Just one week after the road teams knocked every home team out of playoff contingency in the first-round, it was finally the home teams’ turn to sweep. If you missed out on the NFL division match-ups this past weekend, you definitely missed a lot. But no worries, here’s a look at all of the craziness of the divisional round.
The New England Patriots defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, with QB Tom Brady doing Brady-like things to lead the pack. Coming off multiple injuries, TE Rob Gronkowski shined with two touchdowns, and a game-changing onside kick recovery. After quite a dramatic week, Chandler Jones proved that he could stay focused on the task at hand, forcing a Chiefs fumble to start the second half. Despite their notable effort, the Chiefs 11-game winning streak was cut short.
With everyone looking forward to an epic revenge showdown, the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals did not dissapoint. With back-to-back Hail Marys, crazy last minute touchdown passes, and an overtime period, this definitely was the most entertaining game of the weekend. Despite Aaron Rodgers’ legendary performance, it was Cardinals reciever Larry Fitzgerald who took the cake. After a crazy catch and 75 yard run through traffic, Fitzgerald barreled his way into the end zone on the final play like a seasoned running back.
Sunday brought us the face-off of one of the most dynamic teams from recent seasons, and undeniably the front-runners of this season. After a 31-0 run in the first half, the Seattle Seahawks found their rhythm at the start of the second half. However despite their effort, it still wasn’t enough to matchup with Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Things came down to an on-side kick by the Seahawks, but once it was impressively recovered by Panthers LB Thomas Davis the game was sealed at 31-24.
Lastly, there was the face-off between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos.m, which proved to be more of a matchup than most people predicted. With the Steelers forced to play without Antonio Brown, and forced to play with an incredibly banged up Ben Roethlisberger, things did not look promising for them. The Bronco’s ended up being down 13-12 in the fourth quarter, but a forced turnover led by Bradley Roby marked the start of a shift in momentum to lead the Broncos to a 23-16 victory.
This Sunday the final round before Superbowl 50 is set to take place. Likely the final matchup between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will occur, as the Patriots and Broncos face-off for the AFC championship. While the Panthers and Cardinals will face-off for the NFC title. Which two teams doe think will come out on top?
Sources: ESPN, Instagram (picture)