Three 3-PT Games; 3 Upsets in last weekend's playoff games
Last updated 1/25/2022 at 9:40pm
If the nation's cardiologists knew ahead of time how the four National Football League Divisional Playoff games would be played, they would have instructed all of their patients to watch the Disney Channel or something much less exciting than any of those four games.
Three of the four games were decided by field goals as time expired, and the other went into overtime on a Kansas City field goal after Buffalo went ahead 36-33 with a mere 13 seconds left in regulation time.
Using their 3 timeouts perfectly, quarterback Patrick Mahomes marched his team downfield and into field goal range, which was made to send the game into overtime.
The Las Vegas Boys are probably out buying new Mercedes or Jaguars today after watching three of the four games turn out to be upsets. All that money bet on the favorites (Tennessee, Green Bay and Tampa Bay) turned out to be gravy for the sports books.
Only Kansas City was able to cover those 1½ points by which the Chiefs were favored. And those who picked the Chiefs to win are probably at their cardiologists today after their 42-36 overtime victory over the determined Buffalo Bills who kept coming back every time the Chiefs pulled ahead, except in the overtime period.
The exciting action began Saturday afternoon in Nashville with a defensive battle between the Tennessee Titans and the surprising Cincinnati Bengals. Cincinnati got a pair of first period field goals from rookie kicker Evan McPherson and then added another in the second quarter to take a 9-6 lead at halftime.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow found several holes in the Titans' vaunted pass defense, connecting on 28 of 37 for 348 yards and a touchdown.
The score was tied 16-16 early in the final stanza and remained that way until McPherson boomed a 52-yard field goal to advance the Bengals to the Conference Championships with a 16-13 victory. McPherson was asked what he told him team during the timeout before his kick. "We're going to the Conference Championship game," and then delivered his game-winner.
Burrow, the former LSU Heisman winner, was sacked nine times by Tennessee. The only other quarterback in NFL playoff history to be sacked numerous times and still win the game was Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles, who was felled eight times.
In Saturday's nightcap the top-seeded Green Bay Packers were a six-point favorite over the last-seeded San Francisco 49ers, who had to beat the highly-favored Rams in Los Angeles on the final day of the regular season and did.
The Packers had everything going for them-home field advantage, near zero temperatures, a blowing snowstorm in the second half and perhaps the best quarterback in NFL history in Aaron Rodgers.
The 49ers on the other hand weren't used to playing in that winter weather and had a quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo that the team was planning on getting rid of after the season ended. But every time Garoppolo started a game, the 49ers won. Even after he had minor surgery on the thumb of his passing hand and a banged-up right shoulder, he toughed it out and played magnificently and won.
The same was true at Lambeau Field Saturday night as the 49ers harassed Rodgers to the point of him having the worst playoff performance of his career, although the Packers led 7-0 at halftime and it appeared they were going to glide to another home victory.
But the 49ers brought a defense of their own, blocking a punt and running it five yards for a touchdown with less than five minutes left in regulation to tie the score at 10-10.
That same defense forced the Packers to successfully punt the ball away and then Garoppolo took over and moved his team downfield and veteran Robbie Gould kicked a 45-yard field goal as time expired to give the 49ers a 13-10 upset victory and once again eliminate Green Bay from the playoffs. The Packers defense gave up only six points while the special teams surrendered seven.
Sunday afternoon's game at Tampa Bay was very sloppily played between the Buccaneers and the LA Rams, who nearly let a 27-3 second-half lead get away as Tom Brady used his late-game magic to tie the score at 27-27 with 3:20 left.
However, the Bucs' defense had a mix-up and Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a 44-yard pass to favorite receiver Cooper Kupp which set up Matt Gay's 45-yard field goal as time ran out giving the Rams the victory and home field advantage in Sunday's game against the 49ers.
That set up Sunday night's game at Arrowhead Stadium which promised to be a high-scoring affair between gunslingers Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs and Buffalo's Josh Allen and proved to be everything it was hyped up to be. In my opinion these are the two best young quarterbacks to ever come along this quickly.
Each quarterback had a hand in four of their team's touchdowns with Allen throwing for four and Mahomes throwing three and running for one.
It was the kind of game football fans will be talking about 50 years from now!!!
KWICKIES...In Green Bay's 13-10 loss to the 49ers Saturday night, the Packers were able to score only three points in the final 3½ periods. That's got to be the fault of quarterback Aaron Rodgers-his worst performance in his playoff history--and a legacy-defining loss for the 38-year-old Green Bay veteran. The loss may have been prevented if running back A.J. Dillon didn't suffer a chest injury in the first quarter and never returned.
Dallas Cowboys Idiot Owner Jerry Jones has been cleverly side-stepping the questions about Head Coach Mike McCarthy's future with the team. Although he has a winning record in his two years at the helm of America's Team, remember Jones has fired Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson during his reign as the franchise's head honcho.
I can't believe Triple AAA baseball plans on using robot home plate umpires for the 2022 season at some of its franchises. Besides Astros affiliate Sugar Land, other teams planning on the use include the Albuquerque Isotopes, Charlotte Knights, El Paso Chihuahuas, Las Vegas Aviators, Oklahoma City Dodgers, Sacramento River Cats, Reno Aces, Sacramento River Cats, Salt Lake Bees, Round Rock Express and Tacoma Rainiers.
JUST BETWEEN US...I'm glad that that the new head football and athletic director's job at West Orange-Stark High school has been whittled down to a single person-Hiawatha Hickman, who has been a Mustang assistant coach for the last six years. I would've been happier if the choice had experience as a head coach-especially at a larger school-but hiring someone who has visible proof of what it takes for Mustang victories, suits me just fine. Coach Hiawatha will just have to continue winning all of the Mustangs' district games like in the past and make it to the fourth round of the state playoffs every year to keep the loyal fans from going on the warpath!!