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The 2017 NFL Playoffs

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https://campussports.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/bracket.png?w=750&h=463

TREVOR DISTASO, WRITER

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The 2017-2018 National Football League Playoff Wildcard Weekend took  place the weekend of Jan. 6-7. The NFL wildcard weekend consists of four teams from each conference, the AFC and the NFC ranked from 3rd to 6th. The 1st and 2nd seed from both conference received a first round bye. Those teams were the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Minnesota Vikings.

In the first game of playoffs, the 5th seeed Tennessee Titans upset the 4th seed Kansas City Chiefs, 22-21. The Titans were lead by running back (RB) Derrick Henry, who had 23 carries for 156 yards and one touchdown.  Quarterback (QB) Marcus Mariota was 19/31 with 205 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the victory. Mariota also made NFL playoff history, as the first player to throw a touchdown to himself in a playoff game and the second player ever to throw a touchdown to himself. The ball was deflected back to Mariota by Chiefs cornerback (CB) Darrelle Revis. Mariota caught they deflection and ran into the endzone for a five yard touchdown.    

Kansas City was lead by QB Alex Smith, who was 24/33 with 264 yards and two touchdowns. Kansas City had a 21-3 lead in this game, but they started to unravel after tight end (TE) Travis Kelce suffered a concussion, knocking him out of the game. The Tennessee Titans will play the New England Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs.

If the first NFC playoff game, the 6th seeded Atlanta Falcons defeated the 3rd seeded Los Angeles Rams 26-13. Atlanta was lead by QB Matt Ryan, who was 21/30 with 218 yards and one touchdown. His favorite target was wide receiver (WR) Julio Jones, who had nine catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.

The Los Angeles Rams, who were hosting their first playoff game since relocating from St. Louis in 2016 were lead by QB Jared Goff who was 24/45 with 259 yards and a touchdown. WR Robert Woods had 9 catches for 142 yards in the loss, while MVP candidate RB Todd Gurley II had 14 caries for 101 yards. The Falcons will face the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round of the playoffs.   

In the ugliest playoff game in recent history, the 3rd seeded Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the 6th seeded Buffalo Bills 10-3. There were no true standout performances on both teams, as their were 17 punts in the game and struggled mightily on offense. The Jaguars lone touchdown was a one yard touchdown by TE Ben Koyack. The Jaguars advance to play the Pittsburgh Steelers, who they defeated earlier this year by a score of 30-9.

In the last game of wild card weekend, the 4th seeded New Orleans Saints defeated the 5th seeded Carolina Panthers 31-26. Saints QB Drew Brees had another hall of fame like performance, going 23/33 with 376 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Many of his throws went to Michael Thomas, who had eight catches for 131 yards.

The Panthers were lead by their QB Cam Newton, who was 24/40 with 349 yards and two touchdowns. Both TE Greg Olsen and RB Christian McCaffrey had over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown in the loss. The Saints will play the Minnesota Vikings in the divisional round of the playoffs, a rematch from week one, when Minnesota Defeated New Orleans by a score of 29-19.

The divisional round of the playoffs take this weekend, Jan. 13-14. The winners will play in the conference championships on Jan. 21. Then the winners will play each other in Super Bowl 52, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 4th.

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The 2017 NFL Playoffs