With the wildcard round now completed, let’s take a look at how each game went down.
Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Houston Texans
From the initial kickoff the Texans never looked like they had a chance.
It took the Chiefs just 11 seconds to score their first touchdown when Knile Davis made a 106 yard kickoff return. It was an ominous beginning in a game that saw the Chiefs win 30-0.
Opening Kickoff: That. Just. Happened.
— NFL (@NFL) January 9, 2016
In what was one of the worst games of his career, Texans’ quarterback Brian Hoyer was intercepted four times, sacked three times and fumbled once. He only managed 15 completions out of 34 attempts and the Texans only entered red zone once. The home crowd booed the Texans from the field as they left for the locker rooms at half time.
— Marc Istook (@MarcIstookNFL) January 10, 2016
However, the Chiefs were fantastic as their offensive line completely nullified Houston defensive end J.J. Watt. In the first half Watt managed only one tackle assist and he also had one goal line carry that was stuffed, but it made for good entertainment. He then missed most of the second half with a groin injury. This allowed quarterback Alex Smith to throw 17 completions from 22 attempts as the Chiefs dominated in every facet of the game.
The Chiefs advance to take on the New England Patriots next week. The game will be played Sunday 8.35am AEDT.
Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Cincinnati Bengals
This was an AFC West grudge match that was as close as it was ugly.
While the officials were expecting some animosity between the teams and stood mid-field to ensure they stayed separated during the warm-ups, they could do nothing to stop the game degrading the way it did during the second half.
But as the Bengals let their emotions get the best of them, the Steelers stayed cool. And when the Bengals gave away two 15 yard penalties with less than 30 seconds remaining, they put the Steelers within field goal range and handed them an 18-16 victory.
— History Of Sports (@BeforeFamePics) January 10, 2016
However, the Steelers were in the dominant position at the end of the 3rd quarter having kept the Bengals scoreless and leading 15-0. This was the result of three field goals and a 10 yard pass from Roethlisberger to Martavis Bryant for a touchdown that will surely be replayed for years to come.
There's a reason Martavis Bryant's nickname is "Alien."
— NFL (@NFL) January 10, 2016
But the Steelers then lost Roethlisberger in the last play of the 3rd quarter after a sack caused a shoulder injury. Then, early in the 4th quarter, after a penalty against the Steelers put the Bengals inside the five yard line, A.J. McCarron found Jeremy Hill in the endzone. Following a field goal with the Bengals next drive, McCarron found A.J. Green deep left which put the Bengals 15-16 in-front with less than two-minutes remaining.
But with emotions still at boiling point, and after Pittsburgh’s fill-in quarterback Landry Jones’ pass during the opening play of the Steelers next drive was intercepted, Roethlisberger returned to the ground with just over a minute remaining. While Roethlisberger was able to push the Steelers forward, they would have struggled to have made field goal range had it not been for the penalties against the Bengals.
The Steelers will take on the Denver Broncos 8.40am Monday, ADET.
Seattle Seahawks Vs. Minnesota Vikings
It was cold in Minnesota; as in -20 degrees Celsius cold; the 3rd coldest playoff game ever.
And it seemingly took Seattle three quarters to warm up. After being held scoreless until early in the 4th quarter, Seattle managed to steal victory from the very, very, cold jaws of defeat beating the Vikings 10-9.
Or perhaps it was Minnesota who stole defeat from the jaws of victory as Blair Walsh missed a 27 yard field goal with only 26 seconds remaining. Walsh later took full responsibility for the loss, even though some have blamed holder Jeff Locke who placed the ball laces in. Interestingly though, an earlier field goal that Walsh made was also placed laces in.
— Matchbook (@TeamMatchBook) January 10, 2016
— Rock 'Em (@RockEmApparel) January 10, 2016
While Russell Wilson struggled in the cold weather making only 13 completions from 26 attempts, it was a recovered fumble of Wilson’s which turned the course of the game. After a sudden snap caught Wilson off guard, Wilson recovered and found Tyler Locket who made a 35 yard run to the Vikings’ four yard line: Two plays later Wilson found Doug Baldwin in the end zone. (Sorry about the German on the following Tweet but it does show all three plays.)
Want awesome? This is awesome…
— NFL (@NFL) January 11, 2016
The win means that the Seahawks will face off against the Carolina Panthers. The game will be played Monday at 5.05am AEDT.
Green Bay Packers Vs. Washington Redskins
When Aaron Rodgers was sacked in the Packers end zone less than five minute into first quarter giving the Redskins a safety, it looked as though the improvements the Redskins had made during the final stages of the regular season would be enough to get them over the line.
— Coach Warren VP (@DemetricDWarren) January 10, 2016
But it wasn’t to be as the Redskins struggled to stop the Green Bay offence and inevitably lost 35-18.
The Packers scored three touchdowns in the second quarter, setting them up to be 17-11 in front at the half time break. While Aaron Rodgers was devastating when he did complete passes, the much improved Washington defence worked hard to place pressure on the underwhelming Green Bay offensive line. They managed to sack Rodgers 6 times and kept him to only 21 completions from 36 attempts.
But rushing yards proved to be the difference between the two sides with Eddie Lacy and James Starks giving Rodgers plenty of options for running the ball. Meanwhile the Redskins managed only 84 rushing yards for the game as the strong Green Bay defensive line limited their options.
— NFL (@NFL) January 11, 2016
Quarterback Kirk Cousins played well for the Redskins throwing 329 yards and scoring a rushing touchdown early in the 3rd quarter. Likewise tight end Jordan Reed made 9 catches for 120 yards and one touchdown.
Kirk ➡ Jordan. 24 yard TD.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 10, 2016
— NFL Access (@NFL_Access) January 10, 2016
The Packers will take-on the Arizona Cardinals next week. The game will be played at 12.15 Sunday AEDT.