More chalk than a classroom in the NFL Playoffs

The good, bad and ugly from NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round

Tom Brady did it again. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

There wasn't much drama in the Divisional round of the playoffs. The underdogs didn't put up too much of a fight against the Chiefs, Rams, and Patriots. Here's how I saw the first three games this weekend:

The Good

-Tom Brady is still the GOAT, especially in the playoffs. He led the Patriots to a 41-28 beatdown of the Chargers. The Chargers came into this game with a better record than the Pats, but couldn't overcome Brady and his playoff mojo. At 41, Brady added to his league record with his 14th 300-plus yard passing performance in a playoff game.

-The Rams defense finally showed the flashes of brilliance people expected after their offseason acquisitions. They held the Cowboys to 308 total yards, with only 50 of those yards coming on the ground. 93 of those yards came on three pass plays. If this defense plays like this next week, they could be Super Bowl bound.

-The Chiefs opened their game against the Colts scoring with relative ease. After the first quarter, the score was 14-0 and they outgained the Colts 185-12. They ended the first half up 24-7 and seemed to go on cruise control after that. Some may say they fell flat, but credit their defense for stepping up as well because…

The Bad

-…the Colts first three possessions ended in three and outs. On their third possession, they had a 3rd and 2, but decided to pass. It fell incomplete and they punted. Sure the Chiefs defense deserved some credit, but this Colts offensive line has been lauded all season. How come they couldn't protect Andrew Luck or open lanes for their triumvirate of running backs?

-Dak Prescott's inaccuracy will continue to hold the Cowboys back. He did finish 20 of 32, but there were several throws he missed that he should've easily made. One that comes to mind was him missing Michael Gallup on a 3rd & short by throwing the ball behind him when he was wide open. Itbringsmethisclose to feeling sorry for Cowboys fans.

-For as good as the Chargers pass rush has been and can be, they did nothing to bother Brady. They didn't register a sack against him after getting to Lamar Jackson seven times last week. It goes to show you that no matter how mobile a quarterback can be, pocket awareness and a quick release can beat a good pass rush.

The Ugly

-Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed his first ever field goal from 25 yards or closer in the playoffs when he missed from 23 yards out just before halftime. He also missed his first ever extra point in the playoffs in the fourth quarter. Those four missed points could have put them down by seven instead of 11 with about five minutes left. Talk about a bad time for a couple firsts.

-The "in the grasp" called sack on Prescott was complete BS! The Rams had a couple guys that were in the vicinity, but neither grabbed hold of him enough to say they were going to bring him down. His own teammate La'el Collins picked him up and moved him away from the pass rush. This knocked them out of field goal range and forced a punt when they were attempting to make the game interesting.

-Philip Rivers is a Hall of Famer in my opinion. However, the Patriots made him look like member of the Hall of Pretty Unimpressive. He was held to 25/51 for 331 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Although he was only sacked twice, they pressured and knocked him down enough to make a difference.

Next weekend is setting up to be a battle of quarterbacks. There will be either a young gunslinger or a grizzled vet/future Hall of Famer on every team and I'm looking forward to it. This weekend and next are two of my favorite football weekends in the NFL. Let's enjoy it while we still have it!

COWBOYS REPORT

Cowboys come up short; Lions up next

Dallascowboys.com

The Dallas Cowboys lost another close game on Sunday.They were defeated at home by the score of 28-24 to the Minnesota Vikings.

Recap

The Cowboys were forced to being a one dimensional team as the Vikings shut down Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott but they were able to move the ball easily with their passing game. What got them in the end was the defense's inability to stop the 2019 NFL leading rusher Dalvin Cook and bad play calling late in the game. They stopped themselves from scoring the winning touchdown with two horrible running plays on 2nd and 3rd down at the Vikings 11 yard line instead of keeping the ball in the air where they had been successful all game long.

Quarterback Dak Prescott was 28/46 for 397 yards, 3 touchdowns, and one interception. He connected with six different receivers, which included big days for both Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb. Cooper had 11 catches for 147 yards and 1 touchdown. Cobb had his best day as a Cowboy with 6 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. 2nd year receiver Michael Gallup only also had a solid receiving day with 4 catches for 76 yards and a touchdown as well.

Superstar Ezekiel Elliott had one of his worst games of the year. The Vikings defense locked in on him and did not allow him to get free. He carried the ball 20 times for 47 yards and only caught 2 balls for 16 yards. The Cowboys only had 50 rushing yards total for the game that does not correlate to wins.

Dallas falls to (5-4) and is now tied with the Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) atop the NFC East but edge them in a tiebreaker due to their (4-0) divisional record.

3 Things to Watch For

1.Ezekiel Elliott (Running Back): Needs to have a better game.He averaged 2.4 yards a carry last week. Luckily, he will be going against the Detroit Lions and the 6th worst defense in the league this week. Zeke should have himself a big day this Sunday.

2.Amari Cooper (Wide Receiver): Was questionable with a knee injury most of the week but came up big last week.He made two amazing catches on the sideline and was able to keep his toes inbounds on both of them.Let's see if he can follow up on one of his best games of the year.

3.Dallas Defense (All): The Cowboy defense should be primed for a big game.The Lions will most likely be starting a 2nd string quarterback and a 3rd string running back.I can see big plays being made by the front 7.

Coming Up

The Cowboys (5-4) will be on the road taking on the Detroit Lions (3-5) in the Motor City at Ford Field. Kickoff is set for 12:00 pm Central Time. The Cowboys are in dire need of a win to try and stay ahead of their division rivals. They should be able to control the game with Zeke and come away with an easy victory.

If you have any fantasy players, the only must start players are:

Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott (RB), Amari Cooper (WR), Dak Prescott (QB), Michael Gallup (WR)

Lions: Kenny Golladay (WR), Marvin Jones, Jr. (WR)

For you gamblers out there, the Cowboys are currently -3 and the over/under is 51. I think the Cowboys are the right side in the game at 3 or less. If you want to bet the total, I would lean under because I don't think Detroit can score enough to help hit the over even though the over hit again last week.

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