Wildcard Weekend wasn’t one for the upset, the teams that were supposed to win, did.
The weekend started off Saturday night with the Raiders traveling to Houston to play the Texans and their top-ranked defense. The Texans dominated the game at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, stifling the Raiders rushing attack and continuously wreaking havoc on Rookie starter Conor Cook while pounding the Raiders on the ground offensively.
Brock Osweiler regained his starting spot thanks in part to Tom Savage going through the concussion protocol, but did the job as the offense moved efficiently throughout the night. Osweiler threw for 168 yards and one score while running back Lamar Miller led the rushing attack running for 73 yards and one touchdown. On the other side of the all, Defensive End Jadaveon Clowney had a big impact getting constant pressure on Cook and even intercepting an intended screen pass.
The Texans won the game 27-14.
The night cap featured the Seahawks versus the Lions in Seattle, one of the toughest places to play in the NFL.
This game was also dominated on both sides of the balk by one team as the Seahawks were able to stifle the Lions passing attack led by Matt Stafford and pierce the Lions defense with a balanced attack.
Russell Wilson played efficiently throwing for 224 yards on 23/30 passing and tossing two scores. Both scores were reeled in with one handed catches by Doug Baldwin and Paul Richardson. Thomas Rawls balanced out the attack as he rushed for 161 yards on the ground with one touchdown to his credit.
The game was met with some controversy as there were some questionable calls made throughout the game and especially in the second half that halted Detroit’s momentum and allowed Seattle to turn the tide on multiple occasions.
Ultimately, the Seahawks would win the game 26-6.
Sunday featured much of the same, as the predictable outcomes occurred.
The day started off with the Steelers showing the Dolphins what the playoffs are all about with hard-hitting defense and a tough running game that controlled the tempo on both sides.
Defensively, the Steelers brought it back to the good ol days, knocking Matt Moore and the Dolphins around all game, only allowing 12 points and holding breakout running back Jay Ajayi to only 33 yards on 16 carries.
On the flip side, his counter part LeVeon Bell had himself a day.
In typical fashion for Bell, he patiently waited for holes to open up and he consistently ran through them to the tune of 167 yards and two scores on 29 carries. This opened up the passing game and Ben Rothlisberger was able to complete 13 of 18 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns, one going to Antonio Brown for his first career postseason touchdown reception.
This mix of offense and defense led them to a 30-12 win.
The final game of the Wildcard round was billed to be the most intriguing with the Giants coming to Green Bay to face the Packers, a place they have been to before this time of year and have come out victorious.
This time, however, was a very different result as after a slow start, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers routed the G-Men 38-13.
After the Giants spent much of the first quarter moving the ball effectively, but only settling for a couple field goals, Rodgers and the Packers offense found the groove and didn’t stop dancing as Rodgers threw for 362 yards and four touchdowns on a defense that had been playing at an elite level the last part of the season. Davante Adams and Randall Cobb both racked up over 100 yards receiving with Cobb breaking out after an ankle injury, catching three touchdowns.
After the first, the Giants failed to move the ball consistently as the Packers defense tightened up and allowed the offense to break loose.
Did the Wildcard Weekend matchups go as you predicted? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3