NFL Wildcard Weekend


This offseason, the NFL decided on a new playoff format that would have fourteen teams in the playoffs instead of twelve and it did not disappoint. One of the biggest aspects of this change was that only one team would get a bye, forcing the second seed to play the seventh seed. There were some great matchups this week so let’s get started!


2. Buffalo Bills vs 7. Indianapolis Colts

Josh Allen came ready to play this Saturday against Indy throwing for 324 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Bills' 27-24 victory over the Colts. Buffalo held a small lead going into the second half 14-10 but couldn’t quite pull away fully from the Colts who hung around all game and were a drive away from winning the game. A controversial call late saw Zach Pascal catch a pass and then fumble, however, the refs called it a catch. It wouldn’t matter as the Bills held on to win their first playoff win since 1995. Phillip Rivers impressed as well throwing just over 300 yards and 2 touchdowns on the day. The Bills will move on to face the Ravens next week at home.

(Via USA Today)

3. Seattle Seahawks vs 6. LA Rams

The story going into this game was going to be all about defense as the Rams were boasting the number one defense, only allowing an average of 282 yards. They would take on a Seattle offense who lit the first half of 2020 on fire but struggled the rest of 2020. With Jared Goff breaking his thumb, the offense was set to be run by former AAF QB John Wolford. Unfortunately, he exited after a hit to the neck from Jamal Adams early in the first quarter. The Rams stifling defense forced a pick 6 from Russel Wilson while Jared Goff came in with the healing thumb to save the day. Seattle could not get much going on offense thanks to Aaron Donald getting lots of pressure on Wilson. LA cruised easily with the 30-20 win and will face Green Bay next week.

(Via Boston Globe)

4. Washington Football Team vs 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady is 43 years old. Despite his age, he looked great in the pocket. He was able to dissect the Football Team for the easy 31-23 win to move on to the next round. However, the story wasn't about Tom Brady. It was about the third-string quarterback, Taylor Heinicke, for the Football Team. He was thrust into the spotlight after Alex Smith was not ready to go Saturday night. Heinicke threw for 306 yards with one touchdown in the air and one on the ground. Ultimately, the Football Team fell short as Tom Brady led a putaway drive and had a great night with 381 yards and two touchdowns. Tampa will travel to New Orleans next week in a matchup of the old gunslingers.

(Via LA Times)

4. Tennessee Titans vs. 5. Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson was finally able to exercise his playoff demons on Sunday vs. the Titans. He was also able to shut his critics down. Lamar and the Ravens did not get the best start. They fell in a 10-0 hole, but they were able to come back. The Ravens defense was able to control the line of scrimmage and contain Derrick Henry to only 40 yards all game. Henry was the leading rusher this year and rushed for over 2,000 yards, but the Ravens were able to keep him in check. Lamar found answers to the Titans' defense in the second half by using his legs to lift the Ravens to a victory. Jackson threw for 179 yards and had one rushing touchdown. The Ravens will move on to face the Bills on the road next week.


2. New Orleans Saints vs 7. Chicago Bears

New Orleans Saints easily handled the Chicago Bears on Sunday despite the Bears keeping it close for most of the game. New Orleans marched down the field on the first drive with a touchdown catch from Michael Thomas, who was just activated off the Covid 19 list. The Bears had a chance to answer, but Javon Wims dropped an easy touchdown pass. Chicago forced a fumble in the second quarter, but after a questionable penalty call, settled for 3 points. That is all they would score again until the very last play. The New Orleans defense was stifling. Drew Brees tired out Chicago's defense to cruise to a 21-9 victory. Saints will be the host next week against the Buccaneers for round three.

(Via Fox Sports)

3. Pittsburgh Steelers vs 6.Clevaland Browns

The highlight game of wildcard weekend did not disappoint as the Browns took it to the Steelers in Pittsburgh, jumping to a 28-0 lead after the first quarter of play. The Browns were able to force turnovers from Ben Roethlisberger and run the ball effectively with Nick Chubb. Pittsburgh just could not catch up, coming within 12 points in the fourth quarter but fell short. With Head Coach Kevin Stefanski out with Covid, some key injuries, being on the road to a rested team, and losing Odell Beckham, they were able to pull off the upset 48-37. Mayfield threw for 263 yards and 3 touchdowns while Big Ben threw the ball 68 times. Cleveland will need to be ready for another upset when they travel to the defending champion Chiefs next week.

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