NFL PLAYOFFS
NFL

NFL Playoffs – Championship Games

In our penultimate games before the final, we see who clinched their respective division titles and became the finalists in this year’s Super Bowl final!

 

Los Angeles Rams 26-23 New Orleans Saints (OT)

 

The Rams somehow made it to Atlanta by defeating the Saints in overtime in a win that at one stage seemed unlikely at best. The Chiefs came flying out of the blocks and led the Rams by 13-0 after the first quarter, but the Rams rallied back to tie the game at 20-20 and again at 23-23 in the fourth quarter. Greg Zurelin was the hero for the Rams as it was his field goal that sent the game into overtime with 19 seconds on the clock before winning it after Drew Brees intercepted in Overtime.

This defeat will be particularly hard to take for the Saints, losing in such a manner but they will also feel aggrieved after controversy in the fourth quarter. In the final two minutes, Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman was not flagged for what appeared a clear pass interference penalty on receiver Tommylee Lewis. This would have resulted in a no-call and would have surely enabled the Saints to see out the victory. Had the penalty been called, the Saints would have got a fresh set of downs at the Rams five-yard line, giving them the opportunity to score a touchdown or to run down the clock and kick a field goal to win it.

It was, however, a night for Rams fans to celebrate and will be pleased that their expectations of making the Super Bowl.

 

FIRST QUARTER

Rams 0-3 Saints: Will Lutz 37-yard field goal

Rams 0-6 Saints: Lutz 29-yard field goal

Rams 0-13 Saints: Drew Brees five-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Griffin (Lutz extra point good)

SECOND QUARTER

Rams 3-13 Saints: Greg Zuerlein 36-yard field goal

Rams 10-13 Saints: Todd Gurley six-yard touchdown run (Zuerlein extra point good)

THIRD QUARTER

Rams 10-20 Saints: Brees two-yard touchdown pass to Taysom Hill (Lutz extra point good)

Rams 17-20 Saints: Jared Goff one-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Higbee (Zuerlein extra point good)

FOURTH QUARTER

Rams 20-20 Saints: Zuerlein 24-yard field goal

Rams 20-23 Saints: Lutz 31-yard field goal

Rams 23-23 Saints: Zuerlein 48-yard field goal

OVERTIME

Rams 26-23 Saints: Zuerlein 57-yard field goal

 

 

New England Patriots 37-31 Kansas City Chiefs (OT)

 

With the Rams being confirmed as the first finalist after their victory in the NFC Division Championship, it was time to determine the winner of the AFC Championship. And it was veterans Tom Brady and Bill Belichick who were left celebrating their 9th Superbowl in a compelling game which like its predecessor was also decided in overtime. The match sparked into life in the fourth quarter as the lead changed hands 5 times before being driven to overtime, although it did admittedly get off to a slow start.

The Patriots comfortably got themselves into a 14-0 halftime lead, before the statistically best offence of this season roared back as Mahomes delivered a 12-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce for the Chiefs to score their first points of the game and set the scene for a tense fourth quarter. And so the back-and-forth nature started, with Mahomes assisting them both to Damien Williams. This spurred the Patriots into life and they looked to have clinched it before a 39-yard field goal from Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker in the dying seconds sent the game into overtime.

After New England won the toss and elected to receive the ball first in the extra period, Brady delivered a couple of key third-down strikes to Julian Edelman, before Burkhead went in for the game-winning score to send the team to Atlanta.

