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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Rockets get another much-needed win. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets went on a redemption tour by beating the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. But the most pivotal win was against the Mavericks as the Rockets finally showed their true potential. John Wall finally made his return from his injury hiatus and played with a lot of energy. DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon combined for 61 points. It was great to see Stephan Silas crack a smile as he was able to beat his former team.

The Rockets clearly missed Wall during his eight-game absense. This season, the Rockets are a .500 team with Wall on the court. Wall is the Rockets' floor general that leads, constructs, and also pushes his teammates to become better.

Wall only played 21 minutes in the 133-108 win over the Mavericks but still had eight assists. Even though Wall only had 7 points, his presence was still felt by finding his teammates for open looks beyond the perimeter. Wall made sure Cousins and Gordon got a plethora of touches. He called multiple actions, so they got open looks from three, which was mainly Gordon. Gordon and Cousins' struggles have been similar but with Wall on the court, they were successful against the Mavericks. According to NBA Stats, Wall posted a 111 offensive rating with the starters versus the Mavericks, which included Gordon and Cousins.

"He's the engine to this team. He gets everybody going. He makes the game easy," Cousins told a reporter after the game. "The pressure that he constantly puts on the defense is a tough thing to deal with."

Gordon has struggled all season long with three-point shooting and relied on his slashing abilities. Saturday night, Gordon made six three pointers against the Mavericks, which was 66 percent from beyond the perimeter. Gordon increased his three-point percentage from 31 percent to 34.5 percent after Saturday night's game. Gordon's 33 points came from being able to attack the entire Mavericks' defense. Willy Cauley-Stein didn't stand a chance against Gordon as he was burned multiple times. Gordon's been a lifesaver for the Rockets in the last two games, and hopefully he maintains his play.

Cousins played fantastic against the Mavericks scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. This is Cousins' first double-double with the Rockets this season. Cousins became the vintage player from the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. It was extremely fun watching Cousins push the ball up the court and aggressively snatch rebounds. Boogie shot 50 percent from behind the arc by making four three-pointers. He was dominant inside the paint as Cousins went 7/8 from the restricted area versus the Mavericks. This was the game Cousins needed after having a poor performance against the Pistons Friday night.

"It was really, really good. He did it all. He's a physical presence on both ends of the floor," as Silas said on Cousins' performance.

David Nwaba and Mason Jones were big factors off the Rockets' bench by having a combined total of 34 points together. Nwaba has been great in transition for the Rockets the entire season. Keep in mind that Nwaba is returning from an Achilles injury he suffered with his former team, the Brooklyn Nets. Nwaba has became a great defender, slasher, and is averaging a career-high nine points per game with the Rockets. He finished with 18 points on Saturday night versus the Mavericks.

Mason Jones has become a fan favorite of the Rockets because of his confidence. Silas is loving the usage of Jones off the bench but wants to find more minutes for him. Jones had a breakout performance versus the San Antonio Spurs with 24 points off 66 percent shooting from the field. He continues to get better with his reads from the point guard position. Jones' knowledge of running the offense has helped his efficiency on the court. He is never afraid to take clutch shots in pivotal moments of the game.

"To have a young kid who can come in and not be afraid of the moment, that's big. That's a tough position to be in as an undrafted rookie. I trust him. It's a good problem to have," Silas mentioned after the game. "He's showing me he's ready. He's a confident kid, and he should be. That's why he's good. He's not afraid of the moment, at all. He can get us organized, run plays, and score the basketball."

Hopefully, the Rockets can sustain their level of play when Victor Oladipo returns against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday. It will be interesting to watch Oladipo and Wall play in the same backcourt.

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