The Superdome was ready to play ‘Choppa Style,’ the Saints’ anthem this postseason, early and often against the Eagles, but the opportunity wasn’t there until the third quarter, when an 18-play touchdown drive gave New Orleans the lead, which they never gave up.
After a needed bye week, allowing Tom Brady to rest a nagging MCL sprain, the Patriots came out hot against the Chargers, banishing any doubts of whether or not this New England team had another deep playoff run in it.
In a box during the Chiefs-Colts divisional-round matchup, Patrick Mahomes's family and closest friends exuded a nervous confidence throughout the game. As they watched Mahomes brilliantly step up to the occasion, those closest to the quarterback knew all along that the importance of the situation wouldn’t sway him.
Jerry Jones has become something of a punch line for his meddling with the Cowboys’ roster over the years. But when you watch Dallas play in Saturday’s divisional round playoff game, you’ll see a team built in the image of the NFL’s most audacious owner.
He was an NFL coach a decade before any of his current players were born. But everyone’s favorite septuagenarian defensive coordinator has had no problem teaching a football life’s worth of lessons across generations while still learning some new ones along the way.
The Chargers defense proved to be too much for Jackson and the Ravens this time around, but the rookie quarterback got his team this far, and he’ll be their leader under center for the foreseeable future.
Los Angeles gambled on installing a specific package that included seven defensive backs in hopes of slowing Baltimore’s mobile quarterback—a completely different plan from the last time the two teams played—and it worked.
Even after tweaking his ankle last week, Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton will play the first wild-card game. Also, Cowboys rookie Connor Williams will get the start against the Seahawks, Seattle’s Shaquill Griffin is good to go and more news on the spinning coaching carousel.
On paper, Baltimore’s defense doesn’t appear to have much going for it—the best players are aging, and there are no immediate rising stars. But on the field, it’s clear that Don Martindale has built one of the NFL’s most unique defenses.
The Cowboys rode a dominant defense to a 7-1 finish to the regular season, setting up the playoff debuts of rising star linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. They wouldn’t have gotten there without the man they replaced.