Super Bowl 53 is one step closer after a thrilling divisional round in the NFL playoffs. With each exciting matchup came exciting outcomes. Here is a recap for divisional playoff game:
Rams 30, Cowboys 22
After an awful 3-5 start to the season, the Cowboys finished as NFC East division champions. That miraculous story came to an end after Saturday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams high-powered offense proved to be too much for the Cowboys defense as Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson lead the team to 273 rushing yards, the most in a playoff game in Rams history. In addition, the Rams dominated time of possession with more than 36 minutes of play. This controlled the tempo of the game, keeping a tired Cowboys defense on the field.
The Rams defeated the Cowboys 30-22 to move on to the NFC championship game for the first time since 2002.
Chiefs 31, Colts 13
There has been a lot of speculation on whether or not the Kansas City Chiefs could win a home playoff game due to recent history. It turns out, they can. The Chiefs silenced the rumors after sending the Indianapolis Colts into the offseason after Saturday’s playoff game.
The Chiefs’ defense started off the game strong by forcing a Colts three and out on the opening drive. Patrick Mahomes then continued the team’s dominance by driving downfield 75 yards for a touchdown in only five plays. For the remainder of the game, the Colts could not find an answer for the electrifying Chiefs’ offense, allowing four rushing touchdowns by four different players. Along with the lack of defense, the Colts only put up six total points offensively.
For the first time since 1993, the Chiefs will be competing in the AFC championship game after a 31-13 victory against the Colts.
Saints 20, Eagles 14
After getting past the Wildcard Round in a roller-coaster of a win against the Bears, the Philadelphia Eagles headed into the Superdome to take on the New Orleans Saints. The Saints put an end to the Philly magic and ended all hopes of the Eagles repeating the history that took place a year ago.
The Eagles started the divisional game hot, taking a 14 point lead in the first quarter. Unfortunately for the Eagles, that would be the only points the team would score for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, the Saints’ offense was executing phenomenally. Drew Brees connected with wide receiver Michael Thomas 12 times for 171 yards and a touchdown, giving the Saints the edge over the Eagles. To seal the victory, New Orleans cornerback, Marshon Lattimore, intercepted a dropped passed by Alshon Jeffery late in the fourth quarter.
The Saints move on to the NFC Championship Game after setting franchise postseason comeback record and defeating the Eagles 20-14.
Patriots 41, Chargers 28
Tom Brady’s perfect record against Phillip Rivers improved to 8-0 after Sunday’s playoff game in Foxborough.
The Los Angeles Chargers may have finished with a better regular season record than the New England Patriots, but it did not show in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. The Patriots put up 35first-half points against the Chargers’ defense. Going into the third quarter down by 28, Phillip Rivers did all he could to try and complete a comeback, throwing two touchdowns in the second half. Despite Rivers’ efforts, the Patriots still ran away with another divisional playoff win.
The Patriots now head to the AFC championship game for the eighth consecutive year, after beating the Chargers 41-28.
Next up: Conference Title Games
Next week, the Los Angeles Rams will play against the New Orleans Saints for the NFC championship. As for the AFC, the New England Patriots head to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs.