Jump to content

NFL Update - Wild Card Weekend (AFC Season review)


Alan
 Share

Recommended Posts

NFL Update – Wild Card Weekend (HUGE AFC Season Review)

 

Welcome one and all to the first ever post-season edition of NFL Update, this week I will cover the Wild Card game between St Louis and Seattle, give a run-down on how the season went for teams in the AFC not in the playoffs, and all the results from this weeks Wild Card games.

 

Game Review – St Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks

 

Thanks to the delights of Sky+, I was able to watch this game in its entirety (albeit with a half-hour delay) before the Jets game on Saturday! You know these games will be exciting, as everyone plays their best in the playoffs.

The Rams opened up this encounter with a quick but emphatic drive. Lasting only 6 plays and taking only 3 and a half minutes, St Louis moved 75 yards allowing Torry Holt to catch a 15-yard pass for a touchdown. Seattle thought there was enough doubt to challenge the play, as it looked questionable as to whether Holt had control of the ball when he was in bounds. However the call on the field stood, and the Rams led by 7. The Seattle offense couldn’t match the Rams for effectiveness on their first drive, as on their first play Hasselbeck was intercepted. The Seahawks defense woke up though, as on the Rams second play, they intercepted Bulgers pass intended for Holt. A great opportunity to push forward and score was missed however, and Seattle had to punt. St Louis couldn’t capitalise on their next drive, so the Seahawks had another chance. And this time they were able to put some points on the board, as J.Brown kicked a 47-yard FG.

The Rams following possession took the game into the second quarter, and the drive was a successful one as Marshall Faulk ran in for a touchdown. With the score now at 14-3, it looked like a one-sided affair. Seattle did their best to prove that statement wrong, as they moved 84 yards in 9 plays to score a touchdown. They were very lucky to get it though, as one play before the score Hasselbeck was intercepted again, but thanks to a personal foul called on the Rams, the Seahawks were able to get the points. Both sides had two more possessions in the half, but were unable to move within scoring range.

Whereas the first half was full of quick drives, the third quarter was the polar opposite, as each team only got one full possession before the fourth quarter. The first was for the Seahawks, and after some decent passing from Hasselbeck they got within FG range. A 38-yard kick from Wilkins brought the game to within 1 point, the closest margin since the beginning of the game. St Louis then began their drive, where Bulger began losing it. After he was sacked twice and threw 2 incompletions, all the Rams could manage was a 38-yard FG to return their lead to four.

Seattle took the game into the fourth quarter with the score at 17-13, and only 3 plays into the period the Seahawks were able to score a 23-yard touchdown after a pass from Hasselbeck to D.Jackson. The score was now 20-17 in Seattle’s favour, and it was their first lead of the game and they were looking to keep it. However the Rams had different plans, as they pushed forward to the SEA 9 before Wilkins kicked a 27-yard FG to tie the game at 20. With just over 8 minutes left in the game, there was enough time for a long-winded drive and a score to win the game. However Seattle couldn’t get a first down, turning the ball over on a punt. St Louis didn’t let the opportunity go though, as they moved 76 yards in just over 3 minutes to score what would be the game-wining touchdown. Seattle attempted to get a score back, but ended up turning the ball over on downs at the STL 5 with seconds left.

A great game with loads of excitement, both teams had their moments but St Louis shone through today. They now go on to face the Falcons on Saturday.

 

Full Results

 

St Louis Rams 27 – Seattle Seahawks 20

New York Jets 20 – San Diego Chargers 17

Denver Broncos 24 – Indianapolis Colts 49

Minnesota Vikings 31 – Green Bay Packers 17

 

Those results give us a Divisional Playoff line-up as follows:

 

Saturday: New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers, St Louis Rams @ Atlanta Falcons

Sunday: Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots

 

Regular Season Review – AFC

 

AFC East

Just missing out on the playoffs this year were the Buffalo Bills, who after a 0-4 start had nothing really to look forward to. However after a moral boosting win against division rivals the Dolphins, Buffalo seemed revitalised as they won eight of their remaining eleven games. Those victories included a great 6-game streak beating the Rams, Seahawks, Dolphins, Browns, Bengals, and 49ers. That late burst had them within touching distance of the playoffs, but after a week 17 loss to the Steelers the Bills season ended there. If the team can get a few wins under their belt early next season, I see no reason why a playoff spot wouldn’t be coming their way.

