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Last Friday, we put out some predictions about who will make it out of the NFL’s Divisional Round and today, we can check how we did. Actually, we did just fine, predicting three of the four winners correctly, with our only miss stemming from the fact that we are not really Patriots fans. In short, our predictions that the Arizona Cardinals, the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos were going to win were all spot-on. But what happened exactly?
In the first game of the Divisional Round, the New England Patriots were hosting the Kansas City Chiefs and they pretty much dominated the entire game. The Pats showed all of their postseason prowess, controlling the game from start to finish, only letting the Chiefs sort of return to the game in the fourth quarter. Perhaps if the Chiefs had managed the clock a bit better, they might have taken the game to overtime, but in the end, they lost 27-20.
The Green Bay Packers played the Arizona Cardinals in Phoenix and the game was much closer than we expected. The main reason for this was Aaron Rodgers who almost single-handedly took his Packers to the Conference Finals. He couldn’t quite pull it off, but he did take the game into overtime with two insane passes in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter. In the end, the Packers lost in overtime 26-20.
The Seahawks-Panthers matchup was a game of two halves, with the Seattle team really struggling in the first half, digging themselves a hole they needed a miracle to get out of. And the weirdest thing is that they almost did it. Still, the Carolina team was too strong to let such a lead disappear and they managed to hold off the Seahawks who now have plenty of offseason work to do on keeping their team together. The game ended 31-24 for the Panthers.
The Steelers came into Sunday’s game against the Broncos decimated by injuries and no one gave them much chance after it was decided Antonio Brown wouldn’t play, including us. Still, they put an effort that can only be described as valiant, making the Broncos really play for a place in the Conference Finals. In the end, Roethlisberger’s 339 passing yards was not enough and the Broncos won 23-16.