KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a somewhat dull Wild Card weekend, the NFL Divisional Round playoffs this past weekend did not disappoint from an entertainment perspective.
We had three of four games decided by a field goal and the the fourth game decided by six points in overtime.
Three of the four teams advancing this week were road underdogs in their games. The Bengals were 4-point underdogs at kickoff to the Titans, the 49ers were 6-point underdogs to the Packers at kickoff and the Rams were 3-point underdog to the Bucs at kickoff.
Let's talk about how it all played out in the Divisional Round.
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Best game of all time?
We might after to let this one cool off a bit before we can truly declare anything, but Chiefs-Bills on Sunday night is without a doubt one of the greatest NFL games these eyes have ever witnessed.
The lead changed hands three times in the final two minutes of regulation, and there were 25 points scored over that stretch.
After the Chiefs took a 26-21 lead with under nine minutes to play, Josh Allen and the Bills went down the field in an 18-play drive that included a two fourth down conversions including a 27-yard touchdown strike from Allen to Gabriel Davis at the two minute warning on 4th and 13. That gave Buffalo a 29-26 lead after a two-point conversion.
In five plays, the Chiefs would score to take a 33-29 lead thanks to an incredible run out from Tyreek Hill on a pass over the middle for a 64-yard score.
The Bills got the ball back with 1:02 on the clock. In six plays, the Bills answered with a 19-yard touchdown from Allen to Davis (their fourth touchdown connection on the night) to take a 36-33 with just 13 seconds.
The Chiefs had three timeouts left, however. A 19-yard gain to Hill and a 25-yard gain to Travis Kelce on back-to-back throws put the Chiefs well into field goal range as Harrison Butker forced overtime.
Kansas City won the toss in overtime and marched down the field for the win on an 8-yard touchdown pitch and catch to Kelce.
"The guys didn't flinch," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the game. "You talk about an epic game, well, that's the way the players took it. They had tremendous respect for Buffalo and they knew it was going to be a battle and they kept going."
Mahomes completed 75% of his throws for 378 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Tyreek Hill led the Chiefs with 11 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown.
"We got tremendous leaders on both sides of the ball, whether it's offense, defense or special teams," Hill said. "Nobody panicked. Nobody was like, ‘Oh, the game is over, there's 13 seconds left.' We just made plays."
It was a crushing blow for Josh Allen and the Bills, who lost to the Chiefs in the playoffs for a second-consecutive year. Allen was sensational, completing 73% of his passes for 329 yards and four touchdowns and adding 68 yards on the ground. It was a career day for wide receiver Gabriel Davis, who had 201 yards and four touchdowns on eight catches.
"It's just tough, you know? To be in that moment again," Allen said. "It sucks the way it happened, you know? We wanted to win that game. We had opportunities. Just, yeah, taking it all in, holding onto that feeling, and making sure we don't feel like this again — back-to-back years in the same spot. It's tough to take in."
Per the Associated Press, Mahomes and Allen each threw for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns, completed at least 70% of their passes without an interception, and — get this — led their teams with at least 65 yards rushing. No other quarterback in NFL history has accomplished those feats in a game, regular season or postseason.
After two regular season matchups and two postseason matchups over the past two years, I think it's safe to say we have our big AFC rivalry with two young stud quarterbacks for years to come.
Stafford, Rams knock off Brady in Tampa
Matthew Stafford defeating Tom Brady in a playoff game is certainly a sentence.
After the veteran quarterback got his first playoff win of his career last week against the Cardinals, Stafford and the Rams marched into Tampa on Sunday and took over the game quickly.
The Rams got out to a 20-3 first half lead, making it 27-3 early in the second half, before Tampa finally woke up.
The Bucs were able to score 17 unanswered points to make it a 27-20 game with 3:27 on the clock.
After the Rams got the ball back, running back Cam Akers fumbled for a second time in the game, turning it over to Tampa with 2:32 left. On a 4th and 1, Leonard Fournette rushed for a 9-yard touchdown to tie the game 27-27.
