Wildcard weekend was boring. It is quite easy to see that. All four of the games were won by more than ten points and the outcomes were never really in doubt. Everyone was hoping for a much more exciting weekend of football in the divisional round. It did not disappoint.
Saturday was definitely the weaker of the two days. With the Falcons easily beating the Seahawks and the Patriots beating the Texans.
The Falcons were the expected team to win and they definitely showed that. They were by far the better team, clicking on offence and defence. The Seahawks were never really able to get anything going their way and that is why the Falcons won at a score of 36-20.
The Patriots were even more of a favourite to win their game against the Texans. It had been a surprise that the Texans were able to make it out of wildcard weekend at all. EA Sports did three simulations of this game, using all three of the Patriots quarterbacks, and New England won all three. There was; however, still a game to be played. The Patriots were definitely not looking like their normal selves. Brady threw two interceptions, matching the amount that he had thrown all of this season. Despite the shakiness, the Patriots still came out on top at a score of 34-16.
Now, here is where the weekend got interesting.
The first game on Sunday was between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys had the better record going into the game, but the Packers had won seven straight games going into it. It was predicted to be close, but nobody would have guessed how close it would actually be. The Packers jumped out to the early lead and their offence looked unstoppable. But then, in the third quarter, Jeff Heath got an interception and the momentum shifted. The Cowboys stormed back and tied the game. Each team made a field goal and the game was down to the last few minutes. The Packers had the ball, but were not in field goal range. Aaron Rodgers did what Aaron Rodgers does best and that is make an amazing push down the field in the dying minutes. With no time left on the clock, Mason Crosby kicked the second 50+ yard field goal of the day and the Packers got the win at 34-31.
That was not the only close game of the night.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were in Kansas City to play against the Chiefs. Two very good offences were facing off, so many expected a high scoring affair. It did not go exactly like that. In an 18-16 game, there were only two touchdowns scored. And both were scored by the losing team. Chris Boswell kicked six field goals, going six for six and setting an NFL record for the most field goals in a single game. Le’Veon Bell was also an impact player for the Steelers, putting up 170 rushing yards. After all of this, the game still came down to a two-point convert. The Chiefs failed to make it and tie the game and went on to lose.
After this exciting weekend, we can only hope that next weekend will be even better. I think that it is fair to say that it will be. In the AFC, the Steelers will be visiting the Patriots. The Steelers were very lucky to be able to get by the Chiefs and they are going to need more production in order to beat the Patriots. Brady and the Patriots will bounce from their poor performance and put up some big numbers against the Steelers. My prediction: 34-17 for the Patriots.
Over in the NFC, it will be a battle between the Packers and the Falcons. The Falcons have been very impressive this season, but unfortunately for them, the Packers have been far too dominant for anyone to beat at this point. The Falcons will need their defence to really show up if they have any chance at winning this game. My prediction: 38-24 for the Packers.