What is often regarded as the best football weekend, the Divisional Round of the playoffs is here, and it is shaping up to live up to that moniker. Including a few matchups we don’t get a chance to see very often. One of those being in the NFC, between the San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings. A matchup between two teams who are built strikingly similar but have followed different paths along the season. Today I’m going to preview a few of the matchups in this divisional round game, a long with some keys to victory for San Francisco
Watson and company take the show on the road to Arrowhead where they will attempt to abracadabra the Kansas City Chiefs out of the second act of the postseason. It will also be the second time the Texans travel to Arrowhead this season, the first being a 31 to 24 victory for Houston back in Week 6.
With the Ravens win against the Cleveland Browns 31-15 in week 16 they moved to 13-2, gaining there 11th consecutive win of the season. Their last loss was recorded in week 4 to the first matchup against the browns where the Ravens lost 40-25. The Ravens winning in the second matchup, have now secured the number one seed in the AFC. This will be the first time the Ravens have secured a number one seed and home field advantage for playoffs. With the win making the final game against the Steelers irrelevant to the Ravens season, Harbaugh announced he would rest key players to have an extra rest for their 12th playoff appearance in franchise history.
After narrowly escaping the Detroit Lions with a win in Week 17 the Packers earned themselves a bye for the first week of the playoffs. It was an ugly victory but the Packers did what they needed to do and in the end Mason Crosby came through with a time expiring field goal.
The NFL Playoffs have arrived and its looking like there is going to be some interesting match-ups starting in the Wildcard round. Thanks to the Chiefs (12-4) beating the Chargers (5-11) and the Dolphins (5-11) beating the Patriots (12-4) last Sunday, the Chiefs gained the advantage of being the second seed in the AFC playoff picture. With that seeding, the Chiefs will be getting rest while seeds 3-6 will be trying to earn a spot in the divisional round.
Assuming the Eagles take care of business next week against the Giants for the division title, the Eagles will be poised once again to make a serious run in the playoffs. See the following article for more details and insights!
When Coach Yoast from Remember The Titans said leave no doubt after inspiring the defense to play lights out for Coach Boone, that was one of my favorite moments from Remember the Titans. On December 22nd at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles played host to the Dallas Cowboys with the season of the line and the words from Coach Yoast rang through the entire Eagles team. With the Linc as loud as the night the Eagles blew the doors off against the Vikings in the NFC Championship game, the Eagles played their most complete game of the season. The offense even with missing 5 starters and Zach Ertz playing with taped up ribs and still managed to conduct long drives, a rhythm passing attack and Miles Sanders run to ice the game in the 4th. The defense in which Jim Schwartz and the rest of the defensive’s staff job was on the line held the Cowboys offense to 9 points and didn’t allow a single touchdown. If it wasn’t for two badly missed Jake Elliot field goals, the Eagles would have won by double digits. The biggest takeaway from this game, was the leaders of this Eagles team needed to step up and lead by example in this game and all of them did. Let’s start with the defense.
The Raven’s added another win to total of an eight game win streak with the most recent victim being the San Francisco 49ers. But it wasn’t easy. Sam Koch had his busiest game in a while, where the 49ers forcing the Ravens to punt twice with a strong defensive game throughout. They held the Baltimore high powered offense to its fewest points this season and even caused Lamar Jackson to fumble. It was a true test for the Raven’s resiliency as they were faced with true controversy to overcome. With the score tied entering the fourth quarter both teams failed to convert fourth down conversions. The ravens had another fourth down opportunity with six minutes remaining in the game, Harbaugh knew it was make or break time for the Ravens. Baltimore has found great success with a 75% conversion rate on fourth down. With a strong run from Jackson the Ravens continued the game winning drive. The Ravens called on the most accurate kicker in NFL history, Justin Tucker, for a game winning field goal from 49 yards out. And now here we are, with the Ravens on top of the AFC at 10-2 and are away from Baltimore to take on the 9-3 Buffalo Bills.