The four best teams (that most will agree on) in the NFL have moved on to the Championship round of the NFL playoffs. Nobody won that we didn’t expect to win, which doesn’t happen very often, although a few of the games weren’t the tight battles we expected them to be. Here is a quick recap of what took place during every game last weekend.
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks
Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch ran wild. “Beast Mode” rushed for 140 yards on 28 attempts for 2 touchdowns; one 15 yard score, and the other a 31 yard run for six. Russell Wilson was held in check, with 103 passing yards and 16 rushing yards for no touchdowns for the Seahawks.
Saints QB Drew Brees was held to just 34 passing yards in the first half, but exploded in the second half for 275 yards and a touchdown. The Saints’ run game couldn’t get anything going, totaling 108 yards to the Seahawks’ 174. In the end, Seattle’s defense held the Saints to 0 points until the fourth quarter, sealing the win for the #1 seed in the NFC, 23-15.
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
LaGarrette Blount almost single-handedly dominated the Colts. Blount totaled 166 yards and 4 touchdowns in the Patriots 43-22 win over Indy. Patriots QB Tom Brady was kept fairly quiet, going 13-25 for 198 yards without a touchdown or interception.
If anyone other than LaGarrette Blount can be given credit for the Patriots’ win, it’s Andrew Luck. The second year quarterback threw 4 interceptions with a completion percentage of 49%, just one week after leading a 28 point comeback against the Kansas City Chiefs. From watching the tape, it is evident that Luck tried to force far too many throws into tight coverage and didn’t look very comfortable at all in the pocket for most of the game.
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers
Colin Kaepernick’s numbers don’t always look good, but he gets the job done. In a game that was surprisingly one-sided, Kaepernick both threw and ran for a touchdown in the 49ers 23-10 win over Carolina. Anquan Boldin caught 8 passes for 136 yards.
The 49ers defense shut down star QB Cam Newton, sacking him 5 times and picking him off twice. The Panthers (other than Newton) rushers ran for just 39 yards. Linebacker Patrick Willis racked up 5 tackles and an interception.
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos
The Broncos seemed in control of the game until the fourth quarter, when Chargers QB Philip Rivers drove up and down the field. The Chargers scored all of their points in the last quarter. Knowshon Moreno racked up 82 yards and a touchdown, while Broncos QB Peyton Manning threw for another two scores in the 24-17 Denver victory.
Give credit to Philip Rivers and WR Keenan Allen. Down 17 to nothing, Rivers rallied his team in the fourth quarter to make the game interesting. Rivers was sacked 4 times in the game, Manning wasn’t sacked once. Allen had six receptions for 142 yards and a couple of touchdowns.