 

FIRST QUARTER

Patriots 7-0 Chiefs: Sony Michel one-yard touchdown run (Stephen Gostkowski extra point good)

SECOND QUARTER

Patriots 14-0 Chiefs: Tom Brady 29-yard touchdown pass to Phillip Dorsett (Gostkowski extra point good)

THIRD QUARTER

Patriots 14-7 Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes 12-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce (Harrison Butker extra point good)

Patriots 17-7 Chiefs: Gostkowski 47-yard field goal

FOURTH QUARTER

Patriots 17-14 Chiefs: Mahomes one-yard touchdown pass to Damien Williams (Butker extra point good)

Patriots 17-21 Chiefs: Mahomes 23-yard touchdown pass to Damien Williams (Butker extra point good)

Patriots 24-21 Chiefs: Michel 10-yard touchdown run (Gostkowski extra point good)

Patriots 24-28 Chiefs: Damien Williams two-yard touchdown run (Butker extra point good)

Patriots 31-28 Chiefs: Rex Burkhead four-yard touchdown run (Gostkowski extra point good)

Patriots 31-31 Chiefs: Butker 39-yard field goal

OVERTIME

Patriots 37-31 Chiefs: Burkhead two-yard touchdown run

NFL PLAYOFFS
NFL

NFL Playoffs – Week 2

After last weeks ‘Wildcard Weekend’ offered plenty of entertainment, two big games were up next featuring some of the biggest sides still left in this years Super Bowl.

 

Indianapolis Colts 13-31 Kansas City Chiefs

 

The first of this weeks playoff games saw a relatively easy victory for the Chiefs and set up a first appearance in the AFC Championship game. Once again it was that man Patrick Mahomes who was instrumental, throwing for 278 yards and a touchdown although both Tyreek Hill and Damien Williams were key as they eased through this one. The Colts will be bitterly disappointed not putting up more of a fight after impressing in last weeks victory, being limited to just 263 total yards.

Kansas City started this one as they meant to go on as they scored touchdowns on both of their first two drives and a field goal on the third whereas the Colts did not even pick up a first down until the second quarter. Mahomes was instrumental in moving the ball forward quick for the Chiefs, building up a 17-0 lead. The Colts at one stage looked like they may have gotten back into the game after Zach Pascal recovered the ball in the end zone. Mahomes quickly put to bed any hopes of a comeback with two drives before halftime and it was more of the same from there on out.

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FIRST QUARTER

Colts 0-7 Chiefs: Damien Williams 10-yard run (extra point good)

Colts 0-14 Chiefs: Tyreek Hill 36-yard run (extra point good)

SECOND QUARTER

Colts 0-17 Chiefs: Harrison Butker 39-yard field goal

Colts 7-17 Chiefs: Zach Pascal blocked punt recovery in end zone (extra point good)

Colts 7-24 Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes 4-yard run (extra point good)

THIRD QUARTER

FOURTH QUARTER

Colts 13-24 Chiefs: Andrew Luck 26-yard pass to T.Y. Hilton (extra point no good)

Colts 13-31 Chiefs: Darrel Williams 6-yard run (extra point good)

 

 

 

Dallas Cowboys 22-30 Los Angeles Rams

 

The LA Rams advanced to next weeks NFC Championship game after beating a disappointing Cowboys side. CJ Anderson was the pick of the performers, running for 123 yards and two touchdowns with Todd Gurley had 115 and one score. The 273 yards that the Rams clocked up was a franchise record, and remarkably it was also the first time in which the Rams have had two 100+ yard rushers in the postseason. The game was ultimately lost when the Cowboys offense failed to get going, converting just 1 of their 10 third-down attempts despite taking the lead.

It was as good as it got for the Cowboys when Dak Prescott threw to Amari Cooper after their reliable defense absorbed the Rams attack and limited them to three points. This was followed by the Cowboys scoring their solitary touchdown, and soon thereafter the Rams started to run rampant. Anderson and Gurley combined for 158 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries Anderson, in particular, was unstoppable and had already had four runs of at least 10 yards and also capped off a 76-yard drive with a one-yard dive into the end zone. In truth as soon as the Rams got going, the Cowboys could not do anything to stop them and will now set their sights on next weeks incredibly tricky tie.

