Three of the four wildcard teams went on the road and won to advance to the divisional playoff round. The in-state Dallas Cowboys were the lone divisional winner to come out victorious on wildcard weekend.
Adrian Phillips helped the Chargers advance in the playoffs by forcing two crucial turnovers, Jordan Hicks and the Eagles were victorious, and two Longhorn defensive tackles played very well in the Saturday games.
Check out how all of the former Longhorns performed throughout wildcard weekend and who’s playing who in this week’s divisional round.
Wildcard Round Recap
D’Onta Foreman (HOU-RB): Foreman was limited to just one carry for three yards.
Hassan Ridgeway (IND-DT): Despite only having six tackles all regular season, Ridgeway made a key contribution for the Colts in their most pivotal game this season. With their defense rotating multiple bodies in and out on the defensive line, he played some snaps at defensive tackle. Ridgeway had two tackles and was in on a sack during his short time on the field.
Dallas Cowboys 24, Seattle Seahawks 22
Connor Williams (DAL-OG): Williams got the start at right guard in place of their injured starter Xavier Su’a-Filo and had one of his better games this season.
The block by Connor Williams tho pic.twitter.com/F62o0MBoH8— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) January 6, 2019
When guard Connor Williams is on the field, the Cowboys call longer developing plays and push the ball farther downfield (than when Su'a Filo is on-field).— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 11, 2019
All 5 primary OL starters played every snap last week vs SEA for the first time since Week 9.#DALvsLAR #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/Eos1gGUlYj
Poona Ford (SEA-DT): The undrafted rookie really emerged as an impact player along Seattle’s defensive line throughout the second half of the season. He continued to impress in what would be his last game of his rookie season. Ford made two solo tackles, including this hustle play on a checkdown pass to Ezekiel Elliott.
Look at my guy Poona Ford taking on the double team and then making the tackle down the field. pic.twitter.com/AGhzjKJ5uk— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) January 7, 2019
Michael Dickson (SEA-P): Dickson had a busy night kicking and punting inside AT&T Stadium. He averaged 51.4 yards on seven punts with a long of 60 yards. He became more than a punter for Seattle when kicker Sebastian Janikowski hurt his hamstring on a 57-yard field goal attempt to end the first half.
Pete Carroll stayed away from extra point and field goal attempts the rest of the game, but Dickson took over on kickoffs. Seattle’s playoff life came down to Dickson’s special dropkick onside kick attempt. Dallas recovered and ran out the clock to advance.
The rookie punter’s season isn’t over just yet, though. He will compete at this year’s Pro Bowl in Orlando on Sunday, January 27th (7:00 p.m. CT ESPN).
Los Angeles Chargers 23, Baltimore Ravens 17
Adrian Phillips (LAC-S): Phillips’ tremendous season continued with a big defensive performance against the Ravens. He came up with two turnovers — an interception off a tipped pass and recovered a fumble inside Ravens territory. He was the difference maker for the Chargers defense at the hybrid linebacker/safety position.
Justin Tucker (BAL-K): Tucker made both extra-point attempts and went 1-for-2 on field goal attempts in a losing effort. His missed 50-yard field-goal in the second half turned out to be costly.
Philadelphia Eagles 16, Chicago Bears 15
Jordan Hicks (PHI-LB): Hicks had three solo tackles (TFL) in his NFL playoff debut against Chicago. With him still ailing an injury, the Eagles rotated linebackers defensively throughout each series.
Divisional Round Preview
Sat. 3:35 p.m. CT (NBC): No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs vs. No. 6 Indianapolis Colts (DT Hassan Ridgeway)
Kansas City has lost 10 of their last 11 playoff games dating back to the 1994 season.
Sat. 7:15 p.m. CT (FOX): No. 2 Los Angeles Rams (RB Malcolm Brown*) vs. No. 4 Dallas Cowboys (TE Geoff Swaim* / OG Connor Williams)
Dallas is in search of their first NFC Championship game since the 1995-96 season.
Sun. 12:05 p.m. CT (CBS): No. 2 New England Patriots (DT Malcom Brown) vs. No. 5 Los Angeles Chargers (S Adrian Phillips)
Malcom Brown is seeking his fourth consecutive AFC Championship appearance in as many NFL seasons. The Patriots have played in the last six AFC Championships. Despite the consistent success, New England is 2-4 over that six year span with just one Super Bowl victory.
Sun. 3:40 p.m. CT (FOX): No. 1 New Orleans Saints (DE Alex Okafor) vs. No. 6 Philadelphia Eagles (LB Jordan Hicks)
The defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles will make their first back-to-back NFC Championship run since 2002-03 with a win on Sunday.
* = IR