Raiders 14 – Texans 27
Second String QB > Third String QB
In his first career NFL start, third string Quarterback Connor Cook needed a perfect game or a complete collapse from the Texans top ranked defense to have a shot. Neither of those happened. The Texans defense had the Raiders number from the start putting Connor Cook in 3rd and long situations he wasn’t ready for. Cook finished 18/45 for 161 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions but the real story wasn’t the Texans dominant defense or Raider injury struggles. The Texans found the perfect time to find their offense. Houston’s 27 points were much higher than their season average of 17 points per game. Lamar Miller poured in 73 yards and a touchdown while the once-benched Osweiler was uncharacteristically consistent including a beautiful 38 yard fade route to DeAndre Hopkins that set up a end of the half touchdown. Now all Houston has to do is repeat their performance next week in New England and if Tom Brady somehow doesn’t make it to Gillette Stadium they just might have a chance at the AFC title game.
Lions 6 – Seahawks 26
It’s hard to end playoff droughts on the road in Seattle
On a day of incredibly average wildcard football Seattle’s Wide Receiver Paul Richardson somehow managed to steal the show with just three catches. It helped that two catches were one handed snags and one was arguably the catch of the year. Richardson even overshadowed his teammate Thomas Rawls monster 161 yard rushing game. On the Detroit side Matt Stafford’s accuracy and numbers just haven’t been the same since he injured the middle finger on this throwing hand and the same was true on Saturday. The Lions post season woes continue as the Seahawks face the Falcons next week.
Dolphins 12 – Steelers 30
Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, and Big Ben > A depleted and injured Dolphins secondary
The Steelers almost killed Dolphins backup quarterback Matt Moore. Like a horrific car crash you don’t want to watch but can’t look away from I found myself watching the hit over and over again online. What will we do in a few months without Vine to be able to replay a concussion over and over again? Moore miraculously returned to the field just one play later but the hit itself was the highlight of the game. On the Pittsburgh side Bell took full advantage of his first post season game racking up 167 yards with two touchdowns and Ben Roethlisberger isn’t 100% in the postseason but then again what else is new? Steelers play at the Chiefs next weekend.
Giants 13 – Packers 38
The Giants offense lacked the firepower to keep up with Rodgers
Even though it ended up being a blowout this was without a doubt the most fascinating game of the weekend. This game had it all, frigid temperatures in Lambo field, an Aaron Rodger’s Hail Mary, a bizarre turnover, and a wide receiver yacht controversy. Football pundits have been quick to point fingers at the Giants wide receivers, who did have a bad case of the drops Sunday, after an Instagram photo surfaced of the players on a yacht earlier this week on the team’s day off. New York didn’t have a catching issue, they had an offense issue. An issue they’ve had all year. The Giants came into wildcard weekend only averaging 19 points a game and had only scored 27 points or more four times all season. The Packers came in averaging 27 points per game. The Giants have had a limited rushing attack and have relied on their one trick pony known as OBJ to pull through for them. It didn’t on Sunday. Rodgers discount double-checked his doubters with a masterful performance picking apart the Giants secondary. On the defensive side Clay Matthews proved he might be the biggest try hard left in the postseason by literally playing until the whistle on a wacky Manning fumble that might have been an incomplete pass. Green Bay is headed to Dallas next weekend.