Wildcard Weekend: Sunday Recap

All the Higher Seeds Advance to the Divisional Rounds

Pittsburgh Steelers 30 Miami Dolphins 12

The Pittsburgh Steelers jumped out to a 14-0 lead just eight minutes into the game and never looked back.

On their first drive, Ben Roethlisberger threw a screen pass to Antonio Brown from the 50-yardline.  Brown caught the pass, showed excellent patience waiting for his blocks to develop and ran down the sideline to the the end zone.

The Dolphins only had four plays before punting on their first offensive series.  The Steelers got the ball back and it was Roethlisberger to Brown again for a long score.  Brown caught the ball on a slant and made a move to avoid being tackled and ran the ball in for a 62-yard touchdown.

The Dolphins drove the ball down to the Steeler 20-yardline, but were unable to get in the end zone and settled for a field goal to make the score 14-3.  The other member of the Steeler’s “Big Three”, Le’Veon Bell added to the score by pushing the ball just over the goal line to increase the lead 20-6.

The Dolphins capped off a 12-play drive with a 47-yard field goal by Andrew Franks.

Roethlisberger made his first mistake of the day by throwing an interception.  The Dolphins looked to add to the score before the end of the half, but were unable to when James Harrison stripped the ball from Matt Moore just eight yards from the end zone.  The Steelers recovered the fumble and took a knee to go into the half 20-6.

The Dolphins got the ball to start the second half, but once again, turned the ball over.  Moore was again sacked and fumbled the ball.  The Steelers capitalized on the mistake by the Dolphins and got their first field goal of the game, a 34-yarder by Chris Boswell.

The Dolphins second-string quarterback Moore turned the ball over again, this time, with an interception.  Bell punched it in from eight yards out for his second score the game, to pull ahead 30-6 with two minutes left in the third quarter.

Neither team got on the board until just under six minutes left in the game when the Dolphins got their first touchdown of the game.  Damien Williams caught a four yard pass from Moore.  The Dolphins weren’t able to convert on the two-point conversion to make the score the eventual final of 30-12.

Bell ran for 167 yards, a franchise record, along with his two scores.  Roethlisberger ended the day going 13/18 for 197 yards with two touchdowns.  Brown had 124 yards on six receptions and two touchdowns.  The win by the Steelers was their eighth straight win.

The Steelers will travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs on Sunday at 1:05 PM.  The Steelers beat the Chiefs in October 43-14.

 

Green Bay Packers 28 New York Giants 13

It took the Packers nearly a half to get warmed up in the below freezing weather.  But once they got hot, not even the temperature of 13 degrees could cool them off.

The Giants defense held Aaron Rodgers and the Packer offense scoreless for most of the first half. The Giants and Packers combined for ten punts in the first half.

Eli Manning played well, but his receivers weren’t doing him any favors.  Both Sterling Shepard and Odell Beckham Jr. dropped passes in the end zone.  The only highlights the Giants had in the first half were two field goals kicked by Robbie Gould.

Rodgers did an excellent job extending the play and found Davante Adams in the back corner of the end zone for their first points of the game.

On the Giants next possession, they went three and out and were forced to punt.  Green Bay got the ball with 1:38 left in the half on their own 29-yard-line.  They weren’t able to get in field goal range, but that doesn’t stop Rodgers from working his magic.  Rodgers threw a 42-yard Hail Mary to Randall Cobb in the back of the end zone as time expired in the first half.  Just like that, the Packers go into the first half up 14-6.

Both teams came out a little flat in the second half, exchanging punts in each of their own first possessions.  On the Packers second possession, they went for it on 4th&1 and were unable to convert.  This gave the Giants good field position at the Green Bay 41-yardline.  One the second play, Manning found Tavarres King for a 41-yard touchdown to pull within a point of the Packers 14-13.

The Packers came right back to score a touchdown of their own, another Rodgers to Cobb score.  Rodgers found Cobb over the middle, Cobb catching it and out running the Giants defense for a 30-yard touchdown.

The Giants were forced to punt on their next possession and the Packers added to their lead with a 32-yard field goal by Mason Crosby.

The Giants again went three and out and punted.  At the end of the third quarter, the Packers are up 24-13.

The Packers then went on a 10-play, 80-yard drive capped off with the third touchdown of the day for Cobb, a 16-yard touchdown reception.

The Packers added one more touchdown, a one-yard rush by Aaron Ripowski to put the score to its eventual final of 38-13.

The Packers will now travel to Dallas to take on the #1 seeded Cowboys Sunday at 4:40.  The Cowboys beat the Packers in Green Bay 30-16 back in October.

One story that will be monitored all week is if Jordy Nelson will be able to play.  He was knocked out of the game Sunday with an apparent rib injury.

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Greg LaFountain is from a small town in upstate New York called Peru. After graduating high school, Greg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving his country for four years. After the Marines, Greg went to Pensacola State College where he got his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He then moved to Tampa and enrolled at the University of South Florida where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications. Since graduating from USF, Greg interned with Bucs Blitz, covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Greg joined Genesis in the fall of 2016, covering Florida State Football, the NFL and the UFC.