By David Thatcher, Clarion Staff Reporter
As the NFL concludes “Super Wildcard Weekend” we see who moves on and keeps their hopes alive in the playoffs and those who have already gone home.
The Las Vegas Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals game was interesting, considering the close scores between the two teams, but the Bengals were able to edge out the win over the Raiders with a score of 26-19. After the Raiders stopped a drive by the Bengals who were intending to chew as much clock out as possible in the final minutes of the 4th quarter to win the game ended up having to punt. Which gave the Raiders another chance to come back from the deficit. This could have caused the Raiders to march back down the field to score a touchdown to tie the game and take it into overtime to possibly win. However the Bengals were able to keep their lead by the end of regulation advancing them to the Divisional round of the playoffs where they will face the Tennessee Titans (The Number 1 seed in the AFC side of the playoffs).
Amazingly, the Buffalo Bills vs New England Patriots game which I thought was going to be a competitive game ended up being disastrous for the New England Patriots. That night Josh Allen played phenomenally as well as the rest of his team who played a perfect game of offense. (Not a single punt, field goal, or turnover the whole game) They easily defeated the Patriots with a score of 47-17 clearly making it a point that the Buffalo Bills are here to contend for the Super bowl. Many fans were shocked to see the New England Patriots get absolutely obliterated even though the Patriots were a much more competitive team than they showed that night. Coach Bellichick’s experience in the NFL and playoffs made it a lot more surprising that the New England Patriots performed so poorly.
Kansas City also advances their way to the divisional round with a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers with a score of 42-21. This was an amazing offensive game for the Chiefs and also kind of a send off game to Ben Rothlisberger (Quarterback for the Steelers) who is likely retiring from the NFL with an impressive legacy. He is a six time pro bowler, two time superbowl winner (2005 and 2008), and he spent his whole 18 year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. So it was nice to see that he ended his career making the playoffs, but will be missed by many steelers fans since the “Big Ben” era has concluded for the Steelers Organization.
With the results of the Wildcard weekend the Divisional Playoff game match-ups for the AFC will be the Cincinnati Bengals vs Tennessee Titans and a rematch between the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs which is a game to watch-out for since both quarterbacks have had stellar performances during the wildcard weekend.
Be on the lookout Saturday January 22 and Sunday January 23, where we see these teams face each other looking for a spot in the AFC Championship.