What we learned from the divisional round: Dak Prescott comes up small; Bengals O-line units up run online game - CBS sports

The divisional circular of the playoffs definitely disproved some narratives that lasted in the NFL all the way through the year. possibly the Dallas Cowboys weren't the super Bowl contender they have been at the start believed to be over the remaining several months or the Cincinnati Bengals in fact are the gold standard group in the AFC (regardless of their 2-3 start to the season). 

where do the Buffalo expenses go from here after a troublesome loss to the Bengals? What about the Cowboys going forward? each these teams can not view their seasons the same means because the manhattan Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars, two teams that exceptionally made the divisional round after being two of the worst groups in soccer for several seasons. there's a cause to be optimistic in Jacksonville and ny. 

As for the groups that made it to conference championship weekend? Can Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas metropolis Chiefs finally defeat their kryptonite of Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals? Can the San Francisco 49ers and the No. 1 defense proceed the "protection wins championships" mantra and beat the NFC's No. 1 offense in the Philadelphia Eagles? 

Divisional weekend certainly supplied a lot of solutions, above all with the conference championship games next week. here's what we learned in the divisional circular of the playoffs from every team. 

defense rose to the occasion with Patrick Mahomes injured: The Chiefs are 54-3 once they hang their opponents to under 27 elements, together with postseason play. The defense took that statistic to advantage, doing an outstanding job at limiting Jacksonville to twenty elements in the 27-20 victory. 

become it a perfect performance? No, nonetheless it changed into respectable sufficient. The Jaguars had a hundred and forty four rushing yards and averaged 7.6 yards per carry whereas going 7 of 13 on third down, however the Chiefs forced a Trevor Lawrence interception up 27-20 late in the fourth quarter and hit him seven instances. 

The defense stepped up all over the 2nd quarter when Mahomes become in the locker room, retaining Jacksonville to a few facets in the 2nd quarter and maintaining the lead on the break earlier than Mahomes again. 

Is the Chiefs protection brilliant? No, however here's Steve Spagnuolo's most appropriate unit for the reason that he arrived in Kansas metropolis. lower than 27 facets seems to be the magic number for a victory, no matter if Mahomes is fit or not. 

Drops charge team possibility at an upset: The Jaguars were capable of dangle round with the Chiefs all through the online game, however Jacksonville can also had been going to the AFC Championship online game if it wasn't for a few key drops. Trevor Lawrence found Christian Kirk on a deep circulate that could have gone for fifty five yards in the 2d quarter, but Kirk dropped the pass and the Jaguars rallied for a field intention. 

In a 17-7 game, Kirk essential that reception to get Jacksonville within the purple zone and put some drive on Kansas metropolis. The Jaguars had one more drop in the 2d quarter, as JaMycal Hasty had a drop on third-and-19 that compelled the Jaguars to punt. 

The drops had an impact on Lawrence in the third quarter, as he turned into 5 of 8 for 10 yards on two possessions as Jacksonville could not profit any ground. The Jaguars offense just appeared out of sync after the Kirk drop -- and under no circumstances recovered. 

Jacksonville might be lower back subsequent year with a franchise quarterback in Lawrence and a roster that may still enhance. The Jaguars will be trained from these miscues because the young team continues to improve.

Lane Johnson again in a big manner: Johnson spent the previous three weeks rehabbing and prepping for the possibility to play within the postseason after delaying surgery for a torn adductor in his groin. How positive the highest quality appropriate address would be became any one's guess.

seems, Johnson become his general dominant self. He allowed no sacks, pressures, quarterback hits, and had a 0.0% power expense in 26 move-blocking snaps. His influence was felt in opposition t Giants pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux, who didn't have a pressure dealing with Johnson in the divisional circular. The Eagles additionally ran for 268 yards, the 2nd most in a postseason video game in franchise heritage. 

The Eagles offensive line is the surest in soccer. With Johnson on the field, they are dominant. 

The offensive line wants improvements this offseason: In each of the Giants' three meetings with the Eagles, the offensive line was no in shape for a front that had 70 sacks this season. The Giants allowed 60 pressures and 14 sacks in three video games in opposition t the Eagles, sixteen pressures and 5 sacks got here in Saturday's loss.

manhattan allowed forty nine sacks on the yr, which become tied for the fifth most within the NFL. The 272 pressures allowed changed into the 2nd most and the 43.four% force price changed into the highest. This effortlessly is rarely first rate enough.

ny must further improve Evan Neal to give Andrew Thomas a battery mate at address. The interior of the line has to be reworked as Jon Feliciano, Mark Glowinski, and Nick Gates struggled towards the elite flow-rushing teams. Ben Bredeson wasn't a lot enhanced either. 

