NFL Playoffs Divisional Round: The Winners and Losers of Each Game


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Football field at night with stadium lights.

Amanda Vogt, Staff Writer

All four of the Divisional Round games, had teams who stepped up and teams that did not play to their full capacity. Some games were closer than others, but overall, the winners will be moving on and the losers will be going home. Each game had star players that made memorable plays that put points on the board for their teams. However, some leads were impossible to take over. This week in playoffs fans watched eagerly as matchups were played. Here is everything that went on in each Divisional Round game of the 2018-2019 season playoffs.

Colts @ Chiefs Game Recap
The game started off with the Indianapolis Colts to start with the ball. They were unable to get any points on the board so the ball was punted to the Kansas City Chiefs. On the Chiefs first drive of the game they went 90 yards in three minutes in a total of five plays. The end result of the drive was a touchdown from the running back Damian Williams. With the extra point being good the Chiefs were up 7-0. Not long after the Colts got the ball back, Andrew Luck threw an interception to the defence of the Chiefs. This interception lead to a 30 yard touchdown completed by Tyreek Hill. The extra point was good, and the Chiefs were up by two touchdowns, and the Colts were still not on the board
The Chiefs got the ball back very quickly once the second quarter was underway, and their drive down the field ended with a 39 yard field goal making the score 17-0. The Colts go three and out again, and so do the Chiefs on their next drives. When the Chiefs were punting on 4th down, the Colts special teams blocked the punt and ran it in for a touchdown. The good extra point makes the score 17-7 Chiefs. The Colts special teams is what really gets the fire going in this team. The Chiefs next drive concludes with their quarterback Patrick Mahomes running into the endzone for another touchdown! With another good extra point completed by the Chiefs kicker, the score is now 24-7. There is under 2 minutes left in the first half when the Colts get the ball. The Colts bring the ball down the field and have a shot at a 23 yard field goal. The Colts kicker winds up missing the field goal and hits one of the uprights. It is also important to keep in mind that it was not until there was a minute and a half left in the first half, that the Colts got a first down. The half concluded with a score of 24-7 Chiefs.
The Chiefs started with the ball to start the second half. Patrick Mahomes winds up being sacked on fourth down with gives the Colts the ball. Later on as the third quarter progresses each team has a fumble recovery but the repossession does not turn into a gain of any points. As the third quarter ends the score remains 24-7 Chiefs.
The Colts get the ball back in the fourth quarter and nine plays and 61 yards later, T.Y. Hilton catches a touchdown. However, when they needed the extra point the kicker missed so the score was 24-13. The play that secures the win for the Kansas City Chiefs was when Damian Williams scored his second touchdown of the night. The final score of this game was Kansas City Chiefs 31 and the Indianapolis Colts 13.
There were many players that had explosive games, that overall lead their team to victory. Patrick Mahomes threw for 278 total yards and had a rushing touchdown of his own. The Chiefs running back Damien Williams went for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns. Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Sammy Watkins also helped make great plays that brought the Chiefs down the field. On the Colts side of the game, their special teams helped bring the fire to the team. T.Y. Hilton had the best game out of all the receivers and even had a touchdown. Overall these players really stood out in Saturday’s first matchup.

Cowboys @ Rams Game Recap
The Los Angeles Rams faced off the Dallas Cowboys at their home field, the LA Memorial Coliseum. The Rams had the ball to start the game, and took it down the field. The opening drive of the game resulted in a 25 yard field goal, making the score 3-0. Not long after the Cowboys got the ball Amari Cooper had a 29 yard touchdown reception. With the extra point good, the Cowboys took the lead with the score 3-7.
The Rams started off the second quarter with a another field goal from 23 yards out, with the score 6-7 Cowboys. The Cowboys went three and out and the ball went back to the Rams. After another long drive down the field for the Rams, their possession ended with a 1 yard rushing touchdown for CJ Anderson who is one of the running backs for the Rams. The extra point from the kicker was spot on, making the score 13-7 Rams. The Cowboys were struggling to get anything going offensively, and they went three and out again. The next result of score was made by running back Todd Gurley with another touchdown for the Rams. The kicker has been spot on with all of the extra points, and made another one, making the final score of the half 20-7 Rams.
The Cowboys were the first with the ball to start the second half, and the end result of their drive was three and out. The Rams brought the ball down the field again ending with a 44 yard field goal, making the score 23-7. The Cowboys start to get some momentum from the running game as they go down the field and end with a touchdown from Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys go for the two point conversion and get it with the completion from Amari Cooper. This makes the score 23-15.
The Rams repond in the beginning of the fourth quarter with another touchdown for CJ Anderson for 2 yards. Another extra point is good from the Rams kicker making the score 30-15. Dak Prescott tried to level the score with rushing touchdown of his own, however it was not enough for the Cowboys to win. The final score of this game is Los Angeles Rams 30, Dallas Cowboys 22.
The stars of this game would definitely have to be CJ Anderson and the Rams defence. CJ Anderson went for 110 yards with 2 touchdowns. Everybody thought that the star of the two running backs for the Rams would be Todd Gurley. However, Gurley was not used as much since he was coming off of an injury. Anderson was the story of the game; he had huge plays which ultimately gave the LA Rams the edge. The defence also had a star performance. They were able to stop Ezekiel Elliott from running for a big gain. They also had excellent coverage of the pass rush which put Dak Prescott into troublesome situations. Even though the Dallas Cowboys took the lead in the first quarter, they were unable to compete with CJ Anderson and the rest of the LA Rams.

