The Divisional Round of the NFL Playoff was filled with close games and heartbreak

Several high-stake games in the Divisional Round of the playoffs lead to victory and loss.

Several high-stake games in the Divisional Round of the playoffs lead to victory and loss.

This past weekend in the NFL was the Divisional Round of the playoff and was nothing less than chaotic which consisted of upsets and heartbreak. On Saturday afternoon, the first AFC game consisted of the four seed Cincinnati Bengals traveling to the number one seed Tennessee Titans. That night, the first NFC game consisted of the six seed San Francisco 49’ers traveling to the number one seed Green Bay Packers. The Sunday slate of games consisted of the NFC matchup between the four seed Los Angeles Rams on the road taking on the two seed Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sunday’s night cap consisted of the highly anticipated AFC matchup between the three seed Buffalo Bills on the road against the two seed Kansas City Chiefs. 


The Bengals upset the Titans by a score of 19-16. The Bengals were led by second year quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow threw for 348 yards on 37 attempts. Burrow threw to his two favorite targets Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgens. Chase reeled in five catches for 109 yards while Higgens reeled in seven catches for 96 yards. The Bengals defense played a huge part in the win by forcing three turnovers and containing Derrick Henry to 62 yards on 20 attempts. Henry was coming off a foot injury which sidelined him for most of the season and wasn’t at full health coming into this game. One of the Bengals’ picks came at a crucial point in the game late in the fourth quarter to set up the game winning field goal. With time expiring, Bengal’s rookie kicker Evan McPherson drilled a 52 yard field goal to advance them to the AFC Championship game. 


The 49’ers upset the Packers in a frigid game 13-10. This game was greatly affected by the weather. With temperatures below ten degrees for most of the game, the ability to throw, catch, and secure the ball was greatly impacted. Both teams combined for four fumbles throughout the game. This game turned out to be defensive, but the 49’ers offense did just enough to pull out a win on a game winning field goal. 49’ers quarterback  Jimmy Garopollo threw for 131 yards on 19 attempts and their offense combined for 106 rushing yards. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is used to playing in the cold and it showed as he put up 225 passing yards which in those weather conditions are big numbers. In the 4th quarter with the game under five minutes to go the Packers were up 10-3 and punting from their own 12. The 49’ers miraculously blocked the punt and returned it for a touchdown tying the game up. The 49’ers defense then held the Packers to get the ball back with little time left. They drove down to where they were in field goal range and put the hands into veteran kicker Robbie Gould. Gould drilled a 45 yard field goal through the flurries to advance the 49’ers to the NFC Championship game. 


The Rams upset the reigning Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers 30-27. The Rams came out of the gate hot, putting up 20 points in the first half and holding the Bucs to only 3. The Rams scored again making the score 27-3 Rams making people think this game was over. One thing that football fans have figured out is that you can never count out the Bucs quarterback and arguably the greatest quarterback of all time Tom Brady. Brady and the Bucs brought the game all the way back to 27-27 and forced the Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford to make a big play and he did. With 27 seconds left in regulation Stafford dropped back and delivered a 44 yard dime to All-Pro and Pro Bowler wide receiver Cooper Kupp to set the Rams up on the Bucs 12. Rams kicker then drilled a 30 yard field goal with time expiring to advance the Rams to face the 49’ers in the NFC Championship Game. The Rams big win was backed behind big performances by quarterback Matthew Stafford’s 366 passing yards and 2 passing touchdowns and wide receiver Cooper Kupp with nine receptions for 183 yards and a touchdown. 


For the concluding game for the Divisional Round the Chiefs held off the Bills in a nail biting victory in overtime. The game was back and forth from the beginning with both teams tied at 14 going into halftime. The game came down to the wire with seven lead changes and 25 points being scored in the final two minutes of the game. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 378 yards and 3 touchdowns. With key performances by wide receiver Tyreek Hill with eleven receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown and tight end Travis Kelce with eight receptions for 96 yards. The Chiefs defense struggled to contain Bills quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Gabriel Davis.  Allen threw for 329 yards and four touchdowns and Gabriel Davis reeled in eight receptions and 201 yards for four touchdowns.  


This upcoming weekend the Bengals will travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. The Bengals look to continue their recent playoff success against the 2nd seed in the AFC. The 49’ers will try to spoil Matthew Stafford and the Rams playoff hopes in Los Angeles as they also look to upset yet another highly ranked team in the NFC.