In stark contrast to week one of the NFL playoffs, underdogs caused havoc in the Divisional Round to set up two mouth-watering conference championships.
No Is The Answer. What Is The Question?
Ever been a better Divisional Playoff Round…?
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 24, 2022
Let’s get into it…
Stop. Doubting. Burrows. Bengals.
Joe Burrow is sick of the underdog tag. The Cincinnati Bengals never felt like underdogs leading up to their 19-16 win over the Tennessee Titans. Right through to when Evan McPherson walked out onto the field to kick the game-winning field goal, the Bengals at the utmost confidence in their ability.
Joe Burrow says Evan McPherson came up and said "looks like we're going to the AFC Championship Game" right before he went out to kick the 52-yard game-winner.
Talk about having confidence.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 23, 2022
It’s time to take these young Bengals seriously. They can clearly play and the pressure of post-season football isn’t bringing them down. What in Burrow’s career to date possibly suggests he would ever be over-roared by the moment?
They ended a 31-year playoff victory drought last week. This victory – their first post-season win on the road in their last eight attempts – puts them through to their first AFC championship game in 33 years and just one win away from Super Bowl LVI.
Bengals Super Bowl LVI odds: $8
Rodgers Researching Ways To Beat 49ers
Aaron Rodgers is now 0-4 against the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs. Previously 28-0 at home when the opposition scored 14 or less points, Rodgers couldn’t find the 14 required to win this one as the 49ers advanced to the Conference championship with a 13-10 win over the Green Bay Packers.
Aaron Rodgers’ playoff run thwarted by snowflakes, cancel culture strikes again
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) January 23, 2022
The Niners didn’t lead until Robbie Gould knocked over the game-winning field goal as time expired. Tough, gritty, and behind another outstanding performance from Deebo Samuel, the 49ers clawed their way to victory and continued to play spoilers in the post-season. Jimmy Garoppolo was kept quiet but that isn’t always a bad thing. He is now 9-2 (3-0 in the playoffs) in games where he fails to throw a touchdown pass.
It’s the versatility of this 49ers outfit and their constant pressure in defence that has got them this far. They’re now preparing to face the LA Rams for a chance to feature in Super Bowl LVI.
As for the Packers, Rodgers may not be there at all next season. The special teams staff probably shouldn’t be there either. Awful all year, the performance of the special teams group can be summed up in their final play of the season when they only had ten players on the field to defend what ended up as the game-winning field goal.
49ers Super Bowl LVI odds: $5.50
Another Game, Another Game-Winning FG
The third game of the Divisional Round brought with it a third game-winning field goal as time expired, and a third win for the road dog.
The LA Rams flew out to a 27-3 lead halfway through the third quarter. It was clear early that Matt Stafford turned up ready and willing to let the ball sing in the air. He sent Kendall Blanton and Cooper Kupp into the endzone before rushing one in himself. As group chats lit up with live odds of a Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers comeback, the Rams tried to shut up shop. It became about draining the clock and cutting the time Brady had to pile up points.
They should have known better…
He doesn’t need long. The better approach is to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
It wasn’t until scores were tied at 27-27 with 42 seconds to play that Stafford and the Rams returned to what worked.
#Rams QB Matthew Stafford has his playoff moment. And LA goes home… which is good! Back in the NFC Title game.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 23, 2022
Travelling 63 yards in five plays, the Rams presented Matt Gay with a 30-yard field goal attempt which he sent through the sticks to secure the 30-27 win and matchup with the 49ers next week.
Rams Super Bowl LVI odds: $2.88
A Game-Leveler This Time…
Kansas City Chiefs v Buffalo Bills was always circled as the game of the round. As it turns out, it was the game of the season and one of the best playoff games in NFL history.
We’re set for years to come.#NFL
— Jason (@SportsJO13) January 24, 2022
We don’t need to go over the whole game. The chaos of this one can be summed up in a sentence:
25 points in the final 1:54 minutes of regulation.
Three lead changes after the two-minute warning saw Patrick Mahones and the Chiefs left with a three-point deficit with 13 seconds remaining. Josh Allen had done his job. In fact, he had done it a couple of times. All the Buffalo Bills defence needed was two stops.
They didn’t get them…
For a fourth consecutive game this weekend, regulation ended with a field goal.
Taking possession to start overtime, few were betting against Mahomes. The Bills had their chance and blew it. Mahomes also knew he couldn’t afford to let Allen touch the ball again. Eight plays and 75 yards later Travis Kelce was sneaking two feet into the endzone for the Chiefs to win a thriller 42-36.
Chiefs Super Bowl LVI odds: $2.10