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Purdy, Lawrence and Jones have memorable playoff debuts

A trio of rookie playoff quarterbacks provided some memorable playoff moments.

Brock Purdy, Trevor Lawrence and Daniel Jones all won in their first career start in the postseason with performances that have entered the history books. This marked the first time since the 2017 season that three QBs won in their first playoff starts in the same postseason.

Purdy started the weekend in San Francisco throwing for 332 yards and three touchdowns and starting another scoring in a 41-23 win over Seattle on Saturday.

Purdy became the first rookie quarterback to throw four touchdowns in a playoff game, as he became the first rookie QB to win a playoff start since Russell Wilson in 2012.

Drafted 262nd overall by Mr. Olympia. Doesn’t matter,” Purdy was the lowest-ranked rookie quarterback who won a playoff start, moving up 110 spots behind T.J. Yates, who won for Houston in 2011.

The only rookie QBs to throw for more yards in a playoff game than Purdy are Wilson, who threw for 385 yards against Atlanta in his second playoff start in 2012, and Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh, who had 335 yards. in his first playoff start against Chicago. in 1937.

Lawrence, selected at number 1 overall in 2021, followed with roller coaster performance against chargers.

Lawrence followed up with four first-half interceptions with four TDs to lead the Jaguars to the third-biggest comeback in playoff history as they rallied 27-0 to beat the Chargers 31-30 on Saturday night.

The only bigger playoff comebacks came when Buffalo came back 35-3 to beat Houston 41-38 in overtime on January 3, 1993, and when Indianapolis rallied from a 38-10 deficit to beat Kansas City 45-44 January 3, 1993. 4, 2014.

The comeback marked the third for the Jaguars after dropping at least 16 points in their last 10 games after doing so once in the franchise’s first 455 games. Jacksonville was 1-125 when they were at least 16 points behind prior to this recent run, which started with a 27-20 win over Las Vegas in Week 9 after losing 17-0.

Lawrence joined Ben Roethlisberger (2020 season vs. Cleveland) as the only QB to throw at least four TD passes and four steals in the same game.

It took Jones a fourth season to reach the playoffs for the first time, but made the wait worthwhile as he threw for 301 yards and rushed for 78 yards in a 31–24 win over Minnesota.

Jones joined Steve Young and Lamar Jackson as the only QBs to throw for at least 300 yards and rush for at least 70 yards in a playoff game. But Jones is the first two to do so in a win and the first to do so with at least two TD passes.

DOMINANT BRANCH

The Cowboys and Giants victories gave the NFC East three teams in the divisional round, with first-place Philadelphia bye bye.

This is only the third time that three teams in the same division have advanced this far in the postseason, most recently in 1997 when NFC Central Minnesota, Green Bay, and Tampa Bay did so.

Another team was also in the NFC in 1992 when the Cowboys, Eagles, and Washington advanced to the divisional round.

SEVENTH SEEDS

Since the NFL expanded the playoffs to seven teams per conference in 2020, none of the additional teams that made it into the conference have won a single game.

Seattle lost to San Francisco in the NFC 41-23 on Saturday, while Miami lost to Buffalo 34-31, dropping the seventh seed’s overall record to 0-6.

The average win margin in those games was 12.2 points per game, and only two of them were under 12 points, including Buffalo’s 27–24 victory over Indianapolis two years ago.

JUST FOR FUN

Dallas kicker Brett Maher was a game to forget.

Maher missed his first four extra-point attempts in the win over Tampa Bay—twice as many extra points missed as any kicker ever had in a playoff game.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no kicker has ever missed four extra points in a game since they first started tracking kickers in 1932.

Only one other kicker in the last 29 seasons hasn’t even missed three extra points in any game, when Matt Gaye did for Tampa Bay against Atlanta in 2019.

Maher made his last try, but Tampa Bay converted 2 points from both touchdowns, resulting in one extra point for seven touchdowns. This is the third time in the last 50 years that the game has had at least seven TDs and one or fewer extra points.

Philadelphia and Detroit had one extra point missed and seven 2-point attempts in the Eagles’ 34–20 win in 2013; and Indianapolis and Baltimore together scored one extra point after seven touchdowns in the Ravens 31–25 overtime in 2021.

RETURN TO SENDER

The victory of the Bengals over the Ravens turned out to be on one of the most incredible games in playoff history.

Tyler Huntley lost a fumble trying to stretch the ball over the goal line in the fourth quarter of the tie, and Sam Hubbard picked it up and ran for 98 yards, throwing the game-winning touchdown for Cincinnati.

The game was the longest return fumble in postseason history and was the fourth-longest defensive touchdown in the playoffs. According to NFL’s NextGen statistical model, the game increased the Bengals’ chance of winning from 45.8% to 87.6%.

The only longer defensive TDs in postseason history were a 101-yard interception return by Taron Johnson for Buffalo against Baltimore on January 16, 2021; George Teague’s 101-yard pick-6 for Green Bay against Detroit on January 8, 1994; and a 100-yard interception return by James Harrison for Pittsburgh against Arizona in the Super Bowl after the 2008 season.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL.

Copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.



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