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FIRST QUARTER

Cowboys 0-3 Rams: Greg Zuerlien 25-yard field goal

Cowboys 7-3 Rams: Dak Prescott 29-yard pass to Amari Cooper (extra point good)

SECOND QUARTER

Cowboys 7-6 Rams: Greg Zuerlien 23-yard field goal

Cowboys 7-13 Rams: C.J. Anderson 1-yard run

Cowboys 7-20 Rams: Todd Gurley 35-yard run

THIRD QUARTER

Cowboys 7-23 Rams: Greg Zuerlien 44-yard field goal

Cowboys 15-23 Rams: Ezekiel Elliott 1-yard run (Dak Prescott pass to Amari Cooper good)

FOURTH QUARTER

Cowboys 15-30 Rams: C.J. Anderson 1-yard run

Cowboys 22-30 Rams: Dak Prescott 1-yard run

 

 

Los Angeles Chargers 28-41 New England Patriots

 

The Patriots sealed their eighth straight AFC championship game by comfortably beating the LA Chargers in a, particularly high scoring game. In the end, it turned into the Sony Michel show as he ran for 129 yards and scored three touchdowns. It sets up an intriguing tie against the Kansas City Chiefs where Brady will go up against MVP front runner Patrick Mahomes for the second time this season after the Patriots 43-40 victory. The Patriots spent the early part of this tie on the offensive and showed exactly why they were touted as the favorite before the season started.

Tom Brady completed 34 of 44 passes for 343 yards and a 15-yard scoring strike to Phillip Dorsett in the second quarter, while rookie running back Michel was the real star with scoring runs of one, 14 and five yards. The Patriots were also equally as impressive in defense, limiting the Chargers massively with quarterback Philip Rivers finishing 25 of 51 for 331 yards, with three touchdowns – two coming late in the fourth quarter, with the game already over – and an interception.

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FIRST QUARTER

Chargers 0-7 Patriots: Sony Michel one-yard touchdown run (Stephen Gostkowski extra point good)

Chargers 7-7 Patriots: Philip Rivers 43-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Allen (Michael Badgley extra point good)

Chargers 7-14 Patriots: Michel 14-yard touchdown run (Gostkowski extra point good)

SECOND QUARTER

Chargers 7-21 Patriots: Tom Brady 15-yard touchdown pass to Phillip Dorsett (Gostkowski extra point good)

Chargers 7-28 Patriots: Rex Burkhead six-yard touchdown run (Gostkowski extra point good)

Chargers 7-35 Patriots: Michel five-yard touchdown run (Gostkowski extra point good)

THIRD QUARTER

Chargers 7-38 Patriots: Gostkowski 28-yard field goal

Chargers 14-38 Patriots: Melvin Gordon one-yard touchdown run (Badgley extra point good)

FOURTH QUARTER

Chargers 14-41 Patriots: Gostkowski 30-yard field goal

Chargers 22-41 Patriots: Rivers one-yard touchdown pass to Virgil Green (Rivers-Allen two-point conversion)

Chargers 28-41 Patriots: Rivers eight-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates (Failed two-point conversion attempt)

 

Philadelphia Eagles 14-20 New Orleans Saints

 

The last of this week’s Playoff matches was also arguably the biggest we’ve had this season as the Saints came back from a 14 point first quarter deficit to knock out the defending Champions. Drew Brees threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Saints to victory in an epic win. The win was sealed when cornerback intercepted a Nick Foles pass with just under two minutes remaining, and running back Alvin Kamara ran for 12 yards on third-and-10 to kill the clock.

 

In truth, it was a game that the Saints should have won comprehensively as the No 1 seeds but will take great confidence in overcoming a big deficit in the manner in which they did to set up a tie against the LA Rams at the Superdome. The Saints early game struggles were epitomized by Drew Brees as he started on 0 for 3 which included an interception on the first play of the game, but he showed tremendous character to eventually finish on 28 for 38 including scoring passes to Keith Kirkwood and Michael Thomas. After their early success, the Eagles had no answer and crashed out of this years Superbowl unable to retain their crown from last year.

