The NFL’s Super Wild Card weekend continued Sunday with three exciting games coming to a close. The Cincinnati Bengals finished the day with a 24-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens to advance to the divisional round.
It wasn’t the Bengals’ strong offense that won them the game. Rather, it was his defense that scored the game-winning touchdown. The Ravens were close to taking the lead with the game tied 17-17 early in the fourth quarter, but when Tyler Huntley tried to extend the ball into the end zone on a QB sneak, Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson kick the ball out. his hand and defensive end Sam Hubbard finished with the ball before running 98 yards for a touchdown.
The Ravens had one last chance to score a touchdown that could have sent the game into overtime. With eight seconds left, Huntley threw a Hail Mary into the end zone that deflected off the hand of a Ravens receiver before falling incomplete as time expired.
Before, Josh Allen and the AFC East champion Buffalo Bills narrowly escaped the rookie third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson and the seventh-seeded Miami Dolphins, 34-31, to advance to their third straight divisional round appearance.
In the rest, the sixth seed New York Giants upset the NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings31-24, to advance to the divisional round for the first time since the 2011 playoffs, when Big Blue won it all in Super Bowl XLVI.
Here are the best plays of Sunday!
Cincinnati Bengals 24, Baltimore Ravens 17
The B’s move the chains
Joe Burrow found Tyler Boyd for a big third-down conversion on the Bengals’ first drive before they settled for three to take a 3-0 lead.
Catch the ball for the loss
Akeem Davis-Gaither recovered the ball for the Bengals on the Ravens’ kickoff, intercepting Tyler Huntley on a pass over the middle to get the ball at midfield.
Justin Houston and the Ravens’ pass rush put the pressure on Burrow early, recording a first-down sack on Cincinnati’s opening drive.
Chasing the end zone
Burrow found Ja’Marr Chase up the middle for a 7-yard score as the star receiver ran the extra couple of yards into the end zone to give the Bengals a 9-0 lead.
JK all day, all end zone
JK Dobbins made the reception out of the backfield on third and goal and stretched to break the plane for six. His score in the second quarter made it 9-7 Bengals.
Hamilton lets her go
Not only did Kyle Hamilton make the third-down tackle well short of the posts, he also knocked the ball out of Hayden Hurst’s arm, giving the Ravens an earlier play with much better field position.
As designed, right?
Huntley took the bad hit, which went over his head and a few yards behind him, and raced to the sideline before throwing a pass to Josh Oliver, who ran for the first down down and an 18-yard gain.
After Hurst’s initial touchdown reception was ruled short, Burrow took care of business with a QB sneak to give the Bengals the lead back.
Burrow went to Tee Higgins on the Bengals’ first 2-point attempt, and even though the pass fell incomplete, they got another chance because Higgins was interfered with. So Burrow returned to Higgins again after the receiver got open during his scramble to give the Bengals a 17-10 lead with just over five minutes left in the third quarter.
Huntley hits a home run
The Ravens QB found Demarcus Robinson wide open and hit him for a 41-yard score to tie the game in the final minutes of the third quarter.
About the money to Mark
Mark Andrews made the big reception on third down to help get the Ravens into Bengals territory as they look to take a fourth quarter lead.
Hunting the end zone
Huntley used his legs to get the Ravens 35 yards and move them to the Bengals’ 2-yard line.
Oh no, Huntley
The Ravens QB tried to reach the ball over the plane on the sneak, but Bengals LB Logan Wilson knocked the ball out of his hand and DE Sam Hubbard caught it. Hubbard ran 98 yards for the score to flip the script and give the Bengals a 24-17 lead in the quarter, getting help from his teammates on the return.
Huntley’s Hail Mary prayer is almost answered, but falls short
On fourth-and-20 with eight seconds left, Huntley had no choice but to throw the ball into the end zone as the Ravens were at the Bengals’ 27-yard line. His prayer was almost answered when James Proche got his hands on the ball after an initial deflection by a Bengals defensive back, but Proche couldn’t throw the pass as time ran out in Baltimore and his season.
New York Giants 31, Minnesota Vikings 24
The Vikings capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive with a Kirk Cousins rush to put the home team up 7-0.
