Posted on: Jan 23, 2023 04:19 am.
Last updated on: January 23, 2023 04:19 am.
Not even their favorite – and highly visible – sportsbook gave the Dallas Cowboys enough support on Sunday. Ultimately, when they faced the San Francisco 49ers in an NFC Divisional game, the Boys couldn’t find a path that would take them to the Conference Finals or Super Bowl LVII.
The Niners eliminated the Cowboys 19-12 to advance to the NFC title game for the third time in four years. It will be an uphill battle as they face the Philadelphia Eagles, the conference’s leading team.
Mattress Mack played at his old tricks before the game, but couldn’t find success at the sportsbook. He had set aside $2 million for the Boys, underdogs going into the competition, to beat the Niners, although it’s not uncommon for him to lose high-priced sports bets.
Brock Purdy no longer irrelevant
No one should continue to refer to Brock Purdy as Mr. Irrelevant. The rookie could soon become the fourth quarterback selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft to win a conference championship in his freshman season.
Dieter Brock made it in 1985, Kurt Warner followed 14 years later and Tom Brady joined the exclusive club in 2001. On the other hand, the Cowboys now have the unique distinction of having the longest streak of playoff appearances without a trip to the conference title game. They accumulated 12 visits to the Divisional Round without making it further.
Although Purdy played well on Sunday, the reason San Fran won was because of their defense. The Niners forced two interceptions from Dak Prescott as they continued to press the offense game after game.
However, the Niners’ offense has struggled to capitalize on turnovers. They each had to settle for field goals, but it was enough to keep San Fran ahead.
Dallas had to work at a disadvantage in the second half of the game, which didn’t help. Running back Tony Pollard suffered a game-ending injury in the first half that sidelined him, and the Boys managed just one field goal each in the last two quarters of the game.
The field goal was a stroke of luck. Kicker Brett Maher continues to struggle after giving up four extra points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in wild card play. He missed his first extra point of Sunday’s game, which resulted in Texas Gov. Greg Abbott raking him over the coals on Twitter.
Time for a rematch
San Fran is now hoping to make it to the Super Bowl for the second time in four seasons. To do so, however, they must defeat the Eagles and QB Jalen Hurts.
The game will take place at Lincoln Financial Field, Philly’s home ground. The last time these two met there in September 2021, the Eagles won 17-11.
The Eagles go into the game as favourites, but not by a large margin. The books have the lines at about -135 to +115.
Purdy, now 7-0 in the starting XI, and running back Christian McCaffrey are proving to be key players for the Niners. Philly has the advantage this season because of their consistency, but San Fran has been on a wild streak throughout the season and can’t be dismissed easily.
Bengals dominate in the snow
It was freezing cold in Buffalo on Sunday, but Joe Burrow was on fire in that AFC Division game. The QB threw two touchdown passes for the Cincinnati Bengals as they had what appeared to be an easy day against the Buffalo Bills.
On a snowy field, Burrow helped the Bengals get off to a great start with back-to-back TDs in their first two series. At the end of the first half they were already leading 17:7 and finally won 27:10.
While Burrow rested on the sidelines, the defense crushed Bills’ offense. It never made any progress and the only TD the team scored came from QB Josh Allen. He also led the team in rushing yards and amassed 26 on eight carries.
The Bengals had to settle for a field goal after review determined it was *not* a touchdown by Ja’Marr Chase.
17-7 Cincinnati.🏈 pic.twitter.com/SFYtKjyrqi
— The comeback (@thecomeback) January 22, 2023
Not even a questionable call from the umpires helped the Bills. The officiating crew reversed a possible TD catch by Ja’Marr Chase, which will keep the debate alive over what constitutes a catch for years to come.
It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Bills, playing in front of safety Damar Hamlin, showed real signs of life. Allen finally found his stride and connected with wide receiver Stefon Diggs in big games, but it was too little, too late.
The Pro Bowler was responsible for much of the team’s success this season, and he made it clear after the game that Allen was to blame for the loss.
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday and are now up against the Bengals. You go into a game as a -120 favorite that should be a monster of a game to watch. With luck, the referees will be better able to make consistent decisions.