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Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Matt Stafford are the stars of the wild-card weekend

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Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Matt Stafford are the stars of the wild-card weekend

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Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills pitched a near-perfect game in their playoff win over the New England Patriots.

The Bills became the first team in NFL history to score touchdowns on their first seven drives in a playoff game, before kneeling on final possession in a 47-17 win over New England. .


Allen, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Matthew Stafford of the Rams all provided big passing days to highlight the wild-card weekend.

The Bills became the first team to go an entire game without a punt, field goal, turnover or save on fourth down, while scoring the most points against a defense coached or coordinated by Bill Belichick.

Allen went 21 for 25 for 308 yards, five touchdowns and rushed for 66 yards, joining Kurt Warner (2009 season against Green Bay), Tom Brady (2007 season against Jacksonville), Peyton Manning (2003 season against Denver) and Daryle Lamonica (1969 season vs. Houston) as the only starting QBs with more TD assists than misses in a playoff game.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) scrambles against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Mahomes provided highlights of his own, throwing five touchdown passes in a 42-21 win over Pittsburgh to join Lamonica and Kurt Warner as the only QBs to throw at least five touchdown passes in two playoff games.

Mahomes’ throws came in just 11:31 of playing time, the fastest anyone has thrown for that many touchdowns in playoff history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The previous mark was held by Tom Brady, who clocked it in 24:56 against Denver in the 2011 playoffs.

Stafford also had a solid playoff debut for the Rams, going 13-for-17 for 202 yards, two touchdowns and a 154.5 rating in a 34-11 win over Arizona that gave Stafford his first win. in the playoffs in 13 seasons in the NFL.

Stafford joined Allen (157.6 ratings) and Mahomes (138.2 ratings) with strong performances. The only other playoffs where three starting QBs posted a 135 or better rating in a game was in 1982 when Joe Theismann (against Detroit), David Woodley (against New England) and Lynn Dickey (against St. Louis) l have all done.



Wildcard weekend didn’t provide much drama, with three of six games decided by 20+ points and another by 16.

The average margin of victory in all six games was 17.2 points per game, making it the fourth most lopsided wildcard weekend since the playoffs expanded to 12 teams in 1990. Only 2016 (19 points per game), 1996 (17.5 points per game) and 2005 (17.3 ppg) had larger average scoring margins.

Wins by at least 20 points for Buffalo, Kansas City and the Rams leave this season two shy of the 2002 season for the most playoff games decided by at least 20 points.


Travis Kelce and Odell Beckham Jr. showed off their arms as well as their catching skills.

A day after Kelce became the first player in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass, catch a TD pass and receive at least 100 yards in a playoff game in Kansas City’s win against Pittsburgh, Beckham showed off his double-threat skills.

Beckham threw a 40-yard pass to Cam Akers in the Rams’ win over Arizona on Monday night, becoming the first player in NFL history to catch and pass at least 30 yards in the same playoff game.


Ben Roethlisberger likely made the last appearance of his NFL career in Pittsburgh’s playoff loss to Kansas City.

Roethlisberger joined Dan Marino and Andrew Luck as the only QBs since at least 1950 to start the playoffs as a rookie and in their final seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The 17-year gap between his first and last playoff start is the second-largest after Brady’s 20-year gap.

Roethlisberger would finish his career with 5,972 playoff yards, trailing only Brady (12,720) and Manning (7,339). His 36 TD assists are ranked seventh.


Even the big players started scoring touchdowns during the wild-card weekend.

Kansas City offensive lineman Nick Allegretti and Buffalo offensive lineman Tommy Doyle both caught TD, marking the second time since the merger that two offensive linemen had touchdown catches in a single postseason. The other time it happened was in the 2014 season when New England’s Nate Solder and Seattle’s Garry Gilliam did it.

The only other offensive lineman with a playoff touchdown catch since 2000 was Dennis Kelly of Tennessee in the 2019 season.

Playoff droughts

The Bengals ended the longest active winless drought in the playoffs when they beat Las Vegas 26-19 at home, but more are still on the way.

The Raiders now have the third-longest drought since their last playoff win on Jan. 19, 2003, with only the Lions (Jan. 5, 1992) and Dolphins (Dec. 30, 2000) being longer.

The Cowboys have gone 11 straight playoff appearances without reaching a conference title game, the longest streak of any team in NFL history.

The Bengals remain one of two teams never to win a road playoff game, along with the Houston Texans. Cincinnati is 0-7 in road playoffs heading into Saturday’s game at Tennessee.

Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Matt Stafford are the stars of the wild-card weekend

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