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NFC North Teams Shine In Wild Card Round

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The Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers each made an appearance in Super Wild Card Weekend, came away victorious, and are game-planning for another week. Each matchup went a bit differently from the other, but the two NFC North teams are moving on to the Divisional round! Let’s examine both contests.       

NFC North Teams Shine In Wild Card Round        

Green Bay at Dallas 

They were going on the road to Dallas (2 seed) as the 7th seed did not instill a ton of confidence outside of, maybe, the Green Bay faithful. Vegas had Dallas favored by a touchdown and most media members rode with the Cowboys. The game shocked both cheeseheads and the rest of the country alike (40 million viewers according to Fox Sports).

Of all six games played in Super Wild Card Weekend, Green Bay was the only road team to win, and they did. The Packers scored 48 points on Dallas’s top-5 defense. Since the 7th seed was added in 2020, none had advanced to the Divisional round until Sunday night when GB sent the Boyz packing.

Since the QBR stat was introduced in 2006, Jordan Love recorded the best performance in playoff history according to his final number of 92.5. Love leads the pack ahead of some greats as shown below.

ESPN

While Love deserves his flowers, this was a true team effort from the Green Bay Packers. Micah Parsons was a non-factor thanks to a steady offensive line and Joe Barry’s defense stepped up. They notched four sacks and three interceptions on the day. Four players were graded as the highest position group in Wild Card Weekend: Jordan Love, Romeo Doubs, Aaron Jones, and Zach Tom.

PFF

The Packers head to the Bay and face a familiar postseason foe in Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers. Kickoff is Saturday night at 8:15EST on FOX.

Los Angeles at Detroit

The Detroit Lions officially have won their first playoff game since 1991! The Motor City, with a star-studded audience in attendance, rejoiced. The big headline going into this storybook contest was Matthew Stafford returning to Detroit, but not enough people were highlighting Jared Goff facing his former team.

Goff and Stafford played an effective game and finished with nearly carbon copy passer ratings- 121.8 and 120.9, respectively.

CBS Sports

How were they able to do this? The game got a bit close for Detroit’s liking toward the end and they couldn’t totally put them away, but this was in no lack of effort from a gritty defensive performance. Chief among them was second-year pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson who made the Rams’ offense a living hell all night:

X/ Detroit Lions PR

Offensive stars Amon-Ra St. Brown, David Montgomery, and Rookie Jahmyr Gibbs shined and stepped up throughout the evening. To say Coach Dan Campbell had this team fired up is an understatement. Detroit will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at 3:00EST on NBC.

 

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