The NFL’s Final Four is Set
And Then There Were Four…
When the NFL Playoffs began, there were 16 teams, a week ago, there were 8, and now after the Divisional Round, there are 4 teams left to fight for 2 spots in Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta. In the AFC, it’s the New England Patriots (making make their 8th straight AFC Championship Game appearance) against the Kansas City Chiefs, who will make their first Conference Championship Game since 1993. The winner gets the Lamar Hunt Trophy ( named after Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt).
In the NFC, it will be the LA Rams (making their first NFC Championship Game appearance since 2001) taking on the New Orleans Saints, who will make their first Conference Title Game since 2009. The winner will get the George Halas Trophy( named after the former Chicago Bears owner).
Here’s a recap of the Divisional Round games:
- Chiefs 31, Colts 13-The Top-seeded Chiefs proved that the 1st round bye didn’t makethem rusty as the played a complete game against the upstart Colts. QB Patrick Mahomes also showed no playoff jitters as he passed for 203 yards and 1 rushing TD and didn’t turn the ball over. 103 of those yards went to TE Travis Kelce. But it was RB Damien Williams who stole the show with 129 yards on 25 carries and a TD. WR Tyreek Hill and RB Darrel Williams also had rushing TDs as they took a 21-7 first half lead on QB Andrew Luck and the Colts. Luck passed for 203 yards and a TD and rookie LB Darius Leonard had 14 tackles in a losing effort.
- Patriots 41, Chargers 28-Once again, many felt that the Patriots AFC reign was coming to an end, and once again, they proved that they’re not done yet as they took it to the Chargers. QB Tom Brady showed that age is just a number as he passed for 343 yards and a TD, which went to WR Philip Dorsett who had 41 yards. WR Julian Edelman had 151 yards on 9 receptions and fellow WR James White had 97 yards on 15 receptions. RB Sony Michel ran for 129 yards and 3 TDs as the Chargers didn’t know what hit them. QB Philip Rivers passed for 331 yards 3 TDs and an interception.
- LA Rams 30, Cowboys 22-Rams QB Jared Goff didn’t have to pass the ball much, nor did he throw for any TDs. In fact, all he had to do was hand the ball off to RBs Todd Gurley and CJ Anderson, who took it from there. Anderson rushed for 123 yards and 2 TDs and Gurley rushed for 115 and a TD as the Rams rushed for 273 as a team. Meanwhile, QB Dak Prescott and the Cowboys tried to get back into this game as the QB passed for 266 yards and a TD which went to WR Amari Cooper who had 65 yards receiving. Fellow WR Michael Gallup had 115 yards receiving in a losing effort.
- Saints 20, Eagles 14-The Eagles started strong leading the Saints 14-0 and just when we thought the Nick Foles magic would continue, back came QB Drew Brees and the Saints as they played a complete game to knock off the Eagles. Brees passed for 301 yards, 2 TDs and an interception. One of those TDs went to WR Michael Thomas who set a playoff record with 171 yards on 12 receptions. Brees other TD went to WR Keith Kirkwood. For the Eagles, Foles passed for 201 yards, a TD and 2 interceptions. He also ran for a TD. WR Jordan Matthews also caught a 37-yard TD from Foles.
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