NFL Divisional Round ends with unlikely winners


Alexandra Thomas

Senior Keanu Parker watches the NFL Divisional Round as the Cowboys lose against the 49ers in the fourth quarter. “I was pretty excited that the Cowboys made it this far,” Parker said. “Once I saw that the 49ers had taken the lead, I was intrigued on who else they could beat later on in the competition.” With 5.1 average yards to go, the game ended with the 49ers winning by 19-12.

Junwoo Kim, Reporter

Resuming this weekend with the divisional round, the National Football League Playoffs have four teams left before advancing to the NFC and AFC conference championship games. The winners of the next two remaining games will advance to fight in the Super Bowl.

Jaguars fall behind the Chiefs 27-20 

The Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Chargers in the first round after being in a 27-0 deficit. After last year, Jacksonville fired head coach, Urban Myer, and replaced him with quarterback, Doug Pederson. 

The Jaguars kept it close with the Kansas City Chiefs for all four quarters. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was injured in the second quarter with a high ankle sprain after being tackled. However, once the Chiefs returned in the third quarter, there was no separation between the two teams. The Chiefs were finally able to create some space between them, but the Jaguars eventually won the game to advance to the championship round.

“Nobody thought we would be in that game,” Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence said.. “We’ll be back.” 

Lawrence led the Jaguars with 4,113 yards and 25 touchdowns. 

The Chiefs struggled against the Jaguars since their quarterback was out. Thus, people speculated him to be injured, but Mahomes is currently listed as expected to play in the AFC Championship game.

Eagles destroy the Giants 38-7

The Philadelphia Eagles make it to the conference championship after drafting Jalen Hurts to play as a quarterback and trading for AJ Brown to play wide receiver. These two signings changed how the Eagles played; they became one of the best teams in the league and had a commanding presence in the NFL. There was some worry that quarterback Jalen Hurts would be afflicted with the sprained shoulder, but he was able to play just fine. 

After missing the playoffs for six straight years, they finally made it to the next round. The New York Giants eventually hired a new head coach, Brian Daboll. After a tough loss to Philadelphia, there is a rumor of them moving on from quarterback Daniel Jones. 

Daboll responded on NBC Sports, “All these conversations, we are going to have those. We have a long off-season. There is a time and place to have all those conversations, and tonight is not it. The Giants are currently in a pretty tough spot as they now sit and talk about the off-season.” 

The Giants finished with a record of 9-7-1, a massive step-up from their previous regular season record of 4-13.

The Eagles played very well in this game, looking the same all season with their high-powered cavalry. They slowly walk to the NFC conference game with the 49ers.

 The 49ers get a slight edge on Dallas 19-12

The Dallas Cowboys’ offense could just not get it done. Quarterback Dak Prescott struggled, throwing two interceptions which put their defense back on the field. 

“I promise, this number will never get this high again,” Prescott said after the game.  

Kellen Moore as a play caller also struggled. He needed to get past a very defensively stacked defense and couldn’t do that well. Rock Hill students were frustrated by the lousy play. 

“Dak Prescott continues to throw interceptions. It’s really negatively affecting our team,” senior Luke Gillum said.I believe firing Kellen Moore would be the right choice, he is just too inconsistent. It’s frustrating to watch them play badly and lose by a touchdown.”

In addition, the San Francisco 49ers’  offense could not move the ball due to the amount of pressure the quarterback Brock Purdy had. The Dallas Cowboys merely shut the run game down until the fourth quarter. They still won the game, having a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter that ended with a touchdown. 

However, there was only momentum for either team once the 49ers decided to take a game-winning drive down the field to win the game. 

The 49ers will face the Eagles next week in the NFC conference game. George Kittle told reporters after the win, “We’re going against a good team in a tough environment, and sometimes it’s fun to go on the road.” The Eagles have looked good all year. They will have to go against the Eagles’ defensive linemen, who have one of the best pressure rates in the league.

The Bengals cruise past the Buffalo Bills 27-10.

The first meeting between these two teams ended in a nightmare. Damar Hamlin was put into cardiac arrest, where paramedics administered CPR on the field and took Hamlin to the hospital from an ambulance on the field. 

This was the first game they played against each other since the accident. The Cincinnati Bengals played well, took care of the ball, and took away the ball. They were able to play an excellent game against a great team. Joe Burrow played well in the third and fourth quarters because they created this lead.

Diggs left the stadium just minutes after the game. Coach Sean McDermott defended the move after the game and said, “That’s what makes him good, is what you saw. … It hurts, and I wouldn’t want a guy that doesn’t hurt.” The offense was just unable to get started, and the defense was deteriorating by the end of the game. Instead of the Bills, the Bengals will join the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game.

The four teams in the conference championship game will be the Chiefs, Bengals, Eagles, and 49ers. The Eagles and 49ers will play at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday in Philadelphia, and the Bengals will play against  the Chiefs at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday as well. These teams will compete for a chance in the Super Bowl, but only two can make it through.