Divisional matchups have been concluded, let’s take a look at what went down yesterday.
Kansas City Chiefs vs Cleveland Browns
This game had an underdog upset written all over it for the Browns with their rushing attack and the potential to control the clock. That didn’t happen at all for this offense. The Chiefs jumped ahead and actually it was the Chiefs that were controlling the clock for the majority of this game. The Chiefs lost their All-Pro QB Patrick Mahomes at the beginning of the third quarter due to a concussion. Mahomes finished the day with 255 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 1 rushing TD, 75.8 QBR, and a 106.9 passer rating. Mahomes was carving up this Cleveland defense. WR Tyreek Hill (8 catches, 110 receiving yards) was the go-to guy, especially for backup QB Chad Henne. TE Travis Kelce (8 catches, 109 receiving yards, 1 TD) also was the main contributor to this KC offense.
Browns QB Baker Mayfield finished the day with 204 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 64.2 QBR, and a 74.6 passer rating. Baker had a good day but not a great day. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski needed to establish this running game and win at the trenches and at they started to and then he would just go away from it? Between RB Nick Chubb (13 carries, 69 rushing yards), and RB Kareem Hunt (6 carries, 32 rushing yards) both only had a combined 19 carries, for 101 rushing yards. The Browns are a rushing team that wins in the trenches and how does going away from the run help your offense? Play action wasn’t as effective as it was the past week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Brown’s future is really bright, and this team can be special for years to come.
Final Score: Chiefs 22, Browns 17
MVP: Travis Kelce
New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Here was the main event that everyone was waiting for. For a third time this season, the Saints were taking on their division rivals to hopefully gonna go 3-0 against them this season. The Saints just didn’t have that fire in their belly offensively this time around though. QB Drew Brees had his worst performance ever in the postseason yesterday finishing with 134 passing yards, 1 TD, 3 INT, 31.7 QBR, and a 38.1 passer rating. Drew just doesn’t look like the old Drew anymore. The zip on his throws is gone, and he was obviously still dealing with the pain from the most recent injuries he sustained earlier this season. RB Alvin Kamara (18 carries, 85 rushing yards) had a hot and cold game as he couldn’t get going because of the ineptness of this Saints offense. The biggest head-scratcher was WR Michael Thomas who was held catchless people. The $100M man didn’t provide anything to this Saints offense. The Saints future looks dim at best.
Buccs QB Tom Brady the ageless wonder didn’t have to ball out in this game thanks to the Buccs defense that had arguably its best game of the season forcing 3 turnovers inside the Saints territory. Brady capitalized on those turnovers and turned them into points. Brady finished the day with 199 passing yards, 2 passing TD, 1 rushing TD, 75.7 QBR, and a 92.9 passer rating. This rushing attack from Tampa showed up especially RB Leonard Fournette (17 carries, 63 rushing yards, 5 catches, 44 receiving yards, 1 TD). Who knew Leonard was gonna be James White in this game? RB Ronald Jones also came up huge finishing with 13 carries, 62 rushing yards, 4.8 YPC. Altogether these RB finished with 35 carries, and 127 rushing yards. Credit to Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles as well for getting his defense ready for the Saints.
Final Score: Saints 20, Buccaneers 30
MVP: Bucs Defense