Wild Card Weekend didn’t disappoint, filled with loads of drama, upsets and interesting storylines. Here’s a look at everything that happened through the first two days.
- Texans Dominate Browns, 45-14
- Mahomes Leads Chiefs Past Dolphins, 26-7
- Cowboys Destroyed by Young Packers Team, 48-32
- Lions Edge Out Rams, 24-23
Texans Dominate Browns, 45-14
Opening up the weekend was the Texans vs Browns matchup where most experts favored a Cleveland Browns team led by Joe Flacco. The game didn’t go according to plan for the Browns as the Texans jumped to a 24-14 lead by half time. They were then shutout in the second half, 21-0, for one of the most lopsided games of the season.
Houston Texans rookie phenom C.J. Stroud’s first game in the playoffs was one to remember. He set the Texans franchise record for most touchdowns thrown in a playoff game, in just the first half. He had three touchdown passes, finding Nico Collins, Dalton Schultz and Brevin Jordan, for a total of 260 yards.
He is the fourth rookie quarterback to win a playoff game in the first round, joining Ben Roethlisberger, Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco. Earlier this year, he was also able to set the rookie record for passing yards in a single game with 470 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Texans will play the No. 1 Baltimore Ravens if the No. 2 Buffalo Bills take down the No. 7 Pittsburgh Steelers.
Mahomes Leads Chiefs Past Dolphins, 26-7
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Miami Dolphins 26-7 at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday, in some of the coldest conditions in NFL history. The temperature at kickoff was -4 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of -20 degrees.
Mahomes had a solid day at quarterback, throwing for 262 yards and one touchdown on 23-41 passing. Rashee Rice had a big game, finishing with eight receptions for 130 yards and one touchdown. Chiefs’ kicker Harrison Butker went 4 for 4 on field goals to help keep his team well ahead.
The Dolphins couldn’t get anything going on offense, finishing with just 264 yards in total. Tua Tagovailoa was pressured all night by the NFL’s second-ranked defense, ending with 199 yards in the air, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Tyreke Hill had one 53-yard TD catch but was otherwise shut down in his return to Kansas City.
Cowboys Destroyed by Young Packers Team, 48-32
There had never been a number 2 seed losing to a number 7 in NFL history, until last night. The Cowboys went in as massive favourites, having not lost a single game at home all season.
Green Bay, meanwhile, was the youngest team in the NFL led by rookie Jordan Love.
It didn’t mean much as Green Bay came out firing, building a 27-0 lead in the first two quarters. Love was on fire, completing 16 of 21 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Aaron Jones rushed 21 times for 118 yards and three more scores.
The Packers will now face the 49ers in the next round of the playoffs, who will be well-rested after a bye. Again, the Packers will go into the game as big underdogs but as we saw with Dallas, they shouldn’t be counted out.
Lions Edge Out Rams, 24-23
For the first time in over 30 years, the Detroit Lions were able to win a playoff game, advancing to the NFC Divisional Round next weekend. It was the Lions first playoff win since they defeated the Dallas Cowboys 38-6 on Jan. 5, 1992.
Former Rams’ quarterback Jared Goff, ended up throwing for 266 yards and a touchdown. On the other side of the ball, former Lion Matthew Stafford threw for 367 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
The game was extremely tight with the Rams having a chance to pull ahead with 4 minutes remaining. A holding call on 3rd and short however pushed them out of field goal range. The drive ended with a punt and the team never got the ball again as the Lions converted two first downs to clinch the victory.
Detroit will have two home playoff games for the first time in franchise history, hosting either Tampa Bay or Philadelphia in the divisional round next Sunday.