NFL: The heroes and zeros of the first round of the playoffs

NFL: The heroes and zeros of the first round of the playoffs

The first round of the NFL playoffs did not disappoint fans with unexpected comebacks, spectacular offensive plays and high-score games.

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Here are three players who produced brilliant performances, and just as many footballers who failed to deliver the goods:


Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

The 29-year-old quarterback was dominant in the 31-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dak Prescott completed 25 of 33 passes he attempted for 305 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 24 yards and a major with his legs.

The Pivot began his battle of form that put his opponents under heavy pressure. In fact, the Dallas Cowboys have had four offense on offense in their first six appearances on the field.

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

Saquon Barkley was the spark plug that helped the Giants beat the Minnesota Vikings 31-24 and make the second round of the playoffs for the first time since the 2011 season at the fourth-quarter goal line. His second touchdown was also the one that made the difference in scoring. Barkley was a constant threat after hurtling through the air for 53 yards and another 56 yards.

Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers

It was difficult to choose the attacking hero for the Niners, who scored 41 points in a win over the Seattle Seahawks. However, the honor went to quarterback Brock Purdy. The Hollywood story of the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft continued with 332 yards and three touchdowns in a one-night game. Purdy, in the fray since week 14 of activity, distributes the ball very well among his talented teammates and gives himself the look of a veteran.

The zeros

Brandon Staley, Chargers of Los Angeles

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley is singled out and slammed for his horrific loss. With a 27-point lead in the second quarter, the California team was eventually beaten 31-30 by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Staley’s game choices and strategies have been flagged as poor across the NFL planet, and there have been many calls for him to be fired. However, Chargers leaders, including quarterback Justin Herbert, have said publicly that he wants him back in 2023.

Tyler Huntley, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens seemed completely in control of their duel against the Cincinnati Bengals before quarterback Tyler Huntley’s big mistake. In the fourth quarter, when the score was 17-17, Baltimore’s attack crossed the field and lodged deep in the opposition zone. In search of a touchdown, Huntley jumped the line of scrimmage instead of running forward. The center fumbled the ball and the valuable object was returned 98 yards for a major by defensive tackle Sam Hubbard. That touchdown ultimately made the difference for the Bengals.

Brett Maher, Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys kicker Brett Maher is probably the man most relieved at Tom Brady’s inability to orchestrate one of his famous comebacks. The 33-year veteran left valuable points on the table when he missed four of the five one-point conversions he attempted. It was the first time in NFL history that a kicker had so many absentees in a playoff game. Luckily for Maher, his teammates took over. It remains to be seen if he will appear in uniform at the Cowboys’ next one-night game.