So, it’s down to the final four in the NFL season. The games have been good, for the most part, delivering the kind of entertaining action that fans needed. Some might say that this year there were too many outside distractions, some point to the lack of fans in the stands or to the feeling that virtually everyone involved just wants to get this lingering piece of 2020 over with.
NFL QBs Lead The Playoff Charge
There were some terrific quarterback matchups among some of the finest that ever played the game and others between two young, super talented men trying to make their way in the “land of the giants.”
Jared Goff of the LA Rams drew more than a little admiration from Packers fans and just plain football fans everywhere. The young man put up a valiant effort against Green Bay, but the Pac was just too much for his O line to handle. Still, in all, Goff completed 21/27 passes, albeit for only 174 yards and a TD, but no picks. Considering the size of the Packers defensive linemen and backs, that’s not a bad day.
Aaron Rodgers, getting perhaps the best pocket protection in the league, threw for 296 yards, completing 23 of 36 and tossing for two touchdowns as the Packers advance to the Conference Championship game with this weekend’s 32-18 victory. Next up, the Packers get to host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, right out of south Florida, to the ‘frozen tundra’ that is Lambeau Field, where legends are made.
Rodgers has got to be smiling, just a little bit, at the thought of getting Brady to Lambeau in the playoffs for the NFC Championship. In his entire 16 years in the league, Rodgers has never played a Playoff Game at home at Lambeau Field.
Ravens No Match For The Bills
The Buffalo Bills end up first in the AFC East having one of the best seasons they have had in years. The Bills will be going to the AFC Championship game to take on the league leading Kansas City Chiefs. This will mark the first time in three decades that Buffalo has gone to the NFL Playoffs.
The Baltimore Ravens should have left that Blackbird at home as nothing seemed to go right for them throughout most of the game. Somehow, they managed to score only 3 points all day long in a game that was hawked as a primo young quarterback matchup. The Bills overwhelmed the Ravens, winning 17-3.
Josh Allen for the Bills was terrific while Lamar Jackson could not seem to get his head organized all afternoon. He even managed to throw a 101-yard pick-six, and that’s hard to do. So, the Bills get to take on the number one rated team in football next weekend and play for the AFC Championship with a chance to advance to Super Bowl LIV.
Mahomes Takes A Blow
The Kansas City Chiefs and All-Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes first had to get by All-Star quarterback Baker Mayfield and the newly revived Cleveland Browns. Both are undeniably franchise quarterbacks around which both the Chiefs and the Browns can build teams that will last for years.
But, bad news for Patrick Mahomes came in the form of a concussion in the third quarter. It seemed for a bit there that it was all over for the Chiefs trying to hold onto a 22-17 lead with Mahomes out of the game.
Veteran backup quarterback Chad Henne came in for Mahomes and held the Chiefs together. Kansas City advances to the AFC Championship Game to take on the upstart Bills and quarterback Josh Allen, who almost constantly exceeds expectations.
Brady Beats Brees
The New Orleans Saints couldn’t do it. They tried against the Buccaneers and looked like they were going to pull off a win a couple of times, but errors got in the way. Drew Brees threw three interceptions – Tom Brady threw none – as the Saints fell, 30-20.
This was a letdown for Brees, who was hoping to make it to the Super Bowl in what could be his last year as a pro quarterback. He’s not throwing in the towel yet, though, and has said that he will now spend some time figuring out what comes next.