NFL Wild Card Round 2020-2021 Season


The NFL regular season has come to an end, and that means that the playoffs are here. Instead of the regular 12-team format, the NFL expanded the field to 14 teams, each with a chance to win the Super Bowl. This caused the Wild Card round to have six games instead of the normal four. This year the Packers, Saints, Seahawks, Washington Football Team, Buccaneers, Rams, Bears, Chiefs, Bills, Steelers, Titans, Ravens, Browns, and Colts all made the playoffs in this historically large pool.

Last weekend, the Wild Card round kicked off the playoffs on Saturday morning with the Bills versus the Colts. The game was close, and it came down to the wire but the Bills scraped out a 27-24 victory, led by versatile quarterback Josh Allen, throwing for 324 passing yards, two touchdowns through the air and one touchdown on the ground. Stefon Diggs, the Bills’ primary receiver, caught six of nine targets for 128 yards and a touchdown.

Saturday afternoon, the Rams and Seahawks took their rivalry on the field and duked it out for 3 hours. The Rams started backup quarterback John Wolford, but he was quickly taken out of the game after a hit in the head and neck area. He was taken to a local hospital but came back to celebrate the team’s 30-20 victory. All-pro defensive linemen Aaron Donald left the game in the 3rd quarter with an injury as well. Jared Goff, the starting quarterback out with a thumb injury came into the game. Both him and Russell Wilson had subpar performances, with both quarterbacks completing less than 50% of their passes and having under 200 yards. The game was sealed by a late touchdown pass from Jared Goff in the fourth quarter that put the Rams up 30-13.

Saturday night, the Buccaneers and Washington Football Team played a competitive game, but the favored Buccaneers came out on top 31-23, led by Tom Brady’s 381 yards and  2 touchdowns.

Washington’s quarterback situation was not as ideal, as during the season they played three different quarterbacks due to various reasons. On Saturday, they played their fourth string quarterback, Taylor Heinicke. He had a breakout performance, with over 300 yards passing, a touchdown, and just one interception in his first playoff game. However, the 7-9 Football Team had the lowest record in the playoffs and were not expected by many to make a deep run.

Sunday morning, the Ravens and Titans played for the third time since last year. Last year, the Ravens were 14-2 and thought to be the best team in the league by many. In their first playoff game, the underdog Titans shocked them on the road just one week after dethroning the defending champion New England Patriots. Many considered Jackson’s lack of playoff success a key factor in the argument that he is not a top-tier player. On Sunday, the Titans jumped out to a 10-0 lead, similar to how they jumped out to a lead last year when they won. However, the Raven’s defense was able to hold Derrick Henry, the back-to-back rushing yards leader of the NFL in the past two years, to just 40 yards. The Ravens rallied back and won the game 20-13.

Sunday afternoon, the Chicago Bears, who barely made the playoffs by virtue of a tiebreaker, and the Saints, a team considered to be the best by many analysts and fans, played each other. The Saints won 21-9, and their future first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees had a pretty good day with 265 yards, two touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. The game was broadcasted by Nickelodeon, their first-ever NFL game coverage. Their broadcast was mainly trying to attract kids, with things like the slime zone instead of the end zone.

Sunday night, the Browns and Steelers faced each other. The two teams are division rivals, and they played just last week. The Steelers had clinched the division and a playoff spot, so they rested many starters and still played a close game. This combined with the fact that the Browns were in the playoffs for the first time in almost 20 years, the Steelers were playing at home, and the Browns did not have their head coach on the field because of COVID-19 protocols, the Steelers were heavily favored to win. So it is no surprise that when the Browns jumped out to a 28-0 lead, the Steelers were shocked. The Steelers turned the ball over five times in the game, and even though their quarterback threw for an impressive 501 yards and four touchdowns, he also threw four interceptions. In the end, his yards did not win the game. The final score was Browns 48, Steelers 37.

Next weekend, the Rams and Packers, Buccaneers and Saints, Browns and Chiefs, and Ravens and Bills will face off in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.

2020 NFL Stat Leaders