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!

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Houston has lost seven of eight

Mariners ride big fifth inning to series win over Astros

Jake Odorizzi earned his second loss as an Astro Sunday. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

With the losing streak behind them by taking the middle game on Saturday night, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park on Sunday afternoon to try and make it back-to-back victories to take the series. Instead, they'd suffer their seventh loss in the last eight games.

Final Score: Mariners 7, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 7-8, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ljay Newsome (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-2)

Odorizzi locks in through four while Houston grabs a lead

Jake Odorizzi did not start his afternoon the way he needed to in order to have a good rebound outing compared to his first start. In the 37-pitch first inning, he issued two walks and an RBI-single, putting the Mariners at a significant advantage early. Odorizzi flipped the switch, though, finding a rhythm to retire the next ten batters after that RBI-single to get through four innings with just one run allowed.

Offensively for Houston, they quickly responded to Seattle's run in the first with one of their own in the top of the second, capitalizing on some shoddy defense by Seattle to get Carlos Correa to second to set up an RBI ground-rule double by Aledmys Diaz, tying things up 1-1. It stayed that way until the top of the fifth when a leadoff walk by Chas McCormick would turn into a run after a stolen base and two sacrifice flys to give Houston a 2-1 lead.

Mariners explode for four in the fifth

The lead was short-lived, as Seattle would explode in the bottom of the fifth, getting a leadoff single and one-out walk to set up a two-RBI triple by Mitch Haniger to go ahead 3-2. That would prompt Dusty Baker out of the dugout to end Odorizzi's day and move on to Brooks Raley. Raley would not fare any better, giving up a two-run homer to Ty France to extend Seattle's new lead to 5-2. He would finish the inning, putting Odorizzi's line final: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 89 P.

Seattle takes the series

Seattle would strike again in the bottom of the seventh against Joe Smith. After a leadoff walk, the Mariners would get back-to-back one-out RBI-doubles to extend their lead to 7-2. After Smith in the seventh, Peter Solomon would make his major-league debut in the bottom of the eighth and work around a one-out walk for a scoreless inning. Houston would then come up empty in the top of the ninth, dropping the finale and the series to Seattle.

Up Next: The Astros will travel to Denver tonight and get an off day tomorrow. Tuesday night, they'll start a quick two-game set with the Rockies at 7:40 PM Central. Houston currently has Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 5.27 ERA) penciled in as their starter, but with ongoing illness, he has not yet been fully confirmed. For the Rockies, Jon Gray (1-1, 2.87 ERA) is expected to start.

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