32 things we learned heading into championship games of 2018 NFL playoffs

32 things we learned heading into championship games of 2018 NFL playoffs


Sunday’s NFL action incorporated an absolute beatdown in Foxborough and saw Prick Foles’ Eagles dawdle out of magic. Trysta Krick breaks it all down.
USA TODAY Sports activities

The 32 things we learned heading into the NFL’s convention championship games: 

1. How vital are postseason bye weeks? All 4 groups that had one this 300 and sixty five days prevailed in the divisional spherical. 

1a. Or no longer it’s the first time the league’s closing 4 has been comprised of its top 4 seeds since 2015.

1b. This marks the sixth straight season that no membership which performed on wild-card weekend will attain Tidy Sunday. The 2012 Ravens comprise been the final to bear so.

1c. Protection wins championships, eh? For the first time in the 53-300 and sixty five days Tidy Bowl generation, the league’s top 4 scoring offenses all developed to the championship spherical. 

2. Kudos to Sarah Thomas, who grew to develop into the first woman to officiate a playoff game Sunday. “She’s effectively respected in the industry,” acknowledged CBS analyst and worn Cowboys QB Tony Romo.

Three. The Eagles grew to develop into the first team on this season’s playoffs to rating first nonetheless indirectly lose. Philly gave up 20 unanswered choices to the Saints after bolting to a 14-zero first-quarter lead.

4. The Saints are genuinely 6-zero in playoff games at the Superdome with Drew Brees and Sean Payton, who each and every arrived in New Orleans in 2006.

4a. Nonetheless the #WhoDats genuinely comprise a seven-game playoff winning scamper in The Big Easy. It started in the 2000 wild-card spherical against the St. Louis Rams. The Los Angeles Rams, who lost their first game this season in Week 9 at New Orleans, head to town for a rematch in the NFC Championship Sport — which is ready to be the franchises’ second postseason bump into.

5. The Saints’ 45-35 defeat of the Rams on Nov. 4 didn’t characteristic a single sack. For either team.

5a. Nonetheless they did combine for 10 offensive touchdowns and 970 total yards.

6.@Cantguardmike indeed. Saints WR Michael Thomas’ 171 receiving yards against Philadelphia comprise been a New Orleans playoff file.

7. Eagles QB Prick Foles is zero-2 against the Saints in postseason and 4-zero against every person else. Then one more time if he makes a seventh playoff start, it doubtlessly could almost definitely no longer attain for Philadelphia given Foles is predicted to affix a new team in the offseason.

Eight. Very spruce switch by the Patriots to protect a pre-game moment of silence in honor of Makenna Mebane, the infant daughter of Chargers NT Brandon Mebane. After being born prematurely in November, Makenna died from a coronary heart defect earlier this month.

Honorable gesture by the Patriots to honor Makenna Mebane with a moment of silence pic.twitter.com/6JBe4n6K9Y

— CBS Sports activities (@CBSSports) January 13, 2019

9. Sorry, Chargers fans … the “most efficient quarterback to never play in a Tidy Bowl” debate continues — with Philip Rivers’ case starting to outstrip ex-Inch Dan Fouts’ and others.

9a.Rivers is now zero-Eight head-to-head against Tom Brady, including zero-Three in postseason.

9b. Brady is 5-2 in the playoffs against quarterbacks picked in the first spherical of the 2004 draft: Three-zero against Rivers, 2-zero against Ben Roethlisberger … and, yep, zero-2 against Eli Manning.

10. Loopy to think it took 15 seasons, and 89 atypical-season TD hook-ups, earlier than Rivers and TE Antonio Gates at final connected for six in the playoffs.

eleven. Within the period in-between, Brady extended his file for playoff victories by a quarterback to 28. Yawn.

11a. And the Patriots extended their file by reaching the AFC title game for the eighth consecutive season. Yawn.

12. Nonetheless as TE Raise Gronkowski continues to fade, who is Brady’s main offensive weapon this display masks day? WR Julian Edelman, who situation a Patriots playoff file with his fifth a hundred-yard receiving game Sunday? RB James White, who tied a league playoff file with 15 catches? Or rookie RB Sony Michel, who ran for 129 yards and three TDs in his postseason debut?

