The Divisional Round is over, and for the 14th time, Tom Brady is on his way to a conference championship game. Brady and Aaron Rodgers will meet in the NFC Championship Game, while Josh Allen will square off with reigning Super Bowl Patrick Mahomes, as long as he’s healthy.
What a weekend.
Saturday’s games gave us plenty to chew on, and Sunday’s two did the same.
Firstly, we saw an underdog story almost come to fruition as the Browns hung tight with the Chiefs. While it may have felt cheap to win after Patrick Mahomes was knocked out with an apparent concussion, the Dog Pound in Cleveland wouldn’t have cared. They hung close for most of the game, even though they got away from their run game early. Nick Chubb, easily the best weapon for the Browns, only saw 13 carries on the day, which is inexcusable. Baker Mayfield wasn’t stellar, completing 23-of-37 (62%) for 204 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
After Mahomes was taken out of the game halfway through the third quarter up 19-10, Chad Henne entered and was good enough to maintain the lead. The defense stepped up in the wake of Mahomes leaving – Henne lobbed an easy, deep interception late in the game with the Chiefs up only six, the defense stood tall and forced a punt. The Chiefs and the Bills will be a battle of the clear top two teams in the AFC, and should be quite the battle.
As we switched to the AARP broadcast of the NFC showdown between Drew Brees and Tom Brady, each quarterback clearly looked their age. Before the game started, FOX’s Jay Glazer reported that Brees will be retiring after the season.
I would be remiss to not highlight some of Brees’ career accomplishments as he potentially exits the field for the last time. Super Bowl champion, career leader in passing yards (77,576), passing touchdowns (549), and completions (6,885). Brees is an all-time great and a surefire first-ballot hall of famer.
If this was the last game for Drew Brees, it was an ugly way to go out. He 19-for-34 (56%), 134 yards, one touchdown, and three picks.
While Brees wasn’t fantastic, Tom Brady wasn’t much better: 18-for-33 (55%), 199 yards, two touchdowns. This was a defensive, hard-fought battle between division foes and all-time great quarterbacks. Brady did enough to move on to the next round, while Brees might be hanging the cleats up for good. Also, it’s shocking and important to note that Michael Thomas ended without a single catch.
What in the actual hell.
And there was this sweet moment between Brady, Brees and Brees’ kids.
Championship Sunday awaits.