Super Wildcard Weekend is over. After six games across the past two days, we saw a combined 303 points scored across the league.
We now know which six teams will join number one seeds the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round.
Let’s take a look at how the weekend’s action went.
Cleveland Browns First Quarter Propels Them To Victory Over The Pittsburgh Steelers
After many years of hurt, the first quarter could not have gone better for Cleveland.
On the first offensive play of the game, Steelers centre Maurkice Pouncey snapped the ball too high, which went over the head quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
The ball went back into the end zone, where Browns safety Karl Joseph got hold of the ball for a Cleveland touchdown.
Pittsburgh’s next drive resulted in an interception from Browns cornerback M.J. Stewart and Cleveland followed this up with a touchdown from wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
Cleveland running back Kareem Hunt would score two rushing touchdowns as the Browns ended the first quarter 28-0 ahead. The half ended with the Browns 35-10 up.
Pittsburgh fought back, making it 35-23 in the third quarter. The Browns wrapped the game up, going 19 points up before the Steelers scored a late consolation touchdown.
The Steelers will be disappointed to lose this game, considering they only lost to the Browns by two points with a backup quarterback the previous weekend.
Cleveland fans have finally got the playoff win they have not seen in so many years.
They will play Kansas City in the divisional round as severe underdogs. However, they have a genuine chance, with their run game up against the run defence of the Chiefs, the reigning champion’s biggest weakness.
Offensive Player Of Super Wildcard Weekend: Cam Akers (Running Back- Los Angeles Rams)
The sixth seed Rams earned a somewhat surprise 30-20 victory over the third seed Seattle Seahawks on Saturday.
All the talk before the game was related to the Rams quarterback situation and who would start between John Wolford and Jared Goff. Wolford got the nod but wouldn’t last past the first quarter due to a neck injury after a hit by Seattle’s Jamal Adams.
Goff came in and the offense improved. However, it was Akers that was a significant reason in the Rams getting the win, with 176 total yards and a touchdown.
Akers was a second-round pick during the 2020 NFL Draft and took a while to get going. He is now looking like the player the Rams thought they were drafting.
He was the key to the offense in the win, as the Seahawks struggled to stop the run.
Defensive Player Of Super Wildcard Weekend: Darious Williams (Cornerback- Los Angeles Rams)
In the same game, the Rams defense also performed excellently. Williams was a big part of that, with a pick-six in the second quarter.
Just three points were separating the Rams and Seahawks with 6:47 left of the first half when Seattle snapped the ball.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson attempted the screen pass to wide receiver D.K. Metcalf. Williams beat Seattle’s wideout Freddy Swain and got to the ball ahead of Metcalf to put the Rams 12-3 ahead before the extra point was good to make it 13-3.
Along with the interception, Williams recorded four tackles and one pass deflected.
He will have another tough task against a Green Bay Packers offense including receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard
Elsewhere On Super Wildcard Weekend
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Washington Football Team 31-23, despite the best efforts from Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke.
In the air, Heinicke threw for one touchdown, 306 passing yards and one interception. On the ground, he ran for 46 yards and one touchdown, including an excellent effort as he reached for the pylon to give his team hope.
Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady threw for two touchdowns and 381 yards.
Leonard Fournette ran for 93 yards and the Tampa Bay running back also got a touchdown. Wide receiver Mike Evans recorded 119 receiving yards for the Buccaneers. They advance to the Divisional Round for their third meeting this season with the New Orleans Saints, who comfortably beat the Chicago Bears.
The Buffalo Bills won their first playoff game in 25 years with their 27-24 win against the Indianapolis Colts. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson got the first playoff win of his young NFL career. The Ravens secured revenge on the Titans for last season’s defeat in the Divisional Round.
NFL Super Wildcard Weekend Scores
Indianapolis Colts 24-27 Buffalo Bills
Los Angeles Rams 30-20 Seattle Seahawks
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-23 Washington Football Team
Baltimore Ravens 20-13 Tennessee Titans
Chicago Bears 9-21 New Orleans Saints
Cleveland Browns 48-37 Pittsburgh Steelers
It was an incredible weekend of football and it will be interesting to see if the NFL bring back Super Wildcard Weekend and expanded playoffs next season.