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Jan 08, 2018

2017 Wildcard Weekend Recap

The NFL playoffs kicked off this Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The Chiefs were heavy favorites, and that showed as they took a 21-3 lead into the half. However, the Titans mounted a big comeback and scored 19 unanswered points in the second half to bring home the win. Derrick Henry got the start due to DeMarco Murray’s absence and made the most of it. Henry posted 156 rushing yards on 23 carries, including a 35-yard touchdown scramble in the fourth quarter. Mariota had an interesting stat line as he threw for 205-yards and two touchdowns, one of which was to himself. The loss marks the sixth straight home playoff loss for the Chiefs. The Saturday night game brought us another road-team win, as the Falcons upset the Rams at home. The tight Falcons defense held the highest scoring offense in the NFL to a mere 13 points. Matt Ryan threw for one touchdown and no interceptions, as he now hasn’t thrown an interception in his last four playoff games. Julio Jones had 94 reception yards and a touchdown, while Devonta Freeman had 66 rushing yards and a touchdown. Todd Gurley crossed the century mark with 101 yards, but after 8 touchdowns in his last three games, he couldn’t find the end zone this week.

Sunday brought an end to the upsets as both home teams won their matchups. The Jaguars beat the Bills in a less than thrilling 10-3 win. Blake Bortles threw for only 87 yards, and his only touchdown pass came on the one-yard line to tight end Ben Koyack after Fournette failed to punch it in on the prior play. Bortles actually ran for more yards than he threw for as he ended the game with 88 rushing yards. The game ended in an all to fitting way for the Bills as Nathan Peterman threw an interception with a minute left to seal defeat for Buffalo. The Sunday afternoon game was a much more thrilling affair as the Saints held off their division rival Panthers for a 31-26 victory. The running back duo of Kamara and Ingram were held to just 45 total yards, but that didn’t seem to matter much as Drew Brees picked apart the Panther’s secondary all game. Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn both had over 100-yard games and eight separate Saints recorded receptions. The Panthers almost staged a late-game comeback but couldn’t piece enough together on their last drive. The Saints now move to 3-0 against the Panthers this season, and more importantly, they head to Minnesota for the Divisional round matchup. 

Dan Quinn