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FIRST QUARTER

Eagles 7-0 Saints: Nick Foles 37-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Matthews (Jake Elliott extra point good)

Eagles 14-0 Saints: Foles one-yard touchdown run (Elliott extra point good)

SECOND QUARTER

Eagles 14-7 Saints: Drew Brees two-yard touchdown pass to Keith Kirkwood (Will Lutz extra point good)

Eagles 14-10 Saints: Lutz 45-yard field goal

THIRD QUARTER

Eagles 14-17 Saints: Brees two-yard touchdown pass to Michael Thomas (Will Lutz extra point good)

FOURTH QUARTER

Eagles 14-20 Saints: Lutz 39-yard field goal

NFL PLAYOFFS
NFL

NFL Playoffs – Week 1

At long last we say goodbye to the regular season and enter the playoffs, where this year’s best teams will compete for a chance at this year’s prized Super Bowl. Here we’ll take a look at what happened in the first week Wild Card match-ups.

 

Dallas Cowboys 24-22 Seattle Seahawks

Dak Prescott was the inspiration for the Dallas Cowboys in their tense win over the Seahawks in this Wild Card matchup and have progressed into the next round. Seattle in recent years have enjoyed success in this same scenario, but an impressive defensive display from the Cowboys mostly nullified Seattle’s Quarter Back Russell Wilson and their number one rushing attack. Dak Prescott in total threw for 226 yards whilst Ezekiel Elliot rushed for 137 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

The Seahawks however more than matched their opponents, always being within touching distance of their opponents and at times looked like they would be the victors but had no answer when punter Michael Dickson’s attempted onside kick was caught by Cole Beasley which sealed the Cowboys first win at this stage since 2014.

How it happened

FIRST QUARTER

Seahawks 0-3 Cowboys: Brett Maher 39-yard field goal

SECOND QUARTER

Seahawks 3-3 Cowboys: Sebastian Janikowski 27-yard field goal

Seahawks 6-3 Cowboys: Janikowski 42-yard field goal

Seahawks 6-10 Cowboys: Dak Prescott 11-yard touchdown pass to Michael Gallup (Maher extra point good)

THIRD QUARTER

Seahawks 14-10 Cowboys: Russell Wilson four-yard touchdown run (Mike Davis successful two-point conversion)

FOURTH QUARTER

Seahawks 14-17 Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott one-yard touchdown run (Maher extra point good)

Seahawks 14-24 Cowboys: Prescott one-yard touchdown run (Maher extra point good)

Seahawks 22-24 Cowboys: Wilson seven-yard touchdown pass to J.D. McKissic (Chris Carson successful two-point conversion)

Indianapolis Colts 21-7 Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts romped to victory against the Texans in our second Wild Card matchup this weekend, sealing a divisional round playoff match against Kansas City Chiefs in the process. It was relatively plain sailing for the Colts as they scored touchdowns on three of their first four offensive possessions, Andrew Luck throwing two touchdowns with a Marlon Mack two-yard scoring run in-between.  It was a great team performance for the Colts, Luck, in particular, enjoying a positive game, finishing 19 of 32 passing for 222 yards.

The Texans, however, did force a turnover as J.J Watt tipped an interception early in the second quarter, but was not capitalized upon. In truth, the Texans were never in any danger of a comeback as their only touchdown came early in the fourth quarter but even this could not fire up the Texans. All eyes are now on what promises to be a thrilling matchup between the Colts and the Chiefs.

