By Bo Pierce
The wildcard round is over and the next round in the playoffs is right around the corner. Most teams playoff chances have been ruined, while others are making their way for Super Bowl 51. Let’s recap the wild games that went down:
Raiders 14 Texans 27
Raiders entered the playoffs hoping to squeeze away with a win without their offensive leader Derek Carr, who broke his leg in Week 16. Starting the game off with the number one defense in the league, Jadeveon Clowney blocked rookie Connor Cook’s first pass. That summed up the game for the rookie: bad passes and bad plays. Texans got on the board first with a 50 yard field goal by kicker Nick Novak. After failing to gain much yards, Raiders were on a 3rd and 12 when Jadeveon Clowney tipped and intercepted a pass to help Lamar Miller run in for a 4 yard touchdown; giving the Texans a 10-0 lead. Before the end of the first quarter, the Raiders got on the board with a 2 yard run by Latavius Murray. Ending the first quarter 10-7, but the Texans weren’t going to keep this game close for long. Not before long in the second quarter, the Texans drove 95 yards down the field to take a six point lead with a 38 yard field goal. Later on in the quarter, the Texans on their own 40 went down the field and scored a 2 yard touchdown due to the duo of Osweiler and Hopkins; giving the Texans a 20-7 lead heading into the second half. A defensive third quarter lead to no score until the fourth quarter with Brock Osweiler running the all himself for a 1 yard touchdown Texans up 27-7. Finally, the Raiders have a complete drive that lead to the rookie Connor Cook throwing his first touchdown pass to Andre Holmes for 8 yards. The score was 27-14 and it looked like the Raiders were going to make a come-from-behind win, but tragedy struck as Connor Cook threw two interceptions that ended two possible scoring drives. Texans are heading to Foxborough to face the number one seed, the Patriots.
Lions 6 Seahawks 26
Going into Seattle is never easy for any team, the Seahawks with their 12th man to turn the tables is the ultimate game changer. After a few drives from each team, the Seahawks were the first to score with a drive consisting of 60 yards including a penalty on a touchdown that could’ve changed the Seahawks from scoring a touchdown to the Seahawks scoring a field goal. The Seahawks next drive ended in a Steven Hauschka 43 yard field goal, Seahawks were up 10-0. Lions scored on their next drive with a 51 yard field goal, ending the half 10-3. Lions scored first in the second half with a 53 yard field after driving down the field from their own 4 yard line. The Seahawks answered back with a drive down to the Lions 9 yard line where they kicked a 27 yard field to make the game a 7 point game, 13-6. The rest of the game was all Seattle as the Lions couldn’t score another point. The game ended with two more touchdowns by Seattle, including a missed extra point, 26-6. Seattle heads to Atlanta for a chance to make Conference Championship for the third time in four years.
Dolphins 12 Steelers 30
All three of the Steelers B’s were incredible in this game: Big Ben, Brown, and Bell. Big Ben and the crew got started early on their 15 yard line with plays from all three of them ending with a 50 yard connection from Ben to Brown to give Pittsburgh a 7-0 lead. After the Dolphins punted, the Steelers started on their 10 and scored on another connection from Ben to Brown for a 62 yard touchdown. Steelers were up 14-0 and they were just getting started. Miami got on the board with a 38 yard field, but the Dolphins still have work to do. During the first few minutes of the second quarter, the Steelers had Bell run the ball for the majority of the drive for a one yard touchdown. The missed extra point made the game 20-3 and the Dolphins were in a deep hole. The Dolphins used their runner Jay Ajayi on their drive that lead to another field goal, cutting Pittsburgh lead to 14, 20-6. After an interception, the Dolphins were driving down the field and looking to cut the lead to 7. With 27 seconds left, James Harrison strip sacked Matt Moore and the Steelers recovered. The fumble ended a great drive by Miami, and gave the Steelers a big lead going into the half. Miami received the ball first and their drive ended similarly to how their drive ended before the half, with Matt Moore getting strip sacked by Mike Mitchell and losing the ball. Pittsburgh scored a field goal on the turnover and made the lead a 17 point game. Miami got the ball back hoping that they could turn the tables, but instead Matt Moore threw an interception that led to Pittsburgh scoring another touchdown by Bell for 8 yards. Down by 24 with 10 minutes left, Miami drove down the field and scored their first touchdown of the game with a Matt Moore 4 yard pass to Damien Williams. Miami failed on the two-point conversion, putting the score 30-12. A few plays later Big Ben is intercepted by Xavien Howard, bringing hope back to Miami. Sadly for the Dolphins, Pittsburgh defense held and ended the game 30-12. The Steelers are headed to Kansas City for a tough matchup.
Giants 13 Packers 38
Being the last game of the wildcard round, there was a lot of anticipation for this matchup. On the Giants second drive, they were able to put up points with a 26 yard field goal by Robbie Gould. A few drives later, Giants take the ball all the way from their 8 yard line to the Packers 22 yard line for a 40 yard field goal. Giants were leading 6-0, but Green Bay doesn’t go out without a fight. Packers had great field position at the Giants 38, and scored on a 5 yard pass from Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams. Later on with a minute and a half left in the first half, Rodgers and company drove down to the Giants 42 yard line and Aaron did what he does best: throw a Hail Mary and score a touchdown. A 42 yarder to Randall Cobb with 6 seconds remaining to end the half 14-6, Packers on top. After Green Bay went for it on a 4th and 1 and failed, Eli Manning took advantage of the field position and threw a 41 yard boom to Tavarres King. Instead of going for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 14, Ben McAdoo decided to just go for the extra point to make it a one point game. Little did the Giants know that the extra point was the last point they’d score. Rodgers threw two touchdown passes to Randall Cobb for a 30 yard touchdown and a 16 yard touchdown, Mason Crosby kicked a 32 yard field goal, and Ripkowski ran up the middle for a one yard touchdown. The game ended 38-13, the game also ended in a Manning interception for 78 yards. Packers head to Dallas for a rematch and a chance to move on in the playoffs.
Well that’s all for this weeks playoff recap, next week I’ll be recapping the divisional round and who will be playing in the conference championship round.