NFL Wild Card Games Review

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The Wild Card games have ended, and the winners of the AFC (American Football Conference) and NFC (National Football Conference) games have advanced to the divisional round.

Previous articles written by the Mycenaean put forth some predictions for the NFC games and AFC games. See what we thought and what actually happened below:

  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Buffalo Bills
  • New York Giants
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Dallas Cowboys

Regardless of how each team played in the regular season, their performance matters most when they enter the playoffs.

Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers

The Seattle Seahawks played the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. The Seahawks record coming into the playoffs was 9-8, with 4-4 when playing away games. However, the 49er’s record was 13-4, clinched their division, and 8-1 when playing at home.

The final score of the game was 23-41, 49ers winning. With a win over the Seahawks, the 49ers have advanced to the Divisional Round.

In the first half of the game, the Seahawks were up by 1 with a 17-16 score. But when the second half played, the 49ers ended up scoring 25 points to take down the Seahawks.

The passing, rushing, and receiving leaders include:

  • Passing – Brock Purdy (49ers), with 18-30 completions, 332 yards, and 3 passing touchdowns. He also had one rushing touchdown.
  • Rushing – Christian McCaffrey (49ers), with 15 carries and 119 yards.
  • Receiving – D.K Metcalf (SEA), with 10 receptions, 136 yards, and 2 touchdowns.

Chargers vs. Jaguars

The Chargers headed over to the east coast this weekend to play the Jaguars at the TIAA Bank Field. The Jaguars came into the playoffs with a 9-8 record and the Chargers a 10-7 record. The Jaguars have been 5-3 for their last 8 home games.  

By the end of the first half, it looked like the Chargers were going to have an easy win with 27 points on the board and the Jaguars quarterback throwing 4 interceptions. In the second half, the Jaguars were able to pull ahead and win the game by one point with a field goal.

The quarterback, rushing, and receiving leaders include:

  • Passing – Trevor Lawrence (JAX), with 28-47 completions, 288 yards, and 4 passing touchdowns. He also had one rushing touchdown.
  • Rushing – Travis Etienne Jr. (JAX), with 20 carries and 109 yards.
  • Receiving – Gerald Everett (JAX), with 6 receptions, 109 yards, and 1 touchdown.

Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills

The Miami Dolphins played the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium (home of the Buffalo Bills). The Dolphin’s record was 9-8, with 3-6 when playing away games. The Bill’s record was 13-3, clinched their division, and is 7-1 when playing at home.

The final score of the game was 31-34, Bills winning. Because the Bills won, they advanced to the Divisional round.

A big factor of the game was the Dolphins not having their starting quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, ruled in to play. He is ruled out due to concussion protocol.

The Dolphin’s second-string quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, is also ruled out due to a finger injury. So, their starting quarterback for the Wild Card game is Skylar Thompson, a rookie drafted in the 7th round of the 2022 NFL draft.

In the first half of the game, the Bills were up by 3 with a 17-20 score. In the second half, the Dolphins and Bills put up 14 points, giving the Bills the win.

The quarterback, rushing, and receiving leaders include

  • Passing – Josh Allen (BUF), with 23-29 completions, 352 yards, and 3 touchdowns.
  • Rushing – Devin Singletary (BUF), with 10 carries and 48 yards.
  • Receiving – Stefon Diggs (BUF), with 7 receptions and 114 yards.

New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings

The New York Giants went to Minnesota this weekend to play the Vikings in the US Bank Stadium. The Giant’s record was a low 9-7-1 and no one thought that they would beat the 13-4 division champion Vikings but the Giants pulled away from the city with an astonishing 31-24 win.

The quarterback, rushing, and receiving leader include

  • Passing – Daniel Jones (NYG), with 24-35 completions, 301 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
  • Rushing – Daniel Jones (NYG), with 17 carries and 78 yards.
  • Receiving – T.J. Hockenson (MIN), with 10 receptions and 129 yards.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Baltimore Ravens played the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium (home of the Bengals). The Raven’s record was 10-7, with 5-4 when playing away games. The Bengal’s record was 12-4, clinched their division, and is 6-1 when playing at home.

The final score of the game was 24-17, Bengals winning. The scoop and score by Sam Hubbard (Defensive End for the Bengals), gave the Bengals the lead in the 4th quarter which led to their win.

Despite the Ravens losing, they were able to put up 17 points with their backup quarterback, Tyler Huntley. Lamar Jackson, who is the starter for the Ravens, was ruled out for 7 games, with week 13 against the Broncos being the first. Jackson is out because of a knee injury.

In the first half of the game, the Ravens were up by 1 with a 10-9 score. In the second half, the Bengals were able to tie up the score, and then score off of a fumble recovery to give them the win.

The quarterback, rushing, and receiving leaders include:

  • Passing – Tyler Huntley (BAL), with 17-29 completions, 226 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
  • Rushing – J.K. Dobbins (BUF), with 13 carries and 62 yards.
  • Receiving – Ja’marr Chase (CIN), with 9 receptions, 84 yards, and 1 touchdown.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

The Dallas Cowboys played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James (home of the Buccaneers). The Cowboy’s record was 12-5, with 4-4 when playing away games. The Buccaneer’s record was 8-9, clinched their division, and is 5-4 when playing at home.

The final score of the game was 31-14, Cowboys winning. For the majority of the game, the Cowboys dominated the Buccaneers.

In the first half of the game, the Cowboys were up by 18 with an 18-0 score. The Buccaneers were able to outscore the Cowboys in the second half, but the Cowboys responded and their lead in the first half shut down the Buccaneers.

The quarterback, rushing, and receiving leaders include:

  • Passing – Tom Brady (TB), with 36-66 completions, 351 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
  • Rushing – J.K. Tony Pollard (DAL), with 15 carries and 77 yards.
  • Receiving – Dalton Schultz (DAL), with 7 receptions, 95 yards, and 2 touchdowns.

Now, the Divisional Round games are set. The winner of each Divisional Round game will advance to their conference championship game. The Divisional Round games include:

  • Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Kansas City Chiefs
  • New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles
  • Cincinnati Bengals vs. Buffalo Bills
  • Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers

This last weekend, some game endings were expected. Such as the 49ers game, and others were a complete surprise, like the Giants game. 

The teams who won their Wild Card game have proven themselves the best in the league. Lose or win, each team must play at their best to advance further into the playoffs. 

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