Why this NFL split weekend was the craziest ever: Three road teams pick up wins in bizarre ways

The NFL’s Divisional Playoff Weekend is widely regarded as the best football weekend of the year. The 2022 version of the divisional round may be the best ever.

Two No. 1 seeds have been knocked out in the divisional round, the first time this has happened since 2010. All three teams that have won so far have been road teams on a last-second basket.

Here are the other wild feats to happen in the divisional round:

Bengals at Titans

The Bengals beat the Titans despite being sacked nine times in a playoff game. The nine sacks allowed by the Bengals tied an NFL playoff record. The 1966 Kansas City Chiefs, 1984 Chicago Bears, 1986 New York Jets, and 1993 Houston Oilers also allowed nine sacks in a playoff game. The Titans’ nine sacks also tied an NFL playoff record with the 1966 Buffalo Bills, 1984 San Francisco 49ers, 1986 Cleveland Browns and 1993 Kansas City Chiefs.

The Titans are the first team to lose a playoff game while having nine sacks in a game since the merger. The Bengals are the first team to win a playoff game while allowing nine sacks since the Kansas City Chiefs in 1966. Joe Burrow became the first quarterback to be sacked nine times and win a playoff game. He’s also the first quarterback to be sacked more than eight times and win a playoff game since Donovan McNabb in the 2003 NFC Divisional Playoffs. Burrow and McNabb are the only two quarterbacks to accomplish the feat since the merger.

49ers at Packers

The 49ers beat the Packers despite lacking offensive touchdowns in the game, the first team since the 2016 Pittsburgh Steelers to win a playoff game without scoring an offensive touchdown. The Packers’ special teams played a major role in the loss, giving the 49ers seven points as they had a blocked punt that was returned for a score and won three points with a blocked field goal just before halftime.

Here are the other special teams gaffes by the Packers:

  • Goal from the field blocked while leading 7-0 at the end of the first half
  • Punt blocked returned for a touchdown to tie the game at 10-10 in the fourth quarter
  • Allowed 30.3 yards per punt return
  • Had 10 men on the ground on Gould’s winning field goal

Aaron Rodgers became the first quarterback to lose four times to a single opponent in the playoffs. It was the Packers’ first home loss this season and tied for the fewest runs scored by a Packers team at home when Aaron Rodgers plays a full game (regular season and playoffs).

Rams at Buccaneers

The Rams also won in thrilling fashion on Matt Gay’s 30-yard field goal, set up by Matthew Stafford’s 44-yard strike against Cooper Kupp with less than 20 seconds left to set the Rams up for victory. The Rams overcame a calamity of errors to win, becoming the first team since the 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers to win a playoff game after losing four fumbles.

Tom Brady and the Buccaneers overcame a 27-3 third-quarter deficit to tie the game with 42 seconds left, thanks to a series of errors and poor possessions by the Rams. Here are the Rams’ next six possessions as the Buccaneers scored 24 unanswered points:

  • escaped lost
  • Punt
  • escaped lost
  • Missed 47-yard field goal that was short
  • Punt
  • escaped lost

Despite the slump, Kupp had a 20-yard, 44-yard reception to lead the Rams to victory. He finished with nine catches for 183 yards and a touchdown. The Rams’ win ensured the NFC Championship Game would be held at SoFi Stadium (the host stadium for Super Bowl LVI) and marked the first time since 2009 that Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers will play in a conference championship game.

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