After wild card weekend, we couldn’t wait to watch the NFL divisional round games. It started with the Vikings vs 49ers and then the Titans vs Ravens. Not many thought that these two games would turn out as they did. It was a very interesting divisional round, to say the least. We still have two more games to go this round but let’s look back at these two games on Saturday.
NFL Divisional Round: A Review of Saturday’s Games
Vikings vs 49ers
The Minnesota Vikings shocked the world and beat the New Orleans Saints on wild card weekend. Since then, people have sort of hopped on the bandwagon and thought that the Vikings could give the San Francisco 49ers a test. It didn’t pan out that way at all. The Vikings kept it close in the first half as they only trailed 14-10 but the 49ers pulled away after that and won 27-10. They failed to get Dalvin Cook going as he only had 9 rushes for 18 yards. Kirk Cousins finished with 172 yards and a touchdown. If they couldn’t get the running game going, then it would be a long day and it was.
On the other side, the 49ers kept pounding the Vikings defense both through the air and the ground. The 49ers passing game early was the reason they had the early lead. Jimmy Garoppolo threw for just 131 yards and a touchdown but the running game came through led by Tevin Coleman as he ran for 105 yards and two touchdowns. The defense was great as they sacked Cousins six times and forced a pick by Richard Sherman. There’s a reason why the 49ers are the number one seed. They are a tough team on both sides of the ball and having home-field advantage is huge. San Francisco will play the NFC Championship Game at home.
Titans vs Ravens
The Tennessee Titans did it again. They were the underdog, and yet, they won both games. First, they beat the New England Patriots in Foxborough, which is never easy. Then, they beat the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 28-12 on the road. The Titans got after it and got after it early. They jumped out to a 14-6 lead at the half and didn’t look back. Ryan Tannehill only had 88 yards passing but he threw for two touchdowns. That’s two weeks in a row that he’s thrown for under 100 yards and they won. Derrick Henry went off yet again. This is the third straight game that he has run for over 180 yards as he ran for 195 on Saturday.
We didn’t see the Ravens team that dominated the whole league for a 14-2 record. Lamar Jackson looked rusty early after not playing a meaningful game in three weeks. He wasn’t running like we were used to seeing and he was off target in the passing game. By the time he did get it going, it was too late. He did have 365 yards passing and 143 yards rushing but he got some of that when it was too late. Running back Mark Ingram wasn’t effective at all as he carried the ball six times for only 22 yards. The defense didn’t dominate either as they let the Titans take over throughout the game. The Titans pull out two improbable upsets and they will have a great chance next week.
Going into the games, people were excited about the matchups. The first half of each game was entertaining but as soon as the 2nd half hit, the winning teams started to pull away. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the games turn out and what the championship games will be.
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