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NFL News and Notes for January 24

What. A. Weekend! Anyone that loves football has to appreciate the drama that the NFL Divisional Round matchups provided this weekend. There were upsets, come-from-behind wins, and all four games made for must-watch television.

With so much excitement from the weekend, let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories in the NFL world.

Both #1’s Eliminated

On Saturday, both of the top seeds in this year’s NFL postseason fell on their home fields.

For the Titans, they allowed the No. 4 Bengals to come in and win 19-16. In the win, Joe Burrow threw for 348 yards and an interception, but he didn’t manage a touchdown. The only touchdown for the Bengals was scored by Joe Mixon, who also had 54 yards rushing.

In the loss, Ryan Tannehill couldn’t overcome three costly interceptions. Derrick Henry returned to rush 20 times for 62 yards and a score.

In the evening matchup, the then-Super bowl favorite Green Bay Packers could not figure out the San Francisco 49ers. After scoring on their first drive, the Packers only managed one more field goal.

The 49ers didn’t score a single offensive touchdown, but they did get a huge blocked punt returned for a score. Aside from that, the game was left up to Robbie Gould, who hit on both field goal attempts, including the game-winner.

Immediately after the game, speculation already started in regards to Aaron Rodgers‘ future. While nothing will be known in the short term, there doesn’t seem to be any agreement as to whether he will stay, demand a trade, or even consider retirement.

Defending Champs Knocked Out

If losing both top seeds wasn’t enough, this weekend also saw the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers knocked out by the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams ultimately won the game 30 to 27.

Matthew Stafford threw for 366 yards and two touchdowns in the win. After being up 20-3 at halftime, the Rams almost blew it in large part due to an inability to take care of the football. Most costly were two fumbles by running back Cam Akers.

The Bucs made a run and even tied it late but couldn’t hold the lead. Tom Brady threw for 329 yards and a touchdown. Leonard Fournette rushed 13 times for 51 yards and two scores.

Like with Rodgers, there was immediate speculation on the future of Tom Brady. It appears that retirement is at least a possibility, although nothing has been determined at this point.

For the Rams, they will host the San Francisco 49ers next weekend in the NFC Championship. The 49ers won both of their matchups with the Rams during the regular season, but the Rams are early favorites to win next weekend at -180 on the moneyline.

Craziest Two Minutes Of Football

Twenty-five points in the last two minutes. That is what the end of the Bills and Chief’s crazy fourth quarter looked like.

After the Bills’ second touchdown in a minute and 41 seconds, it seemed as if the Chiefs season was over. With 13 seconds, though, Patrick Mahomes got his team into field goal range, and Harrison Butker knocked it through to send the game to overtime.

In overtime, Mahomes didn’t even allow Josh Allen to get the ball as the Chiefs’ offense marched down the field and ended the game with a touchdown pass to Travis Kelce.

In the end, Mahomes threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns. Josh Allen was almost perfect as well, throwing for 329 yards and four touchdowns.

Even in a loss, the player of the game might have been the Bills’ wide receiver Gabriel Davis. He set an NFL record with four receiving touchdowns as he is the only receiver to ever have that many in the postseason. Davis also had 201 receiving yards on eight receptions.

The Chiefs will host the Cincinnati Bengals next weekend at Arrowhead. The Chiefs are early favorites at -340 to win, while the Bengals’ moneyline sits at +275.

Chiefs’ Defense Suffers Massive Blow

Heading into next weekend’s game with the Bengals, the Chiefs have to figure out whether their defense will be at full strength or not. One major loss could be safety Tyrann Mathieu.

In the win over the Bills, Mathieu was hit by friendly fire as Jarran Reed accidentally hit Mathieu in the first half. Obviously, losing Mathieu would be a huge blow as they take on Joe Burrow and a dynamic Bengals’ passing game next week.

During the regular season, Mathieu had 76 tackles, three interceptions, a sack, and three fumbles recovered.

Giants Hire Their General Manager

As the coaching and general manager carousel is in full turn, one team has settled on a decision. This week, the New York Giants announced that Joe Schoen, a former assistant general manager with the Buffalo Bills, as their new general manager.

This season, the New York Giants finished 4-13, good for dead last in the NFC East. There is plenty of work to do on a roster that is full of holes and question marks.

Still, the Giants appear confident that Schoen can get the job done. His first task, of course, will be to hire a new head coach after the Giants dismissed previous head coach Joe Judge.

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