the Super Bowl in the 2010-2011 season.
The Green Bay Packers beat the Los Angeles Rams 32-18.
Buffalo Bills vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Buffalo Bills stayed home in Orchard Park, N.Y, to contend for the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens. The game started slow, with a combined three total missed field goals in the first half to result in a 3-3 tie at halftime.
The Bills came out of the gates hot in the second half with a touchdown pass from Josh Allen to this year’s regular-season leader in receiving catches and yards, Stefon Diggs.
The Bills’ defense saw that and used it to fire them up for their next drive. The Ravens drove down to the Buffalo nine-yard line and the Bills’ defense forced Lamar Jackson to throw an interception that was returned 101 yards by the third-year corner, Taron Johnson.
Lamar Jackson ended up leaving the game on the proceeding drive after suffering a concussion from a sack near the endzone. That left the rookie Tyler Huntley to come in for the Ravens.
Huntley missed a wide-open touchdown pass to Marquise Brown on his first drive, which would have swung the momentum of the game in the Ravens’ favor. But, it was not in the cards for the Ravens this season.
The Buffalo Bills beat the Baltimore Ravens 17-3.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cleveland Browns
The Kansas City Chiefs played their first game in two weeks after having the first round playoff bye. The Chiefs were in this spot last year as the defending Super Bowl champions. The Browns had a different story. They had captured their first playoff win since 1994 before this game and were looking to make a Cinderella run at the Super Bowl.
The Chiefs ruined hopes of that early on, with a touchdown on their first two drives. Patrick Mahomes scored on a one-yard run, and on the next drive, he threw to Travis Kelce for his second touchdown of the day.
Rashard Higgins fumbled the ball in the back of the endzone, ruling for a controversial touchback for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs ended the half with a commanding 19-3 lead over the Browns.
The Browns fought back in the second half, with two touchdowns on their next two drives. Jarvis Landry caught a three-yard pass from Baker Mayfield, and Kareem Hunt ran for a goal-line touchdown against his former team.
Between then, everything fell apart for the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes struggled to get up after suffering a concussion from a tweaked nerve in his neck. He ran off to the locker room and was not to be seen again after being ruled out of the game.
That’s when 35-year old veteran Chad Henne entered the game. Henne scared Chiefs’ fans after throwing a deep interception intended for Demarcus Robinson. However, the Chiefs regained possession in the late fourth quarter.
Henne not only ran 14 yards on third down to save the Chiefs drive but again on 4th & 1 he threw for a first down to Tyreek Hill to seal the game. This prompted Patrick Mahomes to tweet out #Hennethingispossible from the locker room.
The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Cleveland Browns 22-17.
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Drew Brees vs. Tom Brady matchup came for the eighth time ever this past weekend, and possibly the last. Drew Brees had been rumored that he had already announced his retirement from the NFL and that this season would be his last.
After the Saints started off with two straight field goals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got to work in the second quarter. Mike Evans caught a three-yard touchdown pass on a fade route, while Ryan Succop kicked two field goals going into the half.
It would not be morally correct to leave Jameis Winston’s 56-yard touchdown pass to Tre’Quan Smith. The trick play was run by the Chicago Bears two weekends ago when the Bears played the Saints in the NFC wild card round.
After going into the half tied 13-13, Tre’Quan Smith scored a 16-yard touchdown but was followed by an immediate Lenoard Fournette score.
The fourth quarter came up all Tom Brady. After a go-ahead field goal from the Buccaneers, Tom Brady scored a one-yard touchdown to seal the victory for the Bucs.
The Buccaneers beat the Saints 30-20.