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2023 NFL Playoffs: Wild Card Weekend

The NFL Playoffs have begun and this past weekend was an action-packed start for the Wildcard teams. The teams included qualified for the playoffs, but were not given a bye in the first week, forcing them to compete for a spot in the second round of playoffs. 

The first game of the weekend was the San Francisco 49ers versus the Seattle Seahawks. At halftime the teams were nearly tied at 17-16, Seattle. The 49ers had a great second half, led by their rookie quarterback, Brock Purdy, who threw for 332 yards and scored 4 touchdowns. The game ended 41-23, San Francisco, sending the Seahawks home and the 49ers to a match-up with the Dallas Cowboys.

The second, and closest game, was the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Jags were trailing in the first half, 27-0, with quarterback Trevor Lawrence throwing 4 interceptions. During the second half, the Jaguars made one of the biggest comebacks in NFL history, winning the game 31-30. Lawrence picked up his game and threw 4 touchdown passes and 211 yards in the second half, leading the Jaguars to a shocking victory. 

The Buffalo Bills versus the Miami Dolphins was a highly anticipated game for the Wildcard weekend. The Bills ended the Patriots’ season two weeks ago, beating them in the deciding game for the playoffs, and the Dolphins entered the playoffs as the underdogs. Although the game ended 34-31 Bills, the Dolphins put up a good fight with two interceptions and a fumble recovery. They had a chance at the end of the game to score, but the Bills’ defense stopped them in an impressive 4th down stop. Josh Allen, quarterback of the Bills, threw for 352 passing yards and scored 3 touchdowns to win them the game. 

The New York Giants were able to pull off a huge win, 31-24, over the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth game this weekend. Daniel Jones, quarterback of the Giants, had an outstanding game becoming the first QB to throw for at least 300 yards and run at least 70 yards in one game. Jones had 17 carries, collecting more yards rushing than anyone else in the game. The Giants had not won in the playoffs since 2012 in the Super Bowl, so this was a big win for the team.

The weekend’s final game was the Cincinnati Bengals versus the Baltimore Ravens. The game was close the whole time, but Bengals player Sam Hubbard returned a fumble 98 yards for a touchdown as the Ravens were on the verge of scoring. In response, the Bengals won the game 24-17 led by their QB, Joe Burrow. The Bengals were in the Super Bowl last year, but lost by 3 points to the Rams, so their success in the playoffs is highly anticipated.

All of the winning teams will be playing again this upcoming weekend. The 14-3 (regular season) Philadelphia Eagles and the 14-3 (regular season) Kansas City Chiefs had a bye in the first round, but will be playing this weekend. On Saturday, the Eagles will be facing the Giants and the Chiefs will be facing the Jaguars. On Sunday, the remaining teams will be facing off, Bengals vs. Bills and Cowboys vs. 49ers. 


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