It’s easy to run out of positive adjectives to describe an NFL Divisional Weekend that could be one of the best in history.
The games were so exciting that they completely contrasted Super Wild Card Weekend.
A week ago, four of the six games were blowouts.
But during the NFL Divisional Round, three games ended on a walk-off field goal.
The 4 games in this weekend's Divisional Round were decided by a combined total of 15 points, for an average margin of victory of 3.8 points per game
That is the lowest average margin of victory in NFL playoff history in a round with at least 4 games
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) January 24, 2022
Coincidentally, the road team won those games, eliminating the top seeds from both conferences.
Then saving the best for last, the next best great quarterback rivalry after Brady-Manning ended in a fantastic sequence.
Given that there’s still a hangover about these games, here are the best moments from that fantastic weekend.
3. The Niners’ Block Party
The San Francisco 49ers were 2-5 at one point during the regular season.
Now, they are one game away from their second Super Bowl appearance in three seasons.
Special teams were in the limelight against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
Thanks to two blocks, the Niners did not score on offense but managed to win the game, 13-10.
In the dying minutes of the first half, the 49ers blocked Mason Crosby‘s 39-yard field goal attempt to keep the score at 7-0.
And the field goal is blocked!
The Packers (-5.5) lead the 49ers 7-0 at the half!
Packers 1H -3.5 💰
Under 24 💰
— TSN EDGE (@TSN_Edge) January 23, 2022
If they scored on that possession, there’s a chance that Robbie Gould‘s kick at the end of regulation was for forcing overtime only.
Then there’s the punt block that turned into a touchdown for San Francisco.
It’s weird to look at the Packers players having no idea what happened.
Talanoa Hufanga quickly scooped the ball and walked to the end zone for a touchdown.
NINERS PUNT BLOCK TOUCHDOWN.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 23, 2022
Combining those momentum-changing moments with the constant pressure from the Niners’ defense gave Green Bay their recipe for disaster.
Likewise, San Francisco’s heads-up plays will lead the Los Angeles Rams to pay extra attention to punting and kicking.
2. Cooper Kupp Saves The Day
Cooper Kupp has been excellent all season for the Los Angeles Rams.
He was just 18 yards shy of breaking Calvin Johnson‘s single-season receiving yards record while also having the most receptions and touchdowns.
However, he was at his best against last season’s Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A week ago, the Eastern Washington standout only had 61 yards against the Arizona Cardinals.
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) January 24, 2022
But he could not care less about that reduced production after winning by 23 points.
Facing the Buccaneers was different because they needed all the yards from him, especially after Tom Brady led Tampa Bay to a comeback from a 27-3 deficit.
Kupp scored on a 70-yard touchdown earlier in the game to stretch the Rams’ lead.
However, his most crucial catch came with not much time left.
The Rams needed a field goal to win but had to advance from the Buccaneers’ 25-yard line.
.@CooperKupp put the team on his back.
— NFL (@NFL) January 23, 2022
Kupp was initially a decoy on the sequence to attract defenders in the middle of the field.
But Matthew Stafford saw him open and threw the ball at him.
That play moved the Rams closer to possibly playing in the Super Bowl at their home turf.
1. 13 Seconds
That’s how much time Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs needed to send the game to overtime.
It’s not just one moment, but a collection of clutch plays.
Those 13 seconds added to Mahomes’ growing NFL legend and the Chiefs’ dominance over the AFC.
What Chiefs’ HC Andy Reid told Patrick Mahomes in the final 13 seconds of regulation: “When it’s grim, be the grim reaper.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 24, 2022
As for the Buffalo Bills, the outcome might be different if they tried other strategies.
If Tyler Bass attempted either a squib kick or a high looper that falls short of the end zone, they could have taken a few seconds off the clock.
Likewise, the Bills lined up on defense to prevent a big play from happening.
That approach left the middle of the field open, giving Mahomes an easy time throwing to Hill and Kelce.