The Giants have cap house to enhance the offensive line. If long island continues Daniel Jones, the Giants should give protection to him and provides him a chance to throw the ball downfield. 

So a whole lot for having three offensive linemen out: The Bengals did not have left address Jonah Williams, right tackle La'El Collins, and correct defend Alex Cappa against the expenses. Three-fifths of the offensive line out? didn't be counted. 

Jackson Carman made his first delivery at left handle, Hakeem Adeniji made his third delivery at correct address, and Max Scharping made his 2nd start at appropriate look after. The inexperience didn't depend because the three have been part of a dismantling of Buffalo's defensive front, pacing Cincinnati to 172 dashing yards and 5.1 yards per raise. here is the identical Cincinnati run offense that changed into 29th in dashing yards and 29th in yards per lift right through the average season. 

The trio of Carman, Adeniji, and Scharping did not allow a sack within the game. They allowed just two quarterback hits, but did permit eleven pressures. even with the high force rate, they blanketed Joe Burrow and installation the run game for arguably its top of the line efficiency of the 12 months. 

The Bengals offensive line answered all of the questions it essential to. 

The run video game became a farce: No group had more deceiving rushing numbers than the bills this season, yet the speeding yards per online game and yards per raise failed to rear its ugly head until Sunday. Buffalo had simply sixty three rush yards and averaged three.three yards per carry towards Cincinnati, their lowest yards per carry normal in a video game all season. 

Devin Singletary turned into a nonfactor with six carries for twenty-four yards. The expenses didn't have faith rookie James cook adequate to give him the ball late within the year either (he comprehensive with five consists of for 13 yards). Josh Allen become their leading rusher with 26 yards, and he had just 3.three yards per lift (averaged 6.1 on the season).

Neither Singletary nor cook appeared to be go-to backs late, as the bills averaged simply three.eight yards per lift in the fourth quarter on the yr. Singletary averaged just 4.0 yards per carry as defenses keyed in on Allen (3.2 yards per raise). 

Buffalo wants a go-to lower back in 2023 if the bills are looking to go to the super Bowl. Of route, having a far better offensive line might not hurt either. They just can't depend on Allen as much to raise the run online game. 

Brock Purdy struggled in opposition t Cowboys drive: Purdy did his job for the seventh straight birth -- main the 49ers to a win. He did not flip the soccer over in a online game in which the protection played an important position and getting him off his spot, which turned into vital toward the 49ers advancing. 

there's a cause for situation, peculiarly with who the 49ers are facing subsequent week. Purdy became simply 3 of 11 for 24 yards with out a touchdowns and no interceptions while being sacked twice (39.6 score). The Cowboys had been in a position to now not make Purdy's lifestyles handy, some thing other defenses couldn't do in his six previous begins. 

Purdy completed fifty one.1% of his passes for 264 yards with three touchdowns to at least one interception below force in the normal season (eighty two.1 rating). within the playoffs, 36.8% of his passes (7 of 19) for 157 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions (102.3 score). 

Are the numbers improved? The Seattle video game inflated how Purdy has been performing when a defense receives close him, however the Dallas online game may be a demonstration of how issues could go subsequent week. Of direction, the Eagles and their seventy five sacks (normal season and playoffs) need to really get to Purdy too. 

Dak Prescott needed to be respectable -- and wasn't: The Dak Prescott who confirmed up nearly all of the season reappeared in Sunday's loss to the 49ers. Prescott became 23 of 37 for 206 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, his sixth multi-interception online game of the 12 months. 

Prescott ignored several open receivers and made questionable selections, fitting a liability for the offense as an alternative of a electricity. When pressured, Prescott turned into a putrid four of 11 for 14 yards and an interception for a 7.0 rating. in the second half (the half with out Tony Pollard), Prescott changed into eleven of 21 for one hundred twenty five yards and not using a touchdowns and a 70.5 rating. 

these numbers easily aren't good sufficient for a $forty million quarterback who crucial to lift the offense to scoring drives. Prescott looked like the participant who led the NFL in interceptions because he lower back in Week 7 with his questionable resolution-making -- in its place of the quarterback who had large video games in opposition t Philadelphia and Tampa Bay over the ultimate month.

Prescott is effectively too inconsistent to aid the Cowboys make a super Bowl run. he is what he's at this element -- and it's up to Dallas to try to suitable his considerations as he processes 30. 

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