How it happened

FIRST QUARTER

Colts 7-0 Texans: Andrew Luck six-yard touchdown pass to Eric Ebron (Adam Vinatieri extra point good)

Colts 14-0 Texans: Marlon Mack two-yard touchdown run (Vinatieri extra point good)

SECOND QUARTER

Colts 21-0 Texans: Luck 18-yard touchdown pass to Dontrelle Inman (Vinatieri extra point good)

THIRD QUARTER

FOURTH QUARTER

Jaguars 21-7 Texans: Deshaun Watson six-yard touchdown pass to Keke Coutee (Ka’imi Fairbairn extra point good)

 

Philadelphia Eagles 16-15 Chicago Bears

This weeks most anticipated matchup lived up to its expectations as last years Champions squeezed past Chicago Bears in dramatic fashion. Cody Parkey was the culprit as he missed a game-winning field goal attempt in the final seconds which sets up a clash for the Eagles against Super Bowl favorites the New Orleans Saints. In truth the Bears should have seen this out before Parkey’s miss but Nick Foles managed to find Golden Tate for a go-ahead touchdown with 56 seconds remaining.

The Bears have prided themselves on their sturdy defense this campaign before being sucker-punched by Tate, and quickly found themselves down the other end of the field in the response. However, remarkably for the sixth time this season, Parkey found his last-ditch kick bounce off the left upright, onto the crossbar and out. Before the last minute drama it was a particularly cagey affair between two great teams as the game constantly went back and fourth and the Eagles should be using this as a big caution before their big test against the Saints.

How it happened

FIRST QUARTER

Eagles 3-0 Bears: Jake Elliott 43-yard field goal

SECOND QUARTER

Eagles 3-3 Bears: Cody Parkey 36-yard field goal

Eagles 3-6 Bears: Parkey 29-yard field goal

THIRD QUARTER

Eagles 10-6 Bears: Nick Foles 10-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert (Elliott extra point good)

FOURTH QUARTER

Eagles 10-9 Bears: Parkey 34-yard field goal

Eagles 10-15 Bears: Mitch Trubisky 22-yard touchdown pass to Allen Robinson (Failed two-point conversion)

Eagles 16-15 Bears: Nick Foles two-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate (Failed two-point conversion)

 

Los Angeles Chargers 23-17 Baltimore Ravens

In form Chargers were the victors in this years AFC Wild Card round but had to survive a late fightback against the Ravens in order to seal the victory. The Ravens, in particular, will be bitterly disappointed with the manner in which they lost, usually irresistible in attack but only managing 90 yards, when previously they averaged 229.6 per game since Lamar Jacksons week 11 debut. Rookie kicker Mike Badgley kicked a respectable five field goals whilst Melvin Gordon rushed for a one-yard touchdown to start the fourth quarter in peculiar circumstances.

It took until the fourth quarter for the Ravens to show how they managed to qualify for the playoffs, but it was a case of too little too late, Jackson showing why he’s so highly regarded by throwing two touchdown passes to go within 6 points of the Chargers. However, Jackson was then sacked by Uchenna Nwosu and Melvin Ingram recovered to seal the game for the Chargers. The New England Patriots are up next for the Chargers.

How it happened

FIRST QUARTER

Chargers 3-0 Ravens: Michael Badgley 21-yard field goal

Chargers 6-0 Ravens: Badgley 53-yard field goal

SECOND QUARTER

Chargers 9-0 Ravens: Badgley 40-yard field goal

Chargers 12-0 Ravens: Badgley 34-yard field goal

THIRD QUARTER

Chargers 12-3 Ravens: Justin Tucker 33-yard field goal

FOURTH QUARTER

Chargers 20-3 Ravens: Melvin Gordon one-yard touchdown run (Rivers to Mike Williams two-point conversion)

Chargers 23-3 Ravens: Badgley 47-yard field goal

Chargers 23-10 Ravens: Jackson 31-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree (Tucker extra point good)

Chargers 23-17 Ravens: Jackson seven-yard touchdown pass to Crabtree (Tucker extra point good)

NFL PLAYOFFS
NFL

NFL Review Week 15

Welcome back to another NFL Review. This week saw big wins for the likes of the 49ers & the Minnesota Vikings.

