NFL divisional playoffs


Benjamin Harrington, Reporter

Any NFL fan could agree when I say, this has been a crazy season. Last week we had the wildcard playoff games when Jacksonville and Tennessee both were able to pull off great wins in the AFC bracket. And as expected Atlanta and New Orleans won the NFC games. Things seemed pretty obvious when the divisional round schedule was in place. Most analysts said that the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers would be in a battle in the AFC championship and the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles would battle in the NFC championship.
Let’s start with the Eagles and Falcons. Last year’s Super Bowl runner up Falcons seemed like they were unstoppable behind the arm of Matt Ryan and superstar Julio Jones pulling the load for the team. It seemed as if the Falcons had a walk in to the NFC championship because of an injured MVP candidate Carson Wentz is no longer leading the unstoppable Eagles. With a surprising low scoring game, the Eagles were able to stay strong with a great defensive performance and outstanding goal line defense on the last play of the game to edge out Atlanta 15-10
Now over to the AFC where the Patriots faced off against the Titans. Coming off a great game in the Wild Card, Derrick Henry (running back) and Marcus Mariota (quarterback) tried to lead the Tennessee Titans to a underdog victory. As expected, quarterback Tom Brady lead his dominant offense to score 35 points and secure a spot in the AFC championship by taking down the Titans 35-14.
In an unexpected battle in Minnesota, the Vikings were ready to take on MVP candidate Drew Brees and the Saints in a fist fight. Throughout the game the Saints seemed to dominate and hold off the Vikings offense behind cornerback Marshawn Lattimore who has given the Saints a dominant performance all season. With the game on the line and under ten seconds left on the clock, Minnesota quarterback throws a lob up to wide receiver Stefon Diggs who dodges a tackle and runs for a 61 yard touchdown to lead the Vikings to a 29-24 victory over the Saints.
The most shocking and deserved win of the divisional weekend would have to be Jacksonville. The Jaguars took on the red hot Pittsburgh Steelers with arguably the best offense in football. Pittsburgh quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, threw for almost 500 yards and for 5 touchdowns but that just wasn’t enough to science the Jags. Jacksonville’s first round draft pick, Leonard Fournette, rushed his way for 109 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries to seal the deal out in Pittsburgh. The Jaguars took a 45-42 victory in hopes to make it to the first Super Bowl in franchise history.