In the first half, Houston made the Patriots believe they had a problem, but even on Tom Brady’s worst day, he and his hopeful AFC Championship bound brothers beat up on the Texans 31-16. Running back Dion Lewis was the star of Gillette Stadium with a receiving, rushing, and kick-off return touchdown – a postseason NFL record hat trick. And for the sixth straight season, the love ‘em or hate ‘em New Englanders secured another shot at the Super Bowl, an additional feather in their record cap – as they try to put a plug in the pesky Pittsburgh Steelers’ nine game winning streak next week.
Seattle drew first blood, but it proved to be a mere flesh wound as Atlanta silenced the Legion of Boom 36-20, advancing to the NFC Championship, their first playoff victory in four years. The Matt Ryan express rolled all over the Seahawks secondary for 422-309 in total yards. Seattle was stymied by their own devices with a series of holding penalties that erased massive amounts of gains. Russell Wilson, the come from behind kid, could not find his mojo or his footing against the Falcons, tripping over his defensive lineman into the end zone for a safety, setting the wheels coming off in motion, in which they could never recover.
This was one of the most exciting playoff matchups to date, that for a brief moment I thought I was watching a college Bowl game. Veteran sharp shooter Aaron Rodgers seemed to be on cruise control against the rookie led Dak Prescott posse until the Dallas darling erased an 18-point deficit. After rounds of anything you can do I can do better, the Cowboys made the holy grail of mistakes. With the score tied at 31, they left 35 seconds on clock for Green Bay’s golden boy, the master of high-pressure heroics. On 3rd and 20 Rodgers drilled a 35-yard sideline pass to tight end Jared Cook, who just barely stayed in bounds. Mason Crosby then put the nail in the Cowboy’s coffin with a game winning field goal to advance the Packers to an NFC Championship date with the Falcons.
“With Six You Get Eggroll” was a silly 60’s film starring Doris Day. In the NFL Divisional Playoffs six field goals got a win for the Pittsburgh Steelers, compliments of placekicker Chris Boswell, who set a Postseason record to boot. It was a tough loss for the better team on paper. Tight end Travis Kelce dropped a key pass then lost his cool costing his team 15 precious yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. After a painful holding penalty negated a tying two-point conversion, Kansas City head coach Andy Reid lost his mind mismanaging the clock. And with two touchdowns to their name, the Chiefs lost 18-16, to a team that scored none.