Sports

An NFL weekend for the record books

Talanoa Hufanga of the San Francisco 49ers scores a touchdown in the team’s playoff win over the Green Bay Packers. Photo courtesy of 49ers wire.

After four thrilling and wild games in the Divisional round of the playoffs, this past weekend is being known as the best playoff weekend in NFL history.

The first game of the Saturday slate was the Cincinnati Bengals visiting the Tennessee Titans. Second year Quarterback, Joe Burrow, was starting in his second career playoff game against star Running Back, Derrick Henry, who was coming back from a nearly season ending ankle injury. 

The underdog Bengals were up for the majority of the game, and just when it looked like the game was getting away from them, an interception in the last few minutes of the game put them in position to kick the game winning field goal as time expired. Bengals win 19-16.

Longtime fan, David Bookheimer, was confident that they matched up well against the Titans. Bookheimer, of Cincinnati, went to the Wildcard Weekend game vs the Las Vegas Raiders, where the Bengals ended a 31-year drought without winning a playoff game.

“Paul Brown Stadium set an attendance record and all the fans brought a ton of energy and were eager to end our playoff drought,” said Bookheimer. “You can really sense that there is a new era of football in Cincinnati.”

David Bookheimer and his girlfriend at the Bengals Wild Card game vs the Raiders. Courtesy of David Bookheimer

The second game of the night was a matchup between the number one seeded Green Bay Packers and the number six seeded San Francisco 49ers. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was trying to end a run of bad playoff fortune against the team that passed on him in the 2005 draft.

The Packers seemed to have control of the game, but a couple blunders on special teams gave the 49ers a chance to get back in the game, and with a chance to put the game away on the last play, kicker Robbie Gould, who has never missed a kick in his playoff career, sent it right through the uprights. 49ers win 13-10. 

49ers fan, Enis Jashari, 23, is one of the many people who are calling this the best weekend of football they have ever witnessed.

“This was the best weekend in football history,” said Jashari, “My brother, my dad and I were all watching the 49ers game while working at our pizzeria.”

Jashari has seen his team lose two Super Bowls in person, but he is hoping this year could be the year he finally sees his team raise the Lombardi Trophy.

“I was screaming as loud as I could as me and my family were celebrating another NFC championship title shot!” said Jashari.

On the other hand, Michael Rocca, of Columbus, Ohio, grew up as a big Packers fan, and he was surprised to see the Packers lose to the 49ers in the playoffs once again. Rodgers is now 0-4 against the 49ers in his playoff career, which are the most losses by a player against any opponent in playoff history. 

“Where I’m from, not loving football is not an option,” said Rocca, “I was excited for the chance to get back at the 49ers after many frustrating playoff defeats in the past decade.

It looks like Packers fans will have to wait another year for that playoff success they have been longing for.

The first game on Sunday was a battle between the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the four seeded Los Angeles Rams. Tom Brady was looking to lead his team to another Super Bowl, but Quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was just coming off of his first playoff career win, had something else in mind.

The Rams took a big lead in the second half at 27-3, but Brady and the Bucs mounted a huge comeback after multiple Rams turnovers and tied it 27-27 with less than a minute to go. But a couple completions from Stafford to triple crown winner, Cooper Kupp, set them up to win the game on a last second field goal. Rams win 30-27

After the loss, there are now rumors that Brady might be considering retiring, but the 44-year old QB has definitely proven that he still has a lot left in the tank if he decides to continue his career. 

The final game of the weekend was an all-time great matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills. People were calling the Rams vs Bucs game the best game of the year, but they quickly changed their mind after watching the Chiefs vs Bills square up in the playoff rematch.

 

 

The Chiefs had beat the Bills in the AFC Championship last year, so the Bills and their fans were out for revenge. It all looked like they would accomplish the feat as they took a three-point lead with 13 seconds to go after Quarterback Josh Allen and Wide Receiver Gabriel Davis combined for their fourth touchdown (an NFL record) of the game. But Patrick Mahomes showed once again that he is the greatest quarterback in the league by leading a drive that would tie the game in only 13 seconds.

The Chiefs would go on to win the coin toss and win the game in overtime, and this would lead to people all over Twitter begging the NFL to change their overtime rules, which allows for only one team to get the ball if a touchdown is scored on the first possession of OT. Chiefs win 42-36.

Grant Turner with his family at the Bills Wild Card game vs the Patriots. Courtesy of Grant Turner

Diehard Bills fan, Grant Turner, of Rochester, was devastated to see his team lose yet another heartbreaker.

“The game (against the Chiefs) was like a roller coaster, especially in the fourth quarter,” said Turner, “I was in shock at the end of the game, I could not believe that was it.”

But when talking about what makes the game so special to him, he was proud to acknowledge that he was a member of Bills Mafia. 

“I think it comes from how being a Bills fan is like being part of a big football family,” said Turner, “Seeing someone with Bills gear automatically makes them one of your best friends.”

 Fans will be glued to the TV’s next week as the Chiefs host the Bengals in the AFC Championship and the Rams host the 49ers in the NFC Championship.