Then, the Rams woke back up. Stafford connected with his No. 1 target Cooper Kupp for a 20-yard gain, then a 44-yard gain, putting the Rams well in field goal range to take the 30-27 upset win.
"We knew it wasn't going to be easy," Stafford said. "I mean, we sure let 'em back in the game with a bunch of mistakes on offense. Our defense played outstanding. We've got to clean some stuff up, do a little better job in the turnover department."
The Rams turned the ball over with fumbles twice in the fourth quarter and four times in the game but were still able to come out with the win.
Stafford threw for 366 yards and two touchdowns without an interception.
Midseason acquisition Von Miller had a great game defensively with a sack and a forced fumble and three solo tackles.
"Man, I'm still trying to process everything. That was a crazy game," Miller said after the win. "I knew it was going to come down to the end. All the times that I've played Tom Brady, it always comes down to the end. No lead that we had was safe. I'm so proud of these guys. Everybody's name was called and everybody answered the bell. Nobody was perfect, but we still found a way to win it."
The Rams go on to play division rival 49ers for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. The 49ers defeated the Rams in L.A. just three weeks ago to get into the playoffs. They also took both games against the Rams this season.
49ers shock Packers
Taking on the Rams will be the 49ers, who have now pulled off two upset road wins, defeating the Cowboys and then No. 1 seed Green Bay on Saturday night.
The 49ers won the game on special teams with a key blocked field goal before halftime and then a blocked punt touchdown to tie the game in the fourth quarter.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers came out swinging with a quick touchdown in the first. They got the ball back and were moving it on their second possession before a lost fumble in 49ers territory. The Packers offense wasn't the same since.
San Francisco got the ball back in the tie game with 3:20 to go and marched down the field to set up a Robbie Gould game-winning field goal to win 13-10, knocking Aaron Rodgers out of the playoffs. He's now 0-4 against the Niners in the playoffs in his career.
"We thought our special teams had an advantage in this game," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. "We thought they had an opportunity to possibly win us the game. And to be able to say that and to actually come to fruition ... was huge for those guys and huge for our team."
Rodgers stayed mum on his future with the team for now, but it looks bleak after yet another postseason loss.
Davante Adams and Aaron Jones both had over 100 yards from scrimmage in the game but the Packers offense could get more than 10 points on the board.
The 49ers sacked Rodgers five times in the game.
San Francisco moves on to play the Rams in the NFC Championship game, a team they've defeated twice this year already.
Bengals pull off upset
The Bengals last week won their first playoff game since 1991. Well now they've won two.
Joe Burrow and the Bengals defense got the job done against the Titans on Saturday in what boiled down to an epic game of costly mistakes for Ryan Tannehill and the Titans.
After the Bengals made it 16-6 in the third quarter, Tennessee finally put a good drive together again, thanks to a 45 yard run from D'Onta Foreman.
They got down to the Bengals 9-yard line when a Tannehill screen pass was tipped up to the air and intercepted.
The Titans got a field goal on their next possession to make it 16-9. With just over a minute left in the third, Joe Burrow threw an interception of his own and it set the Titans up in prime position as they tied the game on a 33-yard A.J. Brown touchdown catch.
After stopping the Bengals in the fourth, the Titans were driving. With just over seven minutes on the clock, the Titans elected to go for it on 4th and 1 at the Bengals 35 after a questionable play call on 3rd and 1 put the ball in Tannehill's hands as a rusher instead of Derrick Henry. Henry got the call on 4th and 1 but Cincinnati got the stop.
Well Tennessee would get another stop only to make another blunder. With 28 seconds left, as the Titans are trying to get into field goal range, Tannehill threw his third interception of the game at midfield.
The Bengals got right into field goal range and Evan McPherson kicked it through for the 19-16 win.
"We're here to make some noise, and teams are going to have to pay attention to us," Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow said.
Cincinnati will play in the AFC championship game next Sunday in Kansas City against the Chiefs, a team they defeated just three weeks ago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report