Divisonal Weekend Recap: One word takeaways from each game


Source: The Ringer

Siddharth Chandra

2 rounds down, 2 to go. Only the elite teams from each conference remain in contention for the Lombardi trophy. All of the games were pretty close, with each game being 2 score games. To build off of that point, in every game it didn’t seem like the winning team dominated the game, making the race for the Super Bowl even tighter. Let’s dive into what happened during each game.


Rams at Packers: 18 – 32

Welp. There was a lot of before this game, the intriguing matchup of the Rams #1 defense and the Packers #1 offense. However it didn’t live up to its hype. The Packers offense seemed to destroy the Rams defense, with Rodgers throwing for 296 yards and 2 TD. Aaron Donald was not a 100% and it was clear. He was not a factor throughout the game, which completely changed the dynamic of the game. This allowed for the Aaron Jones to go for 99 yards and 1 TD only off of 14 carries. The secondary was no better, even though they didn’t allow a 100 yard receiver, Allen Lazard and Davante Adams tore up the secondary. Allen Lazard has 4 catches for 96 yards and a big TD. Now we get to the great matchup of Jalen Ramsey and Davante Adams, and I think Adams won this. Adams had 9 catches for only 66 yards but he also had a TD. Granted Ramsey didn’t cover him for the entire game but if you look at various catches by Davante, it was clear that he was burning Ramsey. The Rams offense was quite awful with Jared Goff failing to produce, only having 174 yards and 1 TD. Akers was the bright spot on this team again going for 90 yards and 1 TD on the ground. This game made it clear if the Rams want to contend, they need to get their offense together because it looked horrendous. On the other hand the Packers offense looked unstoppable against the Rams defense and really put them on the radar of other NFL teams.



Ravens at Bills: 3 – 17

Confusing. Everything about this game seemed odd to me. Lamar Jackson didn’t play good whatsoever, with only 162 yards and 1 INT through the air through 3 quarters. The Bills were able to limit him to only 34 yards on the ground and seemed like he struggled to get going on the ground throughout the game. The Ravens had only 150 yards on the ground, failing to dominate the Bill run defense. Due to this, the Ravens rell behind and they had to revert to a passing offense which they are not great at. Hollywood was the leading receiver with 87 yards, and Dobbins coming second with 54 yards. The Bills were even worse on the ground with 32 yards on the ground as a team, although they only ran the ball 16 times. Allen wasn’t super dominant, but he was a game-changer throwing for 206 yards and 1 TD. The only thing about this game that wasn’t confusing was Stefon Diggs, who tore up the Ravens secondary with 106 yards and 1 TD. The duo of Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs doesn’t seem like it’s going to slow down anytime soon, and it’s something that teams have to look out for. The turning-point of this game was the the pick-six by Taron Johnson. It took away the Ravens drive where they looked to score a TD and tie the game up, but more importantly it extended the bills to 14 invoking a sense of urgency in the Ravens. This gave the Bills the momentum for the rest of the game allowing them to secure the game. But there are more questions for the Bills, as they aren’t going to be able to hold the Chiefs to only 3 points. They need to figure out how to score more points, otherwise they are going to get destroyed by the Chiefs. For the Ravens it feels as if that they have all the pieces to go all the way, but there is always something that goes wrong for them.



Browns at Chiefs: 17 – 22

Darn. This was a disheartening game for both teams. Through about the first 2 and half quarters the game seemed to be normal, the Chiefs were dominating the Browns and were on track to win the game, until Mahomes got hurt. Every Chief’s fan skipped about 20 beats when they saw Mahomes on the ground. He is the life and soul of this team, and many people didn’t know what would happen with the Chiefs. The score was 19-10 at that point. The chiefs proceed on with Chad Henne who lead them to a field goal. Then the Browns started to roar back scoring a TD and picking off Chad Henne. Despite it being a one-score game with only 5 min remaining the Browns chose to punt the ball after the pick back to the chiefs. That would have been a dumb idea if the Mahomes was in the game but they thought that they could stop Chad Henne. However they were wrong, Henne put his body on the line to seal the game with a first down. He didn’t get the first but the Chiefs went for it on 4th and 1, with everyone expecting that they weren’t going to run a play. To everyone’s surprise they did run a play with Henne sealing the game with a pass to Tyreek Hill. Andy Reid showed he believed in Henne and made on of the best calls of the year. The Browns ended up getting eliminated by Chad Henne. Kelce and Hill couldn’t be stopped by the Browns both eclipsing 100 yards off of 8 catches. Mahomes, was Mahomes with 255 yards and 1 Td before exiting the game. The Browns didn’t have a standout player, no one eclipsing 100 yards receiving ore rushing. Baker played a solid game, but it was not enough to get the job done. As of the status for Mahomes next week is still unknown. As of Tuesday 1/19/21, Mahomes cleared some of the “major steps” in the concussion protocol and is on track to return for the AFC title game. As Mahomes said, Hennething is possible………..



Buccaneers at Saints: 30 – 20

Pain. This was quite painful to watch. All aspects of this game were sloppy, and there wasn’t really much going for the team. The Bucs offense wasn’t anything special, where Brady threw for 199 yards and 2 TD and a little above 50% on his completion percentage. There running game was solid with Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette for 30 carries and 125 yards. None of the Bucs receivers went for over 50 yards as the Saints were able to shut down Mike Evans and AB. It was even worse on the Saints side, Mr. Slants had 0 catches and got shut down by a shaky Bucs secondary. Tre’Quan Smith was the leader receiving of the team going for 85 yards and 2 TD. Kamara was solid again with 85 yards off of 18 carries. Brees on the other hand was, how do I say this, horrible. He had only 134 yards and 1 TD with 3 INT struggling all game. He didn’t look like his former self, he looked like Carson Wentz. This is even more disappointing considering that this could be his last game ever. Every single NFL fan shed at least one tear after they saw these images.

It is even more unfortunate for any Saints fans out there because all they have experienced in the playoffs is pain. This graphic perfectly represents the past 4 years of the playoffs for the Saints.

The main turning point of this game was the Buc 4 takeaways. They really prevented the Saints from getting anything going on offense and 3 of those turnovers led to the Bucs only 3 TD’s in the game. This does beg the question of how the Buc will be able survive against the Packers in the NFC title game as they have a much more dynamic offense than the Saints. The last pain about this game is that the Brady vs. Brees matchup fell way behind expectations, giving a “disappointing” matchup for the fans.