A Weekend to Remember

Luke Bakshandeh, Senior School News Editor

We are officially within a month of Super Bowl LII, and that means it’s playoff season. This past weekend was particularly sensational for football fans around the country, with four great games, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. Below is the result of each game with a brief recap:

Sat, 1/13

Atlanta Falcons (10) vs Philadelphia Eagles (15)

This game was extremely close until the very end. The Falcons put the first points on the scoreboard in the first quarter with a 33-yard field goal from Matt Bryant. In the second quarter, the Eagles retaliated a little bit, putting 9 points on the scoreboard, but the Falcons managed to maintain a 10-9 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Eagles defense managed to shut out the Falcons, which allowed for them to take the lead when the Eagles’ Jake Elliott’s hit a 37-yard field goal. Continued resistance from the Eagles defense in the fourth quarter allowed the Eagles to maintain this lead and ultimately win the game after scoring another field goal to make the final score 15-10.

New England Patriots (35) vs Tennessee Titans (14)

The Titans were leading after the first quarter 7-0 after the Titans’ QB Marcus Mariota connected with Titans WR Corey Davis for the only score of the quarter. The Patriots responded in the second quarter with two touchdowns from the Patriots’ RB James White and a connection with the Patriots’ WR Chris Hogan to take a commanding 21-7 lead at halftime.

The Titans ultimately failed to turn it around in the second half. The Patriots scored yet again as the Patriots’ RB Brandon Bolden ran in to make the score 28-7 in favor of the Patriots. The Titans were stalled offensively and a Mariota sack led to a three-and-out.

The fourth quarter allowed for the Patriots to secure their win against the Titans with a touchdown from Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski to make the score 35-7. The Titans attempted to respond with another touchdown from Corey Davis, but it was not enough to help the Titans advance to the next round.

Sun, 1/14

Jacksonville Jaguars (45) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (42)

In a shocking upset, the Jacksonville Jaguars managed to advance to the AFC championship game for the first time in a long time. The Jaguars jumped out to a 21-0 lead and it looked like they would cruise to another blowout victory against the Steelers at Heinz Field (the Jaguars won 30-9 on October 8th at Heinz Field). The highlight of the first quarter was the Jaguars’ RB Leonard Fournette, responsible for two Jaguar touchdowns in the first quarter. Jacksonville’s strong defense managed to keep the Steelers without a single point at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Steelers WR Antonio Brown scored a touchdown early on to give the Steelers some home, but it was quickly retaliated after LB Telvin Smith took advantage of a Steelers fumble to maintain a 21 point separation between the teams. The Jaguars confidently finished the half with a 14 point lead over the Steelers.

The Steelers looked fired up in the third quarter, reducing the Jaguars lead to only 7 points after shutting the Jaguars out for the third quarter. The two teams were each relentless in the fourth quarter, retaliating touchdowns with each other. With nearly two minutes left on the clock, the Jaguars were winning 42-35. The Steelers foolishly attempted an onside kick, putting the Jaguars in field goal position that they were able to capitalize on. This made it a two-possession game and doomed the home team, who made a valiant yet failed effort to come back with a last-second touchdown, making the final score 45-42.

Minnesota Vikings (29) vs New Orleans Saints (24)

In the first quarter, the Vikings put up 10 points, facing little resistance from the Saints defense. More shocking, however, was the Saints’ inability to score, producing no points in the first half for the first time in years. Minnesota managed to add another touchdown before halftime, making the score at halftime 17-0 in favor in the Vikings.

In the third quarter, the Saints defense began to step up, which allowed for its offense to score. The Saints had several key defensive plays that led to scorable drives, and several big stops allowed for the Saints’ first touchdown late in the third quarter from the Saints’ WR Michael Thomas.

In the fourth quarter, the Saints began to click. The Saints defense stepped up again to force Vikings QB Case Keenum into an interception that allowed the Saints’ Michael Thomas to score again. A few more crucial touchdowns and field goals allowed the Saints to defy the odds and take a 24-23 lead with only enough time left for a quick drive from the Vikings. Two incompletions left the Vikings at their own 39-yard line with only 10 seconds remaining. Incredibly, the Vikings’ Case Keenum managed to produce a deep throw down the sidelines to Vikings WR Stefon Diggs, who managed to evade a defender and get a walk-off touchdown to win the game.