NFL Divisional Playoff Recap: Steelers & Packers Advance With Road Wins
The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers each narrowly advanced to their respective conference’s championship game on Sunday. Here’s a recap of the day’s action:
Pittsburgh 18, Kansas City 16
Pittsburgh never got into the end zone, but they did get into to the AFC title game.
Thanks to a record six field goals from Chris Boswell and a successful defense of a potential game-tying two-point conversion, the Steelers beat the Chiefs, 18-16, in an AFC divisional round playoff game in Kansas City on Sunday night.
The victory allowed Pittsburgh to advance to next Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots.
Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell carried 30 times for 170 yards, and the Pittsburgh defense swatted away an Alex Smith pass on what would have been a game-tying conversion with 2:43 left. Spencer Ware had scored on a 1-yard touchdown run before the failed attempt to draw the Chiefs within two points.
The Steelers are the first team to win a playoff game without a touchdown since eventual Indianapolis beat Baltimore after the 2006 season.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 224 yards with one interception in the victory. Antonio Brown caught six passes for 108 yards.
Smith threw for just 172 yards and a touchdown, with an interception, against the Pittsburgh defense.
Green Bay 34, Dallas 31
Mason Crosby kicked a 51-yard field goal as time expired, and the Green Bay Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys, 34-31, in an NFC divisional round playoff game in Arlington, Tex. on Sunday.
With the win, Green Bay advanced to face Atlanta in the NFC title game next Sunday in Georgia.
On the game's final drive, Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed a key 36-yard pass to Jared Cook, who stayed inbounds by dragging his feet to set up the game-winning kick.
Dallas, which rallied from an 18-point first-quarter deficit, had tied the game for a second time on Dan Bailey’s 52-yard kick with 44 seconds to play. Green Bay had taken a 31-28 lead on Crosby’s 56-yard boot with 1:38 remaining.
The Packers surged to a 21-3 lead midway through the second quarter, as Rodgers piled up yardage against the Cowboys’ leaky defense. He finished the game 28-for-43 for 356 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
Dallas methodically rallied, tying the game with 4:08 left on Dak Prescott’s 7-yard pass to Dez Bryant and an ensuing quarterback sneak for the 2-point conversion.
The Cowboys simply allowed Rodgers two too many possessions.
Prescott threw for 302 yards and three touchdowns with one interception for Dallas. Teammate Ezekiel Elliot carried 22 times for 125 yards. Bryant caught nine passes for 132 yards and two scores.
Cook caught six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown, but his biggest grab was the clutch catch that set up Crosby’s game-winner.