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Wild Card Weekend Recap

The playoffs are always an exciting time in the NFL as so many players and teams are doing everything they can to keep their Super Bowl hopes alive. That was evident this past weekend as the playoffs got underway in entertaining fashion. There were two one-sided affairs that left two of the past great teams moving on, and then two close ones that showcased one of the bizarrest finishes ever and a last-second field goal. Let's get right into it.

Indianapolis 23, Kansas City 8

My prediction was completely off on this game. The Colts surprisingly shut down Larry Johnson completely, holding him to only 32 yards on the day. Even though Peyton Manning was picked off by Ty Law two times, the Colts still won 23-8 in relatively easy fashion.

Seattle 21, Dallas 20

Probably the most exciting game of the season featured two teams with questions surrounding them. The Cowboys were coming into this game on a losing streak and Seattle with a few not-so-impressive victories. During this game, both teams fought and fought, and the winner advanced thanks to one small mistake.

Fast-forwarding straight to the fourth quarter, this is where all of the real action took place. The score is 20-13 with Dallas leading. Seattle has the ball on the Dallas 2 yard line with fourth and goal. Matt Hasselbeck drops back to pass and can't find anyone open. He tries to throw a pass in tight coverage but it falls incomplete. This is when everything was turned upside down.

On the very next play, Tony Romo completed a pass to Terry Glenn for no gain. Glenn slipped after making the catch and put the ball on the ground. It wasn't a fumble as he was leaning you could say on the ball. He got up and tried to advance his position but had the ball knocked out of his hands, bouncing backwards into the endzone. Lofa Tatupu tried to keep the ball in the endzone for Seattle by heaving it backwards. At first glance, the referees thought he did just that as the ball stayed in the back of the endzone and was recovered for a touchdown. Dallas challenged and the call was overturned and instead it was a safety.

Four plays into the following drive, Matt Hasselbeck completed a 37 yard pass to Jeremy Stevens for the touchdown. The 2-point conversion was no good, so Seattle led Dallas 21-20 with 2:08 to go. Needing to just get in field goal range, the Cowboys drove down the field with that in mind. Julius Jones first got Dallas down the field on a 35 yard run and then continued to move the ball. With third and seven coming on the Seattle 8 yard line, the next sequence of events determined the outcome of this game.

Tony Romo dropped back and completed a pass to Jason Witten. Witten was right at the first down marker and got a very generous spot that signaled he had a first down, which would basically end the game for Seattle. The play would be reviewed and overturned however, placing it a half a yard or so short, bringing up fourth and one. Since Dallas trailed by a point, the only choice was to kick a field goal to hopefully win the game.

This next play is the basic reason why you play the game. A seemingly automatic 19 yard field goal attempt was botched as Tony Romo fumbled the hold. The snap was perfect and Romo just simply dropped the ball when trying to set it on the turf. Romo picked it up and ran to the outside hoping for a first down or touchdown, but ended up a yard or so short. Seattle got the ball back and worked the clock, leaving Dallas with only a hail mary left to try and win the game. Romo heaved the ball to the endzone, but it dropped incomplete. Seattle wins 21-20.

I truly felt sorry for Tony Romo after that play. I would probably feel sorry for anyone in that situation. To have the game basically won where a short chip shot field goal wins it, and then to go on and screw up the hold is just unbelievable. If I hadn't watched the game then I may not have believed it. Either way, Seattle wins to advance to the next round.

New England 37, NY Jets 16

The mentor beat the apprentice yesterday as the Patriots again showed why they, well, are the Patriots. New England played the game close in the first half but pulled away in the second with a couple of late touchdowns. The Pats didn't have the game in hand until Tom Brady threw a short TD pass to Kevin Faulk and then Asante Samuel intercepted a pass and took it to the house two plays later. Bill Belichick again showed that he is one of the best coaches out there by getting this team a solid win.

Philadelphia 23, NY Giants 20

The Eagles spoiled my upset pick by kicking a field goal as time expired to advance to the divisional round of the playoffs. All game between these two teams it was back and forth with the Eagles getting a lead late. The Giants battled back though as Eli Manning somehow turned a second and thirty into a touchdown in just a few plays. The touchdown tied the game up, but left enough time for Jeff Garcia to orchestrate the game-winning drive. Garcia drove the ball down the field to set up the 38 yard field goal by David Akers to win the game.

Tiki Barber's NFL career now comes to an end barring any unforeseen un-retirement by the running back. Barber had a great career in the NFL and it is sad to see him go, especially since it met that my record was only 2-2 this weekend.

The playoffs roll on next weekend with four more games that will determine championship weekend in two weeks. On Saturday, Indianapolis heads to Baltimore to battle the Ravens and Philadelphia heads to New Orleans to fight off the Saints. Finally, on Sunday, Seattle heads east to Chicago for a game with the Bears and New England go west to play the Chargers. I can't wait!