The NFL Conference Finals 2021-22 say goodbye to old legends and start writing new stories. This will be the first edition since 2009 that will be played without the figures of Tom Brady The Aaron Rodgers, who were shaken in their respective ‘houses’ in a surprise and early farewell to Tampa Bay Buccaneers Y Green Bay Packers.
One of the biggest surprises in this weekend’s Divisional Rounds was the elimination of Brady and its Buccaneers at the hands of Los Angeles Rams by a score of 30-27 with a field goal in the last moments.
Although Brady had 329 yards and teammate Leonard Fournette had two touchdowns, the Buccaneers they were unable to widen their lead over the Rams to take advantage of their location; in fact, with seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, the recent NFL champion trailed 27-3.
Although they managed to tie, everything would be defined with a 30-yard field goal by Matt Gay, which gave the Rams their second Conference Final since returning to the city of Los Angeles in 2016 (the other occasion was in 2018, when they lost the Super Bowl). The rams will look to defeat the 49ers in the NFC final to earn a spot at Super Bowl and dispute it at home, just as the Buccaneers last year.
Another of the big eliminations this weekend was that of Aaron Rodgers with Green Bay Packers, who fell 13-10 to the San Francisco 49ers, in an anthology duel because the niners did not get a single touchdown on offense, but it was their special teams that did it a few minutes from the end.
Rodgers posted his fourth playoff loss to the 49ers, making him the only quarterback with that number of knockdowns against the same team (and without a win) since 1950. Green Bay He cut a streak of two consecutive Conference finals and was once again left with the desire for a Super Bowl, the one they have not played since their victory against the Steelers in 2010.
For the 49ers, the game was an odyssey. Beyond the frigid temperature of -13 degrees Celsius, the team led by Jimmy Garoppolo and company reached its fifth Conference final in the last decade, in which it has reached the Super Bowl on two occasions (2012 and 2019). The victory came in the closing moments, when despite trailing 3-10, their special teams blocked a punt and scored a touchdown; seconds later, kicker Robbie Gould gave San Francisco the win.
Kickers were essential in every game. Also for the Bengals in their 19-16 victory against the Titans, who could not maintain the tag of favorites after being the top seed in the American Conference.
Led by your quarterback, Joe Burrow, the Bengals got their first Conference Final in 33 years (their last precedent was in 1988) in a close game that was defined by an Evan McPherson kick. The kicker set a record for multiple games scoring four or more field goals in a single playoffs, despite playing only his first season in the NFL.
The elimination of the Titans and Packers in the Divisional Round, both as top seeds in their respective Conferences, is something that hasn’t happened since the 2010-11 season. Now the favorites tag falls on the Kansas City Chiefs, who posted a hearty win over Buffalo Bills in the last game of the series.
With 13 seconds left to go 36-33 for the Bills, Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill orchestrated an attack that led to a 49-yard field goal opportunity that Harrison Butker took full advantage of and sent it all into overtime. .
Previously, Josh AllenBills quarterback had generated a highly effective blitz with four touchdown passes and 329 yards, finding perfect partners in Gabriel Davis and his eight receptions, as well as Cole Beasley (6) and Steffon Diggs (3).
When it seemed that the NFL would have another of the young stars in the finals, like Burrow, in Josh Allen, the magic of Mahomes and his entourage of sprinters appeared, who achieved the fourth consecutive Conference Final for the Chiefs, who managed to turn the score around with a 42-36.
In this way, although the playoffs have been left without the extensive experience of Tom Brady (44 years old) and Aaron Rodgers (38), an old acquaintance from the most recent playoffs like Patrick Mahomes remains, despite only being 26 years old and the young face this time corresponds to Joe Burrow (25), who is wearing the Bengals to a dream season. Garoppolo (30 years old) and Matthew Stafford (33), Rams quarterback, are not so young anymore, but they are beginning to cement their prominence in the NFL.