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NFL Division Championship Weekend Recap

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31 – 26 Green Bay Packers

Led by the stellar play of Tom Brady and aided by a few bad decisions from Aaron Rodgers that proved to be costly mistakes, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secured their second-ever appearance in the Super Bowl after topping the Green Bay Packers by a 31-26 score in the NFC Championship Game. The Buccaneers got control of the game early with a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, and they bolstered that advantage with a 14-10 second quarter. The Packers didn’t give up and shrank the lead by five points following a 13-7 third-quarter score, making the game a tight contest with only 15 minutes left on the clock. Neither team was able to score a touchdown in the final 15 minutes, however, and the game ended with a 31-26 victory for Tampa Bay. Brady led the Buccaneers in the win, and while he didn’t have his best game, he still delivered when it mattered the most — he completed 20 of 36 passes for 280 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions. Chris Godwin ended with five catches for 110 yards, while Mike Evans, Scott Miller and Cameron Brate all received touchdown passes from Brady. Leonard Fournette also made his presence felt on the ground and finished with 12 carries for 55 yards and a score. As for the Packers, Rodgers completed 33 of 48 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns but also tossed a pivotal interception that changed the flow of the game. Aaron Jones struggled as a rushing threat and only accounted for 27 yards on six carries. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Davante Adams did make an impact as aerial threats — both caught touchdown passes while combining for 13 receptions and 182 yards.

Buffalo Bills 24 – 38 Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs reached the Super Bowl for the second straight season after securing a 38-24 win over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs had to deliver a bounce-back performance, however, as the Bills raced out to a 9-0 lead following the first quarter and Kansas City only mustered three plays and six yards in the first quarter. The Chiefs quickly gained control in the second quarter, however, putting up 21 unanswered points to grab a 21-12 lead at the end of the first half. The Chiefs also won the third quarter by a 10-3 score, and by the time there were just 15 minutes left on the clock, the Chiefs were up 31-15. The Bills were unable to mount a fourth-quarter comeback, and the Chiefs won the AFC title for the second straight season. Patrick Mahomes completed 29 of 38 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns, and he didn’t show any ill effects of the concussion that affected him in the previous playoff matchup against the Cleveland Browns. The Chiefs struggled on the ground, but the star duo of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce combined for 22 receptions, 290 yards and two touchdowns. Josh Allen completed 28 of 48 passes for 287 yards, two touchdowns and one interception — Allen also led the team in rushing yards with seven carries for 88 yards. Cole Beasley and Stefon Diggs combined for 13 catches and 165 yards, while Dawson Knox managed to find the end zone.

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