The NFL Divisional Round was one of the most exciting weekends of football in recent memory, with games decided by three-game winning field goals and an overtime shootout between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills that’s being dubbed the greatest playoff game of all time. Both #1 seeds were upset and underdogs went 3-1 straight up and against the spread during Divisional weekend.
The weekend could also mark the final games of two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks as both Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady will mull over retirement in the offseason after getting knocked out in the Divisional Round by lower seeds.
|AFC Divisional Round
- #4 Cincinnati Bengals 19, #1 Tennessee Titans 16
- #2 Kansas City Chiefs 42, #3 Buffalo Bills 36
|NFC Divisional Round
- #3 Los Angeles Rams 30, #2 Tampa Bay Bucs 27
- #6 San Francisco 49ers 13, #1 Green Bay Packers 10
The #4 Cincinnati Bengals will meet the #2 Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game next Sunday. It’s an all-NFC West final in the NFC Championship Game between the #3 Los Angeles Rams and #6 San Francisco 49ers. The Rams are one win away from becoming the second team in NFL history to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium.
Bengals win 2 playoff games in 8 days
The Cincinnati Bengals waited 21 years to win a playoff game and, thanks to Joe Burrow and rookie kicker Evan McPherson, they’ve now won two postseason games in an eight-game span. These are no longer your father’s Bungles because this squad is just one win away from a miraculous trip to the Super Bowl.
The Bengals took advantage of a horrendous game from Titans QB Ryan Tannehill, who threw three costly interceptions. Credit the Bengals defense with also containing running back Derrick Henry to just 62 yards and one touchdown in his first game back after missing the second half of the season with a fractured foot.
McPherson, aka Money Mack to his teammates, connected on a clutch 4-for-4 field goals, including a game-winner as time expired.
“He’s got ice in his veins,” said Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor. “There’s not much more to be said. He’s just as cool as it gets.”
McPherson improved to a perfect 8-for-8 in the postseason, and an impressive 18-for-18 on the road this season. The Bengals head into the AFC Championship game as a +7 underdog.
With the upset, Mattress Mack won his $1.1 million wager on the Bengals and gets to cash a ticket worth $2.1 million.
EVAN MCPHERSON. A ROOKIE.
— NFL (@NFL) January 23, 2022
Bills/Chiefs: the greatest playoff game
I dubbed it the “Real Super Bowl,” but anyone who watched the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs came away with the same sentiment. The Bills and Chiefs slugged it out in the greatest playoff game in NFL history. Bookies underestimated the 78-point shootout, including 25 total points in the final two minutes of regulation plus overtime.
Patrick Mahomes (378 yards, 3 TD) outgunned Josh Allen (329 yards, 4 TD) in an instant classic. Gabriel Davis scored four touchdowns in a losing cause, but with 201 yards he tallied the most receiving yards this weekend.
The only sad part about this game is that it exposed the NFL’s antiquated and unfair overtime rules. The Chiefs won the coin toss and marched downfield to score a touchdown without the Bills even touching the ball once.
The Chiefs will host the Bengals next Sunday in Arrowhead for a shot at advancing to their third-straight Super Bowl appearance.
THIS VIEW OF THE WINNER. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/c7CntozVF0
— NFL (@NFL) January 24, 2022
Hollywood ending rattles Tommy Boy
The LA Rams jumped out to a big lead, but almost blew it. Tom Brady worked his magic and almost pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history. It had shades of the 28-3 comeback in the Super Bowl, but this time Brady fell short after trailing by 27-3.
With the game tied at 27-27, LA’s Cooper Kupp made two huge catches from Matthew Stafford to set up Matt Gay’s chip-shot field goal and seal the three-point victory.
Now there are rumblings in Tampa that Brady will seriously consider retirement next season after he failed to become the first back-to-back NFL champion since his early days with the New England Patriots.
The Rams are just one win away from securing their second trip to the Super Bowl in the McVay era. With the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium, the Rams could become the second consecutive team to play the Big Game on their own turf. Heading into the NFC Championship Game, the Rams are -3.5 favorites over the San Francisco 49ers.
.@CooperKupp put the team on his back.
— NFL (@NFL) January 23, 2022
Rodgers can’t beat the Niners
Fans were treated to a playoff game on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, where Aaron Rodgers couldn’t conjure up any last-second heroics. The Green Bay Packers looked like they were gonna blow out the San Francisco 49ers, but their offense sputtered and then it began to snow in the second half. The 49ers got just enough offense to keep the game close thanks to two key blocked kicks from the special teams.
Kicker Robbie Gould nailed a walk-off field goal in the snow to send the 49ers to the NFC Championship. Gould also slammed the door on a disappointing ending for Rodgers and the Packers.
The 49ers are trying to lock up their second trip to the Super Bowl in the last three years. They head down to LA in the NFC title game as a +3.5 underdog.
As called on 49ers radio: pic.twitter.com/0tJX2w3pjY
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 23, 2022