We’re likewise going to assume there were a great deal of cuss words used from the groups that lost, and particularly from their fans. There’s nothing rather like sports to provide us with one four-letter word (hope) one minute and another (pain) the next.
But maybe no 4 letters best summarize this football weekend than these: P-U-N-T. For 3 of this round’s losers, a bad choice on a punt wound up being the turning point of the game.
On that note, let’s get to the D-U-M-B moments of the Divisional Round with the 6 biggest mistakes from Saturday and Sunday:
The Chiefs weren’t expecting a deep ball when Deshaun Watson took a third-and-1 snap out of the shotgun development early in their playoff matchup. Kansas City, playing without any deep security assistance, were banking on a short gain. That’s why when Will Fuller divided toward the sideline, KC’s defensive backs went with him, all set to catch the screen pass and stop the Texans for a loss.
While doing so, they completely overlooked Kenny Stills. Watson, on the other hand, did not.
The Houston quarterback provided a completely in-stride strike to Stills, who scored the easiest goal of his profession to get the Texans out to a 7-0 start. No defender was within 10 yards of him as he coasted into completion zone, as you can see here:
That touchdown on the very first possession made the statement that Houston didn’t concern Missouri simply to be compromised in service of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl hopes.
That, naturally, happened later after the Texans blew a 24 -0 lead.
5. No one could catch the ball for the Ravens
Very little of what the Ravens did versus the Titans worked, but what harmed them the most– especially early on– were drops. Dependable receivers somehow forgot how to catch the ball after resting for two-plus weeks. In all, the Ravens had six drops in the game, most of them being available in the very first half.
Halfway through the very first quarter, one of those drops turned into an interception off the generally sure-handed Mark Andrews:
That resulted in the Titans’ very first touchdown of the video game.
Pretty much everybody struggled for the Ravens, however it’s drive-killing drops like the ones above that actually hurt a group’s possibilities of remaining in a video game.
4. The Seahawks stuck to single protection on Davante Adams
Despite Aaron Rodgers throwing much more passes to Davante Adams than anybody else on his group, the Seahawks continued to leave the guy in single protection. Adams captured every pass thrown his way throughout the first three quarters, conserve for one that began a reverse in the backfield.
Instead, they put one corner on him and left a safety too far back to help with sideline-to-sideline action, which the Packers quickly exploited.
This was an amazing route by Adams, then an extremely wise decision to cut back a 2nd time all the way throughout the field for the goal. The safety could not comprise the speed difference and the corner was severely beaten two times on the play.
The play chose a 40- lawn touchdown, giving the Packers a 28-10 lead in the third quarter. It wouldn’t be the last time Adams roasted the Seattle secondary in man-to-man protection in an important moment either.
The Seahawks needed a third-and-8 stop to put the ball back in Russell Wilson‘s hands with simply over 2 minutes to play. Their protective positioning also suggested rookie safety Ugo Amadi, a rotational gamer with no starts to his name, drew the brief straw of covering a red-hot Adams.
Here’s that totally predictable outcome.
Aaron Rodgers, bad man Seattle Seahawks, bad coverage.
3. Marcus Sherels could not manage the one task he was hired to do
Sherels has been a reputable punt and kick returner throughout a decade-long NFL career. That’s what made his rookie-esque mistake in Santa Clara so surprising.
The Vikings’ defense had actually just required its first three-and-out of the game. If they had any possibility at returning in the game, now was the time.
Rather, Sherels’ bobble hit the turf and bounced right into the lap of Raheem Mostert, who made sure his team preserved possession. The 49 ers took that field position and turned it into three simple points, making a 24-10 lead into a three-possession lead.
2. Pete Carroll punted the ball back to Aaron Rodgers (and punted away his season)
In a vacuum, Pete Carroll’s choice to punt the ball back to Green Bay tracking 28-23 and dealing with fourth-and-11 with just under 3 minutes to play made some sense. NFL groups had just converted fourth below that range 12 times in 54 opportunities (222 percent) in2019 His defense was riding high. Seattle had forced back-to-back Packers punts to open the video game’s last frame.
So Carroll punted the ball back– which fell in completion zone for a touchback– to Aaron Rodgers. That would be the Seahawks’ last belongings of the 2019 season.
Instead of trust Russell Wilson and an offense that had scored a goal on each of its second-half drives to that point, Carroll deferred to a defense that struggled to include Rodgers all evening. Even worse, his Seahawks had gotten 11 or more backyards on 9 different plays in the 3rd and 4th quarters Sunday.
Seattle’s explosive offense in some way wasn’t enough for one last flight with the video game on the line– which was all the Packers needed to salt the game away with two huge completions ( and one, uh, debatable area).
1. Costs O’Brien’s fake punt sustained the Chiefs’ impressive return
There were a number of Bill O’Brien decisions that might make this list, like going for a basket up 21 -0 instead of choose the kill shot. But the Texans’ ownership after that afraid kick was the one that stuck out a lot of.
With his team leading 24 -7 early in the second quarter, O’Brien called a direct snap fake to security Justin Reid from their own 31- yard line on fourth-and-4.
It went badly.
It was the worst time for O’Brien to be aggressive, and not even if security Daniel Sorensen easily sniffed the fake out. O’Brien thought he was attempting to grab momentum back from the Chiefs when the only thing he did was aid give them the spark they needed to take control of the game.
Three plays later, the Chiefs cut the deficit to 24-14 Less than eight minutes, they were leading– and they never looked back.