Wild Card Weekend: One word takeaways from each game

Siddharth Chandra

Wow. That is probably the best way to describe Super Wild Car weekend. There were only 2 “upsets” in my opinion but every single game was entertaining, with every minute filled with uncertainty. Personally, I was fan of the new Wild-Card format, because from 1:00-11:00 we had NFL games. Sure this maybe just a way for the NFL to make more money, but I did enjoy the extra 2 games for the weekend. Anyway let’s break down these 6 games.


Colts at Bills: 24 – 27

Brilliance. This was display of how dangerous Josh Allen can be. He had 324 yards and 2 TD’s through the air and 54 yards and 1 TD on the ground. It seemed like he carried the team this weekend (with help from Digg’s 6 catches, 128 yards and 1 TD). He really showed the type of play maker he can be with his TD pass to Dawson Knox. But this also begs the question of how deep of a playoff run the bill can make. It showed that Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs are superstars, but after that, everyone was playing a mediocre game. If they want to make a deep playoff run they need to have people step up. It was great run for the Colts this season, although they wanted more. This very well could have been the last game from Phillip Rivers, and he never got the chance to compete in the Super Bowl which is a shame. But the Colts as a team do have a bright future, with Jonathan Taylor looking like a star in the making.



Rams at Seahawks: 30 – 20

Atrocious. As a Seahawks fan it pains me to say this, Russ was definitely not cooking on Saturday. Seattle arguably played their worst game of the season at the worst time possible. Wilson only through for 174 yards and 2 TD’s and a costly pick-6. But seriously, what was Russ thinking on that play. D.K was once again locked up  by Ramsey with only 33 yards when Ramsey was covering him. It is disappointing to see how a great season from Seattle came to such a awful end. But where credit is due is the Rams defense. I am sold that this is the best defense in the NFL with the D-Line being led by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey leading the secondary. Aaron Donald was once again a game-wrecker helping his fellow linemen to constantly pressure Wilson and picking up 2 sack himself. Though, he did leave the game with a rib injury that was later reported as a torn rib cartilage. He is expected to play against Green Bay but there are questions if he is going to play at 100%. Also next week’s matchup between Ramsey and Adams proves to be the best matchup this season.



Buccaneers at Washington Football Team: 31 – 23

Captivating. Honestly speaking, the Washington Football Team faired a lot better than I thought. After it was announced that Alex Smith was ruled out of the game against the Bucs, I thought the that the WFT was done for. But thanks to the absolute brilliance by Taylor Heinicke they were able to somewhat keep up with the Bucs, On paper Heinicke had 306 yards 1 TD and 1 INT which doesn’t seem to great but he left all out on the field and showed passion. Especially on his dive in for the TD, it showed his drive to win the game. The Bucs however had the firepower and the numbers. Brady was on fire again with 281 yards and 2 TD, and MIke Evans was dominant with 6 catches for 119 yards. Despite being in a close game with the worst playoff-team in the NFC, I still think the Bucs are going to make a deep run in the Playoffs simply because Brady is firing on all cylinders again. I do have to give some praise for the WFT, overcoming all the challenges they faced and inspiring so many they were one of the teams to root for this season. It was so fitting so see Taylor Heinicke start for them at the end of the season and play and incredible game.



Ravens at Titans: 20 – 13

Rushing. The Ravens ran the ball much more effectively than the Titans and that won them the gain. Lamar Jackson is back to his MVP form with 179 yards through the air and 136 yards 1 TD. His 48 yard run in the 2nd quarter was very reminiscent of his MVP season. If he is able to continue this throughout the playoff htan Jackson is going to be a real problem for teams. Dobbins only had 43 yards on the ground but that was complimented by a TD. The Ravens also showed us that they don’t always have to rely on there running game, as Hollywood Brown went over 100 yards off of 7 catches. If the Ravens can continue this production in their divisional game against the Bills, we are going to have one great game. For the first time this year, Derrick Henry couldn’t get anything going against the Ravens. He was limited to 40 yards with no TD and he had 2.2 yd/avg. Ryan Tannehill wasn’t much better with only 165 yards and 1 TD with 1 INT. It was clear the Titans defense wasn’t equipped to compete in low scoring games, but another flaw was revealed, Derrick Henry really did carry this team. Without Derrick Henry this team won’t be able to make it far. The Titans also lost this game due to poor decision made by Mike Vrabel who seemed like he was playing to not-lose rather than win if that makes any sense.



Saints at Bears: 9 – 21

NickelodeonThe actual game wasn’t that entertaining (this was the only game this weekend that was boring). The Bears were a team that shouldn’t have made the playoffs in the first place, but with some luck they did. Mitch Trubisky had 199 yards and 1 TD (shouldn’t have had the TD) and David Montgomery which many would argue was the highlight of this team was limited to 31 yards. The real highlight for them was the Jimmy Graham, catch in the dying seconds of the game. For the Saints they played an average game, enough to get by the Bears. But the real highlight of this game was the animations done by Nickelodeon. I think everyone thought that this was going to be a big fail and we weren’t going to anything like this again but honestly it was interesting. It appealed to the younger audience and helped them understand the game of football more easily. Even for the average adult it was interesting to see how the game played out. Even for parents out their it gave their children a better viewing experience for the game, except when Cordarrelle Patterson had some profanity to say………



Browns at Steelers: 48 – 37

Amusing. As a strong believer throughout the season that the Steelers were imposters it was really funny to see the Browns pour on 28 points in the first quarter. On the very first snap Pouncey launches the ball right over Big Ben’s head which looked exactly like the first play of Super Bowl 48. Then on the following drive the Ben overthrows Benny Snell and the Browns pick it off to set-up a Jarvis Landry score. After that the Steelers fail to move the ball far, and Browns score another TD to make it 21-0. An the misfortune continued where Dionte Johnson saw a ball fall into the hands of the Browns for Big Ben’s 2nd INT of the game. The Browns capitalize off of this and score another TD. I was surprised that the game became so close at 48 – 37, but the Steelers have shown they’re capable of comebacks but not when down 28. If you were a Browns fan watching this game, you probably experienced pure joy seeing the Browns win their first Playoff Game since 1994. Big Ben did have a good game, throwing for 501 yards and 4 TD but also 4 INT. He was very emotional after the game on the bench with Pouncey, considering this could have been their last game together. As Juju said “The Browns is the Browns”



Updated Playoff Picture

Source: CBS Sports