Also missing out on the playoffs in the AFC East were the Miami Dolphins, however they weren’t as close as the Bills! After losing their opening 6 games, things looked extremely bleak for Miami. Their first victory came against the Rams in week 7, and fans began to think that maybe they could salvage something. Well the following week the Dolphins were demolished by the New York Jets, followed by another two losses, this time to the Cardinals and to the Seahawks. The two teams with the lowest record in the NFL met in week 12 when they faced the San Francisco 49ers. Miami came out on top, but couldn’t keep it going as they fell to the Bills and the Broncos over the next two weeks. Week 15 provided the Dolphins with their most shocking victory of the year, as they scraped past the dominant New England Patriots by a single point. Miami registered their first win streak of the season, as they beat the Browns the following week, however in week 17 the Ravens were after a playoff spot and beat them by 7. Next season Miami need to find their form early on, and with the coaching change made midway through this season, maybe they have a chance to improve next time around?

AFC North

Another team who were very unlucky not to reach the post-season were the Baltimore Ravens, who along with the Bills and Jaguars finished with a 9-7 record. After an opening week loss to the Browns, Baltimore dealt Pittsburgh their only loss of the season, and also travelled to Cincinnati to beat the Bengals. With momentum building they were shot back down to earth as the Chiefs beat them by 3. But the following week the Ravens beat the Redskins by three, and after a week off Buffalo fell by 14. After a loss to the high-flying Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore went on a three game win streak, overcoming the Browns, Jets, and Cowboys, before losing to the Patriots in week 12. A one point loss to the Bengals led to a 37-14 demolition of the Giants, then consecutive losses against the Colts and Steelers meant Baltimore needed to beat the Dolphins in week 17 and for other results to go their way. They won, but the other games went the wrong way, leaving the Ravens without a post season spot. Next season Baltimore can do it, but they need to be consistent, as their late regular season form was what let them down this time.

The Cincinnati Bengals dropped their season opener to the New York Jets, but that didn’t start a trend, as in week 2 they beat the Miami Dolphins by a field goal. After three straight losses (against the Ravens, Steelers and Browns) the Bengals pulled out all the stops on Monday Night Football to give a 13 point pounding to the Broncos in week 7. They couldn’t repeat the form however as the following week they lost by 7 to a poor Titans team. After a two game win streak (beating the Cowboys and Redskins) Cincinnati faced the Steelers for the second time, and the end result was the same, finishing with a Steelers victory. In one of the highest scoring games ever, the Bengals beat the Browns 58-48 in week 12, and then beat the Ravens by one the following week. Another two-loss streak left the playoffs out of reach, but they didn’t give up. As the Bengals beat the Giants by one in week 16, then demolished a second string Eagles team 38-10 in week 17. Again it was the early losses that damaged the Bengals playoff hopes, maybe some big changes are needed?

The Cleveland Browns were the team rooted to the bottom of the AFC North this season. After a 3 and 3 start (including victories over division rivals Cincinnati and Baltimore), the Browns looked to be heading for a fairly decent and productive season. However after three straight losses (to the Eagles, Ravens and Steelers) it seemed as if something was wrong. There was a problem in Cleveland, and they couldn’t seem to win another game. The Browns lost to the Jets, Bengals, Patriots and the Bills on their way to a 9 game losing streak. The worst loss came in week 15, as they were shut out by the soon to be playoff bound San Diego Chargers. Week 17 came with no hope of improving their league position, so they were just playing for respect, and they did well to win against the average Houston Texans. Next year Cleveland need to improve all over if they have any thoughts about making the post season.

AFC South

Jacksonville opened up their season with three straight wins, including a one-point squeaker against the Denver Broncos in week 2. However they were unlucky in week 4 as they fell by three to the in-form Indianapolis Colts. The losing form followed on to week 5, as they travelled to San Diego where the Chargers won by 13. After a convincing win against the Chiefs, the Colts were next in the schedule for the return match. This time the result was different, as the Jaguars walked away with a 3-point victory. The Texans didn’t fall as easily, as they handed Jacksonville their third defeat of the year. After the bye week Jacksonville defeated the Lions, however they then lost three on the trot to make the playoffs look distant. Fearing an early end to the season, the Jaguars won two straight, against the Bears and the Packers, to put the post season back within reach. However the following week saw the Jaguars get shut out against the Texans, ensuring that a miracle would have to occur for them to make the playoffs. The miracle never appeared, so even as Jacksonville beat Miami in week 17, they didn’t quite reach the playoffs.

