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NFL 2022 Wild Card Recap

Man, does this season just keep on delivering. We saw an unbelievable comeback, game changing plays, and we may have seen Tom Brady play his last game for the Buccaneers (or his last game in general). It was a wild Wild Card Weekend, so lets recap the best parts of it.

Photo: Tom Fox/Dallas Morning News

 

Divisional Power Rankings


Team to Note


New York Giants (Rose 6 spots)


If the Giants can play how they did Sunday, this team can go deep into the playoffs. Daniel Jones was virtually perfect, the defense came to bat after trailing early, and Brian Daboll has this team in a great spot.


Wild Card Round Awards


*Due to fewer games being played each week, we'll be awarding league wide awards for the rest of the season*


Offensive MVP: Dak Prescott - Dallas Cowboys


I hope after this game the "Dak isn't great" narratives can stop. He was damn near perfect against one of the tougher defenses in the league, as he had a 93.3% adjusted completion rate and 0 turnover worthy plays. He amassed 305 passing yards and 4 TDs, with 179 of those yards traveling through the air, and he ran for 24 yards and a TD. It was a career day for Dak, and hopefully will keep the haters quiet moving forward.


Defensive MVP: Charles Omenihu - San Francisco 49ers


Although it's not a household name in the 49ers defense, Charles's impact doesn't go unnoticed. He put together a pass rushing masterclass as he recorded 5 pressures on 26 pass rush snaps, resulting in 2 sacks and a key forced fumble late in the 3rd quarter that changed the course of the entire game. Add in a TFL, it was a career day for Charles in a must win game.


Trench Tyrant: Andrew Thomas - New York Giants


Thomas put on another showcase as to why he's a top 5 offensive tackle in the league. Against Zadarius Smith and Danielle Hunter, he allowed just 1 pressure on 46 pass block snaps. The Giants also ran for 70 of their 81 non-QB rush yards to Andrew's side. He was the 2nd highest graded offensive lineman in the entire league in the Wild Card round, and it's easy to see why.


Special Teams MVP: Riley Patterson - Jacksonville Jaguars


Plain and simple, you hit a game winning field goal in one of the biggest comebacks in playoff history, you get the STMVP of the week.


Divisional Round Predictions


*Winner marked in bold lettering*


Jacksonville Jaguars vs Kansas City Chiefs


The Jags have looked great through the end of the year and during the second half against the Chargers, but this Chiefs offense is going to give them more problems than they can handle. I like KC at home after the bye, winning convincingly.


New York Giants vs Philadelphia Eagles


This one will be a lot closer than expected, as we haven't seen a whole lot Jalen Hurts lately. It'll take him a minute to get adjusted, despite playing in Week 18, and the Giants will lead multiple times in this matchup. In the end, the Eagles will pull out a go-ahead TD to put the game away.


Cincinnati Bengals vs Buffalo Bills


We get the highly touted rematch/unofficial-continuation of their Week 17 matchup. The Bengals looked hot right away, but they didn't look nearly as good in back to back weeks against a thin Ravens roster. Josh Allen also looked terrible at times last week, making this game a toss up. It'll be close, with Tyler Bass being called upon to hit another game winning field goal and delivering to help the Bills advance.


Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers


The two teams with the only blowouts in the Wild Card round square off in the last game of the Divisional slate. I like the 49ers on paper, but this game is gonna come down to Brock Purdy against one of the best defenses in the league. Dak will also need a repeat from last week to beat the top defense in the league. It's another close call, but give me the Niners and their loaded offense to come out on top.

Photo: Associated Press/Godofredo A. Vásquez

 

Final Notes:


For the first time in years, I feel like the playoffs can go any which way. The lower seeded teams look really good, and the top seeded teams are loaded enough to hold them off. We'll find out more in the coming days as to who will prevail.

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