NFL Wildcard Weekend Recap

Kansas City Chiefs (30) vs. Houston Texans (0)

Alex-Smith-Speaking

Box Score from ESPN

Chiefs’ Knile Davis returned the opening kick 106 yards for the game’s first touchdown, and the rest of the game mirrored that domination. Quarterback Alex Smith was efficient, throwing for one touchdown and 190 yards. The most telling statistic though, is the turnovers.

The Chiefs only committed one turnover, a rare interception thrown by Alex Smith. The Texans, on the other hand, saw their quarterback Brian Hoyer turn the ball over a whopping five times, one lost fumble and four interceptions. The Chiefs took advantage, controlling the clock and adding on to their lead steadily.

For the Texans, the loss was a team effort but the main culprit was Hoyer. His five turnovers are inexcusable, and his poor performance leaves the Texans with many questions, namely who will be the starting quarterback next season. The Chiefs will head to Foxborough next week to face the New England Patriots.

Play of the game: Knile Davis 106-yard kickoff return for a TD

MVP of the game: Chiefs Defense. 0 points allowed and 5 takeaways.

Pittsburgh Steelers (18) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (16)


Box Score
usa-today-8319183.0 from ESPN

In a game that featured thirteen punts, and only thirty-four combined points, this game turned up the excitement in the fourth quarter. The Steelers lost quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the waning moments of the third quarter, but they still held a 15-0 lead.

The Bengals proceeded to score 16 points in a row, and thanks to an interception thrown by Steelers backup quarterback Landry Jones, had the game in hand. Then, Jeremy Hill fumbled the ball and the Steelers recovered, setting up one last chance.

Roethlisberger returned and drove the Steelers down the field. Two straight penalties by the Bengals defense, on linebacker Vontaze Burfict and cornerback Adam Jones, pushed the Steelers into field goal range. Kicker Chris Boswell nailed the 35-yard field goal to win the game. The Steelers will play the Denver Broncos in the Divisional Round.

Play of the game: Martavis Bryant one-handed 10-yard TD catch

MVP of the game: Chris Boswell. Kickers deserve more respect (See Minnesota Vikings) and Boswell’s leg delivered the winning points

Seattle Seahawks (10) vs. Minnesota Vikings (9)


Box Score
doug-baldwin-wr-seattle-seahawks_pg_600 from ESPN

The Vikings had the lead for most of the game. Their defense was as stingy as expected, and the Vikings also controlled the tempo of the game. All signs pointed to a victory, until the 11:37 mark of the fourth quarter. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson connected with receiver Doug Baldwin for a three-yard touchdown.

The Seahawks took the lead with a field goal just over three minutes later, but the Vikings had a chance. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and tight-end Kyle Rudolph found a rhythm and they soon found themselves in field goal range. Blair Walsh, the Vikings kicker, had knocked down kicks of 22, 43, and 47 yards already.

This kick, a 27-yard attempt, sailed wide left and with it, so did the season for Minnesota. Instead of preparing for a game next week, they will now watch the remainder of the playoffs from home. The Seahawks, meanwhile, travel to the 15-1 Carolina Panthers.

Play of the game: Blair Walsh misses a 27-yard go-ahead field goal

MVP of the game: Doug Baldwin. He only had 42 receiving yards but hauled in the only TD of the game

Green Bay Packers (35) vs. Washington Redskins (18)


Box Score
120914-3-NFL-Packers-Aaron-Rodgers-OB-PI.vresize.1200.675.high.64 from ESPN

The Redskins will feel as though this game got away from them. They had two separate leads, of 11-0 and 18-17, and yet the Redskins will walk away without a playoff win once again. The Packers, thanks to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, sliced through a soft Redskins pass-defense.

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins played admirably, behind 329 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough to win the game. The Packers defense stepped up, shutting the Redskins out in the final quarter and forcing a turnover-on-downs three times.

It had been almost a month since the last time the Packers won a game, but they found a way Sunday night. Their schedule does not get any easier. The Packers will face the Arizona Cardinals in the Divisional Round.

Play of the game: James Starks 4-yard TD run, the go-ahead score

MVP of the game: Aaron Rodgers. 210 yards and 2 TD’s will silence some critics

 

Statistics provided by ESPN.com

Images from Athlete Promotions, USA Today, NFL, Fox Sports, and Slate

 

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