NFL Playoffs Wild Card round review

The first week of the National Football League playoffs brought nothing less than excitement, thrill and heartbreak. There was a bit of everything as the Wild Card Round got under way; comebacks, blowouts, last second field goals and upsets made the games a great start to what seems to be a competitive post-season.

On Saturday January 4, 2014, the (4) Indianapolis Colts took on the (5) Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs came out playing efficiently, but mid-way through their first drive, All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles had apparently suffered a severe concussion. The Chiefs continued to score without their best player. At the end of the first half, the Chiefs were winning encouragingly 31-10.

Down 28 points the Colts began to climb out of a hole that they had dug themselves in with four turnovers. With a few touchdown passes from the rookie, Andrew Luck, the Colts slowly shortened the lead. Down 10 to start the 4th, Andrew Luck and the Colts had all the momentum. At the 5 yard line with 10:44 to go, Luck handed the ball off to RB Donald Brown who fumbled. Luck had found the ball, picked it up and dove for the endzone for 6. Worthy of  a “Top 10” play, the colts were down 3. The Colts finished the comeback and stunned the Chiefs 45-44.

The final game on Saturday was played by the (3) Philadelphia Eagles and the (6) New Orleans Saints. What was a very slow game until the 3rd quarter, the Eagles had made a slow comeback from 13 points down to winning by one with under 5 minutes left. Drew Brees lead his team down to Eagle territory, where his kicker, Shane Graham hit a 32 yard field goal to sink Philly. This was New Orleans first road win since entering the NFL in 1967.

On Sunday, San Diego’s very own (6) Chargers played the (3) Cincinnati Bengals. Down 10-7 at half, Philip Rivers and company played a phenomenal 2nd half. San Diego’s defense was lock down recovering a fumble and intercepting two passes from Andy Dalton. With 6:46 left the 3rd quarter Rivers had launched a pass into the air, and receiver Ladarius Green made an incredible catch in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. San Diego added to the lead with a few more scores to upset the Bengals to advance.

In the final game on Sunday the (5) San Francisco 49ers took on the (4) Green Bay Packers. In a game that seemed dominated by the 49ers, Green Bay held its own and kept fighting. San Francisco’s QB Colin Kaepernick threw for 227 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT and also had 7 carries for 98 yards leading him to be the games top performer. Late in the game the game was tied at 20. The 49ers had the ball last and were moving, in the freezing cold, into Packer territory. In a heartbreak for Green Bay, the 49ers made a FG for the win, eliminating the Packers from the post season.

January 11-12 will be the Divisional round for the remaining 8 teams. In the NFC the (6) Saints will take on the (1) Seattle Seahawks and the (5) 49ers will take on (2) Carolina Panthers. In the AFC the (4) Colts will take on the (2) New England Patriots and the (6) Chargers will take on the (1) Denver Broncos.