12a. Loopy — Edelman’s 98 profession playoff receptions are second most efficient to Jerry Rice (151). 

12b. Maybe crazier — per ESPN Stats & Files, White grew to develop into the first player in postseason annals with two games of at the least 12 receptions, a settle Rice never reached.

13. Oddly, even supposing the Chiefs and Patriots comprise been among the many AFL’s original franchises in 1960, they’ve most efficient met in the playoffs once. New England triumphed 27-20 in the divisional spherical three years ago.

13a. Then one more time, since coming to Kansas Metropolis, Andy Reid has won two of three in the atypical season against the Patriots, embarrassing them forty one-14 in 2014 and forty two-27 in the outlet game of the 2017 season.

13b. Nonetheless Invoice Belichick and Co. won forty three-40 in Week 6, dealing Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes his first legitimate loss.

13c. Nonetheless what a game. The Patriots and Chiefs mixed for eight touchdowns and 946 yards of offense earlier than Stephen Gostkowski’s 28-yard arena purpose on one of the best play proved decisive.

13d. Obviously, that game used to be in Foxborough, Mass., where the Pats are 9-zero this season. The AFC title game will (at final) be held in Kansas Metropolis, where the Chiefs are Eight-1 in the 2018 marketing campaign. The Patriots, meanwhile, are Three-5 on the boulevard.

14. New England has never reached the Tidy Bowl after shedding it the old season.

15. The Rams won their first playoff game at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum in bigger than 40 years Saturday evening. (Obviously, they’d won just a few postseason games in Anaheim and St. Louis in the duration in-between.)

16. No groups comprise met more in postseason history than the Cowboys and Rams, who now protect a 5-4 edge.

17. And we concept LeBron used to be a a Dallas fan …

LeBron, a Cowboys fan, went to celebrate with the Rams after the game 😶

🎥 @OgboOkoronkwopic.twitter.com/YrEtJgI3gC

— SB Nation (@SBNation) January 13, 2019

18. Has any slack-season knee damage to an all-pro working reduction ever proved more valuable? Had the Rams’ Todd Gurley no longer been banged up one of the best two weeks of the atypical season, the team never would’ve salvaged C.J. Anderson from the scrap heap. Now L.A. has the most efficient two-headed backfield going, rolling the Cowboys for a playoff franchise file 273 dashing yards (Anderson and Gurley each and every exceeded a hundred whereas combining for 238 and three TDs).

18a. Nonetheless New Orleans’ Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram could almost definitely want one thing to thunder next Sunday.

19. On the other facet of the ball, the Rams allowed a league-worst 5.1 yards per raise in the atypical season. Against Ezekiel Elliott and Dallas on Saturday, L.A. ceded factual 2.Three yards per dawdle whereas limiting Elliott to a postseason profession-low Forty seven yards.

20. Appropriate must you’re thinking that you just comprise gotten got considered it all in the NFL, there could be that first time you peek a pleasurable take care of sack his quarterback. And I’d’ve concept Dak Prescott could almost definitely well secure away La’el Collins’ take …

I gathered can’t secure over that time La’el Collins picked up Dak Prescott final evening pic.twitter.com/6QeAVxlV2S

— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) January 13, 2019

21. Cowboy who desires a contract: WR Amari Cooper, who’s entering the fifth-300 and sixty five days option of his rookie deal.

21a. Cowboy who genuinely desires a contract: Prescott, who earned $630,000 in unhappy pay this season nonetheless will be eligible for a prime extension for the first time in March.

21b. Cowboy who genuinely, genuinely desires a contract: Legit Bowl DE Demarcus “Tank” Lawrence, who registered 10½ sacks whereas playing under the franchise impress in 2018.

22. In eight chunky seasons, coach Jason Garrett has led Dallas to the playoffs three times. He’s 2-zero in wild-card games nonetheless zero-Three in the divisional spherical.

22a. The Cowboys haven’t performed in the NFC Championship Sport since the 1995 membership won Tidy Bowl XXX.

23. Congrats to the Chiefs, who ended the longest dwelling playoff shedding scamper (6 games) in NFL history, winning their first postseason game at Arrowhead Stadium in 25 years. Joe Montana used to be their quarterback in the 1993 purchase.

