NFL Divisional Round Recap

Minnesota Vikings 10 – San Fransisco 49ers 27

Jerry Hold | 2020 | Star Tribune

San Fransisco is really good. Their defensive intensity is unmatched, and Minnesota’s offensive line couldn’t handle the pressure. Minnesota couldn’t run the ball, which forced them to pass, and with how continuous the 49er pressure was, it didn’t take long for San Fransisco to take over.

San Fransisco’s offense revolved around Tevin Coleman, who had the hot hand on Saturday. He finished the game with 105 yards on 22 carries, finding the end zone twice. Raheem Mostart added 58 yards of his own, which wore down the Viking defense.

San Fransisco’s defense had 6 sacks, never letting Cousins set his feet. They limited Dalvin Cook to only 18 yards, which is the 2nd lowest of his career. The 49ers set the tempo, and forced Minnesota to have to come back. San Fransisco’s defense looks unstoppable.

Tennessee 28 – Baltimore 12

Maddie Meyer | 2020 | Getty Images

Tennessee is the hottest team in the NFL. Last week, they marched into Gillette Stadium, and knocked off the New England Patriots, and this week, they did it again. They marched into M&T Bank Stadium, and dominated the #1 seed Baltimore Ravens.

With Mark Ingram injured, coupled with the fact that they were playing from behind, Baltimore threw the ball 59 times on Saturday. Lamar Jackson finished with 365 yards passing, with 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. He also had 143 yards on the ground, but it wasn’t enough. Baltimore couldn’t convert when they needed to, and their defense couldn’t stop Derrick Henry and the Titan offense.

Derrick Henry had 30 rushes for 195 yards, as well as a passing touchdown, on a jump ball touchdown throw, after a direct snap. Ryan Tannehill did what was asked of him, once again, with 88 yards and 2 touchdowns, on only 7 completions. With a running back like Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill doesn’t have to force anything on offense, which made maintaining the lead very manageable.

If they played this game again, Baltimore very well could win the game, but that’s the point. This is playoff football, and any team, can win any game. Maybe we should start accepting Tennessee as a Super Bowl contending team, instead of thinking of these wins as flukes. They’re 7-2 in their last 9 games, including a win over Kansas City, who they’ll play next week.

Houston Texans 31- Kansas City Chiefs 51

Peter Aiken | 2020 | Getty Images

This game was an interesting one. Houston scored 24 unanswered points early, capitalizing on Kansas City’s mistakes. A blocked punt, a dropped punt return, and lapses on defense all contributed to Houston’s big lead.

Kansas City didn’t let it get to them, and ended up scoring 41 unanswered points, and eventually getting the win. Kansas City showed no fear when faced with adversity, and let it fuel them to be better. When Tennessee started taking over the game against Baltimore, they shut down, but Kansas City didn’t. They made the necessary changes, and took over.

Tennessee did beat them earlier this year, but one win means nothing. This Kansas City team looked better than almost any team we’ve seen all season, so I guarantee neither team is going to be thinking too much about the outcome of their first matchup.

Seattle Seahawks 23 – Green Bay Packers 28

Steven Ryan | 2020 | Getty Images

Green Bay survives a potential Seattle comeback, and moves on to the NFC Championship game. The score was 21-3 at halftime, but they survived, after Seattle brought their lead down to only 5.

Seattle played a good game of football, but they they dug themselves a big hole in the first quarter, one that they couldn’t quite dig out of. Seattle’s run game was virtually nonexistent (aside from Marshawn Lynch on the goal line,) which made their offense incredibly predictable and one dimensional.

All of Green Bay’s playmakers did their thing tonight. Aaron Rodgers finished with 243 passing yards, and 2 touchdowns. Aaron Jones rushed for 62 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Davante Adams had 8 receptions for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns. Green Bay looked good tonight, but San Fransisco blew them out earlier in the year, so it’ll be interesting to see how their approach differs from their first matchup.

We’re down to the Final Four. Both of these matchups happened earlier on in the regular season, with Tennessee and San Fransisco coming out on top. Tennessee vs Kansas City is going to be an absolute shootout. Both offenses are red hot, and both teams have been able to make plays on defense, and special teams as well. The game is fairly unpredictable, with cases to be made for both sides, so watch the special teams on this one. One big play on special teams could sway the momentum in either teams favor.

Green Bay was blown out at San Fransisco earlier in the season, and will be forced to make that trip again. They’re going to need to find a lead earlier, or this game could very well end up like the last one.

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