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Upsets and Overtime

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By Katherine Clatterbuck

The divisional round of the NFL playoffs took place this past weekend, seeing three games won by a field goal and one game going into overtime. On January 22nd, the Tennessee Titans, ranked first in the American Football Conference, faced off against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals came out strong, scoring the first touchdown in the game, but the Titans answered with a touchdown of their own in the second quarter. After remaining tied in the fourth quarter, with seconds left in the game, the Bengals entered field goal range, allowing kicker Evan McPherson to score the game-winning field goal. 

Similar stories came from the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers, ranked first in the National Football Conference. While the Packers led for three quarters, holding the 49ers without score until a field goal in the third quarter, the 49ers answered with ten points in the fourth quarter, with the winning field goal from kicker, Robbie Gould. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were defeated by the Los Angeles Rams. In a similar story to Tom Brady’s 2017 Super Bowl appearance, the Buccaneers were down by 14 going into the fourth quarter. Brady and his offense delivered with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, bringing the score to a tie. Unfortunately, the Buccaneers could not keep the momentum, seeing a last-second field goal from the Rams to win the game. 

The Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills faced off in the last game of the divisional round, seeing the only overtime appearance of the round. After a tough game between two beloved teams, the Chiefs won the overtime coin toss which many fans and football officials attribute to their win. Since the Chief’s overtime win, football fans have voiced their concerns over the overtime rules, specifically the practice of ending the game after the first touchdown, even if the other team’s offense had no opportunity. 

With a weekend of upsets, the conference championships take place this Sunday. The AFC championship will be played against the Bengals and Chiefs, while the NFC championship will be played against the 49ers and Rams. With a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, it will be an exciting weekend of competition ahead for players and fans alike.