Monday, January 8, 2018

Sports: NFL Playoffs (Wild Card)

Professional playoff football is one of the greatest sporting events every year and always a January highlight. This year has plenty of great matchups though the results may not matter when it comes to the Super Bowl. The winners of each game will go on to play the top two teams in each conference who are currently enjoying a bye week. An interesting result of this weekend is that all four winners come from the South division of their respective conferences. 

AFC Wild Card
Tennessee Titans vs Kansas City Chiefs
In the first upset of the NFL Playoffs, the Tennesse Titans survive a battle in Kansas City beating the Chiefs 22-21. The Chiefs started the game in dominant fashion and took a halftime lead of 21-3. The Titans had an extraordinary second half including a touchdown pass that he threw to himself, an extraordinary play that may be the best of these playoffs. Tennesse heads to New England where they will probably lose to the Patriots.

Buffalo Bills vs Jacksonville Jaguars
In a game between two pretty weak offenses and decently strong defense, the Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Buffalo Bills 10-3.  The bills were never able to score a touchdown and they lost their quarterback at the end of the game. Both of these teams did not look great but the Jaguars have performed well against the Steelers this year so they have a chance to make it the AFC Championship.

NFC Wild Card
Atlanta Falcons vs Los Angeles Rams
In an exciting game that I was most excited about, the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Los Angeles Rams 26-13. The Falcons were up at the half as the young Rams showed life near the end of the second quarter. The Atlanta defense shut them down with only a field goal in the second half. Both teams have explosive offenses but the Falcons defense is looking great which should set them up for a solid chance at beating an injured Eagles team. 

Carolina Panthers vs New Orleans Saints
In the most competitive game of the wild-card round, the game went down to the final seconds. The New Orleans Saints triumphed against their NFC South divisional rival the Carolina Panthers 31-26. The Saints went up with huge plays including long passes from Drew Brees. The Panthers fought back in the second half with Cam Newton scoring two touchdowns in the fourth but it wasn't enough. The Saints have a strong chance of defeating the Vikings in Minnesota.  

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