The much anticipated NFL playoffs got underway on Saturday, January 15, but what are the results from the Wild Card Round so far? Let’s examine the results from Wild Card Weekend and what those results mean in terms of the 2022 NFL playoff bracket.
NFL Playoffs | NFC Wild Card results
As the NFC side of the 2022 NFL playoffs got underway on Sunday, what have been the results so far? How do the results we have seen shape the Divisional Round?
(4) Los Angeles Rams 34, (5) Arizona Cardinals 11
In what was another Wild Card blowout, the Los Angeles Rams took care of the Arizona Cardinals at home. Although home-field advantage isn’t much help for the Rams, they still put on quite a show at SoFi Stadium. Matthew Stafford was nearly perfect, going 13-of-17 for a little over 200 yards and 2 touchdown passes. What was most surprising was how effective he was with his legs, rushing 6 times for 22 yards and a TD.
Another bright star for the team was free-agent signing Odell Beckham Jr. The talented WR caught 4 passes for 54 yards and a score. He also made one of the nicest throws of the contest on a trick play for 40 yards to Cam Akers.
On the other hand, the Cardinals’ offense was less than spectacular. Kyler Murray played like it was the first time he was in the playoffs (which it was), throwing for 137 yards and 2 interceptions. After the team started the year with seven straight wins, this was a disappointing end to a once-promising campaign.
(6) San Francisco 49ers 23, (3) Dallas Cowboys 17
In what seemed like an exciting game, this one never actually felt that close. The 49ers did exactly what most Cowboys fans expected them to — run the ball and give it to Deebo Samuel. Jimmy Garoppolo threw for less than 200 yards and no touchdowns. However, the difference-maker here was the rushing attack. Elijah Mitchell rushed for 96 yards and a score, while Samuel added another 72 and a score.
Although Prescott put up some decent numbers, over 254 yards passing and a TD, he missed some easy throws. The jitters of playing in front of a home crowd might have been a bit too much for the young QB. In the end, the 49ers’ defense was simply the best unit on the field. And the Cowboys shot themselves in the foot with undisciplined play, leading to a record-setting amount of penalties.
(2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31, (7) Philadelphia Eagles 15
The Buccaneers took control early and never let go of control. The Eagles could not get their offense going in the first quarter, and before they knew it, the Buccaneers were up 14-0 at the end of the quarter. The Eagles kept it somewhat within hand at 17-0 at halftime. It even looked like they might have a chance to get back into it in the third quarter, but a Jalen Reagor muffed punt was the final straw to make the floodgates open.
This result means we know the host of both NFC playoff games next weekend. The game between the 49ers and Cowboys will tell us what one of the matchups will be. If the Cowboys win, they head to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers. Meanwhile, if the 49ers win, they are locked into going to Green Bay. The other team will have to wait for the result Monday night to know their opponent next weekend.
NFL Playoffs | AFC Wild Card results
Here are the results so far from the AFC on Wild Card Weekend of the 2022 NFL playoffs. Which teams won, and what does their victory mean in terms of who they might be facing in the Divisional Round?
(2) Kansas City Chiefs 42, (7) Pittsburgh Steelers 21
Sunday Night Football’s matchup between the Chiefs and Steelers played out as many had expected. The Chiefs’ offense started off slow but then steamrolled Pittsburgh. Once behind by a significant margin, Big Ben and the Steelers scored some garbage-time points to make the game look closer than it actually was.
Kansas City had the biggest spread of the weekend, laying 12 at home but handily covered with a final score of 42-21. Patrick Mahomes proved once again that he is one of the best, throwing for over 400 yards and 5 touchdowns. The biggest surprise of the game was the emergence of Jerick McKinnon in the rushing attack. It will be interesting to see how Kansas City’s backfield changes throughout the playoffs.
After this win, the Chiefs now stay home and face the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round.
(3) Buffalo Bills 47, (6) New England Patriots 17
In one of the coldest games in NFL history, the Bills’ offense was on fire against the Patriots’ usually solid defense. Buffalo scored on all seven of their drives and never punted the ball in a dominant, humiliating display. Josh Allen starred with 307 passing yards and 5 touchdowns, as well as 65 yards on the ground.
Th Patriots’ offense looked good on their first drive. Mac Jones made plays and overcame drops to lead the team into scoring position. Just when it looked like he had dropped a perfect touchdown pass into Nelson Agholor’s arms, Bills safety Micah Hyde came from nowhere to take the ball away.
NFL Wild Card Power Rankings: Packers lead, Bengals secure spot
New England never recovered and the offense was scrambling to keep up all night. Coming into this one, the Patriots needed their defense to keep this a low-scoring game and ultimately their inability to do was terminal for New England. Jones’ performance under pressure was impressive at times and showed promise for the rookie QB going forward.
The Bills’ path in the playoffs is now dependent on the game Sunday between the Chiefs and Steelers. If Kansas City win,s the Bills will head to Arrowhead. However, if the Steelers win, Buffalo will host the Bengals in the Divisional Round.
(4) Cincinnati Bengals 26, (5) Las Vegas Raiders 19
It was never going to be easy for the Bengals to break a 31-year drought of playoff wins, and the Raiders made them work for it. Joe Burrow (244 passing yards, 2 touchdowns) and Ja’Marr Chase (116 receiving yards, 23 rushing yards) were superb. At one point, the Bengals led 20-6 in the second quarter, but they could only add 6 points in the second half.
The Bengals could not quite do enough in the fourth quarter to stop the Raiders from having a last-ditch drive to potentially extend the misery in Cincinnati. The Raiders were inside Bengals territory, down seven, with 1:44 to go and a chance to tie the game. Ultimately, the Bengals’ defense held strong on the final drive to send Cincinnati into the Divisional Round.
Derek Carr and the Raiders put up a valiant fight. Carr threw for 310 yards, spreading the ball between Darren Waller, Zay Jones, Hunter Renfrow, Josh Jacobs, and Bryan Edwards. There was also a vital pass to DeSean Jackson for 26 yards on fourth down that kept the Raiders alive. This game emphasized what Carr is as a QB. He is good enough to keep his team in the game, but not quite good enough to win the important ones when it comes down to it.
After the Bills beat the Patriots later on Saturday we know the Bengals options. If the Chiefs beat the Steelers, Cincinnati will face Tennessee. However, if the Steelers win, the Bengals will travel to Buffalo. In that scenario, they might also spend a short time internally berating themselves for resting players in Week 18 and costing themselves the chance to host the Bills in the Divisional Round.
Divisional Round TV Schedule
With the Super Wild Card round almost finished, we turn our attention to the divisional round. Here are the times and TV channels for the games set to be played next weekend.
Saturday, January 22
- Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans
- Start Time: 4:30 PM ET
- Channel: CBS, Paramount+
- San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers
- Start Time: 8:15 PM ET
- Channel: FOX
Sunday, January 23
- Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Start Time: 3 PM ET
- Channel: NBC, Peacock
- Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs
- Start Time: 6:30 PM ET
- Channel: CBS, Paramount+