Wild-card week for the books

Throughout the wild card games, we saw the third-largest postseason comeback, a major upset and two huge favorites almost lose on their home field.

Artwork by Ellen Merkley

Throughout the wild card games, we saw the third-largest postseason comeback, a major upset and two huge favorites almost lose on their home field.

Ellen Merkley, Staff Writer

The first weekend of the league’s postseason lived up to its name, with no shortage of exciting games. The Jan. 14-16 wild-card weekend consisted of six games: Jaguars vs Chargers, Ravens vs Bengals, Bills vs. Dolphins, 49ers vs. Seahawks, Vikings vs Giants and Cowboys vs Buccaneers. 


Seahawks vs. 49ers:

The 49ers took home a win of 41-23 this week. The Seahawks jumped out at the start of the game with a 17-16 lead at halftime; however, after a first-half scare, San Francisco broke the game open with a very impressive performance that would continue for the rest of the second half. Charles Omenihu stripped Geno Smith in the third quarter to have the biggest play of the game. With the 49ers leading 23-17, the Seahawks drove down to San Francisco’s 19-yard line, but Omenihu’s strip-sack killed the drive and from there the 49ers just kept dominating. Brock Purdy became the first rookie in NFL history to total four touchdowns in a playoff game. Purdy finished the game with 332 yards thrown. 


Jaguars vs. Chargers:

The Jaguars beat the Chargers with a close-end score of 31-30. The Jaguars won this game by pulling off one of the biggest comebacks in NFL history. The Jags fell behind, 27-0, early in the game due to Trevor Lawrence tripping over his own feet and coming out of the gate with four interceptions in the first half. The Jaguars QB recovered to also throw four touchdowns as the Jags shocked the Chargers at the end of the game with a field goal to pull off the astonishing win. 


Bills vs Dolphins:

The Dolphins went into this game as the biggest underdog in the history of the wild-card round. Even with these poor odds the Dolphins went into the game and were able to put a scare into the Bills. The Bills won this game against the Dolphins 34-31, but the Dolphins made it anything but easy for them. Josh Allen was one of the reasons the bills were able to stave off the upset due to his 352 passing yards and three touchdowns. Along with that, the Bills had a defense that came up with multiple big plays, including two turnovers, four sacks and a fourth-down stop that iced the game with just 2:30 left to play.


Giants vs. Vikings:

The Minnesota Vikings had a sorrowful wild-card weekend after giving away an upset at their home field to the New York Giants. The win over Minnesota marked the Giants’ first playoff victory since they beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI back in February 2012. Daniel Jones had a historical performance to pull off this win. He became the first QB in NFL playoff history to throw for at least 302 touchdowns while also adding at least 70 yards on the ground. Jones didn’t just stop with a throw for 301 yards, but he also was the game’s leading rusher with 78 yards on 17 carries. Giants fans went home joyful with a 31-24 victory.


Bengals vs. Ravens:

One turnover cost the Ravens this wild-card win. Although the Ravens had Cincinnati on the ropes for most of this game, the Bengals were able to escape with a win of 24-17. They can thank this win to their defense. Who were able to come up with one of the biggest plays in NFL postseason history. With the Ravens at Cincinnati’s one-yard line early in the fourth quarter, Tyler Huntley fumbled and Sam Hubbard returned that fumble 98 yards for what ended up being the game-winning touchdown. Huntley had a rather impressive game looking past the overturn with 280 total yards and two touchdown passes.


Cowboys vs Buccaneers:

 So much for notion that Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys might not be up to the challenge of beating Tom Brady. The last game of the wild-card weekend ended with the Cowboys blowing out the Buccaneers with a score of 31-14. Dallas Cowboys QB, Prescott, played his best game in weeks, throwing for four touchdowns and running for another. About the only negative for the Cowboys was kicker Brett Maher missing his first four extra points, becoming the first player in NFL history to miss that many in a game. 

Good luck to all of the teams that will advance into the next week of the post-season!