This is becoming a well oiled machine. 49ers QB Brock Purdy threw for 332 yards and 3 touchdown passes in his first playoff start against the Seattle Seahawks. RB Christian McCaffrey ran for 119 yards with a receiving touchdown and WR Deebo Samuel had 133 receiving yards and a touchdown catch. The defense forced two turnovers in the second half and nearly shutout Seattle in the second half giving up a touchdown in garbage time. This was the third time facing their division rival and the 49ers swept them in impressive fashion. It’ll be interesting if this continues.
It Shouldn’t Have Happened
Whether they couldn’t or didn’t want to run the ball, the Los Angeles Chargers did a horrible job of running out the clock with a 27-7 halftime lead. Credit to the Jacksonville Jaguars for continuing to force the issue and eventually kicking the game winning field goal. This one will go down as another in a long line of ‘Chokin’ Chargers’ moments in franchise history. Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence threw 3 interceptions in the first quarter and 4 total in the first half. They had no business winning this game with that kind of a start. That’s how improbable this game was.
A Difficult Task
The game on paper should not have been this close. Bills QB Josh Allen throwing 2 interceptions didn’t help and it swung momentum in Miami’s favor. Buffalo scored 17 unanswered points to start the game, but then allowed the Dolphins to score 17 unanswered to be tied in the second quarter. Miami’s third string quarterback Skylar Thompson played well all things considered. The clock management and the Dolphins use of timeouts was the worst at the end of the game when it mattered. For Buffalo’s sake they were fortunate that the defense played well and Josh Allen snapped out of it in the second half throwing 2 touchdown passes.
I’m Not Surprised At All
If you thought the New York Giants couldn’t beat the Minnesota Vikings, you’re either a diehard Vikings fan or you haven’t watched much of the NFL this season. Sure, the Vikings did win 13 games during the regular season and won the NFC North by a mile. But their flaws were shown for everyone to see at home against the Giants. RB Saquon Barkley scored 2 rushing touchdowns, but it was QB Daniel Jones who led the team with 78 rushing yards and 301 yards passing with 2 touchdowns through the air. Minnesota’s defense had no answer for Jones and their offense was one dimensional for the most part as they only attempted 16 rushes, but were averaging 4 yards an attempt. Point being that this was a predictable outcome considering the teams involved.
It Came Down To A Fumble
The momentum for most of the game was in favor of the Baltimore Ravens. The game was tied at 17 in the 4th quarter and the Ravens were 2 yards away from the end zone. QB Tyler Huntley tries to jump over the top for the touchdown but was stymied immediately and then fumbled the ball. Cincinnati Bengals DE Sam Hubbard picks it up and then returns it for the go-ahead touchdown. The Ravens did have a near touchdown, pending an extra point or 2-point conversion to win the game as time expired, but it was off a receiver’s finger tips. The Bengals dodged a bullet with this one and they’ll have to be better going forward.
So Long Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay proved why no one from the NFC South was deserving of a playoff spot. The Dallas Cowboys jumped out to a 24-0 lead and never relented. Until he actually says it in front of a podium, I don’t believe this is the last game for QB Tom Brady, but I do believe that he is done playing in Tampa Bay. This team was awful all year long and we all got to see it as the final game for Wild Card Weekend. Dallas got a chance to redeem themselves from their terrible Week 18 performance against Washington. The Cowboys will need to have LB Micah Parsons continue to be as active as he was against the Bucs for the rest of the playoffs.