The Top Highlights from NFL's Wild Card Weekend
Wild Card Weekend in the NFL was full of amazing plays, and we've assembled the biggest plays from all four games for your viewing pleasure.
Bengals vs. Texans
The Houston Texans dominated the Cincinnati Bengals in the early game on Saturday, winning by a score of 19-13. Arian Foster had a field day against the vaunted Bengals defense, and the Texans dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
These were the biggest highlights from that contest.
J.J. Watt Sacks Andy Dalton
The Texans jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, and the Bengals looked ready to respond with a scoring drive of their own after BenJarvus Green-Ellis broke off a 29-yard run right up the middle.
Then, Watt shut the door on that drive with a huge sack of Andy Dalton, dropping him for a nine-yard loss.
Leon Hall Scores the Bengals' Only Touchdown
Andy Dalton and the Bengals offense couldn't get anything going on Saturday, and they only got into the red zone one time.
In fact, if not for Hall's brilliant play here to intercept Matt Schaub for a touchdown, the outcome would have been severely lopsided in favor of the Texans.
Hall baited Schaub into throwing it to fullback James Casey, and when the pass was thrown, he pounced on it for the score.
Arian Foster Scores the Texans' Only Touchdown
As we alluded to earlier, Foster had a huge game on Saturday. He rushed for 140 yards, caught six passes for 34 yards and scored the Texans' lone touchdown.
His ability to punch it in turned out to be the deciding score of the contest, as the Texans won by six points.
A.J. Green and Andy Dalton Finally Connect On a Big Play
Green didn't catch a single pass in the first half, and even worse, Dalton never once targeted his most talented receiver.
They came together in the second half for five receptions, one of which was this 45-yard beauty down the middle of the field.
Unfortunately, the Bengals could only manage a field goal on this drive—a problem that plagued them all game long on offense.
Johnathan Joseph Seals the Victory
The Bengals pulled to within one score of the Texans in the third quarter, and after forcing Houston to punt, it looked like Cincinnati was ready to make a move.
Then, Dalton attempted to hit Green on a seam route, but Green wasn't looking for the pass. Joseph was tracking the play the entire way and made an easy interception to seal the game for the Texans.
Vikings vs. Packers
Saturday's late game featured Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers rolling at home over the Christian Ponder-less Minnesota Vikings. Joe Webb struggled to connect with his receivers, and Adrian Peterson was held to under 100 yards.
Here are the biggest highlights from that game.
DuJuan Harris Gets the Packers on the Board
The Vikings jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on the first drive of the game. Then, they forced the Packers to punt on their opening drive, but the lead didn't last long.
Rodgers and the Packers methodically moved the ball downfield on their next drive. Harris finished it with style, fighting off multiple Vikings defenders and stretching out to score the first touchdown of the game for the Packers.
Greg Jennings Converts a 4th-and-5 and Almost Scores
Mason Crosby has been atrocious this year, so it was no surprise that Mike McCarthy made a decision to keep his offense on the field facing a 4th-and-5 at the Vikings 34-yard line.
Rodgers hit Jennings on a timing pattern on the left sideline, and Jennings did the rest on his own, coming within two yards of a touchdown.
Aaron Rodgers Hits Jordy Nelson With a Laser Shot
This play was brilliant on two fronts.
First off, Rodgers' ability to roll to his right and then square his shoulders to fire a bullet to Nelson with accuracy can't be overlooked.
Secondly, Nelson's body control and magnificent feet finished the play with style.
John Kuhn Finishes the Drive with Authority
Two plays after Nelson's tightrope walk down the right sideline, Kuhn finished off the drive with a powerful run up the gut for six.
Kuhn Scores a Second Time
Kuhn's first score of the game was brute strength, but his second touchdown showed style.
Kuhn caught a short pass up the middle, headed towards the goal line and withstood two hits, helicoptering his way into the end zone for the score.
Clay Matthews Goes Ghost Recon On Joe Webb
Webb never knew what hit him. One second, he was looking downfield, trying to make a play, then the ball was no longer in his hand.
