The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

NFL playoffs: wildcard & divisional update


The NFL playoffs started earlier this month and are soon to be concluded with the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 11.

The wild-card round began on Saturday, Jan. 13, with two games: the Cleveland Browns vs. the Houston Texans and the Miami Dolphins vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. 

The Browns met the Texans in Houston to kick off this year’s playoffs. Solid defense and a high-flying offense led the Texans to the AFC South title, meaning they would host the Browns to start their playoff journey. 

Kansas City won the AFC West title, meaning the Dolphins traveled to play in frozen conditions at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The temperature, with wind chill, was cold enough that several fans suffered from frostbite and hypothermia.

The Texans won their game 45-14 behind an explosive first half from C.J. Stroud and a dominant defense in the second half, including two interceptions taken back for six. Stroud performed incredibly in his playoff debut, completing 16 of 21 pass attempts for 274 yards and three touchdowns. 

Houston has what looks like an electric duo in Stroud and his No. 1 target, Nico Collins. Collins finished the game with six receptions for 96 yards and a TD.

“We picked a bad day to have a bad football day, and our defense didn’t know what hit them,” said Ryan Collins, a sophomore mass communication major and Browns fan.

The Chiefs got a 26-7 win over the Dolphins with long sustaining drives and a versatile offense led by none other than Patrick Mahomes. The Dolphins were off-rhythm, adapted poorly to the weather and had their flashy offense held at bay by Kansas City’s talented defense. 

The Chiefs’ offense was run mainly through wide receiver Rashee Rice, running back Isiah Pacheco and kicker Harrison Butker, who went 4-4 on field goals and tallied 14 points in total.

On Sunday of wild-card weekend, the Green Bay Packers played at the NFC East champions, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Los Angeles Rams traveled to take on the NFC North champions, the Detroit Lions.

The Packers were the youngest team in this year’s playoffs but looked quite experienced, as they destroyed the Cowboys on the road. The game ended 48-32. However, garbage time points let Dallas pull the score closer. 

Much like Stroud, Packers quarterback Jordan Love played great in his playoff debut. Love completed 16 of his 21 pass attempts for 272 yards and three TDs, meanwhile Aaron Jones had the Packers killing with the ground game as well, as he rushed for 118 yards and three TDs on 21 attempts.

The Lions beat the Rams in an extremely close game, ending with a score of 24-23. The game played out with quick scores in the first half and turned into a defensive battle in the second. 

With a halftime lead of 21-17, the Lions were outscored 6-3 in the second half and hung on to the win by a single point. Puka Nacua capped off his record-breaking rookie season with a performance of nine receptions for 181 yards and a TD, as the Rams came up short.

Due to blizzard-like conditions in Buffalo, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Buffalo Bills ended up getting delayed to Monday, Jan. 15, while the Philadelphia Eagles traveled to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as originally scheduled.

Buffalo outlasted the Steelers at home to win by a score of 31-17. After jumping out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead, the remaining three quarters were played to a 17-17 tie. 

Josh Allen played an incredible game in which he was responsible for four total TDs. Allen went 21-30 for 203 yards and three TDs in the air while adding a 52-yard rushing TD.

The Buccaneers showed their gritty playstyle in a 32-9 win over Philly, in which the Eagles only scored three field goals, all in the second quarter. Bucs QB Baker Mayfield led the way, completing 22 of 36 attempts for 337 yards and three TDs. 

The game’s defining moment came in the third quarter, when the Bucs matched Philly’s point total in under a minute after a safety and a quick drive capped off by a Mayfield strike to Trey Palmer for a 56-yard touchdown.

In the divisional round, the Texans and Packers traveled to take on the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, both fresh off a first-round bye on Saturday, Jan. 20. The Buccaneers traveled to take on the Lions, and the Chiefs traveled to play the Bills on the next day.

The Ravens dominated the Texans in the second half to win 34-10 after winning the fourth quarter 17-0. Stroud was finally corralled by Baltimore’s mean defense, allowing Lamar Jackson to take over the game. 

Likely to win the MVP award in the coming weeks, the dual-threat Jackson accounted for four TDs — two with 16-22 for 152 yards in the air and two more by way of 100 yards rushing on 11 attempts.

“The team looked really good and obviously made the most of the first-round bye, which is important,” said Colby Lau, a senior marketing major and Ravens fan. “I was really happy to see Lamar silence his haters who say he’s not the same guy in the playoffs. He played one of his best games of the season.”

Stroud’s outstanding rookie season came to an end, with him likely to be in a close battle with Nakua of the Rams for the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

“I’m excited to watch C.J. Stroud in the coming years,” said Drew Bogumill, a senior mass communication major. “This game against Baltimore’s defense will be an invaluable experience for him. As an Ohio State fan, I’ve enjoyed supporting him for years now, and I look forward to seeing the type of quarterback he can become, considering his potential. He absolutely balled out this year.”

The 49ers scored a late TD and intercepted Love to end the game with a 24-21 win. San Francisco leaned on Christian McCaffrey, who rushed 17 times for 98 yards and two TDs — one in the dying stages to take the lead. 

Packers kicker Anders Carlson missed a field goal in the fourth quarter that would have changed the game, as the 49ers would have only tied the score with a minute to go.

With the game tied after three quarters, the Lions pulled away from the Buccaneers behind a 14-point fourth quarter to win the game 31-23. 

The Lions ran a pass-heavy offense, as QB Jared Goff completed 30 of 43 passing attempts for 287 yards and two TDs. Goff linked up with his No. 1 target, Amon-Ra St. Brown, eight times for 77 yards and a TD, while Jahmyr Gibbs added another TD in the run game with 74 yards on only nine carries.

The Divisional Round was capped off by the game of the playoffs so far between the Chiefs and the Bills. The Bills were held to zero points in the fourth quarter in a 27-24 defeat. 

Bills kicker Tyler Bass missed a crucial field goal wide right with under two minutes to go. Travis Kelce put on a dominant performance, scoring two TDs by way of 75 yards on only five receptions, with one heart celebration dedicated to the biggest story in the league this year, Taylor Swift.

Kelce put up another unbelievable performance in the AFC Championship, where he caught 11 passes for 116 yards and a TD, helping the Chiefs defeat the Ravens 17-10 and punch their ticket to Super Bowl LVIII.

The 49ers were the next team to earn their spot in the Super Bowl, as they came back from a 17-point deficit at halftime to defeat the Lions 34-31. The Chiefs and 49ers will battle for the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday, Feb. 11.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Bobcat Multimedia Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *