The NFL Wild Card round lived up to the hype, with all four games coming down to the wire. There were multiple upsets, which should only lead to more madness heading into next weekend’s divisional matchups.
Beginning with the NFC, it was the Minnesota Vikings to pull off a stunning win over the New Orleans Saints on the road. They came away with a 26-20 victory in overtime, punching their ticket for a showdown against the San Francisco 49ers next Saturday.
The Saints had lost just two games at home all season, but Kirk Cousins delivered down the stretch when it mattered most, finding tight end Kyle Rudolph in the corner of the end zone for a game-winning touchdown on their first possession in overtime.
Dalvin Cook also scored two touchdowns of his own, rushing for 94 yards while adding 36 more through the air.
The Seattle Seahawks additionally took care of business against the Philadelphia Eagles, whose stockpile of injuries finally caught up to them.
With the likes of Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor already sidelined, the Eagles were forced to turn to 40-year-old backup quarterback Josh McCown late in the first quarter after Carson Wentz went down with a head injury.
Despite a gutsy effort, McCown did not lead the Eagles into the end zone at any point in the game as the team mustered up only three field goals in a 17-9 loss to the Seahawks.
Wide receiver D.K. Metcalf stood out for Seattle, setting an NFL record with 160 receiving yards in his first career playoff game. The Seahawks now advance for a matchup against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
Shifting to the AFC, the Houston Texans kicked off NFL Wild Card Weekend with a come-from-behind 22-19 win against the Buffalo Bills in overtime.
The Bills’ stout defense stymied Deshaun Watson and the Texans’ offense for nearly three-quarters of the game, holding them scoreless until late in the third.
That’s when Houston began its comeback, with Watson finding the end zone for a 20-yard rushing touchdown. A successful two-point conversion trimmed Buffalo’s lead to 16-8 entering the fourth quarter.
The Texans would take the lead courtesy of a Carlos Hyde receiving touchdown, but the Bills’ Stephen Hauschka sent the game to overtime with a 47-yard field goal.
It was all for naught, as Houston went on to win by a final score of 22-19 following Ka’imi Fairbairn’s 28-yard field goal. They now travel to Arrowhead Stadium for a meeting against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
Finally, it was the Tennessee Titans who perhaps completed the biggest upset of the weekend with a 20-13 victory over the New England Patriots.
The Titans held on to a slim 14-13 lead late in the fourth quarter until former Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan intercepted Tom Brady and returned it for a touchdown, knocking his one-time teammate out of the playoffs.
Here is complete 2020 NFL Divisional round schedule with available start times and TV information:
Saturday, Jan. 11
Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers, Levi’s Stadium, 1:35 p.m. PT (NBC)
Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium, 5:15 p.m. PT (CBS)
Sunday, Jan. 12
Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Arrowhead Stadium, 12:05 p.m. PT (CBS)
Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field, 3:40 p.m. PT (FOX)