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NFL Wild Card Weekend – Recap

  • February 17, 2021
  • by admin

Cleveland Browns 48 – 37 Pittsburgh Steelers

The Browns got off to a strong start Sunday night against the Steelers and raced out to a 28-0 lead following the first quarter, as the defense annulled Ben Roethlisberger and the offense did its part as well — Baker Mayfield connected with Jarvis Landry on a 40-yard score while Kareem Hunt added two rushing touchdowns. James Conner made it a 28-7 game for Pittsburgh with a rushing score of his own but Mayfield tossed his second passing touchdown of the night to make it 35-10 at the halftime mark. The Steelers scored 13 unanswered points in the third quarter and were down by as little as 12 points, but a third touchdown pass from Mayfield — a 40-yard bomb to Nick Chubb — and two field goals iced the game for good. The Steelers scored two garbage-time touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough and the Browns registered their first playoff win in 25 years, while the Steelers will enter an offseason full of uncertainty regarding the future of the team, including their free agents and the potential retirement of their star quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. The quarterback duel was the main difference in this game. While Mayfield completed 21 of 34 passes for 263 yards and three touchdowns, Roethlisberger completed an all-time record of 47 passes (out of 68 attempts) for 501 yards and four scores, but he also tossed four interceptions. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson combined for 24 receptions, 274 yards, and a touchdown, while Chase Claypool made five catches for 59 grabs and two scores. As for the Browns, Chubb had 18 rushes for 76 yards while Jarvis Landry left his mark in the receiving game with five catches, 92 yards, and a score. Austin Hooper also found the end zone.

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Indianapolis Colts 24 – 27 Buffalo Bills

The Bills and the Colts got off to a slow start in their Saturday matchup and both teams combined for just 27 points in the opening first three quarters, where the Bills held a 17-10 lead with only 15 minutes left in the contest. The Colts attempted a fourth-quarter comeback and came close to complete it, however, with Philip Rivers tossing two touchdown passes before a 54-yard field goal from Tyler Bass iced the game for Buffalo. With the win, the Bills moved to the Divisional Round to take on the Baltimore Ravens. Josh Allen completed 26 of 35 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns, while Stefon Diggs made his presence felt in the passing game with six receptions, 128 yards, and a touchdown. Josh Allen also led the Bills in rushing, as he carried the ball 11 times for 54 yards and a score. In what might have been the final game of his career, Philip Rivers completed 27 of 46 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns, while Jonathan Taylor rushed 21 times for 78 yards and a score. Michael Pittman was Indianapolis’ best receiver, as he made five catches for 90 yards.

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Chicago Bears 9 — 21 New Orleans Saints

The Saints didn’t have problems to defeat the Bears in the Wild Card Round, as they limited them to just three points throughout most of the game until Mitchell Trubisky orchestrated a scoring drive when the game was already decided. The Saints jumped out to a 7-0 lead with a Michael Thomas touchdown in the first quarter and, while Chicago made it a four-point game at the break with a field goal, the Saints added two more scores to close things out — a short pass from Drew Brees to Latavius Murray in the third quarter, and a rushing touchdown from Alvin Kamara in the fourth. Chicago’s lone touchdown came on garbage time when Jimmy Graham found the end zone on a 19-yard pass from Trubisky, but the game was already decided by then. With the win, the Saints will take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional Round, while the Bears have been left with lots of question marks and a huge doubt at whether Trubisky will be the quarterback of the future or not for them. Drew Brees completed 28 of 39 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns for the Saints, while Alvin Kamara had 99 yards and a score on 23 carries. Michael Thomas ended with 73 yards and a score on five catches, while Deonte Harris made eight grabs for 83 yards. Trubisky completed just 19 of 29 passes for 199 yards and a score for Chicago, but the entire offense failed to show up in this game — they racked up 239 total yards as opposed to New Orleans’ 385.

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