NFL Quick Snap Recap: Wild Card Week
The Playoffs have begun! Enjoy our recaps of all the action below!
Cincinnati Bengals 13-19 Houston Texans
A strong defensive effort proved enough for the Houston Texans to make it back-to-back Wild Card round victories over the Cincinnati Bengals. The Texans dominated the game and only their inability to punch the ball into the end zone kept the Bengals in the contest. The final score of 19-13 flattered the visitors as the Texans out-gained them 420 yards to 207 but produced only one touchdown with four Shayne Graham field goals providing the bulk of their points.
The Texans started strong, completely shutting down the Bengals’ offence and producing two strong drives of 65 and 49 yards, both stalling and resulting in field goals. When Matt Schaub threw a pick six the Bengals led a game 7-6 at which point Andy Dalton had -16 yards passing and the team just 46 total yards.
Another Graham field goal just before the half, this time after a 76 yard drive that stalled at the Bengals’ six, restored the Texans’ lead at the main break.
The only offensive touchdown of the contest came on the second drive of the second half as Arian Foster capped off a fine day’s work running one in to go with his 140 yards from 32 carries and 8 receptions for 34 yards.
The 16-6 lead would prove a match winning break, although the Texans inability to kill the game off very nearly came back to haunt them when Andy Dalton overthrew an open A.J. Green in the end zone for what would have been a go ahead touchdown with 2.54 minutes to play. The throw summed up Dalton’s day, he ended 14-30 for 127 yards and 1 interception.
The loss means the long wait for Postseason success continues in Cincinnati with their last playoff win some 21 years ago. The Texans meanwhile march on to the divisional round where a trip to New England awaits them.
Minnesota Vikings 10-24 Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers avenged last week’s defeat to Minnesota Vikings in style as they ran out comfortable 24-10 victors in the rematch. The Packers had clearly learnt from last week’s encounter, and looked a far cry from the side that allowed 37 points in that match.
With Christian Ponder out with an elbow injury, the Vikings were forced to start backup quarterback Joe Webb. He predictably struggled; going 8/26 for 77 yards with a fumble and an interception before he padded his stats with a couple of late throws in garbage time. Webb’s struggles allowed the Packers to stack the box, creep up and limit the effect of Adrian Peterson holding him to just 99 yards.
The Vikings started brightly as Webb and Peterson ran the ball down their throats, marching 53 yards down the field to jump out to a 3-0 lead. It was to be all points they would manage until a garbage time touchdown with five minutes remaining. Their next five drives totalled just 33 yards as they were completely stifled by the Packers’ defence.
Aaron Rodgers was his usual reliable self, he went 23-33 for 274 yards and a touchdown in a controlled performance. It wasn’t an explosive Packers offence by any means, but as they forced punt after punt it didn’t need to be. Rodgers hit a playoff-record ten different receivers in the game demonstrating the depth of weapons he has at his disposal.
The win sets up a showdown with the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick park next week in a rematch of their season opener.
You can see the recaps for the final two games of the Wild Card Round here.
Don’t forget you can check our TV Guide to see who is playing and when.