AFC Division Round Recap
Ravens at Bills
What was supposed to be an offensive showcase, highlighting two of the best, most exciting, young QB’s this league has to offer, turned into a low scoring affair that was defined by a big defensive play from a Sacramento-native.
24-year old Sacramento native, Taron Johnson (Sheldon High School) stole the show Saturday afternoon when he returned Lamar Jackson’s end zone toss 101 yards the other way. The pick 6 could not have come at a better time for Buffalo as the Ravens were prepared to tie the game at 10 a piece after the Bills had just scored a touchdown on their opening drive of the second half.
That would prove to be the biggest play and the final score of the night, but it would not end up being the biggest moment.
On the very next possession, the final snap of the 3rd quarter soars over the head of Ravens QB Lamar Jackson. As he scrambles behind him for the ball, he picks it up and quickly throws the ball out of bounds as he is planted into the turf by two Buffalo defenders, slamming his head into his own end zone.
Jackson would not return for the 4th, and Buffalo would go to hold on to their 17-3 lead.
FINAL SCORE: BUF 17 – 3 BAL
Play of the Game:
Browns at Chiefs
What was looking like it was going to be a Chiefs blowout quickly turned on its head as mega-star QB Patrick Mahomes would be sidelined the final quarter and a half due to a concussion.
The game started exactly how the Chiefs wanted it to. If not for a missed 33 yard chip shot from Harrison Butker, the defending champs would’ve put up scores on their first 6 possessions of the day.
Before getting knocked out of the game, Mahomes was every bit of what you would expect him to be. He gained 255 yards through the air and a touchdown toss to Travis Kelce, along with calling his own number on an option run early in the day.
When Kansas City backup QB Chad Henne entered the game, the Chiefs were on their way to going up 12 about half way through the 3rd. The game was by no means in the books, but he had some room to get comfortable before he would have to inevitably make the play to seal the game.
Following the field goal to put KC up 12, the Browns knew if they wanted to steal this game, now was the time. Cleveland orchestrated a lengthy 18 play-75 yard drive to bring the game within 5.
This was Henne’s chance to put this game away. Don’t try and do too much. Get the ball to your explosive playmakers that are ALL OVER the field.
……oh no, Chad. What are you doing, Chad?!?!??!
That was bad. Very bad. The only positive? At least Cleveland is pinned inside their own 20. That would prove to be critical as Cleveland would convert on one 4th down play before ultimately stalling out on their next series and electing to punt with 4:19 to go, hoping that the 13-year journey-man QB would give them another shot at pulling this one out.
Here we go, Chad! In the words of Marshall Mathers, “If you had, one shot…one opportunity…would you capture it?
Andy Reid put his confidence in Henne on that final drive only running the ball twice, both on first down, and trusting Henne to get the ball to playmakers as quickly and safely as he could…but that’s not Chad’s style.
Miles Garrett was providing constant pressure throughout the day, but didn’t end up getting home until this late sack on Henne to bring the game to the 2 minute warning with Kansas City facing a 3rd and long.
You know what time it is. Henne-thing is possible.
That took some STONES! Is that Chad Henne or John Elway?! You’re not a believer? Well there is still one more play to make. 4th and inches. Chiefs line up in Shotgun. Are they really about to snap it?? Before you can even finish asking the question, they snap the ball with 5 seconds left on the play clock!
Henne rolls out right and dumps it off to a wide open Tyreek Hill who ran a short out route to the sideline, leaving his defender in the dust. A beautiful, and brilliant play call from Andy Reid.
It’s simple. “Can Tyreek outrun….” the question should always end there. The answer is, YES. Reid knows that, and used Hill’s speed to simply beat the man to the spot. Game Over.
Final Score: KC 23 – 17 CLE
Play of the game: