Even on one ankle, Patrick Mahomes remains good at football.
Mahomes — assisted by backup quarterback Chad Henne — helped the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 on Saturday in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.
A few hours later, the Philadelphia Eagles cruised past the New York Giants 38-7.
Two more games will be played on Sunday, with Buffalo hosting Cincinnati and San Francisco hosting Dallas.
The Chiefs and Eagles did not have to play during the wild-card round last weekend as the top-ranked teams in each conference received a bye into the divisional round.
Neither team looked rusty.
The Chiefs had some nervous moments against the Jags, especially after Mahomes limped off the field with an ankle injury in the second quarter. Henne, a 37-year-old backup, stepped in while the former MVP was sidelined and threw a touchdown pass to give the Chiefs a 17-7 lead.
Mahomes came back in the second half and did enough to lead the Chiefs to victory. He completed 22 of 30 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.
The Eagles swept the Giants with no problems, jumping out to a 28-0 halftime lead. Philadelphia had more touchdowns (four) in the first half than New York had first downs (three).
Saturday’s relatively drama-free day of football was much different than last weekend’s wild card round, when there was no clear lead.
The Bills blew a 17-point lead before rallying to beat Miami. That narrow escape came less than 24 hours after the Jaguars overcame a 27-point deficit against the Los Angeles Chargers in one of the most stunning comebacks in playoff history.
Several games were decided in the last minutes. The Bengals beat the Ravens 24-17 after Sam Hubbard returned Baltimore quarterback Tyler Huntley’s 98-yard touchdown in the tiebreaker in the fourth quarter, a surprising development after the Ravens were poised to take the lead.
Here are some other things to know during the postseason:
WHAT IS THE NEXT SCHEDULE?
Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills, 3:00 PM EST, CBS/Paramount+
Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers, 6:30 p.m. EST, Fox, Fox Deportes
WHAT IS THE PLAYOFF FORMAT?
This is the third consecutive year of the current playoff format, which features the top seven teams from the AFC and NFC.
The four division winners in both conferences automatically get the top four seeds, regardless of record, and then the top three teams with the best record that didn’t win their division are the wildcard selections. Because of this, it’s fairly common for a wild-card selection to have a better record — but a worse playoff seed — than the team that finished as the division winner.
The No. 1 team in each conference advances to the second round — the Chiefs and Eagles — while No. 2 hosts No. 7, No. 3 hosts No. 6 and No. 4 hosts No. 5 during wild-card weekend.
The NFL reseeds teams after each round of the playoffs. This means that regardless of how the streak started, the lowest seeded team always travels to the highest seeded team.
There are four rounds of the playoffs: The wild-card round ended last weekend, the divisional round is this weekend, the conference championship games are on January 29, and the Super Bowl is scheduled for February 12 in Glendale, Arizona.
WHAT HAS CHANGED WITH THE BILLS-BENGALS CANCELLATION?
Players and fans watched in horror on Jan. 2 as Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field in Cincinnati when his heart stopped and he received CPR before leaving the field in an ambulance. Over the next week, those same players and fans reacted with glee to the news of Hamlin’s recovery.
Even better news came last weekend: Hamlin visited the Bills facility with his teammates for the first time since being released from a hospital in Buffalo.
The cancellation of the Bills-Bengals game due to Hamlin’s medical scare could lead to one major change in the format of the AFC playoffs.
The AFC Championship Game will be played at a neutral site if the Bills beat the Bengals on Sunday, under a rule adjustment approved by NFL owners. That’s because Buffalo (13-3) played one game less than Kansas City (14-3) and missed out on a chance to get the No. 1 seed. The Bills beat the Chiefs 24-20 on Oct. 16 and would have held the tiebreaker had the teams finished with the same score. Buffalo lost 42-36 to Kansas City in the division classic last season.
The Chiefs would host the AFC title game against any other team, including the third-seeded Bengals (12-4).
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