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NFL Playoff Results and Schedule: Cardinals Win Instant Classic; Patriots Advance

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Boy, I hope you did not miss tonight's game between the Cardinals and the Packers. If you did, you missed a game people will talk about for a long time.

The Arizona Cardinals beat the Green Bay Packers 26-20 in overtime. Before we talk about what happened in overtime, we need to talk about how the game got to overtime. For the second time this season, the Packers completed a Hail Mary on the last play of the fourth quarter. Aaron Rodgers hit Jeff Janis for a 41 yard touchdown, and Mason Crosby added the extra point to send the game to overtime. On the play the Cardinals blitzed and got pressure. Rodgers was flushed to his left. He had to set himself because his rollout left him out of his natural throwing position. Then he had to get the ball all the way into the end zone against his body. Somehow he did, and Janis caught it.

By the way, that completed an 84 yard drive in 1:50 that the Packers had to execute without a timeout. Rodgers had to complete a 60 yarder to Janis on fourth and 20 from his own 4 to extend the drive.

The Cardinals won the coin toss and took the ball. On the first play, Carson Palmer incredibly evaded a sack in a similar way to Eli Manning on the same field in the Super Bowl almost eight years ago. He moved right, and found Larry Fitzgerald wide open to his left. Fitzgerald made an electrifying run to the 5 yard line, a 75 yard gain. Two plays later, Fitzgerald took a shovel pass up the middle for a game-winning touchdown.

In today's opener, the Patriots ended Kansas City's eleven game winning streak and their season by a 27-20 score. With the Chiefs down 14-6 and on the move during the first drive of the second half, Knile Davis fumbled. The Patriots converted it into a touchdown that put them in complete control of the game

Two of the biggest knocks on Andy Reid during his career have been his teams' performances in big games and his clock management. The two intersected here. Down 27-14, the Chiefs put together a touchdown drive to cut the New England lead to a single score in the fourth quarter. The problem was they got the ball back with 6:29 left and did not score until 1:18 remained. There were numerous questionable decisions, none more notable than the offense huddling with the clock running and under 2:00 left.

The Cardinals will host the NFC Championship game if Seattle beats Carolina tomorrow. They will visit Charlotte if the Panthers win.

The Patriots will host the AFC Championship game if Pittsburgh beats Denver tomorrow. They will visit Denver if the Broncos win.

Saturday, Jan. 16

(All times ET)

AFC Divisional Round Game 1: New England Patriots 27 Kansas City Chiefs 20 (Final)
NFC Divisional Round Game 1: Arizona Cardinals 26 Green Bay Packers 20 (Final/Overtime)

Sunday, Jan. 17

NFC Divisional Round Game 2: Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks, 1:05 p.m., FOX
AFC Divisional Round Game 2: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos, 4:40 p.m., CBS

Sunday, Jan. 24

AFC Championship: New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos or Pittsburgh Steelers, 3 p.m., CBS
NFC Championship: Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers or Seattle Seahawks, 6:40 p.m., FOX

Sunday, Feb. 7

Super Bowl 50: AFC champion vs. NFC champion, 6:30 p.m., CBS