The Giants responded with a 28-yard touchdown run on their first possession, courtesy of Saquon Barkley.
NY in charge
After the Vikings went three-and-out on their next drive, the Giants took their first lead on the next possession.
First, Daniel Jones connected with Darius Slayton on a dazzling 47-yard gain, then hit Isaiah Hodgins for a 14-yard touchdown to give New York a 14-7 lead.
The Giants added a field goal late in the second half to make it a 10-point game.
KJ Osborn then caught a 9-yard pass from Cousins to cut the deficit to 17-14 before halftime.
The Giants extended their lead, 24-14, on tight end Daniel Bellinger’s 9-yard score early in the third quarter.
neck and neck
The Vikings responded with a wild field goal by tight end Irv Smith Jr. on their first play of the second half. So it was a three-point game again, 24-21, midway through the third quarter.
Minnesota then added a field goal in the top of the fourth quarter to tie things at 24 apiece.
The Giants issued a statement about his subsequent drive. First, Hodgins invented a 19-yard pickup to move the posts. Then Jones & Co. picked up another set of downs after a successful fourth down conversion, and Barkley punted. 2 yard score to give NY the final lead, 31-24, which it held until the end.
Buffalo Bills 34, Miami Dolphins 31
The Bills’ opening drive didn’t go as planned. Allen took a look at a short scramble, but the ball went out of bounds in the process. The Bills ended the possession by turning it over on downs at the Miami 32-yard line.
After the Dolphins went three-and-out on their first drive, the Bills quickly got the ball back and redeemed themselves on their next possession. Allen connected with Dawson Knox for a wild one-handed score to put Buffalo ahead early, 7-0.
On the Dolphins’ next drive, Bills safety Dean Marlowe picked off Thompson just outside the Miami red zone.
Strong ground game
The Bills capitalized on the turnover in a big way, moving down with ease before rookie running back James Cook ran for a 12-yard score to extend Buffalo’s lead to 14-0 late in the first quarter.
Allen hit Gabe Davis up the middle for a 19-yard pickup that was originally ruled an incomplete pass. buffalo contested the sentenceand the play was reversed, putting the Bills near midfield heading into the second quarter.
The two teams traded field goals to make it a 17-3 game midway through the second frame. The chaos ensued after Allen’s pass to John Brown was picked off near the Miami goal line by Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard and returned to midfield.
The two teams had a fight after the play, compensating for unnecessary roughness penalties. The fumble resulted in a field goal for Miami, which narrowed the gap slightly, 17-6, late in the second quarter.
Closing the gap
The Dolphins ended the first half with a bang as Cedrick Wilson Jr. returned the punt 50 yards to the Buffalo 27-yard line. The game ended with another field goal as Miami made it an eight-point game, 17-9.
The Bills were in trouble right before halftime. Allen’s pass to Cole Beasley bounced off the receiver’s hands and into the arms of Dolphins safety Jevon Holland, who returned it 29 yards to the Buffalo 18-yard line with less than a minute left in the the first part
Miami ended the game tying the game at 17 points a piece after a touchdown by tight end Mike Gesicki and a successful two-point conversion by Tyreek Hill.
Call of nature!
Miami’s tie lasted less than a minute, as Buffalo snuck in a field goal just before halftime. But after going three-and-out to open the second half, the Dolphins stripped Allen of the ball and went ahead, too. What an unlikely turn of events.
From here to there
Buffalo regained the lead late, 27-24, in the third quarter after a costly Miami interception.
Foot dragging swag
The Bills extended their lead to 34-24 heading into the fourth quarter, thanks to an impressive 23-yard touchdown reception by Davis.
Don’t turn that dial
After a sleepy quarter by the Miami offense, Mike McDaniel scored some tricks to get his team back into the end zone. A Jaylen Waddle fumble set up a short Jeff Wilson Jr. touchdown run.
Eyes on the prize
Bills wide receiver Khalil Shakir came down with a monster 31-yard catch midway through the fourth quarter to pull Buffalo up the middle of the field.
The Bills ended up punting the ball after that Allen took a huge sack on third down, but the Dolphins came up short on their next possession, turning the ball over on downs. Things ended there, 34-31.
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