Another look at the divisional round of the 2022-2023 NFL playoffs

Written By Kayla Sterner, Co-Sports Editor

This past weekend in the National Football League featured a divisional round capped by the elimination of the favored Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys, whose kicker Brett Maher missed another extra-point. With just two weeks until Super Bowl Sunday (and the Rihanna concert), let’s take a look at the divisional round and the teams that came out of the weekend victorious. 


Eagles fly past Giants with ease

The Eagles scored four first half touchdowns to take a commanding 28-0 lead over Daniel Jones and eliminate any doubts of Philly’s gunslinger Jalen Hurts still being injured. Hurts threw for 154 yards and two touchdowns for an efficient 84.0 quarterback ranking. Hurts, running back Boston Scott and running back Kenneth Gainwell each added rushing touchdowns and kicker Jake Elliot nailed his sole field goal attempt of the game. 

Philadelphia’s defense mustered 54 tackles and five sacks, including four tackles for loss. The Giants were only able to sack Hurts once. The Eagles were able to execute 69 plays compared to NY’s 52, and tallied 416 yards compared to Jones and Co.’s 227. Philly was 4-of-5 in the red zone and 10-of-14 on third down conversions. 


Purdy continues to set rookie records

The last pick of the 2022 draft is playing with a chip on his shoulder, routing past the Cowboys to head to the 49ers second-straight NFC Championship. The rookie, who is now 7-0 since taking over for Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 13, had zero interceptions and was 19-of-29 passing for 214 yards. Before this postseason run, no rookie had thrown for 200 yards with no interception, but Brock Purdy has done it in two consecutive games.

Running back Christian McCafferey scored the only touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, which made this the eighth game in a row he has found the endzone. 

Try not to be surprised, but Dallas kicker Brett Maher missed the extra point attempt in the first quarter. Maher was able to nail both of his field goal attempts despite missing five extra point attempts this postseason. The Cowboys were sent home in the divisional round for the seventh consecutive season after Prescott threw two first half interceptions. Ceedee Lamb was arguably the offensive standout for Dallas with 117 yards on 10 receptions.

“America’s team” tried to make a miracle happen as they lined up with Ezekial Elliot as the center and the only offensive lineman with the rest of the O-line and receivers lined up wide. Prescott threw the pass to KaVante Turpin before defenders got to him, but Turpin was immediately taken down by Jimmie Ward.

The Niners will now head to Lincoln Financial Field with a 12-game win streak to take on the Eagles.


Burrow barrels through the Bills

In what was a long anticipated match-up after the game was canceled in Week 17, Josh Allen and Co. underperformed and continued their toxic relationship with Buffalo fans. Allen threw for 265 yards, connected on 25-of-42 pass attempts and threw an interception as time expired in the fourth quarter. The 6’5” gunslinger scored the only touchdown of the game in the second quarter, a one-yard run to cap a 15-play, 75-yard drive.

The Bills’ defense, which was ranked in the top five or top three in the league throughout the season, struggled to control the Bengals red-hot offense. This is the second year in a row that Leslie Frazier, Buffalo’s defensive coordinator, called a bad game in the postseason. His seat is getting warm.

 Quarterback Joe Burrow connected on 23-of-36 pass attempts for 242 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Joe Mixon rushed for 105 yards on 20 carries for one touchdown. Receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Hayden Hurst had five receptions and one touchdown each, with 61 yards and 59 yards, respectively. Cornerback Mike Hilton had eight tackles, six of which were solo, one which resulted in a loss of yards for the Bills, and two quarterback hits.

There is no doubt that “Joe Shiesty” and the rest of the Bengals were the better team during Sunday’s matchup. 


Mahomes advances to 5-0 in the divisional round after routing the Jaguars

Did anyone realistically think that Trevor Lawrence would out-shine Patrick Mahomes? Mahomes, who was forced to exit the game during the first half and get X-rays on his right ankle after it was stepped on by Jaguars pass rusher Arden Key, was 22-of-30 on pass attempts along with 195 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions.

Backup quarterback Chad Henne stepped up when Mahomes had to exit the game and went 5-of-7 on pass attempts for 23 yards and one touchdown.

Lawrence connected with his receivers on 24-of-39 pass attempts to tally up 217 yards along with one touchdown and a sack. After Travis Kelce scored a touchdown to complete a 12-play, 83-yard drive, the Jaguars responded with their own points — a 10 yard pass from Lawrence to Christian Kirk to end the first quarter tied seven apiece.

Kelce found the endzone again with 3:54 left before the half to take a 17-7 advantage. Jacksonville mustered up an 11-play, 52-yard drive that ended with a field goal to trail 17-10 at the half.

Travis Etienne Jr. rushed for four yards in the start of the third quarter to cut the deficit to three (20-17), but with Mahomes back in the game, the Chiefs were not letting this game go. On the next drive, Mahomes passed the ball to Marquez Valdes-Scantling to score another touchdown and boast a two possession advantage with seven minutes left to play.

The Jaguars were only able to execute a field goal and had to kiss their Super Bowl fantasies good-bye.

The Chiefs will now take on the Bengals at ArrowHead Stadium for the AFC Championship.