The first weekend of the NFL Playoffs is in the book. Unlike last year’s first weekend, which saw all four games won by the road teams, the home teams all held serve this year. The final eight is set, and they are the eight division champions.
Steelers 30 Dolphins 12
The Steelers had control of this game pretty much from the start. A pair of Antonio Brown touchdowns in the first quarter (50 and 62 yard catches and runs) staked the Steelers to a big lead. Matt Moore turned the ball over three times for Miami. The big story from this game might have come in garbage time when Ben Roethlisberger, still in the game, suffered an apparent ankle injury. The Steelers play the Chiefs in Kansas City next Sunday, and Roethlisberger insists he will play.
Packers 38 Giants 13
It might be weird to say in a 25 point loss, but the Giants have to be kicking themselves. They dominated most of the first half. Their defense was frustrating Aaron Rodgers, and their offense had chances. They couldn’t build a lead bigger than 6-0, and Rodgers eventually caught fire with a pair of touchdown passes late in the first half, including a Hail Mary as time expired. It was close to the spot of the field where Hakeem Nicks made a Hail Mary catch at the end of the first half of the Playoff game these teams played five years ago. After a big fourth down stop in the third, the Giants scored a touchdown to cut the Green Bay lead to 14-13, but the Packers went right down the field for another score and blew it open in the fourth as Rodgers finished the day with 4 touchdown passes. Green Bay will play at Dallas next Sunday.