The NFL playoffs are the gift that keeps on giving, providing unmatched entertainment. The best part is that we’ve only just begun.
Sunday saw the Wildcard round reach its conclusion with two teams getting sent home and two others keeping their Super Bowl hopes alive as they joined a select group of eight left standing.
Let’s dive right into the recap.
Minnesota Vikings 26, New Orleans Saints 20
IT’S BECOME MY FAVORITE YEARLY TRADITION AT THIS POINT — THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS PLAYOFF CHOKE! The Vikings walked it off against the Saints in the playoffs for the second time in three years, and I loved every single moment of it.
The start was disastrous for Minnesota — an Adam Thielen fumble on the first drive — but they managed to regroup by holding the Saints to just a field goal. After a Viking FG of their own to answer, each team’s defense locked down until Taysom Hill uncorked a 50-yard completion to set up an Alvin Kamara touchdown in the second quarter.
The Vikings answered with 17 points unanswered points behind the strength of Dalvin Cook, an Al Harris interception of Drew Brees, and a missed Wil Lutz field goal.
The Saints weren’t going down without a fight, however, as they scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to force overtime. A Drew Brees fumble deep in the red zone and blatant game mismanagement by Sean Payton in the quarter made it feel like some points were left on the board.
In overtime, the Vikings won the toss and received. Kirk Cousins found Adam Thielen for a perfect 43-yard throw and catch, and then won his first career playoff game with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph.
The Saints took a 13-3 record into the playoffs just to go one and done on Wildcard weekend. Now we await the pending lawsuits.
Seattle Seahawks 17, Philadelphia Eagles 9
In a much more defensive struggle, the Seahawks went into the home of the underdog NFC East Champion Philadelphia Eagles and came away with a playoff run.
It was not an ideal start for either team — Seattle marched downfield on their second drive of the game just to see Jason Myers’ field goal get blocked, and Philadelphia lost starting quarterback Carson Wentz for the game with an injury on their own second drive.
Neither offense could muster up more than one field goal each over the course of the next few drives before the Seahawks finally found their footing in the form of a 9-play, 77-yard touchdown drive which saw Marshawn Lynch find the end zone on their last possession before the half.
Josh McCown managed to get his Eagles to Seattle’s 6-yard-line coming out of the half but had to settle for a field goal. The Eagles managed to move the ball at times but not a single one of their drives culminated in a touchdown.
Meanwhile, Russell Wilson threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to D.K. Metcalf which felt like a third quarter body blow to make it 17-6.
The Eagles just didn’t have the firepower to make the comeback, turning the ball over on downs twice in the fourth quarter.
We’re back at it for the Divisional Round next weekend. Saints fans will enjoy a stress free weekend of football as their team is no longer apart of these playoffs.
Divisional Playoff lineup now set:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 6, 2020
Vikings at 49ers, 4:35 ET
Titans at Ravens, 8:15 pm ET
Texans at Chiefs, 3:05 pm ET
Seahawks at Packers, 6:40 ET