Most head-scratching moments from NFL divisional round: Patrick Mahomes playing, coaching blunders make list

On Saturday, we saw Patrick Mahomes hobbling up and down the field at Arrowhead Stadium to lead the Kansas City Chiefs back to their 5th successive AFC Championship in a 27-20 win versus the upstart Jacksonville Jaguars. We likewise saw the Philadelphia Eagles connect their greatest margin of success in a championship game in franchise history with their 38-7 curb-stomping of their NFC East competitor, the New York Giants.

Sunday around the NFL was quite wild too. The Cincinnati Bengals marched into Buffalo and trounced the Bills, 27-10, to avoid a neutral website AFC Championship Game. The Cowboys had numerous opportunities, however they could not get rid of an injury to running back Tony Pollard, in addition to their bad execution, in their season-ending 19-12 loss at the San Francisco 49ers. 

The 2nd week of the NFL playoffs consisted of the league’s 8 most elite groups, so there was certainly some top-level football being played. However, there was likewise a lot of confounding football too throughout the weekend. Here are a few of the head-scratching choices that happened this divisional round weekend.

Chiefs’ handling of Patrick Mahomes’ injury

Every Chiefs gamer, coach and fan experienced their worst problem in the Chiefs’ 27-20 win in the opening video game of the divisional round playoffs on Saturday afternoon: an injury to Mahomes. The 2022 first-team All-Pro passer got sandwiched by 2 Jacksonville Jaguars protectors as he tossed a pass, triggering his leg to flex at an agonizing angle. Mahomes at first got both his best knee and ankle in misery after the play.

Even though Mahomes asked head coach Andy Reid to remain in the video game, it was head-scratching to see him avoid around like he was playing hop-scotch to perform standard, under-center handoffs to his running backs. He did not get any brace prior to returning out for the next play, not missing out on at any time. Mahomes then got his ankle taped and returned in the video game, continuing to not miss out on any plays. 

Eventually, the Chiefs placed back up quarterback Chad Henne into the video game. Henne, who led Kansas City to success in the 2020 AFC divisional round versus the Cleveland Browns after a Mahomes injury, led Kansas City on a 98-yard goal drive that he topped off with a one-yard goal pass to tight end Travis Kelce. That pass significant Henne’s very first goal in his playoff profession. 

The video game was connected at 7-7 when the injury took place. The Chiefs turned that drive into a basket to make it 10-3 and extended their cause 17-7 after Henne’s first-career postseason TD pass. Yet, Mahomes went back on to the field to begin the 2nd half. Mahomes was still hopping around while running under-center handoffs near the objective line in the 4th quarter. The presumptive league MVP’s movement was plainly hindered by the injury, as none of his 18 passes were beyond the pocket following the injury.

Patrick Mahomes before/after injury




Attempts outside pocket



Average time to toss



Passer ranking



While it is the postseason, it was still unusual seeing the Chiefs run the risk of a long-lasting injury to the face of their franchise. Mahomes continuing to hobble around on his hurt ankle throughout the divisional round video game might put him in an even worse area for the AFC national championship too next week, a video game he states he’ll play in after being identified with a high-ankle sprain

Andy Reid loses timeout over unneeded difficulty

Facing second-and-seven from their own 23 with 7:48 staying in the 3rd quarter, Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco captured a swing pass towards the left sideline from Mahomes and got 6 backyards, getting significant simply except the line to acquire for an initially down. Reid chose that rather of dealing with third-and-inches, having 2 plays to get simply under a backyard, he would rather have the very first down instantly. 

With the call on the field lacking an initially down, Reid required unassailable video proof to win the difficulty, something that didn’t take place, so Kansas City lost a timeout and an obstacle early into the last thirty minutes of action. The Chiefs then decided to run a direct breeze to tight end Noah Gray in order to get the very first down that was packed by the Jaguars protective line. Kansas City then punted because it was currently supported in its own end of the field. That series marked a couple of bad training choices in regards to play-calling and timeout use that didn’t wind up injuring Chiefs today, however that kind of series might return to burn them versus the Bengals, the group that ended their season a year ago in the AFC Championship.

Bengals pass receiver Ja’Marr Chase blows by protectors regularly for wide-open goals, as his 6 getting ratings of 50 or more backyards are the most in the whole NFL because he got in the league in 2021. However, his 28-yard goal to start the AFC divisional round match in between the Bengals and the Bills was uncommon since he was strikingly broad OPEN versus a secondary that ranked inside the leading 10 for the least death goals allowed the routine season.

It appeared there was a protection bust in the middle of Buffalo’s zone protection, however nonetheless, it’s still head-scratching to see such a prominent top choice THAT open in a divisional round championship game. Seeing the play in dots form, thanks to NextGen Stats, makes the protective protection appearance a lot more mind-numbingly off.

