Biggest winners and losers from Saturday’s games


1) Chiefs offense. The entire AFC postseason shifted when Mahomes sprained his right ankle in the first quarter of Saturday’s divisional round. Yes, he spat it out. He also had a noticeable limp in the second half, prompting arguably the most-asked question of the week: Can Kansas City win the AFC championship game with Mahomes limping? That will be a big challenge. The Chiefs were good enough to fend off the Jaguars, but Mahomes and Henne only totaled 218 passing yards. It’s hard to see those numbers in a matchup against Cincinnati or Buffalo, who possess two of the league’s most explosive offenses. Think about it: The Chiefs converted five of six third-down chances in the first half against Jacksonville and just one of six in the second half. Bottom line, Mahomes proved why he’s the likely winner of this year’s Most Valuable Player award in the league. He’ll need more magic from his team’s medical staff to ensure a high ankle sprain doesn’t derail the Chiefs’ Super Bowl dreams.

2) Defense of the Giants. The Giants have been bad against the run all year and that didn’t change on Saturday night. The Eagles rushed 253 yards against New York in their first meeting, 135 in their second, and amassed 268 yards on 44 carries in that last meeting. Kenneth Gainwell and Miles Sanders combined for 202 yards on 29 carries alone, an average of almost seven yards per carry. The Eagles also did all of this while one of their top linemen, right tackle Lane Johnson, struggled through a torn hijacker. To be fair, the Giants’ defense was one of the main reasons for this team’s ability to secure a wildcard spot. It also held back the Minnesota Vikings in their away win last weekend. However, the Eagles have been a poor matchup for this team all year, and the Giants are now spending an entire offseason trying to fix that.

3) Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson. Despite all the great things Pederson did in his first season as head coach at Jacksonville, he missed a prime opportunity to cause a big upset on Saturday. The Jaguars dealt with an injured Mahomes and a Chiefs team who felt the effects of their quarterback’s uncertain health mid-game. Pederson responded by turning his offense conservative in the third quarter, with a variety of runs and short passes fueling his attack. The Jaguars were at times trailing 17-10 and never did anything to pressure the Chiefs’ defense. They were also unwilling to blitz Mahomes after it became clear his injury was affecting his mobility. There’s no doubt the Jaguars have come a long way this year. They also missed a huge opportunity by not showing the same aggressiveness that allowed them to come back from a 27-0 deficit against the Chargers during Super Wild Card weekend.