It was anything but easy, and at times it seemed the Raptors were really going to lose to the Washington Wizards on Sunday, a game in which the Raptors led by 23 points in the second quarter.,The NFL's divisional round last weekend didn't quite live up to the hype, as only one of the games was close and exciting, but it leaves us with two championship games next Sunday that are must-watch games.,The Kansas City Chiefs will host the New England Patriots, while the New Orleans Saints will host the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game.,OVer in the NFC, it was the Rams winning the game thanks to their run offense and run defense, the last thing anybody expected.,The Saints have looked like the best team all season, and after falling behind 14-0 to the Eagles to start the game, scored 20 straight points and put an end to the Nick Foles magic.
C.J. Anderson rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns, and Todd Gurley rushed for 115 more yards and another TD in the Los Angeles Rams' first playoff victory in 14 years, 30-22 over the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round on Saturday night.,The long-struggling Rams had won only one postseason game since their last trip to the Super Bowl in February 2002, but 32-year-old coach Sean McVay has added his first playoff victory to his spectacular two-season franchise turnaround.,After winning the NFC East and beating Seattle last week, Dallas lost in the divisional playoff round for the sixth consecutive time and fell short of its first trip to the NFC championship game since January 1996.,CHIEFS 31, COLTS 13
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes picked apart the Colts in his postseason debut, the Chiefs defense answered their chorus of critics with a stout performance, and Kansas City rolled to a victory over Indianapolis in the divisional round to end 25 years of playoff frustration.,Mahomes threw for 278 yards while running for a touchdown, and Damien Williams ran through snow and muck for 129 yards and another score, as the Chiefs beat Indianapolis for the first time in five playoff meetings to earn their first AFC title game appearance since January 1994.
Rivers directed the Los Angeles Chargers to a 23-17 playoff victory at Baltimore on Sunday, setting up another high-stakes matchup with Brady and the New England Patriots.,The reigning Super Bowl champions are still in the mix after Nick Foles threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate on fourth down with 56 seconds left, sending the Philadelphia Eagles to a 16-15 victory over the NFC North champion Chicago Bears on Sunday.,The Chargers (13-4) visit the Patriots (11-5) in the first divisional playoff game next Sunday, followed by the Eagles’ return to New Orleans.,The 37-year-old Rivers beat New England in 2008, but that was with Matt Cassel starting at quarterback for the Patriots while Brady was injured.,Rivers went up against New England for the first time in the playoffs after the 2006 season, tossing an interception in a 24-21 loss to the visiting Patriots.
The Indianapolis Colts, led by quarterback Andrew Luck and receiver T.Y. Hilton, meet the Kansas City Chiefs, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce, in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game on Saturday, January 12, 2019 (1/12/19) at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.,In a later game, the Dallas Cowboys, led by quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, meet the Los Angeles Rams, led by quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley, in an NFC Divisional Playoff Game on Saturday, January 12, 2019 (1/12/19) at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.,Here's what you need to know:
Who: Colts vs. Chiefs
Rivers directed the Los Angeles Chargers to a 23-17 playoff victory at Baltimore on Sunday, setting up another high-stakes matchup with Brady and the New England Patriots.,The Chargers (13-4) visit the Patriots (11-5) in the first divisional playoff game next Sunday, followed by the Eagles’ return to New Orleans.,The 37-year-old Rivers beat New England in 2008, but that was with Matt Cassel starting at quarterback for the Patriots while Brady was injured.,Rivers went up against New England for the first time in the playoffs after the 2006 season, tossing an interception in a 24-21 loss to the visiting Patriots.,Playing with a torn knee ligament, Rivers threw two more picks in a 21-12 loss at New England.
In their first season in Indianapolis, head coach Frank Reich, left, and offensive coordinator and Jamestown native Nick Sirianni have guided the Colts into the playoffs.,Father Fran, a member of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, coached Southwestern High School from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s; brother Mike is the head coach at Washington & Jefferson College where he has compiled one of the best winning percentages in the NCAA; and brother Jay coached Southwestern to a pair of New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships in 2008 and 2009.,Once the youngest Sirianni arrived at the University of Mount Union, he played for Larry Kehres, who guided the Purple Raiders to 11 national championships in his career.,Upon his graduation, Sirianni began his climb up the coaching ranks with stops at Mount Union, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the Kansas Chiefs and the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, before joining Reich’s staff in Indianapolis last February.,“One of the reasons I’m in the position I’m in now is because of the successful coaches I’ve been around, starting with growing up in a coach’s house, learning how to coach with my brothers, and then, obviously, playing for the most successful coach in NCAA football history in Larry Kehres,” he told The Post-Journal last October.
For the ninth year in a row, the New England Patriots have earned a first round bye and now the team will await the results of next weekend's Wild Card games to learn who their next opponent will be.,If Houston is able to beat Indianapolis at home next weekend, the Patriots and Texans would face off in the divisional round at Gillette Stadium for the third time since the 2012 season.,The Chargers were tied for sixth in the league in scoring (26.8 points per game), got great seasons from quarterback Phillip Rivers (4,308 yards, 32 touchdowns) and receiver Keenan Allen (97 catches, 1,196 yards, 6 touchdowns), and also had one of the league's better defenses, ranking eighth in the league in points allowed (20.6).,Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)
The earliest the Patriots could possibly face the Chiefs is in the AFC Championship Game, but should the Patriots win their divisional round matchup, the Chiefs would be the most likely opponent.,While Indianapolis has won four-straight entering the playoffs and would be red hot going into a prospective AFC Championship Game, the Patriots did beat the Colts 38-24 at home in Week 5 this year.
The road to the Super Bowl will go through New Orleans after the Saints won a 31-28 thriller against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are now suddenly on the brink of missing out on the NFL play-offs altogether.,In a pulsating game played in a deafening atmosphere inside the Superdome, Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw a touchdown pass to Michael Thomas with just over a minute to play to put New Orleans ahead.,The magnitude of the result for both teams cannot be overstated, as New Orleans are a different side at home with their boisterous fans behind them, while they're also unbeaten in five home play-off games in the Brees era.,The New England Patriots earned a scrappy 24-12 over the Buffalo Bills to seal a remarkable 10th straight AFC East title and move into second place in the AFC, which means quarterback Tom Brady and company can earn a familiar week off with a win on the final Sunday next week.,Andrew Luck led the Indianapolis Colts to a thrilling 28-27 comeback victory over the New York Giants to set up a huge final-week showdown for the last play-off spot in the AFC against the Tennessee Titans, who beat the Washington Redskins on Saturday.