Chargers @ Patriots Game Recap
The Patriots faced off the Los Angeles Chargers at their home field in New England. Tom Brady and his offence took over 7 minutes of the first quarter to bring the ball down the field. Sony Michel, the running back of the Patriots, ended their opening drive with a 1 yard rushing touchdown. The kicker was spot on with the extra point, and the Patriots were up 7-0. The Chargers also had an impressive opening drive. It ended with a 43 yard pass from Philip Rivers to Keenan Allen for a touchdown. The score was now all tied up at 7, but that did not last for long. On their next drive, Brady handed the ball off to Sony Michel for another rushing touchdown. With the score now 14-7, the Chargers could not get anything going offensively, and they went three and out to end the quarter.
The Patriots get the ball back and end their next drive with another touchdown from Brady to wide receiver Phillip Dorsett. This made the score 21-7 with a score on each drive. The Chargers went three and out again, and on the next Patriots drive they did too. When the Patriots punted the ball the returner on the Chargers lost control of the ball, and the Patriots recovered it on the Chargers 35 yard line. The result of this drive was with Sony Michel’s third rushing touchdown for 6 yards. This makes the final score of the half 35-7.
To start the second half the Chargers got the ball, but just like they have been, they went three and out and the ball went to the Patriots. This next drive for Tom Brady and his offence resulted in a 28 yard field goal making the score 38-7. Something was brewing in the Chargers on their next drive. Their next drive resulted in a 1 yard touchdown from Melvin Gordon III which made the score 38-14.
Once the Patriots got the ball back they were able to put more points on the board with another field goal, making the score 41-14. On the CHargers next possession, Philip Rivers was able to get is offence down the field and was able to end another drive with a touchdown. There next play was a successful 2 point conversion. The pass was caught by Keenan Allen, which made the score 41-22. The Patriots, on their next drive went three and out. On one of the last shots for the Chargers, Philip Rivers throws an interception, but the Patriots were not able to score with that play. With the final minute to play, Philip Rivers throws a touchdown pass to Antonio Gates, but that was not enough to beat the Patriots. The final score was the New England Patriots 41 and the Los Angeles Chargers 28.
The star players of this game would have to be quarterback Tom Brady and the rest of his offence. He was able to make plays with ease; the Chargers defence did not put any pressure on him. Julian Edelman made great plays that were the cause of this high scoring offence. The Patriots running back, Sony Michel, who also had an explosive game carried the ball 29 times for 129 yards and 3 touchdowns. However, Philip Rivers was hit multiple times and some of those times should have been called for “roughing the passer penalties”, but that was not the case. Either way it was expected that the Patriots would win considering how Philip Rivers has previously played against Tom Brady. Even Gillette Stadium is intimidating for teams who are walking in.

Eagles @ Saints Game Recap
The Philadelphia Eagles traveled to the Mercedes Superdome to face the New Orleans Saints. The Saints started with the ball to start the last of four divisional round playoff games. On the first play of the game, Drew Brees threw an interception right to the Eagles defence. The whole crowd at the Superdome was shocked! Nick Foles then came onto the field and brought the Eagles down the field. Their first drive resulted into a 37 yard touchdown pass to Jordan Matthews. They took the lead early at 7-0. The Saints went nowhere fast next drive and the Eagles got the ball back. Foles brought the team to the 1 yard line before QB sneaking the ball into the endzone to put the Eagles up by 14.
The Saints started the second quarter with an interception. Once they were on fourth down, they brought the punting unit out. However, once the ball was snapped, they faked the punt and got the first down. That drive eventually resulted in a 2 yard touchdown on another fourth down by Keith Kirkwood. This cut the Eagles lead in half. Once the Saints got the ball back after the Eagles did not add to their lead, a 45 yard field goal was completed making the Eagles only up by 4.
The Eagles were to start the second half of the game, but they were not able to score. The Saints finally took back the lead with a touchdown completed by Michael Thomas. Now the Saints were 3 points ahead of the Eagles!
The fourth quarter started with another Saints score off of a 39 yard field goal. The Eagles and the Saints do not put any points on the board again until close to the two minute warning. The Saints had a chance to extend their lead to two scoring play by the Eagles but the Saints kicker misses a 52 yard field goal. There is still hope for Nick Foles and Eagles to win with only one touchdown. But just as they are getting deep into Saints territory, Nick Foles throws a pass to Alshon Jeffery, the ball goes through his hands. And into the hands of the Saints defender. At that point there was 1:52 left in the game, and the Saints defence saved the game. The final score was Philadelphia Eagles 14 and the New Orleans Saints 20.
The stars of this game were each of the quarterbacks. Nick Foles had great plays but they were not enough to beat Drew Brees and the Saints. Alshon Jeffery is the reason that they lost the game, but he still had excellent plays. This game will go under in Saints history since this was the largest postseason comeback in franchise history. This team came back from 14 points like it was nothing. This is why they are the number one seed and deserve to move on.
This week in playoffs showed us teams that dominated and teams that failed. As a matter of fact, each home team won their game. Next week the Patriots will be traveling to Arrowhead Stadium to face the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams will be traveling to the Mercedes Superdomes to face the New Orleans Saints.