Webb Strikes Back...Too Late
With less than four minutes remaining in the game, Webb hit Michael Jenkins down the right sideline for a 50-yard touchdown. The Packers left him wide open, and Webb made the easy throw.
Unfortunately, it was too little, too late.
Colts vs. Ravens
Chuck Pagano's Indianapolis Colts were blasted on the road against the Baltimore Ravens 24-9—a team seemingly energized by Ray Lewis' announcement that this will be his final season.
Here are the highlights from that game.
Ray Rice Rumbles
The game was tied 3-3 near the end of the second quarter when Joe Flacco hit Rice on a screen pass. Rice made a huge play, taking it down near the goal line for 47 yards.
Vonta Leach Does the Dirty Work
One play later, Leach finished what Rice started, punching it in from two yards out to give the Ravens a seven-point lead.
Anquan Boldin Bails Out Flacco in Spectacular Form
Flacco's numbers in this game make it appear as if he had a phenomenal day passing the ball.
Boldin had a lot to do with Flacco's success, especially on this play, which looked to be intended for the outside receiver, rather than Boldin.
Dennis Pitta Won't Be Denied
Pitta steamrolled his way into the end zone after Flacco hit him in stride on a short pass, putting the Ravens up by a score of 17-6 at that point.
He simply would not be stopped.
Boldin Outworks Darius Butler For the Score
Boldin displayed incredible strength and determination on this play. Butler got his arm in between the ball and Boldin's two arms, but Boldin was still able to keep his eyes on the ball and secure the touchdown pass.
This put the Ravens up by a score of 24-9, and it proved to be the final scoring play of the game.
Ray Lewis Finishes the Game On Offense
In a classy move by John Harbaugh, Lewis was on the field for the final play of the game as the deep back on a kneel-down play.
It's likely the last time Ravens fans will see Lewis in person, as Baltimore will now hit the road to face the Denver Broncos next weekend.
Seahawks vs. Redskins
Finally, in the last game of the weekend and the one that provided the most fireworks....
RG3 Hits Evan Royster for Six
A few plays after Morris' impressive run, Griffin threw a strike to Royster, who had sneaked into the end zone out of the backfield.
RG3's throw had to be perfect, as Royster had defenders on both sides of him, and it was.
RG3 Doubles Down
Later in the first quarter, Griffin finished another impressive drive with a touchdown pass, this time to tight end Logan Paulsen, who was wide open in the end zone for the easy score.
The scoring drive went 54 yards in 11 plays and took almost six minutes off the clock.
Sidney Rice Has Sweet Feet
After getting shut down for most of the first quarter, Seattle's offense finally busted out with a scoring drive of its own in the second quarter—a 12-play drive that ended in three points.
Rice's contribution to this scoring drive can't be overlooked, as he not only caught a difficult pass but then displayed excellent body control, tapping both feet in bounds before getting shoved out.
Russell Wilson Answers With a TD of His Own
After RG3 tossed two touchdown strikes in the first quarter, the second quarter belonged to Wilson and the Seahawks.
Wilson found fullback Michael Robinson for a four-yard touchdown strike with less than five minutes remaining in the first half, pulling the Seahawks to within four points of the lead.
The Seahawks went on to score another field goal before halftime, making it a one-point game.
Beast Mode Goes Beast Mode
The second half was brutal, with both sides struggling to move the ball.
It was the perfect environment for Lynch to show his wild side, and "Beast Mode" busted out with some big runs, including this spectacular 27-yard rumble for the touchdown.
Lynch juked two Redskins defenders out of their shoes to begin the play, and he finished off the play with authority down near the goal line with an assist from his quarterback.
Robert Griffin Goes Down
For Redskins fans, this isn't a highlight, but it was the play that sealed the victory for the Seahawks.
RG3 had been struggling with his knee all game long, and late in the fourth quarter, it finally gave out, and under the worst possible circumstances for Washington.
Deep in their own territory, Griffin received a low snap from his center. When he attempted to reach for it, his knee just buckled.
The Seahawks recovered the fumble, scored a field goal and went up by 10 points.
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