On Saturday, we saw Patrick Mahomes go up and down to lead the field at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City Chiefs Return to them Fifth consecutive AFC championship He won 27-20 Jacksonville Jaguars. We have seen that Philadelphia Eagles They tied for the largest margin of victory in a playoff game in franchise history at 38-7 restriction Their NFC East rival, the New York Giants.

Around Sunday NFL It was very beautiful. of Cincinnati Bengals They marched to Buffalo Accounts, 27-10to the Defending a neutral site AFC championship game. of Cowboys Although they had many opportunities, they could not win Tony Pollard’s running injuryas well Their poor executionAt the end of their season 19-12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Week two of the NFL playoffs featured eight of the league’s most elite teams, so obviously some high-level football was being played. However, there was also plenty of confusing football at the weekend. Here are some of the head-scratching decisions that happened this weekend in the division round.

Patrick Mahomes injury chiefs handling

Player's head

After a 27-20 win over the Chiefs in the opening round of the playoffs on Saturday afternoon, every Chiefs player, coach and fan experienced their worst nightmare: an injury to Mahomes. In the year The 2022 first team All-Pro pass was loaded with two Jacksonville Jaguars Defenders when throwing a pass Bending the leg at a painful angle. Mahomes initially strained his right knee and ankle after the game.

Even though Mahomes has asked head coach Andy Reid to stay in the game, it’s mind-boggling to see him move around like he’s playing a hop-scotch behind him to make handoffs under center. He didn’t hesitate, never missed a moment, before returning for the next game. Mahomes returned to the game after spraining his ankle, continuing to not miss any plays.

Finally, the Chiefs put in a quarterback Chad her On to the game. Henne, Kansas City in the 2020 AFC division with Cleveland Browns After Mahomes’ injury, he led Kansas City on a 98-yard touchdown drive with a one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce. That pass marked Henne’s first career playoff touchdown.

The game was tied at 7-7 when the injury occurred. The Chiefs turned that drive into a field goal to make it 10-3 and extend their lead to 17-7 after Heane’s first career postseason TD pass. However, Mahomes returned to the field to start the second half. Mahomes was still moving when he ran handballs down the middle near the goal line in the fourth quarter. The presumptive league MVP’s performance was hampered by the injury, as none of his 18 passes were out of the pocket following the injury.

Patrick Mahomes before/after injury




Out of pocket tests



Average time to throw



passing grade



Despite the postseason, it was still strange to see the Chiefs inflict long-term damage on the face of their franchise. Mahomes continued to struggle with the ankle he injured in the divisional game, which could put him in a worse position for next week’s AFC Championship Game, which he said he will play after. He was diagnosed with high ankle swelling.

Andy Reid missed the deadline with an unnecessary challenge

Facing a second-and-seven from their own 23 with 7:48 left in the third quarter, Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco caught Mahomes swinging down the left sideline and gained six yards, just short of the line. A first down. Reid would rather have a first down than face a third-and-inch and let two plays go under.

With the first on-field call short, Reid needed indisputable video evidence to win the challenge, something that didn’t happen, so Kansas City missed a timeout and a challenge early in the final 30 minutes of action. The Chiefs opted to run a direct snap to tight end Noah Gray to pick up a first down filled with a Jaguars defensive line. Kansas City had already backed up in their own end of the field and were then posted. That streak marked a few poor coaching decisions in play calling and timeout use that didn’t end up hurting the Chiefs this week, but that streak could backfire against the Bengals, a team that ended their season a year ago in the AFC Championship.

Bengals wide receiver Ja Marr Chase has regularly blown away defenders as his six receptions of 50 or more yards since entering the league in 2021 are the most in the entire NFL. However, his 28-yard touchdown to start the AFC Divisional Round matchup between the Bengals and the Bills was unusual as it was surprisingly wide of a sophomore who ranked in the top 10 for fewest passing touchdowns allowed in the regular season.

There appeared to be a coverage gap between Buffalo’s zone coverages, however, and it’s still head-scratching to see such a high-profile option open in the divisional round of the playoffs. A look at the game in scoring form courtesy of NextGen Stats makes the defensive coverage seem even more mind-numbing.

