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Thrilling NFL weekend outlined by curious selections

By Arnie Stapleton

The Related Press

Curious selections outlined the NFL’s wacky wild-card weekend, and none extra so than Tyler Huntley going excessive when he ought to have gone low.

Lamar Jackson’s fill-in had the Ravens in place for the go-ahead rating early within the fourth quarter at Cincinnati however with a number of teammates behind him to assist him burrow by way of the road on a quarterback sneak, Huntley prolonged the ball towards the purpose line excessive on third-and-goal from the 1.

Logan Wilson knocked the ball out of Huntley’s arms and on to defensive finish Sam Hubbard, who acquired sufficient of a head begin to beat the chasing tight finish Mark Andrews to the top zone for a 98-yard landing that was the pivotal play within the Bengals ‘ 24-17 win.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh stated the play was designed for Huntley to go low, however the quarterback had a distinct thought.

“Simply thought I might go excessive,” Huntley stated. “I believed I cleared the road.”

Not fairly.

In Buffalo, all Miami’s rookie head coach Mike McDaniel needed to do was name a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-a-foot at midfield with 2 1/2 minutes left and the Dolphins driving for the game-tying area purpose.

There was confusion, he did not get the decision in on time and a delay of sport flag pushed the Dolphins again 5 yards. They did not covert and the Payments chewed up the remainder of the clock to eke out the closer-than-expected 34-31 win.

One sport turned on a mishandled sneak, one other on a shunned sneak.

Different selections backfired throughout wild-card weekend, some extra pricey than others.

• Star go rusher Joey Bosa misplaced his cool in crunch time within the Los Angeles Chargers’ 31-30 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

• Kirk Cousins ​​did not throw the ball previous the sticks with the Vikings’ season on the road in Minnesota’s 31-24 loss to the New York Giants

• Johnathan Abram’s soiled play cratered the Seattle Seahawks of their 41-23 loss at San Francisco.

• And the Cowboys saved going for the additional level, which was the one factor not working for them of their 31-14 blowout of Tom Brady and the Buccaneers on Jan. 16 as Brett Maher grew to become the primary kicker in NFL historical past to overlook 4 further factors in a single sport.

Security’s slip-up

The stunning Seahawks got here out of halftime with a 17-16 lead at San Francisco following a present area purpose drive within the closing 13 seconds due to a private foul on Jimmie Ward.

Abram grabbed and twisted Deebo Samuel’s beforehand injured left ankle after tackling him on a 21-yard acquire on the 49ers’ opening drive of the second half.

“I do not know what he was attempting to realize by doing that, however it wasn’t good,” Niners linebacker Fred Warner stated.

The fired up 49ers responded to the soiled play by scoring the subsequent 25 factors to cruise to a 41-23 win.

Chargers charging

The Chargers blew a 27-0 lead at Jacksonville by permitting Trevor Lawrence to sluggish for a four-interception first half with a four-touchdown second half, and he acquired an enormous help from Bosa, who threw his helmet after arguing that two flags ought to have been thrown on Lawrence’s final TD go.

That resulted in his second unsportsmanlike penalty and it moved what turned out to be the decisive 2-point conversion from the two to the 1. Lawrence reached throughout the purpose line to tug Jacksonville to 30-28.

Jaguars coach Doug Pederson stated he most likely would have referred to as for the additional level had it not been for Bosa’s penalty.

After the Chargers went three-and-out, Lawrence drove the Jaguars to the profitable area purpose as time expired, finishing the third-biggest comeback in playoff historical past.

Cousins’ checkdown

Minnesota’s protection could not cease playoff beginner Daniel Jones, who handed for 301 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 78 yards to steer the Giants’ all of the sudden productive offense. However it was Cousins’ one gaffe that will likely be lengthy lamented in Minneapolis.

Down seven within the two-minute mode, Cousins ​​took the snap on fourth-and-8 and dumped the ball to tight finish TJ Hockenson, who was smothered after a 3-yard reception, turning the ball over on downs with 1:44 to go and no timeouts left.

Cousins ​​stated he felt he was about to get sacked and needed to do away with the ball.

The Vikings, the uncommon 13-win crew that had a damaging level differential through the season, had gone an NFL-best 11-0 in one-score video games.

Make that 11-1.

kicking himself

So thorough was the Cowboys’ beatdown of the Bucs it hardly mattered that kicker Maher missed his first 4 further factors, changing into the primary participant in NFL historical past to overlook that many in a sport.

Maher, who solely missed three of 53 PATs through the common season, lastly transformed on his fifth try after coach Mike McCarthy determined in opposition to sending him out to strive a area purpose from roughly the identical distance as a PAT.

Dak Prescott hit CeeDee Lamb for the landing from 18 yards out on fourth-and-4 and Maher trotted out and nailed the additional level.

After one in all his misses, an offended Prescott was seen on the sideline yelling about simply going for two.

Aside from Maher’s confounding kicks, the Cowboys dominated the Bucs in what might change into Brady’s final sport in a Tampa Bay uniform.

Dallas beat Brady for the primary time within the seven-time Tremendous Bowl champion’s profession and gained within the postseason on the highway for the primary time in 30 years to earn a visit to San Francisco to face the 49ers within the NFC divisional spherical subsequent Sunday.

The Cowboys had dropped eight straight playoff video games on the highway since profitable the NFC championship sport in San Francisco on Jan. 17, 1993.

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