by Matt Weininger
What a weekend of football! Let’s take a look back at the four incredible games played last weekend and take a look forward to the conference championship games:
Cincinnati Bengals defeat Tennessee Titans (19-16)
Joe Burrow is that guy for the Bengals, and he just proved it again! Not only did the Bengals just take down the number one seed in the AFC, they also won the franchise’s first ever road playoff game. The Bengals looked great from the outset with Ryan Tannehill throwing an interception. Even with three picks, the Titans kept it close the entire game. Tennessee’s star running back, Derrick Henry, returned for the first time since week 8, but he didn’t seem to be himself. Julio Jones had his best game of the year with 62 receiving yards and A.J. Brown had a spectacular game with 162 receiving yards and a touchdown for the Titans. It wasn’t enough, though, as Joe Burrow dropped 348 yards and spread the ball around like a veteran quarterback. Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and C.J. Uzomah combined for nearly 300 receiving yards yards, and Joe Mixon was there for Cincy when they needed him as he scored their only touchdown. Kicker Evan McPherson kicked four field goals including the game winning field goal as time expired.
San Francisco 49ers defeat Green Bay Packers (13-10)
The game started out with the Packers having an amazing drive, marching down the field, and scoring a touchdown. From that moment on, there would be no more offensive touchdowns. After that, the Packers would get a few first downs each drive and not be able to convert. San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo threw for only 131 yards but made the throws when it counted to keep the team in it long enough for their special teams to come up with a big score. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers threw for 225 yards and running back Aaron Jones and wide receiver D’vante Adams combined for 219 of those receiving yards. But the Packers special teams was terrible and the 49ers special teams was great. San Francisco blocked a field goal and then blocked a punt for a touchdown. With time expiring, San Francisco kicked the game winning field goal while the Packers only had ten players on the field for the final play. This final play summed up the game pretty well – exciting but ugly!
Los Angeles Rams defeat Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30-27)
Tom Brady is out of the playoffs! The Rams spearheaded this game byg taking a 20-3 lead at half time with the entire team looking great. But never doubt Brady as he led a comeback to tie it with just under a minute left in regulation. However, the Rams had one drive left in them and marched down the field with key connections by Cooper Kupp and Matthew Stafford. This led to a field goal to win it as time expired. Ram’s defensive lineman Aaron Donald was spectacular as was cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Tampa Bay’s effort was there in the second half, but they just couldn’t seal the deal to force overtime.
Kansas City Chiefs defeat Buffalo Bills vs (42-36)
Best playoff game of all time? This game went back and forth the whole time with each quarterback out-slinging the other. It came down to the last two minutes where each team was trading touchdowns. The Bills found themselves up with 13 seconds left and had to feel good about their chances. However, enter Patrick Mahomes and what would be a historic drive to march down the field in 13 seconds and kick a field goal to force overtime. The Chiefs won the coin toss and then scored a touchdown on their first overtime drive to steal a victory. Josh Allen put up 329 yards and 4 touchdowns (all thrown to Gabriel Davis who had 201 receiving yards). Patrick Mahomes won the duel with 378 passing yards and three touchdowns. Tyreek Hill had 150 receiving yards with a touchdown and Travis Kelce put up 96 receiving yards and also scored a touchdown.
Championship games predictions:
Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs
Winner: Kansas City Chiefs
San Francisco 49ers vs Los Angeles Rams
Winner: Los Angeles Rams