Wildcard weekend matchups

Written by: Jaylin Hardin | Sports Editor

Wildcard Weekend offered up a small number of matchups, with teams facing each other in hopes of making their way into the NFL playoffs and the road to the Superbowl. Before the weekend started, only two teams had secured their spots in the playoffs: the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC North and the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC West.

With the wildcard matchups, some players ended up facing their former teammates and coaches, and some teams met their match following their program’s history.

Houston Texans v. Cleveland Browns, Jan. 13 — In March of 2022, the Browns announced a trade for Texans’ quarterback, Deshaun Watson. During the 2023 season, Watson was injured and replaced with backup quarterback, Joe Flacco. Since starting, Flacco has led the Browns to their eleventh win and has led the Browns to victory in four of five games. Had the Browns won, Flacco would have faced his old team, the Baltimore Ravens.

Kansas City Chiefs v. Miami Dolphins, Jan. 13 — Historically, the Miami Dolphins have lost eight straight games in weather colder than 40 degrees. This is not anything new for the team, as their record in cold weather temperatures is 25-46-1, and all but one of those games have been on the road. With a projected high of six degrees and a low of negative seven degrees, the Dolphins fell to their odds of loss. 

Dallas Cowboys v. Green Bay Packers, Jan. 14 — The last time the Packers lost to the Cowboys was in October of 2016, and the team has not lost to the Cowboys in Dallas in recent history. The Packers even lead their matchups in NFC divisions and playoffs 5-4, and with this win, the matchup record comes to 6-4.

Detroit Lions v. Los Angeles Rams, Jan. 15 — In 2021, the Rams and the Lions traded their starting quarterbacks, Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff — Stafford to the Rams and Goff to the Lions. Since the trade, the two quarterbacks have maintained similar stats in their seasons. The Lions have gone 13-5 and the Rams finished 10-8. This was also the Lions’ first playoff game in thirty years, and Stafford’s first time playing in Detroit since the trade was made. 

Saturday Night Football — Houston Texans 45, Cleveland Browns 14; Kansas City Chiefs, 26, Miami Dolphins 7

Sunday Night Football — Green Bay Packers 48, Dallas Cowboys 32; Detroit Lions 24, Los Angeles Rams 23

Monday Night Football — Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32, Philadelphia Eagles 9; Buffalo Bills 31, Pittsburgh Steelers 17

Contact the author at howlsports@wou.edu