After some really bad football last weekend, Saturday’s NFL Divisional Playoff games made everything all better. Big plays, big offense, and big drama dominated the day’s matchups of Baltimore-Denver and San Francisco-Green Bay. Let’s see how things shook out.
Joe Flacco outplays Peyton Manning to lead Baltimore to stunning double-OT upset of Denver
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw for 331 yards and three touchdowns, including a 70-yard bomb to Jacoby Jones with just 31 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, as the Ravens outlasted the Denver Broncos 38-35 in double-overtime.
Baltimore overcame two special teams touchdowns by Denver return man Trindon Holliday (a 90-yard punt return early in the first quarter and a 104-yard kickoff return to start the second half) thanks to Flacco’s brilliance and the Baltimore running game, which gained 155 yards on the ground. Ray Rice led the ground attack with 131 yards.
Peyton Manning, meanwhile, did not have a great game. While Manning did throw for 290 yards, he also accounted for three turnovers: one fumble lost and two interceptions. His first interception was returned for a touchdown, thereby gifting Baltimore seven points. And his last was in double-overtime, leading to the Ravens rookie kicker Justin Tucker’s game-winning 47-yard field goal.
Baltimore now awaits the outcome of this afternoon’s game between the Houston Texans and New England Patriots to see who they will play in the AFC Championship Game.
Colin Kaepernick puts on a show as 49ers dominate Packers
263 yards passing with two touchdowns. 181 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Those would be great numbers for an entire team. Saturday, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick did that all by himself, accounting for 444 of the 49ers 579 total yards of offense as they rolled to a 45-31 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
The game wasn’t even as close as the score indicated, as Green Bay added a meaningless touchdown in the final minute and got a little help from the 49ers early after Kaepernick threw an interception for a touchdown at the beginning of the first quarter. Without the two scores, the Packer offense was only able to muster a mere 17 points against the 49er defense, barely putting up a fight.
But more on Kaepernick, who set a new NFL quarterback rushing record with his 181 yards on the ground and gave San Francisco a lead they would not relinquish with this 56-yard touchdown run in the third quarter:
On Green Bay’s side, Aaron Rodgers had an average game with 257 yards passing and two touchdowns and the Packers managed 104 yards rushing as a team, but they were no match for the 49ers’ offensive attack, which was so potent that I’m only just now mentioning Frank Gore’s 119 yards rushing.
San Francisco awaits the victor between the Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons for their opponent in the NFC Championship Game.
All statistics via ESPN
Photo via Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports