Jordan Love was consistently questioned about whether he could be the next great franchise quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. But much like the two men who preceded him — Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre — Love has proven that serving as an understudy for a few years instead of starting from his rookie season helped him improve. Black sports news shows that Love made history on Saturday night during his start to an NFC Wild Card game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Love threw for 272 yards and three touchdowns to help Green Bay score a 48-32 upset victory. The Packers became the first team in NFL history to win a playoff game as the No. 7 seed. Previously, teams seeded seventh were 0-6 in the postseason. The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped that record to 1-7 when they lost to Buffalo Sunday night.
But Love and the Packers shocked many NFL observers with how well they played. Green Bay built up a 27-0 lead in the first half and was never seriously threatened by the Cowboys. Dallas’ loss sent off a firestorm of criticism of quarterback Dak Prescott and coach Mike McCarthy.
McCarthy has yet to get the Cowboys past the NFC Division Round during his four seasons in Dallas despite sporting a 42-25 record as coach. Dallas will have difficult decisions on McCarthy and Prescott, who have won two division titles together.
But the Cowboys’ problem is they haven’t been able to win in the postseason. Green Bay will now get another opportunity to march closer to its first Super Bowl appearance in over a decade. The Packers will take on their postseason rival, the San Francisco 49ers, in the divisional round this weekend.
Make Way for Mr. Stroud
The Houston Texans were a disaster less than five seasons ago. The Texans were stuck with Deshaun Watson at quarterback, and he was mired in a sexual harassment scandal that kept him out of football for two years. Houston’s struggles on the field earned them the No. 2 pick in last spring’s draft.
The Texans decided to take Ohio State product C.J. Stroud to build their franchise around. Paired with first-year coach DeMeco Ryans, the Texans are starting to raise a real ruckus. Houston got revenge on Cleveland, which beat the Texans 36-22 on Christmas Eve, by beating up the Browns 45-14 in the Wild Card round.
Stroud hardly made any mistakes for Houston. He completed 16 of 21 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns. While Houston will have a tough challenge with a trip to top-seeded Baltimore this weekend, the Texans have proven they have the talent to hang with anyone in the league.
Can Anyone Find My Shovel?
Recent updates showed that the snow coming down from the stands represented a happy Bills fanbase Monday at Highmark Stadium. Several people flinging snow up in the air to celebrate Buffalo’s win helped shovel it off the field. Buffalo was forced to push the game back from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon after a blizzard rolled through Buffalo.
Over four feet of snow was reported in the area. The weather was so bad that New York’s governor had to institute a travel ban to keep people off the roads. Once the Bills and Steelers started play Monday, Buffalo made it clear who the better team was.
Josh Allen threw for two touchdowns and scored another to help the Bills pick up a 31-17 win. Buffalo’s win means Kansas City will come to Western New York for a playoff game for the first time since 1993. The Bills and Chiefs have played in the playoffs twice in the last four seasons. Kansas City won both of those meetings at home.
Where Did Eagles Go Now?
The defending NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles were eliminated by the 9-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Monday night. While it is right to acknowledge how the impressive Buccaneers’ quarterback Baker Mayfield played in the win, it is also baffling to think what could have been for Philadelphia this season.
The Eagles started the year 10-1 before losing five of their final six games. Philadelphia ended up losing out on the NFC East Division title and was forced to travel to Tampa Bay for the playoffs. Already playing without wide receiver A.J. Brown due to injury, the Eagles also lost veteran Julio Jones due to a head injury in the game.
Philadelphia’s defense was already battered and had no answers for the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay ended up scoring a 32-9 victory, according to current sports news.
Detroit Hangs on for Win
The Lions’ first playoff wins since the early 1990s came in a storybook scenario. Not only did Detroit win 24-23 over the Los Angeles Rams at home, but it was a double revenge game for the Lions. Former Rams quarterback Jared Goff, who started the game for Detroit, picked up a win over the team that traded him.
The Lions were also able to score a playoff win over former quarterback Matthew Stafford, who made the start for the Rams. Detroit will welcome Tampa Bay to town.
Cold No Issue for the Chiefs
The Miami Dolphins were probably frustrated with themselves. Had they won the week before, they could have been hosting a playoff game in Miami. Instead, the Dolphins lost the division to the Buffalo Bills and were forced to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in -30-degree temperatures.
The Dolphins’ offense was frozen by the defending Super Bowl champions. Miami only gained 264 yards and scored one touchdown in a 26-7 loss. Kansas City’s offense, which has been below par all season, impressed on the ground. The Chiefs averaged 5.5 yards per carry and were able to move the ball enough to generate 26 points in nasty weather conditions.
Playing in poor weather was a good experience for Kansas City, which will likely find rough conditions awaiting them in Buffalo this weekend.
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