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NFL scores, more wild-card playoffs: 32 things we learned

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The 32 things we learned from “Super Wild Card Weekend” of the 2022 NFL season:

1. The common margin of victory in a game in the course of the 2022 regular season was 9.7 points, the league’s lowest in 90 years. But things were even tighter on the outset of the playoffs, the primary five games decided by a mean of seven.2 points.

1a. Throw out the San Francisco 49ers’ 41-23 runaway from the Seattle Seahawks within the weekend’s opener, an 18-point gap, and the subsequent 4 games were decided by a complete of 18 points (4.5-point average).

2. Seven of the teams that were in motion on Saturday and Sunday – the Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Latest York Giants and Seattle – didn’t qualify for postseason last 12 months. Of that group, only the Jags and G-Men advanced.

3. This was the primary time in 23 years that every one three Florida NFL teams – Jaguars, Fins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers – all made it to the Super Bowl tournament.

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4. How quickly can a playoff game’s script flip? So long as it takes to force a fumble on the goal line of a 17-17 contest and for a 6-5, 265-pound defensive end to return it 98 yards the opposite way for the go-ahead TD. Salute to the Cincinnati Bengals’ Sam Hubbard, who now owns the longest fumble recovery return in NFL playoff history and longest TD in Cincy’s postseason log.

5. As within the variety of head coaches who reached these playoffs of their first season with their current team: Tampa Bay’s Todd Bowles, the Giants’ Brian Daboll, Miami’s Mike McDaniel, Minnesota’s Kevin O’Connell and Jacksonville’s Doug Pederson.

5a. It establishes a recent high-water mark, besting the 4 coaches who debuted with postseason crews in 1997.

5b. Daboll and O’Connell became the primary rookie HCs to square off since 2009.

5c. McDaniel can be a first-time NFL head coach. The one other times the playoffs featured three of them were 1992 and 2008.

5d. The quintet’s record going into Bowles’ game Monday night is 2-2.

6. … As within the variety of matchups, i.e. all of them, on wild-card weekend that were rematches from the regular season, essentially the most in any playoff round in league history.

6a. It was also the fifth time for the reason that 1970 AFL-NFL merger that every one the opening-round postseason games were replays from the regular season.

6b. Of the rematches, only two (Niners-Seahawks and Jaguars-Chargers) were season sweeps going into Monday.

7. As within the variety of quarterbacks who made their playoff debuts in the course of the wild-card round: the Chargers’ Justin Herbert, Baltimore’s Tyler Huntley, the Giants’ Daniel Jones, Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence, San Francisco’s  Brock Purdy, Seattle’s Geno Smith and Miami’s Skylar Thompson.

7a. The one other time that many QBs made their maiden postseason voyage together was 1999.

7b. Purdy and Thompson were the primary rookies drafted within the seventh round to start out in postseason.

7c. It was the primary time in a decade when multiple rookie passers began in the identical playoff round. Within the opening weekend of the 2012 postseason, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson were all of their first season.

7d. The newbies went 3-4.

7e. Purdy became the primary rookie to notch a playoff victory since Wilson.

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8. Sunday’s 31-24 loss to the Giants dropped Vikings QB Kirk Cousins’ playoff record to … 1-4. The stat line (31-for-39 for 273 yards and a couple of TDs) looked good – however the 3-yard checkdown to TE T.J. Hockenson on the Vikes’ final play, which was run on fourth-and-8, needed to be infuriating in the event you’re a Minnesota fan … or player.

9. Meanwhile, Jones looked every bit the player poised to money a hefty signing bonus following the season. A pending free agent after the Giants declined his fifth-year option, he passed for 301 yards and a pair of scores and ran for 78 more because the centerpiece of an offense that repeatedly gashed the Vikings despite a relative lack of playmakers other than Jones and RB Saquon Barkley (109 total yards, 2 TDs). But given what this duo has proven in 2022, gonna be hard for GM Joe Schoen to maneuver on from either.

9a. And Jones’ performance also led the Giants’ social media team to have some fun at Cousins’ expense.

10. Did the 49ers’ 10-game win streak entering the playoffs was the longest regular season-ending heater for the reason that NFC was formed in 1970?

10a. The Niners were one in all five teams – Bengals (8), Bills (7), Chiefs (5) and Jaguars (5) – to start the postseason riding a win streak of at the very least five games, essentially the most in league history.

10b. All five of those streaks remain intact heading into divisional weekend, when at the very least two might be snapped given Buffalo will host Cincinnati, and the Jags will head to Kansas City.

11. Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen definitely didn’t submit his biggest playoff performance in Sunday’s 34-31 escape from the Dolphins, but – despite three turnovers – he did join Matt Ryan because the only players with at the very least 300 passing yards and three TD passes in three straight postseason games.

12. In 12 games, including Saturday’s win, this season with San Francisco, RB Christian McCaffrey has 1,346 yards and 11 TDs from scrimmage.

13. In case you thought the Buffalo-Miami game took without end, despite the fact that it didn’t require extra time … yep. Three hours and 53 minutes – but them’s the breaks when teams mix for 141 plays, 31 drives, nine penalties … and 43 incompletions.

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14. San Francisco’s sweep of Seattle was the primary time the 49ers had beaten the identical opponent thrice in a single season. Their failure to realize that against the Los Angeles Rams last 12 months cost them a berth in Super Bowl 56.

15. Philadelphia will go for its first-ever three-game sweep of the Giants in next weekend’s divisional around. The bitter NFC East rivals have split 4 previous playoff meetings, Big Blue sweeping the Eagles in 2000.

16. For anyone comparing the 2020 draft class’ quarterbacks to 1983, let’s pump the brakes a touch. Herbert’s Bolts couldn’t hold a 27-0 lead, Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa (concussion) couldn’t post, and the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts (throwing shoulder) should not be the player we saw for the primary three months of the regular season

17. But that Joe Burrow sure is good, even when he’s getting pummeled while operating behind three backup O-linemen. Joey Brrrr’s playoff record is now an anti-Cousins 4-1.

18. As within the variety of seasons and not using a repeat Super Bowl champion. The longest streak in league history was prolonged weeks ago when the Rams, whose 12 losses were essentially the most ever by a defending Super Bowl champion, were officially cooked.

18a. The 2003 and ’04 Latest England Patriots remain essentially the most recent back-to-back champions.

19. The Jags became the primary team ever to win a playoff game the season after they owned the NFL’s worst record. Their 2021 edition, mostly coached by Urban Meyer, finished 3-14.

20. The Bosa brothers appear to be ships passing within the night.

20a. Niners DE Nick Bosa is 5-2 all-time in playoff games. He was 1-1 in bowl games at Ohio State.

20b. Chargers OLB Joey Bosa is 1-2 all-time in playoff games. He was 3-1 in postseason games at Ohio State and a part of the Buckeyes’ 2014 national champions.

21. The Dolphins’ Mike Gesicki became the primary (and only) tight end to catch a touchdown pass on the Bills this season.

22. Shoutout to Dean Marlowe, the Bills’ third-string safety after injured Micah Hyde and Damar Hamlin. It will be easy to think about Marlowe as a weak link in Buffalo’s defense, but he made 4 tackles and picked off a pass Sunday.

23. As for Hamlin, though he visited his teammates Saturday, he wasn’t ready to seem at Buffalo’s Highmark Stadium on Sunday and cheered on the Bills while continuing his recovery from home.

24. Were Melissa Stark’s questions really that invasive, Harbs? 

25. The Ravens were the primary team in 13 years to open the playoffs on the road in the identical venue (Cincinnati’s Paycor Stadium) where they ended the regular season.

26. After all, “Super Wild Card Weekend” is not over, for the second 12 months rolling into Monday, when the Bucs will host the Dallas Cowboys.

27. Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady seeks to run his profession record against Dallas to 8-0.

28. The Cowboys have lost eight consecutive playoff road games, their last victory occurring within the 1992 NFC title game at San Francisco’s old Candlestick Park.

29. Dallas’ Dak Prescott is the fifth quarterback since postseason expanded to 12 teams in 1990 to start postseason with at the very least one interception in seven consecutive games. His 4 predecessors were all one and done.

30. The Buccaneers-Cowboys winner will head to Northern California to face the 49ers, who – other than their scalding streak – are also 3-0 in playoff games at Levi’s Stadium.

31. With the one game left, six teams have scored at the very least 30 points this weekend, tied for essentially the most in any playoff round in the course of the Super Bowl era (since 1966).

32. One last little bit of “Super Wild Card” context? Teams playing on wild-card weekend have won the Super Bowl 11 times, seven of those clubs true wild cards. A 12 months ago, each the Bengals and Rams advanced from the wild-card round to Super Bowl 56. The season prior, the Buccaneers took the wild-card path – three road playoff wins – to victory in Super Bowl 55.

***

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

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