Divisional Round Recap: Ravens vs Broncos/ 49ers vs Packers
It took a week but the NFL Playoffs finally showed up. Fans were treated to a thrilling double OT game in Denver, followed by a surprising outcome in the Bay area.
Ravens vs Broncos, was not even projected to be a question for the resilient Broncos who were hot off an 11 game week streak, and coming off a Bye week.
The Broncos seemed to have the game in total control with a returned punt into the end zone to put the Broncos up 7-0. Flacco soon responded with a TD for the Ravens after he found Torrey Smith down deep.
The game was a back and forth affair from start of regulation until the very end. The Ravens held on despite being the underdog, and with 40 seconds remaining before expired on a grim looking 3rd and 3 on their own 30 yard line. Flacco released the ball under heavy pressure to Jacoby Jones who returned the ball in the end zone to take the game to its first overtime.
No excuses for the Broncos, whose secondary killed them all game long. From the complete crash and burning of Champ Baley to Rahim Moore’s total negligence to throw the game away. Peyton Manning threw for 290 yards and 3 TDS, but it was his OT INT though in the end cost his team a chance to advance. Flacco was big when his team needed him most. He threw for over 300 yards, 3 TDS and no INTs. Simply put, he outplayed Peyton Manning.
The Ravens will go to play the winner of tomorrow’s Patriots vs Texans. Meanwhile the Broncos will have a long reflective off season to question why they could advance with Tebow under center, but couldn’t with Manning as their captain.
This was the game that everyone figured would be close–it wasn’t.
Things proceeded to go all Green Bay’s way with Colin Kaepernick playing his first playoff game, and throwing a pick 6 on the opening drive. Kap seemed to have some early game jitters.
The game soon evolved into a shootout with the Niners and Packers exchanging yardage, but it was Niners who finally got the defensive stops. The Packers gave up a whopping 579 total yards–323 on the ground alone. Kaepernick found his stride and used his athleticism to power the Niners to commanding lead. Kap made history, running for a record 181 yards, throwing for 263 yards. Rodgers was Rodgers 26 of 39 attempts for 257 yards, with 2 touchdowns.
The Packers defense had too many holes to withstand the 49′ers land and ground threat. The Niners got a total team effort from Davis and Crabtree, the offense chipped in and the defense held by an injured Justin Smith, to contain the Packers and keep them from staying on the field.
The Niners will face the winners of Falcons vs Seahawks. History over again or will the Niners make it to the Superbowl this year?