NFL playoffs – first round


On Sunday, the NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings looked like they were in a position to win — until the nearly unimaginable happened. A gimme field goal sailed wide left, and that was that, as the Seattle Seahawks moved on. Later Sunday, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers came back from an early 11-0 deficit to dominate the Washington Redskins, 35-18.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Kansas City Chiefs snapped a 22-year drought of playoff victories with Saturday’s rout of the Texans in Houston in the first round of the AFC playoffs. In the late game, the Pittsburgh Steelers outlasted the Cincinnati Bengals in what appeared to be a grudge match of sorts. That sends Kansas City to New England and Pittsburgh to Denver for the AFC divisional round.

All four home teams lost in the first round for the first time in league history.

The top-seeded Panthers will face the Packers and the No. 2 Cardinals will host the Seahawks in the NFC divisional round. The No. 1 Broncos will take on the Steelers and Patriots will face the Chiefs in the AFC.

Top Story Lines

After struggling for a month and at the start of a playoff game, the quarterback got his mojo back quickly. (Read More)

Washington’s 9-7 record and NFC East title breed hope, but loss against Green Bay is bitter pill to swallow. (Read More)

But he still loves Tom Brady. (Read More)

Blair Walsh’s miss is certainly a contender. (Read More)

Seattle won’t want to blitz Newton. (Read More)

This is a painful way to go down. (Read More)

Oh, come on. (Read More)

The QB turns a disastrous play into a big gain. It’s what he does. (Read More)

A sweet one-handed catch has everyone thinking of MJ. (Read More)

So … it could have been worse. (Read More)

That could have been considered a bad omen. (Read More)

The Vikings-Seahawks game is cold. REALLY COLD. (Read More)

Doubt Pittsburgh at your own risk. (Read More)

They won in Cincinnati but emerged with injuries to Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. (Read More)

Bengals should stick with Marvin Lewis despite Saturday’s meltdown

Where is Cincinnati going to find another coach to keep getting to the postseason? (Read More)

Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones goes on expletive-laced tirade

At issue for the Bengals’ player is the presence of a Steelers coach on the field. (Read More)

The Internet reacted accordingly. (Read More)

Tensions between the Steelers and Bengals had already spiked before the play. (Read More)

Referee Rod Serling would approve. (Read More)

Brian Hoyer, Coach Bill O’Brien and the Texans did little to slow streaking Kansas City. (Read More)

It’s the second-longest TD return in NFL playoff history. (Read More)

And then he went out to create some mayhem. (Read More)

The quarterback led a comeback in the regular season finale after last playing in Week 10. (Read More)

Injury News

Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers (head injury) … He left the game in the fourth quarter and was placed in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers (shoulder) … He fell on his right shoulder while being sacked and left the game. He returned to the sideline later. He reportedly has a separated shoulder and will undergo an MRI.

J.J. Watt, DE, Texans (groin) … He exited early in the third quarter, returned, then exited again. He is expected to have groin surgery Tuesday.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs (knee) … He reportedly has a high ankle sprain, not a torn ACL as feared.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks (abdomen) … He was ruled out after originally expecting to play.

Jadeveon Clowney, LB, Texans (foot) … He was declared inactive before Saturday’s game.

First-round scores

Saturday’s results

Cincinnati doomed by a pair of late personal fouls, falls in first-round thriller, 18-16. (Read More)

Kansas City extended its NFL-best winning streak to 11 in a row. (Read More)

Sunday’s results

After trailing 9-0, Seattle responded with 10 unanswered points. (Read More)

Washington still hasn’t advanced past first round since 2006.  (Read More)

Divisional round schedule

Chiefs at Patriots, Jan. 16, 4:25 p.m.

Packers at Cardinals, Jan. 16, 8:15 p.m.

Seahawks at Panthers, Jan. 17, 1:05 p.m.

Steelers at Broncos, Jan. 17, 4:40 p.m.