NFL Wildcard Weekend lives up to name


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Featuring several close, surprising, and questionable playoff games, the NFL’s Super Wildcard Weekend certainly lived up to its name.

Connor Boros, Staff Writer

Featuring several close, surprising, and questionable playoff games, the NFL’s Super Wildcard Weekend certainly lived up to its name.

The first game of the weekend, featuring the San Francisco 49ers and division rival Seattle Seahawks, was intriguing to most because of the storylines between opposing quarterbacks Brock Purdy and Geno Smith.

Seattle ended up having the lead at halftime, but San Francisco was able to pull away due to an exceptional second half from Purdy, where he completed 9 of 11 passes for 185 yards and three total scores without turning the ball over once.

The 49ers won the game by a score of 41-23 due to a dominant performance by both the offense and defense.

One of the most intriguing games of the weekend, and of the season overall, was an AFC matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Chargers. The contest featured young star quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and Justin Herbert.

Lawrence started out the game horribly, throwing an almost unbelievable four, first-half interceptions, three of them to cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., giving the Chargers a commanding 27-7 halftime lead.

Even with the deficit seeming insurmountable, Herbert and the Charger defense were not able to do much during the second half, allowing Lawrence to complete the third-largest comeback in NFL playoff history, winning the game 31-30 off a Riley Patterson field goal as time expired in regulation.

The first game on Sunday was a matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills.

Buffalo, led by superstar quarterback Josh Allen, started the game off hot with an impressive 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter but allowed Miami, led by rookie quarterback Sylar Thompson, to score 17 unanswered points by halftime.

Even after giving up the lead at the start of the third quarter, Buffalo was able to take advantage of Miami’s late-game mistakes and narrowly win the game 34-31.

After Buffalo’s win over Miami, the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants played each other in a very close, intense contest. The typically stagnant New York offense, led by quarterback Daniel Jones, stepped up their game against the Minnesota defense.

Jones took his first playoff opportunity to his advantage, throwing for over 300 yards and 2 touchdowns without turning the ball over.

Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins was also outstanding for the first three-quarters of the game, but failed to come through in the clutch when his team needed him most in the fourth quarter, resulting in a 31-24 loss.

Sunday Night Football featured an AFC North matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals.

The game was an overall reminder of how “defense wins championships”, as the game was kept close throughout and did not involve much offensive scoring.

The turning point happened when the game was tied at 17 a piece between the teams with Baltimore having a 1st and goal at the Cincinnati 2-yard line when quarterback Tyler Huntly fumbled the ball and linebacker Sam Hubbard returned the ball back for a touchdown, resulting in the final score of 24-17.

The final game of Super Wildcard Weekend was a Monday Night Football contest between Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys.

Brady, who has been established as the “G.O.A.T” of the NFL, has always been his best come playoff time throughout his long NFL career, but he fell well short of the expectation in his game against Dallas.

The Cowboys dominated the entire game both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott played arguably the best game of his career, throwing for 305 passing yards, 5 total touchdowns, and a sparkling 143.3 passer rating.

The Buccaneers were unable to score a single point until late in the third quarter, which ultimately led to their disappointing loss with a final score of 31-14.

Overall, the NFL’s Super Wildcard Weekend created intriguing, memorable moments that gave all fans of the league more entertainment and new storylines to talk about.