LA Rams 23-30 Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers 17-10 New England Patriots

San Francisco 49ers 26-23 Seattle Seahawks

Atlanta Falcons 40-14 Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens 20-12 TB Buccaneers

Buffalo Bills 14-13 Detroit Lions

Chicago Bears 24-17 Green Bay Packers

Cincinnati Bengals 30-16 Oakland Raiders

Indianapolis Colts 23-0 Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars 13-16 Washington Redskins

Minnesota Vikings 41-17 Miami Dolphins

NY Giants 0-17 Tennessee Titans

Denver Broncos 16-17 Cleveland Browns

NY Jets 22-29 Houston Texans

KN Chiefs 28-29 LA Chargers

New Orleans Saints 12-9 Carolina Panthers

Star team of the week

History repeated itself this week for the Eagles as backup quarterback Nick Foles lead his side to a shocking 30-23 victory at the highflying LA Rams. Foles repeated the same trick as he did in last years Super Bowl by kick-starting the offence into scoring 30 points against a usually solid Ram’s defence. The Rams have now suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time under head coach Sean McVay. The Eagles have gone from struggling to a real chance of sneaking into the playoffs, their record now stands at 7-7.

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 The Rams were looking like they would breeze through into the playoffs undefeated just two weeks ago but now find themselves with a real battle on their hands against a resurgent Chicago Bears side. The Saints should now comfortably hold onto top spot, leaving the Rams and the Bears to fight it out for a first-round bye in the playoffs.

 

Other picks from this week

Speaking of the Bears, they redeemed themselves from their shambolic campaign of last year to clinch the NFC North division and give themselves a real chance of the first round bye in the playoffs. This was achieved with a convincing 24-17 win over the Packers, who will look to the Bears example after their own struggles this season.

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Looking at the AFC division and potentially the most looked forward to game of last weekend; it was the Steelers who triumphed over the Patriots in a clash between two long-standing rivals. Ben Roethlisberger will be thrilled to get one over fellow quarterback Tom Brady and gives the Patriots back-to-back losses after last weeks loss to the Dolphins.

MVP’s of the week

What can be said about Chicago Bears Linebacker Khalil Mack that hasn’t been said already? Despite being the highest paid defensive player in the NFL, the ‘Mack Attack’ has consistently shown that he is worth every penny with his stats for the season. Already boasting ten sacks this season, he sacked Packer’s star Aaron Rodgers an additional 2.5 times to bring his season total to 12.5 sacks so far. He is well on his way to his best season since 2015.

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Another player who had a stellar performance this week was Texans Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. He hauled in 10 catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday night’s victory over the New York Jets. His second touchdown, in particular, was especially special, adjusting his body mid-air to haul in a 19-yard pass from Watson. His stats for the season back up his performances, ranking third for receiving yards with 1321 and tied for fourth in touchdown receptions with 11.

NFL PLAYOFFS
NFL

NFL Predictions Week 15

Another amazing week of NFL action is upon us, it’s time to take a look at Rob and Jacks Predictions for Week 15.

Houston Texans @ New York Jets

ROB PICKS: TEXANS

The Texans are the banker of the week.

JACK PICKS: TEXANS

Couldn’t agree more Texans win.

Cleveland Browns @ Denver Broncos

ROB PICKS: BROWNS

I actually fancy the Browns to win on the road here Denver has a few important players missing and that will make the difference.

JACK PICKS: BROWNS

Agree with Rob once again here. With Chris Harris missing on Defense and Emmanuel Sanders at wide receiver I cannot see Denver winning.

Miami Dolphins @ Minnesota Vikings

ROB PICKS: VIKINGS

This is a very interesting game. I do like the Dolphins and they had a miracle last week. Can lightning strike twice? I doubt it. Vikings win.

JACK PICKS: VIKINGS

Vikings for me.

New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers

ROB PICKS: PATRIOTS

Patriots beat Pittsburgh it’s as simple as that.

JACK PICKS: PATRIOTS

Patriots get the win in Pittsburgh.

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