A week after three road teams advanced in the wild-card round, three home teams took care of business in the divisional round. The weekend featured one of the biggest upsets in recent memory — Tennessee’s 28-12 stunner over Baltimore — but otherwise stuck to the expected script. That is not to say it was boring, however, with the 49ers, the Titans, the Chiefs and the Packers all making clear cases for themselves as Super Bowl contenders.
Here’s what we learned:
The Weekend’s Top Performers
Top Passer: Patrick Mahomes
Passing was cool again this week. The four wild-card games had a total of just six passing touchdowns, but this week’s action had 16 in the same number of games, with Mahomes personally contributing five. His statistics were eye-popping, but the fact that he did not give up when his team was down by 24-0 was even more impressive.
Top Runner: Derrick Henry
Tennessee passed the ball far more than people realize during the regular season, but in the playoffs they are trusting in Henry, and he is rewarding that trust. His 195 rushing yards on Saturday were the ninth most in a playoff game since at least 1950, and resulted in him breaking the Titans/Oilers franchise playoff record for a second consecutive week. He also threw his first career touchdown pass.
Four of the week’s top 10 rushing performances came from quarterbacks.
Top Receiver: Davante Adams
Choosing between Adams and Kansas City’s Travis Kelce is nearly impossible, as both had such huge days, but Adams gets the nod because of how vital he was to Green Bay’s victory. He accounted for 66 percent of Aaron Rodgers’s passing yards, caught both of the team’s passing touchdowns, and had a crucial 32-yard catch late in the fourth quarter to help ice the win. Kelce was just as productive, but he had far more help.
No. 6 Tennessee Titans at No. 2 Kansas City Chiefs, 3:05 p.m., CBS
Early line: Chiefs -7.5
No. 2 Green Bay Packers at No. 1 San Francisco 49ers, 6:40 p.m., Fox
Early line: 49ers -7
One* Sentence About the Wild-Card Games
*Except when it takes more.
49ers 27, Vikings 10 San Francisco’s commitment to the hot hand at running back is extreme: Tevin Coleman led the 49ers with 102 rushing yards and two touchdowns on Saturday after not having had more than 40 in any game since Week 8 — when he had 105 rushing yards and four total touchdowns. Will Coleman get the ball again next week? Will Raheem Mostert? Is it Matt Breida’s turn? Not even they know.
Titans 28, Ravens 12 Ryan Tannehill threw for fewer than 100 yards for a second consecutive week, but it would be inaccurate to pretend that Tennessee’s second win of the playoffs was all Derrick Henry’s doing. Tannehill, playing in his second career playoff game, contributed two passing touchdowns — one of which went for 45 yards — and ran a score in as well.
Packers 28, Seahawks 23 Seattle saw its season end, but not before Marshawn Lynch, who returned from retirement just three weeks ago, contributed three rushing touchdowns in the playoffs, and one in the regular season finale. He showed he still has what it takes to be a goal-line back if he wants to play another season.
Chiefs 51, Texans 31 Houston tied for its second-most points in a game this season, and still lost by 20, which says a lot about how incredible Patrick Mahomes’s offense is when everything is clicking, and not too much about the electric future of Deshaun Watson.