The team that dealt Jacksonville that shutout loss finished third in the AFC South this year. Houston’s results over the season however were not consistent with that game against the Jaguars. To open the season the Texans fell to the Chargers and the Lions, but whilst on the road they managed to beat the Chiefs to gain the years first victory. A home game against the Raiders gave Houston a 2 and 2 record, but the following week the Minnesota Vikings beat them in overtime to bring the Texans back to losing ways. On the road the following week, Houston proved they could win as they powered over the Titans by 10 points. A win against Jacksonville after their bye week was impressive, and gave the team renewed confidence. However it didn’t last long, as the Texans then lost three in a row, including a 49-14 trouncing by the Colts. The Titans halted the losing streak, as Houston won by 10 yet again, but the Jets put 29 points past them the next week, and Indianapolis followed that with a 9-point victory. With the playoffs pretty much out of reach, Houston walloped the Bears and the Jaguars in consecutive weeks, but fell to the Browns on the last day of the season. The offense needs to be looked at if next year they want to improve.

Sitting at the bottom of the AFC South were the Tennessee Titans, who had a very poor year. After a great opening day victory over the Dolphins, the Titans fell to the Colts, Jaguars and Chargers in succession. Their second win came against Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers (who eventually would be playoff bound), as they dominated the game giving themselves a 48-27 victory. Two double-digit losses followed thanks to division rivals the Houston Texans, and the Minnesota Vikings, before the Titans notched their third win of the season against the inconsistent Bengals. A win streak could not be made though as the Chicago Bears came to town and scraped through with a two-point win. After losing by three to the Jaguars in week 3, this time the Titans reversed the result, beating them by the same margin. Whatever confidence came from that win would be lost, as Tennessee lost their next 5 games, including a 24-51 loss to the Colts. The Detroit Lions gifted the Titans a week 17 victory, but the season had been over a long time for Tennessee.

AFC West

The Kansas City Chiefs were one of the highest scoring teams in the NFL this past regular season, averaging over 30 points a game! However their results didn’t always work out the way they wanted them to. After losing their opening three games against Denver, Carolina and Houston, Kansas went to work, beating Baltimore by three in a tough road game. On the road at Jacksonville they wasn’t as lucky, as the Jaguars won by six, however their return home was a memorable one. The Chiefs scored a record 8 rushing touchdowns in their 56-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, showing that anyone can beat anyone in the NFL. That statement was proved again the following week, as Kansas overturned the Colts by 10. Four consecutive losses then followed, all by less than 10 points, and the Chiefs were out of the running early. Winning four of their final five games, against Oakland twice, Tennessee, and Denver, gave Kansas a 7 and 9 record on the year, and a positive outlook on next season as long as Priest Holmes remains fit.

And finally the Oakland Raiders were holding up the rest of the AFC West. Oakland fell to the Steelers on opening night, but they came right back beating the Bills and Buccaneers in succession. Then came their worst run of the season, as the Raiders were beat by the Texans, Colts, Broncos, Saints and Chargers. 5 straight losses normally spells a bad year for any team, and it looked that way for Oakland. However the struggling Panthers were next up, and the Raiders took advantage of Carolina’s injury problems to win by 3. The return match against the Chargers the following week produced the same result as their previous encounter, a San Diego victory. However the return match against the Broncos the following week was better, as the Raiders walked away with a one point win, before losing at home to the Chiefs in week 16. Their final game of the season produced a loss against the Jaguars, and Oakland ended a year they would rather forget.