Controversial TD reversal

Early on, Chase scored his second touchdown of the first half Sunday, this time from 10 yards out on third-and-goal. However, a replay review overturned the touchdown call, and Cincinnati settled for a 28-yard field goal to take a 17-7 lead instead of a 21-7 lead. of NFL He has rewritten the catch rule repeatedly in recent years, most notably after backlash from the Cowboys and their fans when Dez Bryant’s fourth-down catch with more than four minutes left in the 2014 divisional contest was overturned on replay review.

While he has since softened his stance on ground survival, the NFL still seeks perfection when it comes to football moves while waiting to catch up. Far from watching a replay of Chase’s innocent score, just looking at the call on the field, it’s very understandable to see Chase pull in another touchdown.

Kyle Shanahan’s use of the first half expired

Dak Prescott’s second interception of the first half and the 49ers punted at their own 28-yard line with 1:24 left. Head coach and offensive play-caller Kyle Shanahan then chose a surprising play-calling sequence: a run with wide receiver Debo Samuels and running back Christian McCaffrey. Those two plays yielded just nine yards, making Shanahan look content going into the locker room tied at six.

But two plays later, the 49ers called a second timeout, giving the team a third-and-one with 30 seconds left. After a timeout, quarterback Brook Purdy threw a 10-yard pass to Samuels, who reached their own 47, and Shanahan called another timeout. The first two games, followed by the turnover, lead many to think it would be the first half. However, the 49ers had zero timeouts after that and a first down near midfield. It all ended up working out for Shanahan and San Francisco, when Purdy threw a 21-yard completion sandwiched between three incompletions by receiver Juan Jennings, the last of which went out of bounds with just one second left on the first-half clock.

Although the 49ers took a 9-6 lead into halftime, Shanahan couldn’t decide what he wanted to do to end the half, leading to some confusing timeout use and mixed messaging.

The Cowboys were on the ropes after turning the football over to the 49ers 19-12 with just over two minutes left, but had four opportunities to stop the clock between the two-minute warning and all three timeouts. . Two or three first downs would have sealed the game and kept the Cowboys from having one last chance.

Fast forward to 1:53 left in the game, and the 49ers are facing second-and-nine. The Cowboys had already used a timeout, so an inbounds delay all but sealed the game. Mitchell checks the first box, blowing through the Dallas defense for a new set of downs. But here was the problem: it went out of bounds. Every time a player gets into this situation, he goes out of his way to do a baseball slide on the field to run down the clock, but Mitchell’s adrenaline must have gotten the best of him when he ran out of bounds. That decision allowed the Cowboys to get the ball back, and thankfully the defense stopped. Otherwise, he’ll have some uncomfortable thoughts going into the offseason.

The 49ers’ conservative last offensive drive

Kyle Shanahan got credit for his offensive creativity, and rightfully so, but his play calling got conservative on the final drive, and a risk-adverse play call allowed the Cowboys to get the ball back once. After Mitchell picked up the first down, the next three plays gained a combined zero yards: a Mitchell run up the middle for one yard, another Mitchell run up the middle for no gain, and a horizontal pass from Purdy to McCaffrey. For all the movement and unique use of the fullbacks, tight ends and receivers, Shanahan’s run, run, run, one more down, the game was confusing.

Cowboys terrible end to the season

In college football, a player can make a catch when the inbounds drop just one foot. However, it is necessary to wear two shoes in a professional. Schultz seems to have hit a mental block regarding those laws. It looked like he had a crucial 15-yard gain on first down to get Dallas into Hail Mary territory with six seconds left in the game. Unfortunately for the silver and blue, the Cowboys tight end didn’t show his second leg during the evaluation, forcing them back to their own 24-yard line.

It looked like Dallas chose to go with a hook-and-ladder game to score a touchdown, but several parts of the game resulted in a botched execution. He uses starting linebacker and wide receiver KaVontae Turpin as the go-to player to throw the ball to a running teammate. Turpin is the fastest player on the Cowboys, meaning he should have been the one receiving the play, not the one setting it up. Another blemish was Turpin’s execution on kickoffs as not even one other Cowboy could get the ball out of his hands fast enough to touch it. A failure in planning and execution cost the Cowboys their final game of the 2022 season.

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