House groups received three of 4 video games through the N.F.L.’s divisional spherical, however there was loads of fretting alongside the best way. The Buffalo Bills rode their protection to a win, the Green Bay Packers relied on their offense and the closely favored Kansas City Chiefs, who misplaced quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a concussion, largely simply survived. The weekend closed with a hyped battle in New Orleans between N.F.L. legends — Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Drew Brees of the Saints — that resulted in the round’s lone upset.
Right here’s what we realized:
The Winners’ Bracket
The Ravens are accustomed to Murphy’s Regulation. The adage states something that may go unsuitable will go unsuitable. Baltimore bought an excessive lesson in that in Saturday’s 17-Three loss to the Payments.
Justin Tucker, the sport’s most dependable kicker from inside 50 yards, missed 41- and 46-yard field-goal makes an attempt, with each makes an attempt bouncing off the uprights. It was rapidly reported that Tucker had not missed two such kicks in any single sport over his 154 profession regular-season and playoff video games, however that was understating how uncommon it was for Tucker. He additionally by no means missed two such kicks in any school sport.
Lamar Jackson, a quarterback celebrated for environment friendly passing and thrilling runs, had the third-worst passer ranking of his 41 profession begins (together with postseason) whereas gaining simply 34 yards speeding. He had a mistake within the crimson zone flip right into a 101-yard pick-6 and he had a nasty snap get away from him, resulting in a tough hit that gave him a concussion.
Tucker and Jackson had been hardly alone of their distress. Mark Andrews, one of many sport’s finest tight ends, caught simply 4 of the 11 passes thrown his means, dropping no less than one cross that regarded like a positive landing. He was additionally Jackson’s goal on the play that became a pick-6. Solely Patrick Mekari had a worse day. A second-year participant out of Cal, Mekari inherited the beginning middle job from an ineffective Matt Skura through the common season. On Saturday, two of Mekari’s snaps resulted in fumbles — one in every of which was the play through which Jackson was concussed.
Subsequent Sunday’s Schedule
N.F.C. Championship Recreation
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Inexperienced Bay Packers, 3:05 p.m., Fox
Tampa Bay has been on a roll for the final two months and Inexperienced Bay had the N.F.L.’s finest offense this season. How the Buccaneers cope with Wisconsin’s freezing climate might play an unlimited function. (Early line: Packers -4)
A.F.C. Championship Recreation
Buffalo Payments at Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, 6:40 p.m., CBS
Patrick Mahomes felt well enough to tweet after Sunday’s sport, however Kansas Metropolis’s destiny rests on whether or not the workforce’s beginning quarterback is cleared from the N.F.L.’s concussion protocol. (Early line: Chiefs -3)