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Big NFL Weekend: Four Games for the Ages

Updated: Feb 10, 2022


By Grayson Juel


It has been a long time since I've seen this many wild endings in a major sporting event especially in the NFL. All of the craziness ensued over the course of 48 hours. The first big matchup that kicked off the Divisional round of the NFL playoffs was when the Cincinnati Bengals traveled to Tennessee to face the Titans of the AFC. The Bengals led in much of the game; however, the score would tell the tale of a defensive battle throughout. The Titans were trailing 16-6 early in the third quarter but came back to tie the game before the quarter ended. However, Evan McPherson halted the Titans comeback attempt and sealed the deal with a game winning field goal as time expired to send the lower-seeded Bengals to the AFC Championship. This would become a theme throughout the coming games


It has been a long time since I've seen this many wild endings in a major sporting event especially in the NFL. All of the craziness ensued over the course of 48 hours. The first big matchup that kicked off the Divisional round of the NFL


playoffs was when the Cincinnati Bengals traveled to Tennessee to face the Titans of the AFC. The Bengals led in much of the game; however, the score would tell the tale of a defensive battle throughout. The Titans were trailing 16-6 early in the third quarter but came back to tie the game before the quarter ended. However, Evan McPherson halted the Titans comeback attempt and sealed the deal with a game winning field goal as time expired to send the lower-seeded Bengals to the AFC Championship. This would become a theme throughout the coming games The next game of the weekend occurred on Saturday evening when the top seeded Green Bay Packers hosted the San Francisco 49ers in a chilly Lambeau field. This was another stout defensive battle. The Packers clung to a 7-3 lead most of the game, and a Mason Crosby field goal in the fourth quarter propelled the Packers to a 10-3 lead. As the 49ers were driving down the field with about six minutes left in regulation, a fourth down stop by the Packers appeared to seal the deal for the Packers. However, special teams became crucial as the 49ers blocked and returned a Packers punt for a touchdown, tying the game at 10. This was not the only block the 49ers had as right before halftime the 49ers blocked a Packers field goal which turned out to be crucial as the game played out. Robbie Gould hit a game winning field goal as time expired after a stellar drive by the 49ers. The game winner and stellar defense and special teams propelled the 49ers to upset the Pack and punch a ticket to the NFC Championship.

The winner of the first game on Sunday would play host to the lower seeded 49ers, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted the Los Angeles Rams. From the get go this matchup appeared to be completely in the Rams favor as they held on to a 27-3 lead in the third quarter. However, it was no surprise when after some crazy turn of events, Tom Brady led the Bucs back to tie the game 27-27 with 42 seconds left to play. The Rams had taken the ball back into their hands and after two monster catches by wide receiver Cooper Kupp, the Rams found themselves in field goal range with a chance to be the third straight away team to kick a last second field goal to win the game. Matt Gay did just that and sent the Rams to the NFC championship game to host the 49ers. The Rams have lost both of the previous matchups against the 49ers, as most recently the 49ers won a game to get into the playoffs during week 18 after coming back from a 17 point deficit. The NFC Championship this Sunday game should be an intense rematch of this division rivalry. The final game of the divisional round occurred on Sunday Evening when the Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Buffalo Bills in a rematch of last year's AFC Championship. This game will go down as an instant classic. This game turned out to


be an offensive duel as Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes went back and forth most of the game. The game went into halftime tied at 14 after Harrison Butker missed what would have been a go-ahead field goal. With time winding down in the 4th quarter the Chiefs clinged to a 26-21 lead. With just under two minutes left in the game, the Bills scored a go-ahead touchdown and converted a 2-point conversion to give them a 3 point lead. The Chiefs drove right back down with a big time catch and run touchdown by Tyreek Hill to give the Chiefs a 4-point lead with 1 minute remaining. That was not all she wrote though as Josh Allen led the Bills right back down the field, and Gabriel Davis caught an NFL Postseason record fourth Touchdown to put the nail in the coffin. With just 13 seconds left in regulation, two straight quick passes put the Chiefs in field goal range, and Harrison Butker didn’t miss this time and despite all odds this game was going into overtime. The Chiefs won the overtime toss and just as both teams had done before, the Chiefs drove down the field and won the game on a touchdown to Travis Kelce. The chiefs will host the AFC Championship against the Bengals who they had lost to earlier this season.

It was truly a spectacular weekend of football, but the final game between the Bills and Chiefs has raised concern about the overtime rules. As it currently stands the coin toss at the beginning of overtime determines who gets the ball first. If the team who starts with the ball scores a touchdown after the kickoff, the game is over. If they fail to score a touchdown on their drive the opposing team will have a chance to win the game with any type of score, whether it is a field goal or touchdown. If the team that gets the ball first only is able to kick a field goal the other team has a chance to tie or win the game on their next possession. In the regular season the game can end in a tie after the 10 minute overtime period


but in the playoffs the overtime period goes until there is a winner. The biggest complaint that was given from the game Sunday was that the winner of the coin toss had an advantage of getting the ball first and based on how both offenses had performed throughout the game. And with no surprise the Chiefs won the toss and drove down the field and scored a game winning touchdown right away, without the Bills offense ever touching the field. Football overtime rules differ heavily from levels of play. In college and high school football, both teams have an opportunity to be on offense and score from close proximity, until a winner is determined. The NFl has been heavily criticized for their Overtime rules in the past, and the minor changes they have made still have not pleased everyone, especially those rooting for the Buffalo Bills, as they hoped to be the the last team to punch their ticket to a Conference Championship game in a weekend of football that will go down in history.


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