23a. Now Okay.C. will host the AFC Championship Sport for the first time ever.

23b. Reid is 1-4 in the championship spherical, all five of occurrences with Philadelphia.

24. Of the 4 quarterbacks who made their playoff debuts this season, most efficient Mahomes notched a victory. (Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson and Mitch Trubisky comprise been the others.)

24a. Paradoxically, Mahomes, the MVP front runner after throwing an NFL-high 50 TD passes in the atypical season, used to be shut out in that department Saturday by the Colts. Jacksonville used to be the most efficient other team to end Mahomes from finding pay grime during the air in 2018.

25. Chiefs defense at dwelling = 17.4 choices allowed per game this season.

25a. Chiefs defense on the boulevard = 34.6 choices allowed per game this season.

26. So you concept the Chiefs offense used to be out of whack following the dismissal of Kareem Hunt, the NFL dashing champ in 2017? Saturday, the unit rushed for a hundred and eighty yards, its second-most efficient total of this marketing campaign up to now, and posted a season-most efficient 4 dashing TDs.

26a. The 2-300 and sixty five days extension Kansas Metropolis gave Hunt’s alternative, Damien Williams, looks adore an especially savvy switch. He had 154 yards from scrimmage against the Colts, a total Hunt exceeded factual twice in 2018.

27. Tweet of the weekend goes to Charles Woodson, gathered salty from being on the circulation shatter of the “Tuck Rule,” after staring at Adam Vinatieri uncharacteristically proceed out two playoff kicks 17 years after he broke Woodson’s coronary heart in a snowstorm. Sooner than Saturday, Vinatieri had never overlooked a postseason extra point or arena-purpose strive inside 25 yards.

Now he misses in the snow

— Charles Woodson (@CharlesWoodson) January 12, 2019

28. Speaking of Twitter, time for the Chargers to retire that primitive #FightForEachOther hashtag that produces the lightning trail emoji … especially now that the Rams comprise clearly won the combat for L.A.

29. After struggling with your entire method reduction to the 53-man roster from a torn ACL in Can also, Chargers TE Hunter Henry accomplished with one purpose and no catches Sunday. Stephen A. Smith must be so disappointed.

30. Indianapolis’ 48.6 percent conversion charge on 1/Three down this season used to be the NFL’s most efficient. The Colts comprise been zero-for-9 on 1/Three down Saturday and went three-and-out on their first 4 possessions.

31. Nonetheless don’t bawl for the Horseshoes. LB Darius Leonard and G Quenton Nelson grew to develop into the first rookie teammates named first-team all-pro since Hall of Famers Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers did so for Chicago in 1965 — earlier than the Tidy Bowl even existed. GM Chris Ballard owns an extra second-spherical pick on this 300 and sixty five days’s draft and, even higher, the most salary cap keep in the league (bigger than $A hundred and twenty million) heading into free company. Request the Colts to be a most smartly-liked Tidy Bowl LIV pick, especially with revitalized quarterback …

32. Dearest mother — a gallant and dauntless offensive by @CaptAndrewLuck and his Colts has ended in obedient defeat to their Chief adversaries. Andrew, unharmed on this operation, beams with pleasure amid his deepest restoration and faith in the reconstituted unit — one that could completely emerge victorious on battlefields of import in the draw future. For now, they endure bitter chilly on the boulevard dwelling nonetheless are upbeat shimmering they’ve got mountainous scrip to entice future recruits, even almost definitely the Bell Man. When Andrew comes marching dwelling one more time, Hurrah! Hurrah! We’ll give him a hearty welcome then, Hurrah! Hurrah! The men will cheer and the boys will bawl, the ladies they will all flip out, and we will all feel happy (sic), when Andrew comes marching dwelling.

Dearest mother —

It’s with a heavy coronary heart I let you know our marketing campaign has ended. Our unit fell to the Chiefs on a snowy battlefield. Whereas disappointed, I am extraordinarily proud of all our accomplishments week after week, day after day, combat after combat. I shall see you presently.

— Andrew

— Capt. Andrew Luck (@CaptAndrewLuck) January 13, 2019


Negate Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis


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