The First week of the NFL playoffs is now complete, providing three extremely entertaining games and setting up some exciting match-ups for next weekend. A complete review of each game after the jump………
Green Bay Packers 21 Philadelphia Eagles 16
Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers finally got the playoff monkey off his back having finally won his first postseason game. Rodgers played solid, mistake-free football throwing for 180 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. However, the story of the game for the Packers on offense was rookie RB James Starks who ran for a career high 123 yards on just 23 carries. On the other side of the ball, the Green Bay defense did a fantastic job of keeping the elusive Michael Vick in check for most of the game. They were fast around the football and Linebackers Clay Matthews and AJ Hawk limited the space in which Vick could maneuver. We all waited for the Michael Vick Experience to take place and it almost happened in the fourth quarter. First, he ran for a one yard score with 4 minutes remaining to cut the lead to five. Then the Eagles defense held strong and gave themselves a chance with under two minutes to play. After driving down to the Green Bay 27 yard line with 30 seconds remaining, Vick threw an interception into the end-zone to end the game.
Passing: M. Vick (PHI) – 292 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: J. Starks (GB) – 23 CAR, 123 YDS
Receiving: J. Avant (PHI) – 7 REC, 93 YDS, 1 TD
Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons Saturday 1/15 8:00 PM ET on FOX
Baltimore Ravens 30 Kansas City Chiefs 7
Kansas City RB Jamaal Charles ran for a 41 yard score in the first quarter to give the Chiefs a 7-3 lead. This was the end of the excitement for the hometown crowd on Sunday. The Ravens took over with 27 unanswered points and rolled to a dominating victory. Baltimore’s defense looked as fierce as ever holding Matt Cassel and Kansas City’s potent passing game to 70 total yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions. The Chiefs as a team gained only 25 total yards in the second half. QB Joe Flacco had to prove himself to be a championship level player in his third season as the Ravens starter. He took great strides throwing for 265 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. The Ravens are now headed to play division rival Pittsburgh for the third time this season in what should be an all out war.
Passing: J. Flacco (BAL) – 265 YDS, 2 TD
Rushing: J. Charles (KC) – 9 CAR, 82 YDS, 1 TD
Receiving: T. Heap (BAL) – 10 REC, 108 YDS
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers Saturday 1/15 4:30 PM ET on NBC
New York Jets 17 Indianapolis Colts 16
Jets head coach Rex Ryan came into Indianapolis on Saturday night looking for revenge against Peyton Manning and the Colts. The teams met last year in the AFC Championship game and The Colts rode Manning’s strong second half to a 31-17 victory after trailing 17-3. The Jets re-tooled this off-season with this game in mind, picking up multiple new defensive backs and pass rushers to attack Manning. The Colts took a 7-0 lead into the half and the New York offense was stalling. They came out in the second half and leaned on the strength of their veteran offensive line and two standout running backs in Ladainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene. The Jets first two drives of the second half were 10 plays and 17 plays and each ended in a rushing touchdown by Tomlinson. Those two drives ate up 13 of the 15 minutes in the third quarter and most importantly kept Peyton and his mates on the bench. The Colts only touched the ball three times in the second half and scored only 9 points. Down by 2 with 53 seconds remaining, the Jets mustered up a final drive consisting of 5 plays after Antonio Cromartie returned the kickoff to the 46 yard line. QB Mark Sanchez hit Braylon Edwards for an 18 yard gain in the final seconds to set up Nick Folk for a 32 yard kick to win the game. Ryan and the rest of the Jets ran off the sideline, elated at finally slaying the dragon that is Peyton Manning. Now, its on to Foxboro for a third meeting with the hated Patriots. The same stadium where the Jets were defeated 45-3 just one month ago.
Passing: P. Manning (IND) – 225 YDS, 1 TD
Rushing: L. Tomlinson (NYJ) – 16 CAR, 82 YDS, 2 TD
Receiving: P. Garcon (IND) – 5 REC, 112 YDS, 1 TD
New York Jets @ New England Patriots Sunday 1/16 4:30 PM ET on NBC
Seattle Seahawks 41 New Orleans Saints 36
In the most shocking game of the opening weekend, the Seattle Seahawks proved all the haters wrong on Saturday. Coming in as the first team in NFL history to make the playoffs with a sub-.500 record (7-9), Seattle was a 10 point underdog to the defending champs at home. New Orleans high-octane offense lived up to its billing amassing 474 total yards and scoring 36 points. It was their defense that was the surprise, allowing Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck to throw for four touchdowns and 274 yards. Marshawn Lynch scored on an epic, tackle-breaking, stiff arming 67 yard run with 3 minutes to play to give Seattle an 11 point lead. That was all she wrote for the Super Bowl Champions and now Seattle moves on for another week.
Passing: D. Brees (NO) – 404 YDS, 2 TD
Rushing: M. Lynch (SEA) – 19 CAR, 131 YDS, 1 TD
Receiving: D. Henderson (NO) – 7 REC, 77 YDS, 1 TD
Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears Sunday 1/16 1:00 PM ET on FOX
Related from The Campus Socialite: NFL Playoffs: Better Half Bracket Results