NFL divisional round in review

1. The mark of a great player is showing up great in big games. Patrick Mahomes did that against the Texans. His first two drives were stopped when receivers dropped third down passes and the Chiefs fell behind 24-0. But he then led the Chiefs on seven consecutive touchdown drives to win easily. By halftime, he had turned a 24-0 deficit to a 28-24 lead and he kept going in the second half.

2. Bill O’Brien is not considered a good coach. And his decisions to kick a field goal on fourth and short while up 21-0 and then to go for a fake punt on his own territory had the Texans fans calling for his head. But it wasn’t the Texans strategy that was the problem. It was the way his defense prepared or didn’t prepare to stop Mahomes. They had no idea on how to stop him.

3. If the TV networks are going to have a yellow line to mark where a team needs to get for a first down, it should be accurate. Many fans were confused why Green Bay got the first down that clinched the game because the receiver didn’t get to the yellow line. The problem was that the yellow line was past the first down marker. Meanwhile, the Seahawks not only didn’t make a stop, but they punted on fourth and 11 with 3:22 left, taking the ball out of Russell Wilson’s hands. Will Pete Carroll ever win another Super Bowl after being a yard away from winning two in a row and then throwing a pass a few years back. And they were in Green Bay in the first place when they botched things from the one-yard against San Francisco in the regular season finale.

4. Did the Ravens make a mistake resting Lamar Jackson and several key players in the season finale? The Ravens have to wonder if the 20-day layoff was a reason for their mistake prone game in the loss to the Titans.

5. Aaron Rodgers is the only quarterback left who has won a Super Bowl, which means he has a shot at joining the ranks of the quarterbacks who’ve won two or more Super Bowls. The Packers will be the underdog against San Francisco but Rodgers gives them a chance to pull an upset.

6. Kirk Cousins will again get the flak for not winning the big ones after the loss to San Francisco. But the Vikings were simply overmatched against the 49ers and had the disadvantage of playing a bye team on a short week after a wild card victory. Cousins never really had a chance against the dominant 49ers defense.

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