Top-ranked Cowboys fall as the final four get ready to face-off this Sunday
This past weekend, eight teams entered the divisional round of the NFL playoffs looking to clinch a spot in the conference championships. The Packers took down the Cowboys 34-31 with an intense fight in the fourth quarter. The Cow- boys put the first points on the board with a 50-yard field goal from Dan Bailey, but Aaron Rodgers found Richard Rodgers for a 34-yard touchdown to put the Packers ahead. The Cowboys next points came from a 40-yard pass perfectly placed from Dak Prescott into the hands of Dez Bryant. This came in the second quarter after the Packers had already scored a pair of touch- downs earlier in the quarter. Both touchdowns were scored by running back Ty Montgomery. At halftime the score was 21-13 with the Packers ahead.
Midway through the third quarter, Rodgers threw an interception giving the Cowboys a chance to score a touchdown only after the Packers had thrown another touchdown be- forehand. The Cowboys took the chance to tie up the score when Prescott made a pass to tight end Jason Witten to bring the score to 28-20.
Then Bryant scored his second touchdown of the night with Prescott running in a two-point conversion. The Cowboys man- aged to tie the Packers with 4:08 to go in the fourth quarter and a close battle ensued. Packers scored a 56-yard field goal and Bailey of the Cowboys tied it up with a 52-yard field goal shortly after. However, the 35 seconds remaining on the clock after the field goal was just enough time for the Packers to get in range for Crosby to nail in a 51-yard field goal to win the game and compete for the NFC’s conference championships against the Falcons who took down the Seahawks 36-20.
The Falcons quarterback, Matt Ryan, had a big game throwing 338 yards and three touchdowns to help send the Falcons to their fourth NFC championship game.
The AFC Divisional Round
In the other division, the Patriots beat out the Texans 34-16 and the Steelers beat out the Chiefs in a close 18-16 game. The Steelers were able to squeak out a victory only by help from the special teams. Six field goals by kicker Chris Boswell allowed the Steelers to beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night. Boswell is now 14 for 14 in the postseason – setting an NFL record. Running back Le’Veon Bell gave the Chief’s defense a hard time with 170 rushing yards. The Chiefs put up a fight despite being down by eight in the fourth with a touchdown by Spencer Ware. However, a holding call against the offense resulted in a second attempt at the two-point conversion, and ended in the Chiefs postseason run to come to an end.
On the other side of the bracket, Tom Brady led the team with 287 passing yards and two touchdowns. However, Brady was hard hit by Houston’s No. 1 ranked defense.
On Jan. 22, these four teams will be competing for a chance at the Superbowl. In the AFC, the favored Patriots (14-2-0) will take on the Steelers (11-5-0) at 3:05 pm ET. Over in the NFC the Packers (10-6-0) and the Falcons (11-5-0) kickoff at 6:40 pm ET. With arguably three of the best quarterbacks of the regular sea- son, Brady, Rodgers and Ryan, plus Roethlisberger, who is coming off a torn meniscus this season, conference championship watchers can look forward to seeing some top-rated quarterback play.