Controversial TD reverse

Initially, Chase had actually captured his 2nd goal of the very first half Sunday, this time from 10 backyards out on third-and-goal. However, replay evaluation reversed the call on the field of a goal, and Cincinnati opted for a 28-yard basket to take a 17-7 lead rather of a 21-7 lead. The NFL has re-written its catch guideline numerous times in current years, particularly after reaction from the Cowboys and their fans when Dez Bryant’s fourth-down catch with simply more than 4 minutes left in the 2014 divisional round was reversed on a replay evaluation.

While it has actually because softened its position on enduring the ground, the NFL is obviously still trying to find excellence when it concerns the football’s motion while protecting a catch. It’s rather easy to understand to come far from taking a look at the replay of Chase’s near-score and just see the call on the field, which was Chase taking another goal. 

Kyle Shanahan’s first-half timeout use

Following Dak Prescott’s 2nd interception of the first-half, the 49ers took control of at their own 28-yard line with 1:24 left in the very first half of a tie video game. Head coach and offending play-caller Kyle Shanahan then chose a curious series of play-calling: a run with pass receiver Deebo Samuel and a kept up running back Christian McCaffrey. Those 2 plays got just 9 backyards, making it look like Shanahan was content to enter into the locker space connected at 6. 

However, he then called the 49ers’ 2nd timeout after those 2 plays, leaving his group a third-and-one with 30 seconds to go. Following the timeout, quarterback Brock Purdy tossed a 10-yard pass to Samuel that reached their own 47, and Shanahan called another timeout. The preliminary 2 plays, followed by the conversion, would lead most to believe that was going to be it for the very first half. However, the 49ers then had absolutely no timeouts and an initially down near midfield. It wound up all exercising for Shanahan and San Francisco, as Purdy sandwiched a 21-yard conclusion to receiver Jauan Jennings in-between 3 incompletions, the last of which cruised out of bounds with just a 2nd left on the first-half clock. 

Although the 49ers had the ability to take a 9-6 lead into the break, it looked like however Shanahan could not choose what he wished to do to end the half, causing some complicated timeout use and combined messaging.  

The Cowboys were on the ropes after punting the football back to the 49ers tracking, 19-12, with simply over 2 minutes to go, however they still had 4 chances for the clock to be stopped in between the two-minute caution and all 3 timeouts. Two or 3 very first downs, if dealt with properly, would have sealed the video game and kept the Cowboys from getting one last opportunity.

Fast-forward to 1:53 left in the video game, and the 49ers dealing with a second-and-nine. The Cowboys had actually currently utilized a timeout, so remaining inbounds for another initially down would have all however sealed the video game. Mitchell examined the very first box, blowing by the Dallas defense for a brand-new set of downs. But here was the issue: he headed out of bounds. Almost each time a gamer gets in that scenario, they head out of their method to do a baseball slide in the field of play to keep the clock moving, however Mitchell’s adrenaline most likely got the very best of him as he jogged out of bounds. That choice permitted the Cowboys to get the ball back, and he’s lucky his defense stood high. Otherwise, he would be handling some unpleasant ideas getting in the offseason.

49ers’ conservative last offending drive

Kyle Shanahan gets appreciation for his offending development, and truly so, however his play-calling on the last drive ended up being uber-conservative, and the risk-averse play-calling permitted the Cowboys to get the ball back one last time. After Mitchell got an initially down, the next 3 plays got a combined absolutely no backyards: a Mitchell add the middle for one lawn, another Mitchell add the middle that opted for no gain, and a horizontal pass from Purdy to McCaffrey that lost a backyard. For all the movement and distinct use of his fullbacks, tight ends and receivers, Shanahan going run, run, pass when another initially down would’ve ended the video game was overwelming.

Cowboys’ cringeworthy end to season

In college football, a gamer can finish a catch while getting simply one foot down inbounds. However, 2 feet are needed to do so in the pros. It looked like however Schultz had a brain-fart concerning those guidelines in an enormous area. It looked like though he at first made an important 15-yard gain to get Dallas into Hail Mary variety with 6 seconds left in the video game. Unfortunately for the Silver and Blue, the Cowboys tight end plainly didn’t get his 2nd foot down upon evaluation, pressing them back to their own 24-yard line.

Dallas appeared to select to opt for a hook-and-ladder play to attempt and score a wonder goal, however numerous elements of the play led to the unsuccessful execution. The initially one is utilizing return guy and pass receiver KaVontae Turpin as the gamer to pitch the ball to a running colleague. Turpin is the fastest gamer on the Cowboys, implying he ought to have been the one getting the pitch after the preliminary catch, not the one establishing the play. The other defect was Turpin’s execution in the initiator area because he entirely stopped working to get the ball out of his hands fast enough for even another Cowboy to touch the football. A failure in plan and execution doomed the Cowboys’ last play of their 2022 season. 

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