NFL Divisional Round recap: Chiefs last second heroics stun Bills

The 2022 NFL Divisional Round has been called one of the greatest weeks of football of all time. All four games came down to the final seconds, writing memorable storybook endings. For the first time since 2010, both number one seeds were eliminated in the first round of playoffs. Each team had their own unique story to tell regarding how they reached the conference championship, from Cinderella stories to having Super Bowl expectations.

If there was one game that stood out from the rest, it was the heavyweight fight between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, which ended with a Chiefs victory after a 42-36 win in overtime. This ended up being the most watched divisional round game on any network in the last five years, averaging 42.7 million viewers and peaking at nearly 53 million viewers. Prior to kickoff, the expectation was that this would be an offensive battle led by quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, however, the game started in a defensive manner, with each team scoring just 14 points in the first half. This didn’t last, as the prolific offenses broke through in the fourth quarter.

In the final two minutes of play, there were four lead changes and 25 points scored combined. Buffalo scored a touchdown with 13 seconds left in regulation to take a 36-33 lead, but the Chiefs responded by driving down the field, with Mahomes throwing a pass to tight end Travis Kelce, to perfectly set up a game-tying field goal by Harrison Butker and send the game into overtime. The Chiefs won the coin toss and elected to receive. Kansas City’s streaking offense marched down the field, with Mahomes finding Kelce for an 8 yard touchdown, sending them to their fourth straight AFC Championship game to take on the Cincinnati Bengals.

Despite the overtime loss, Allen received praise for his amazing feats throughout the game, throwing for 329 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis also had quite the game, catching eight passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns, including a 75 yard catch on the team’s first drive in the second half. This was one of the most exciting games of the year, which unfortunately became a victim of the NFL’s overtime rules.

The Cincinnati Bengals have exceeded any expectations for postseason success. They were given the third worst odds of any team in the league to win the Super Bowl at +12000. They faced plenty of criticism when they drafted wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, former teammate of quarterback Joe Burrow out of Louisiana State University. This was quickly shut down after Chase scored four touchdowns in the team’s first three games. Burrow and Chase quickly became one of the league’s best duos, leading the charge for the Bengals to win the AFC North and defeat the Tennessee Titans, who had been the number one seed in the AFC. Cincinnati was perhaps the biggest surprise team this season, and with the team being very young, they will likely find themselves in many future postseason runs.

The NFC Championship Game will be a battle between NFC West rivals – the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers. In both regular season matchups, San Francisco came out on top, maintaining a 6-0 record against Los Angeles under coach Kyle Shanahan. These two teams play entirely different types of football; the 49ers have built around their run game and strong defensive line, while Los Angeles will rely on their passing attack to counter San Francisco’s injury-plagued secondary. 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be facing pressure from defensive tackle Aaron Donald and edge rusher Von Miller, who have been a lethal pair since Miller’s first game with the team. This will be the fourth time since 2002 that division rivals meet in the conference championship, and the Rams will certainly be looking to change their fortunes against San Francisco this time around.

The AFC Championship will take place at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 30 when the Bengals travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. In the latest NFL odds from Caesars Sportsbook, Kansas City is a seven-point favorite to move on to Super Bowl 56. This game can be watched on CBS or streamed on Paramount+.

The NFC Championship game will kickoff at 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday, when the 49ers take on the Rams in Los Angeles. The Rams are a current 3.5-point favorite to take the NFC title. This game can be watched on FOX.


Chiefs 38 Bengals 20
49ers 24 Rams 21