We may have witnessed the best weekend of playoff football…ever. The first three games came down to game-winning field goal as time expired, and Bills versus Chiefs was a different level of Insanity. In the last two minutes of regulation there were four scores. The Chiefs won the coin toss and scored on the first possession of overtime – ending the game. We are now down to four teams fighting for the right to call themselves champion. Let’s get to it and recap the action.
Bengals vs Titans:
For the first time in 33 years the Cincinnati Bengals are heading to the AFC Championship Game after a 19-16 win over the #1 Seed Tennessee Titans. Despite getting sacked nine times, Joe Burrow was Joe Cool completing 28 of 37 passes for 348 yards. Ja’Marr Chase caught five passes for 109 yards, including a crucial play that set up the game-winning field goal. Chase had help from Tee Higgins who had 96 yards receiving. The Titans made too many mistakes. Ryan Tannehill threw three interceptions – the last one in heavy traffic that set up the Bengals to win the game. Also a few drives before the crucial interception the Titans ran Tannehill on 3rd down which left many people scratching their heads. Then on 4th down Derrick Henry was stuffed when everyone knew he was getting the ball.
49ers vs Packers:
Aaron Rodgers made a lot of headlines with the things he said off the field, but it was the 49ers who would have the final say versus the Packers with a 13-10 win on a last second field goal by Robbie Gould. The 49ers’ special teams were the difference in the game – blocking a field goal before halftime, blocking a punt for a touchdown and then the game-winning field goal. The 49ers must own real estate in Aaron Rodgers head as this is their 4th playoff win over Green Bay. The Packers have another season end in disappointment at home. This is the 2nd year in a row they had the top seed and lost at home before the Super Bowl. Green Bay has a lot of questions to answer this offseason with the status of Rodgers and Devante Adams being the biggest unknowns. Despite the conditions, the Packers’ offense has to score more than ten points at home. Rodgers only threw for 55 yards in the 2nd half. Has a quarterback ever done less and advanced as far in the postseason as Jimmy G? The 49ers are a well put-together football team, but can Jimmy G get them over the hump?
Rams vs Buccaneers:
The first game of a wild Sunday started in Tampa. Matthew Stafford had the best performance of his career, going 28-38 for 366 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-27 win. Stafford’s play and the Rams defense led to the LA jumping on the Bucs 27-3. Tampa was fortunate that they weren’t down worse. Cam Akers fumbled on the 1-yard line right before halftime. In the 2nd half the Rams did everything in their power to lose the game. Cooper Kupp had a fumble and center Brian Allen snapped the ball over Stafford’s head, leading to another turnover. Jalen Ramsey then was left on-on-one with Mike Evans and got beaten for a touchdown. With the Rams up seven Cam Akers fumbled again, setting up Tom Brady to tie the game with 44 seconds left. Then Stafford would make the biggest play of his career – a 44-yard bomb to Kupp to set up Matt Gay for the game winning field goal. Tampa seemed confused about the type of coverage they were running and let Kupp run right down the seam. Matt Gay would hit the game winning field goal as time expired and the Rams will host the 49ers in the NFC Championship game.
Bills vs Chiefs:
In a quarterback duel for the ages, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs had the ball last and were able to advance past Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills in a 42-36 overtime thriller. Mahomes was 33-44 for 378 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 69 yards and finished with a quarterback rating of 96. Allen was 27-37 for 329 yards, four touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 90.3. He also added 68 rushing yards rushing. There were spectacular performances at the wide receiver position as well. Gabriel Davis torched the Chiefs for 201 yards – catching all four of Allen’s touchdown passes. Tyreek Hill caught 11 passes for 150 yards and Travis Kelce made big plays as well – including the game winning touchdown in overtime. There were three lead changes in the final two minutes. Allen would find Gabriel Davis to put the Bills up 29-26. It wouldn’t take the Chiefs long to score as Hill took a pass 64 yards to the house to put the Chiefs back on top 33-29. Allen marched right back down the field to throw another touchdown pass to Davis with 13 seconds left. Most people assumed the game was over, but never count out Pat Mahomes. Mahomes found Hill for 19 yards, then hit Kelce for 25 yards – putting the Chiefs in field goal range. Harrison Butker drilled the 49-yard field goal as time expired to send the game into overtime. Kansas City won the coin toss and Mahomes went to work – finding Kelce on an 8-yard game winning TD pass. Kansas City advances to their 4th straight AFC Championship game and has beaten Buffalo for the 2nd year in a row in the playoffs. This one will haunt Buffalo for a long time.
Championship Weekend Schedule
Cincinnati vs Kansas City 3:00 P.M. on CBS
San Francisco vs Los Angeles Rams 6:30 P.M. on Fox
Kansas City over Cincinnati
LA Rams over San Francisco