To say that this NFL Wild Card Weekend was a wild one would be an understatement.
The Chiefs defeated the Texans decisively 30-0, and got the playoffs started in fitting fashion by returning the opening kickoff 106 yards, and the Packers started getting their potent offense on the same page by outlasting Washington 35-18. But it was the other two games that really had social media ablaze.
The Cincinnati Bengals were about to stun the Steelers after scoring 16 straight points in the fourth quarter to erase a 15-0 deficit. But a strange series of events would lead to their heartbreaking playoff demise. After an interception gave the Bengals the ball back under two minutes, running back Jeremy Hill fumbled the ball on the next play. The Steelers recovered and then injured QB Ben Roethlisberger goes back into the game (clearly unable to throw the ball too far) and converts a key fourth down completion to his WR Antonio Brown. A couple plays later, the Bengals give the Steelers free yardage on back-to-back personal foul calls! Having exhausted their timeouts, Pittsburgh kicks the field goal immediately and goes onto win 18-16. Needless to say, Twitter was vocal about the Bengals turn of events, including their lack of composure in committing the fouls.
View the entire graph of the game here. Check between 11:35 p.m. (when Hill fumbles) and 11:53 p.m. (when Boswell makes the kick) for even more great reactions.
Meanwhile, the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings also came down to a kick. Unfortunately for the Vikings, it was a kick that they would like to forget. Blair Walsh missed the potential 27-yard, go-ahead field goal wide left, giving the Seahawks a 10-9 victory! The Seahawks looked like they had given the game away to the Vikings after allowing two big plays after being flagged for pass interference on a pass to get the Vikings into Seahawk territory. But even though they got inside the red zone, it was not to be, as Walsh shanked the kick in frigid temperatures. Amidst the overused and terrible memes, Twitter had some great responses to this miss.
You can view the entire graphs for this game here. Check around just after 4:00 for the reactions before and after Walsh’s kick.
Here’s hoping that the playoffs provide us with more exciting action in the next couple of weeks!