Its the NFL 2007/2008 Wildcard Playoffs. 4 matches were played over the weekend. Jackson Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks, Tennesse Titans at San Diego Chargers and New York Giants at Tampa Bay Bucanneers.
The Jaguars, seemed to be strolling to an easy win. They were leading 28-10 at the end of the third quarter. The momentum changed, however, in the fourth. Steelers rallied back, scoring 19 points to make it a 28-29 game for them. The Jaguars, despite the fourth quarter break down, manage to find enough resolve within them to pull through. The deciding play was a fourth and two play late in the fourth quarter. Their QB D.Garrard scrambled through the middle for a 32 yard gain to set up the winning field goal – four plays later.
Everything went the Jaguars way. On their first possesion, J.Drew, their RB, returned the kickoff 96yards to the Steeler’s 1 yard line. The defense line contained the Steelers running game to a mere 43 rushing yards. They intercepted Roethlisberger three times and sacked him six time through out the game. Such was their domination of the game in the first three quarters. That all broke down in the fourth.
The win puts them up against the perfect New England team in the next playoff round, next week. Will they be the team to finally defeat the Patriots?
The Redskins at Seattle is another intriguing fixture. The Seahawks, was in control of the game and was leading 0-13 by the end of the third quarter. Washington, however made a comeback rally and went up ahead to lead with a 14-13 scoreline, early in the fourth quarter. That is when the Seahawks started their resurgence to score successively. Scoring of a 78 yard interception return, minutes after scoring the go ahead TD with only 5 minutes left in the fourth.
Next up for the Seahawks – Green Bay Packers.
The Tennessee Titans was at San Diego. Now, here is another tale of two halves match. The Titans had total control of the game in the first half. They held the Chargers to only 3 yards rushing and three first downs. The domination however, resulted in only a field goal scored in each quarter of the halves. At the end of the half, the Titans were only leading by two field goals – 6-0.
The tide turned in the second half. It was the Charger’s turn to control the game. As if returning what they were given in the first half, the Chargers shutout the Titans in the second half. They however, managed to score 17 points while shutting down the Titans to 2 punts, a missed field goal and an interception.
The Chargers are scheduled to play at Indiana in the upcoming next round of the playoffs.
The New York Giants at Tampa Bay was a normal match if compared to the rest of the Wildcard Playoff matches. No one sided domination, no comeback nor resurgence of any one side. The Giants fell behind 0-7 in the first quarter only to turn on the tide in the second. They took control from then on and never looked back.
The Giants basically shutout the Bucs in the second and third quarter. They went up 24-7 in the middle of the fourth quarter before allowing the Bucs to score another TD to make it 24-14.
How will they fare against the Cowboys, their next match-up in the playoffs, next week? Will Eli Manning lead the Giants to victory?