 

Jets Talk

 

This was the third time in four years that head coach Herm Edwards has led us to the playoffs, could it be third time lucky? Well the Chargers were our opponents on Saturday in the Wild Card Playoffs, and it was always going to be a tough game. Exactly how tough no one could have imagined. After going into half time tied at 7 each, the game looked as if it could go either way. But on the Jets first possession of the second half, Pennington threw a pass to Santana Moss for a 47-yard touchdown. Doug Brien kicked a FG to give us a 10-point lead going into the fourth. San Diego opened up the fourth by scoring a FG, and the clock was running down to the wire as the Chargers got closer to the game tying touchdown. It was 4th and 2, and the Jets sacked Brees giving the game to New York. However a personal foul was called on Eric Barton, giving the Chargers a fresh set of downs. With that they ran in a touchdown to tie the game and send it to overtime. With just over 4 minutes left the Jets got lucky, as Kaeding missed a 40-yard FG attempt for San Diego. That proved to be the killer, as on the Jets resulting drive, Doug Brien compensated for an earlier miss by kicking the game-winning 28-yard FG. On to next week, where we travel to Pittsburgh to face off against the Steelers. It will be tough, as all playoff games should be, who knows what will happen!

 

Wrap Up

 

That was the Wild Card weekend, the playoffs are in full swing and teams are going home early. However none of them can feel bad, as they all played extremely well to get to where they have. Next week we have the Divisional Playoffs, where we will see the Falcons, Steelers, Patriots and Eagles for the first time this post-season. Till next time remember those three letters N F L.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Getting the Steelers is a good thing for us Jets fans. It means that we will beat/lose to the best team in the league IMO.

We have a chance, hell beating the Bolts at their place isn't bad, but Steelers are tough.

Go CP, C Mart and co.

BTW, Nice Avattar Alan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Getting the Steelers is a good thing for us Jets fans. It means that we will beat/lose to the best team in the league IMO.

We have a chance, hell beating the Bolts at their place isn't bad, but Steelers are tough.

Go CP, C Mart and co.

BTW, Nice Avattar Alan.

Cheers, i got it from a buddy over at http://www.thenflforum.com, not a bad place and they have a decent Jets forum.

 

As for getting the Steelers, i feel we will be losing to the Superbowl Champions. I cant see anyone getting past them, even if Peyton and the Colts get past the Pats they wont beat Pittsburgh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not an attack at you Alan, but you reminded me.

Why does everyone love Payton?

He is good, but he broke the record with lots of passing plays. Edge James is the best player by a mile on that team. He never gets recognition.

When the Colts beat the Vikings, everyone went mad that Payton throw with his left hand at the end of the game. Nobody mentions that Edge caught the ball, got it protected, broke two tackles AND GOT 5-6 YARDS.

End of rant.

Agreed on Steelers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Should see some cracking games this weekend, cant see past the Steelers, Falcons and Eagles. The one game that I think will be really close is the Colts v the Pats. Its just a question if the Colts defense can hold up against the Patriots offense cos without a doubt Manning is the best QB in the NFL today.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not an attack at you Alan, but you reminded me.

Why does everyone love Payton?

He is good, but he broke the record with lots of passing plays. Edge James is the best player by a mile on that team. He never gets recognition.

When the Colts beat the Vikings, everyone went mad that Payton throw with his left hand at the end of the game. Nobody mentions that Edge caught the ball, got it protected, broke two tackles AND GOT 5-6 YARDS.

End of rant.

Agreed on Steelers

 

I dont love the guy, i just think he has played really well this season, and he is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, behind Brady and Vick. Obviously breaking Marino's record isnt all down to him, the Colts offense has been superb, and the recievers have had to work overtime to keep up with all the passing plays they have had.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I said Alan, it ain't a go at you.

Just wanted to relieve some anger.

If anybody wants to see a good QB watch Drew Brees. He is good. No good recievers, but he gets the job done. Trent Green in Kansas even more so. Look at the yardage and points they have scored this year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I said Alan, it ain't a go at you.

Just wanted to relieve some anger.

 

I know you werent having a go, i was just putting my view over.

On an added note, i have received some information from a freind of mine concerning the Superbowl. Sky have the rights as a Pay TV company to show the game live, and as Channel 5 have shown NFL games all season you would expect them to have the terrestrial rights yes? Well no, the rights for the Superbowl on terrestrial tv this year are in the hands of ITV. Even if you havent got SKY, there is still an option to watch the game live.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Believe Superbowl coverage is to be presented by Gary Imlach.

If you want a good forum to go on for NFL, go to http://www.nfluk.co.uk as I find it good. There are players who know how tough the game is, as well as fans. You probably know about it already though. The site itself also has good articles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



×
×
  • Create New...