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NFL Wild Card Weekend: Notes and observations

The NFL Wild Card Weekend has one game left, but we give our observations from the first two days of the 2021 playoffs.

– The Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs are rolling an absurd fashion. Buffalo scored touchdowns on seven straight drives in their 47-17 win over the New England Patriots on Saturday night. Then, on Sunday night, the Chiefs beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 42-21 fashion and notched six consecutive touchdown drives in doing so. Come next weekend, Kansas City will host Buffalo for the second straight year in the postseason, and it should be a wild one.


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– We’ve seen the end of Ben Roethlisberger. After losing to the Chiefs, the 18-year veteran is ready to move on with his life. Regardless of the last two years being pretty ugly, Roethlisberger is one of the all-time greats who will walk into Canton, potentially joining the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a first-ballot member. The former first-round pick won two Super Bowls and played in three, setting numerous records along the way.

The Dallas Cowboys have nobody to blame but themselves for NFL Wild Card Weekend loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Dallas lost 23-17 and took 14 penalties in the process, but the game will be remembered for the final play. The Cowboys had 14 seconds and no timeouts, and called a quarterback draw. By the time the umpire reset the ball, time was out. For a team with expectations, nobody underachieves more than Dallas in critical spots.


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– If you’ve counted out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, consider revisiting your position. The Bucs welcomed in the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon and crushed the upstarts, getting a 31-0 lead before giving up 15 meaningless points in garbage time. Tom Brady effortlessly moved up and down the field, throwing for 271 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Now, Tampa Bay awaits its next playoff opponent, which will be the winner of the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals on Monday night.

– The NFL officiating continues to be a mess. In the playoff opener between the Cincinnati Bengals and Las Vegas Raiders, there were numerous bizarre calls, chief among them the comical decision to uphold a Bengals’ touchdown after a whistle was blown during the play. This time of year, the league goes to all-star crews based off their regular-season performance, but the officiating still draws far too much attention for curious decisions.

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