With the Divisional round over, only four teams are left standing. The AFC and NFC title games are left, but here is what happened in the Divisional Round.
Jags vs Chiefs
This game was a really surprising one I felt like. Looking back on it, I feel like the Jaguars had so many opportunities to win the game. From letting Chad Henne go 98 yards to not guarding Travis Kelce, to even that deep ball drop by Christian Kirk, it really felt like the Jags had a real shot to win. Regardless, the Jags made it a lot farther than many thought. This team is a legit squad, and maybe are even one to two pieces away from being a serious threat.
As for the Chiefs, they got off to a hot start. At the beginning, it looked like it might be all Chiefs for the day. However, a high ankle sprain to Patrick Mahomes would change that real quickly. He would only miss one drive and still had a very good game. However, this injury completely changed his play style. He is known for all of these off platform throws and making magic in the pocket with his feet. The Chiefs would win this game 27-20, but it felt like it should have been more before the injury.
Kelce had a game of games, finishing with 14 catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Isiah Pacheco also had a good day was well, as the 7th round rookie finished with 12 carries for 95 yards and one catch for six yards. The injury to Mahomes will be big news going forward. If he does not have the ability to be as mobile as he has shown, the Bengals defensive line could have a day against him. How well can the Oline protect Mahomes, and how healthy can he get before Sunday night? These will be the big questions for the Chiefs moving forward.
Giants vs Eagles
This was an absolute beat down, and the Giants would go on to win 38-7 to advance past the divisional round. The talent gap showed its head early, and the Eagles just ran away with the game. I thought this game was over after it was 14-0. Once Brian Daboll called and failed the 4th and 8 conversion after the Eagles opening drive, it began to get uglier from there. The Giants still had a good season regardless. They shouldn’t have got as far as they did, and they should be proud of it. Getting a few more skill weapons on offense with a few more defensive shell players should go a long way to helping this Giants team improve.
As for the Eagles, they got a good week of rest before the beat down. Going into the game next week against a very talented 49ers team, they will have to do more of the same. The big questions for the Eagles will be the health of Jalen Hurts and Lane Johnson. Johnson seemed to be hurt a-lot during the game. He still played well, but you can tell that groin is very painful. As for Hurts, he didn’t seem to be running as hard. He still had a good day on the ground, having 9 for 34 and a TD, but he seemed to give himself up a few yards earlier than he has in the past. With a hard hitting and very talented defense coming to Philly next week, it will be interesting to see how the Eagles prepare.
Bengals vs Bills
Boy, those Bengals came to play. The game would finish 27-10, and Buffalo seemed to have no answer. Buffalo just seemed almost like they were the road team, and the juice was just not there. They Bengals flew around faster and hit harder than the Bulls, and it’s weird how that happened. It felt like Josh Allen should have rushed more, and there were times he just sailed easy passes he should not be missing. It’s going to be Interesting to hear more about his elbow and how bad it really effected him now that the season is over. This loss is one of those that it is just soul crushing for a team that felt like they had it all going for them. It is going to be a very intriguing offseason for the Bills.
The Bengals felt slighted by all of the news about the neutral site game and tickets, and the came out buzzing. The offense put together great drives, and they rushed for over 170 yards on the Bills defense. The big key to the day was the trenches. The Bengals on offense and defense dictated the line of scrimmage, and all game they were winning. Joe Burrow also did a great job of helping the line, as he didn’t hang onto the ball more than he needed to. Now this Bengals team returns for back to back AFC title games with the Chiefs. With the Mahomes injury and this Bengals team winning 10 in a row, this is going to be a really interesting matchup.
Cowboys vs 49ers
A rivalry renewed for a late night Divisional round showdown. This was a really fun football game to watch. Not a lot of scoring and there was really good defensive play by both sides. The Cowboys had a real shot to win this game. The defense did well to force a few stops, and offensively they were moving the ball alright against a really good 49ers defense. However, two interceptions by Dak Prescott, a missed point by Brett Maher, and losing Tony Pollard to an injury be detrimental to the Cowboys. The final score would be 19-12, and the Cowboys now find themselves with 12 playoff appearances in a row without reaching the NFC title game. There was also a final play that will go down in history as one of the worst ever.
It’s going to be intriguing to see how the cowboys move forward with this. After another year of a good record and losing to the 49ers in the playoffs, there might be change coming. As for the 49ers, they played really well. Brock Purdy was a bit shaky to start and even had two to three throws that maybe could have been picked off. However, as the game went on, he got better and the run game became better. He had some great throws, one being to George Kittle that lead to a Touchdown by Christian McCaffery.
This team now goes on to face a very talented Eagles team. With how good this 49ers team has played all season, you have to think that they really like their shot to make it to the Super Bowl. If the 49ers can establish a run game on the Eagles, it might be a good sign of things to come.
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