Wildcard Weekend lived up to it's name

The good, bad and ugly from NFL Wildcard Weekend

Kiel Leggere, Philadelphia Eagles website

Wildcard weekend in the NFL always brings something extra. Whether it's both wildcard teams advancing in the AFC, or unexpected play, decisions, or injuries. Here's how I saw it play out:

The Good

-Eagles quarterback Nick Foles is going to get PAID! Foles has taken the backup role the past two seasons to new heights. Last year, he led the Eagles to a Super Bowl win after Carson Wentz got hurt. This season, he's taken over and done a great job again. He's managed to get them to a Divisional Round matchup against the Saints next weekend after they were left for dead. His performance against that Bears defense makes you believe he may be able to pull off the same magic he did last year.

-In the Sunday games, Chargers/Ravens and Eagles/Bears, there were no touchdowns scored in the first half. While some of you may consider this a bad thing, I happen to think the opposite. All four teams have good defenses. Sure there may have been missed opportunities by the offenses, but those good defenses contributed to that.

-The Cowboys had a 100-yard rusher (Ezekial Elliot) and receiver (Amari Cooper) in a playoff win for the first time since 1995 (Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin). 1995 was also the last year they won a Super Bowl. Is this a sign of things to come?

The Bad

-Eagles Corner Crevon LeBlanc stripped Bears receiver Anthony Miller of the ball. It was ruled an incompletion. Upon review, it was ruled a catch and fumble. However, because NOBODY recovered the ball, it was called incomplete and the Bears got the ball back at the previous spot, which led to a field goal before halftime.

-Ravens rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson had a bad game. He went 14/29 for 194 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He was also harassed constantly by the Chargers pass rush to the tune of seven sacks that lost 55 yards. A bad game for sure, but I fully expect to him do big things in the future.

-Eagles rookie corner Avonte Maddox was taken advantage of three times on huge plays, two of them on the Bears touchdown drive to take the lead in the fourth quarter. He bit badly on double moves like any young and overly-aggressive corner usually does. Luckily, it didn't cost them the game.

The Ugly

-Cowboys receiver Allen Hurns suffered a gruesome ankle injury in the first quarter. He had to be carted off the field and immediately went in for surgery to correct the injury. He could be seen gripping the hand of head coach Jason Garrett in the moments before being carted off. Shame bell for those of you posting videos of the injury.

-Seahawks kicker Sebastian Janikowski may have played his final football game after badly pulling his hamstring on a 57-yard field goal attempt just before halftime. The Seahawks didn't attempt a kick in the second half and failed miserably on an onside kick in the fourth quarter. It's sad considering this was the fifth playoff appearance in his 19-year career.

-Bears kicker Cody Parkey hit the uprights four times earlier this year in a single game. Kicking the potential game-winner against the Eagles, he hit the upright, then the crossbar, and the ball bounced outside the crossbar for a miss. What an awful way to lose a playoff game!

Wow! What a Wildcard Weekend! There were so many good performances and some bad ones too. Only one home team/favorite (Cowboys) won their games this weekend. The AFC had the five and six seeds win their games. Herm Edwards said it best. If you're a football fan and you didn't like this weekend's games, might want to check your pulse.

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Houston gets back in the win column

Astros end six-game skid thanks to a gem by Greinke

Zack Greinke tossed a gem Saturday night. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After the Mariners roared back Friday night to get a walk-off win over the Astros, dashing their hopes of ending their losing streak, Houston tried to even the series with a win on Saturday night with their ace Zack Greinke on the mound. Greinke would do his part, throwing a terrific game, and the Astros would squeak out one run, which was enough to get back in the win column.

Final Score: Astros 1, Mariners 0

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

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Chris Flexen (1-1)

Plenty of hits, but only one run

Although the Astros were racking up hits against Chris Flexen, they had little to show for it. Eight different batters would notch ten hits against him, but the only time it amounted to a run was on a two-out RBI-single by Taylor Jones in the top of the fourth, giving Houston a 1-0 lead.

Greinke spins a gem

Luckily for them, Zack Greinke was making it look like that would be enough. He cruised through the Mariners all night, allowing just four hits while giving up zero runs along with six strikeouts, one of which moved him past 2,700 on his career. He could have attempted to finish the complete-game shutout, but at 91 pitches after eight, Dusty Baker opted to bring in closer Ryan Pressly for the ninth. Greinke's final line: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 91 P.

Houston finally ends their losing streak

With the high-leverage save opportunity in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered to hold on to the one-run lead. He would do his job, finishing off the win for Greinke and putting an end to Houston's disappointing losing streak.

Up Next: The third and final game of this series will get underway at 3:10 PM Central on Sunday. Jake Odorizzi (0-1, 13.50 ERA) will look to make a rebound from his disappointing first start with the Astros, while the Mariners will start Nick Margevicius (0-1, 7.04 ERA).

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