AFC Playoffs Recap: Super Wild Card Weekend is over, and three AFC teams are moving on to the next round of the playoffs. The Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, and Cleveland Browns advanced after big victories this weekend.
AFC Playoffs Recap: The Bills Survive at Home
Buffalo Bills 27 Indianapolis Colts 24
The Buffalo Bills claimed their first playoff victory in 25 years when they took down the Colts at home this past Saturday. This game was highly competitive for the entire afternoon in Orchard Park, New York.
The Bills started slow, but found their rhythm as the game developed. The Bills took a 24-10 fourth-quarter lead with 14:10 remaining in the contest, but almost squandered this margin. The Colts made an epic fourth-quarter run, but were unable to finish their miraculous comeback.
The Colts’ final drive of the game ended in an incomplete Phillip Rivers Hail Mary pass. Buffalo knocked down the pass near the goal line which allowed the Bills to still be working this week.
Phillip Rivers and Josh Allen both put on a show at the quarterback position for their respective teams. Rivers was 27 of 46 for 309 yards and two touchdowns. Allen completed 26 of 35 attempts for 324 yards with two touchdowns. Neither quarterback turned the ball over once.
Indianapolis outplayed Buffalo down the stretch, but they started their run just a little too late to claim the victory on Sunday. The Bills will host the Ravens on Saturday night in the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs.
AFC Playoffs Recap: Lamar Jackson Shines for the Ravens
Baltimore Ravens 20 Tennessee Titans 13
Baltimore looked like they were content losing to the Titans in the Wild Card Game throughout the first quarter of play. Nothing was going right for Baltimore early in this contest. The Titans jumped out to a 10-0 lead before the Ravens scored.
The Ravens did a tremendous job on defense shutting down Derrick Henry, but they were getting hurt in the play action game. It took some adjustments to correct this weakness, but the Ravens defense was phenomenal from the start of the second quarter through the end of the game.
The Ravens defense held Derrick Henry to 40 yards on the ground and were very efficient getting off the field. Tennessee had trouble extending drives thanks to Baltimore’s intensity up front and precision in the secondary.
Lamar Jackson was the offensive catalyst in the Ravens Wild Card win. The 24-year-old quarterback has faced a lot of scrutiny for his play this year, but the Titans had no answer for him on Sunday.
Jackson accounted for a combined 315 rushing and passing yards and a touchdown run. The touchdown came on a 48-yard scramble where Jackson escaped a collapsing pocket and juked multiple defenders on his way to the endzone.
The Ravens picked off a Ryan Tannehill pass to seal the deal and proceeded to dance on the Titans midfield logo. This usually doesn’t end well for any team, but the Ravens are still alive in the AFC Playoffs. They’ll travel to Buffalo on Saturday night to face the Bills at 8:15 PM ET.
AFC Playoffs Recap: Nameless Gray Faces…Good One JuJu
Cleveland Browns 48 Pittsburgh Steelers 37
The Cleveland Browns embarrassed the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday night. The Browns got out to a 28-0 lead before the first quarter even ended. The Browns defense began the scoring on a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown. The rest of the team matched the intensity of the defense and buried the Steelers championship dreams.
Prior to the game, JuJu Smith-Schuster stated that, “I think they’re still the same Browns team I play every year. I think they’re nameless gray faces. They have a couple of good players on their team, but at the end of the day, I don’t know. The Browns are the Browns.”
This is the definition of bulletin board material and it’s evident that these comments lit a fire under the Browns ass coming into this matchup.
The Steelers just didn’t show up early in this contest. They had no answer for the Browns who carried a 35-10 lead into the half. To Pittsburgh’s credit, they didn’t fold when they left the locker room for the start of the second half.
The Steelers scored two third quarter touchdowns to make it a 12-point game at the start of the fourth quarter. The Browns stayed calm and Baker Mayfield manufactured a 6 play 80-yard scoring drive that ended in a Nick Chubb touchdown run.
The fourth quarter was owned by the Browns as they added an additional two field goals to weather the Pittsburgh storm and leave Heinz Field victorious on Sunday night.
Pittsburgh turned the ball over five times. That’s not winning football in any capacity. Ben Roethlisberger threw four interceptions on 68 passing attempts. The Steelers never set the tone in this football game which allowed Cleveland to show that they’re not “Nameless Gray Faces.”
Baker Mayfield and the Browns will travel to Kansas City to face the first ranked Chiefs on Sunday afternoon.
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