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NFL Wild Card Roundup: 49ers shock Cowboys; Chiefs, Bucs roll Sunday

In the fourth playoff game of Wild Card weekend, we finally got a big upset win. Other than that, the favorites rolled this weekend into the next round.

LOS ANGELES — We had a few blowouts and a couple tight games on what was a somewhat predictable NFL Wild Card Weekend.

There's still one big game to go between the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams in L.A. The winner of that game will face the Tampa Bay Bucs on the road in the Divisional Round.

Let's talk about how it all played out on Wild Card Weekend.

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Bengals and Bills advance in Saturday games

After holding the No. 1 pick just two years ago, the Cincinnati Bengals just won a playoff game. It's their first playoff win since 1991 as they defeated the visiting Las Vegas Raiders in a thrilling game 26-19.

Joe Burrow was strong in his first career playoff game, going for nearly 250 yards through the air and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

Rookie wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase had nine catches for 116 yards.

"It's exciting for the city, for the state, but we are not going to dwell on that, we are moving forward," Burrow said. "This is expected, this isn't like the icing on top of the cake, this is the cake. So we are moving on."

The win didn't come without some controversy as officials allowed a Bengals touchdown in the second half despite a blown whistle prior to the completion of the play. The Raiders would go on to lose by one touchdown.

"We just ran out of time today," said interim coach Rich Bisaccia. "We did some uncharacteristic things with some penalties and gave up some drives and didn't capitalize when we had it in the red zone at times. So it just didn't go our way today."

Derek Carr had over 300 yards for the Raiders in the loss.

It ends a long, distraction-filled season for the Raiders, who have faced more adversity this year than any team in recent memory.

The Bengals move on to the play the Tennessee Titans in Nashville next week.

Meanwhile over in freezing Buffalo, the Bills got it done with ease over their division rival Patriots, smacking them 47-17. 

The Bills scored touchdowns on their first seven possessions, becoming the first team in the Super Bowl era to score on every possession that didn't end in a kneel down. And, they did it in six-degree weather. Josh Allen set a team playoff record with five touchdown passes, including two to Dawson Knox.

"I think we feel good," Allen said. "There's some things that we can clean up and work on. But at the end of the day, we moved on, we're on to the next one and it doesn't matter what we did today. It's what we do next week."

Mac Jones' rookie season ended after a rough night that included two interceptions and three sacks and two late garbage time touchdowns.

"There was a lot of disrespect coming toward our defense. And so we felt like the only way to shut people up is to go out there and play football and let you guys sit and watch and talk," Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes said. "And that's what we're doing right now, playing football."

The Bills move on to play the Kansas City Chiefs in K.C. next weekend, where Buffalo dominated them early in this season.

Bucs, Chiefs dominate opponents

It was the two biggest spreads on Wild Card Weekend for a reason. The Bucs dominated the Eagles 31-0 at one point before two late touchdowns by Philly made it a 16-point win for Tampa. 

Tom Brady had 271 yards and two touchdowns as the Bucs' backup running backs got it done on the ground as well, going for over 100 yards and two rushing touchdowns. 

Mike Evans caught nine balls for 118 yards and a touchdown from Brady as the Bucs offense cruised throughout the first three quarters. 

"It only gets tougher from here," said the seven-time Super Bowl winner, who's trying to help the Bucs become the first team to repeat as NFL champions since the Brady-led New England Patriots won back-to-back titles in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

The winner of Arizona/L.A. will take on the Bucs next Sunday.

In the Sunday night game, the Chiefs got off to a slow start but it didn't last. As T.J. Watt had a fumble recovery touchdown to give the Steelers a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter, the Chiefs turned it on quick.

They would take a 21-7 lead into half and went on to score 35 unanswered points before winning the game 42-21 in Ben Roethlisberger's final career game.

"We were all pissed at ourselves," Patrick Mahomes said. "We weren't playing with enough energy. We weren't playing at a high enough level. We all motivated ourselves. Everyone was talking to each other, and we came out with a different urgency."

Mahomes was stellar after an early interception. He threw for 404 yards and five touchdowns. Backup running back Jerick McKinnon was huge in the running and passing game, going for over 140 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.

Roethlisberger, who acknowledged the Steelers (9-8-1) were "not a very good football team" this week, wasn't very good in his own right. The 39-year-old quarterback was 29 of 44 for 215 yards with two meaningless TD passes late in the game, providing the coda to a career that includes six Pro Bowl trips and two Super Bowl wins.

"I mean, we lost. It stinks. But when you get to the tournament, only one team is going to end the season the way you want," Roethlisberger said. "I will say, I'm proud of the way our guys fought tonight."

The Chiefs are going to get a chance for revenge against the Bills, who dominated them in primetime earlier this season before a massive win streak put the Chiefs firmly back in the playoffs.

49ers upset Cowboys

We knew the 49ers were a dangerous team coming into the Wild Card Weekend coming off a playoff clinching comeback win over the Rams last week.

The Cowboys have looked sharp for weeks, but had no answers for the 49ers in the first half of Sunday's game. 

San Francisco quickly got out to a 13-0 lead and were able to hold on late despite injuries to key defensive stars Nick Bosa and Fred Warner.

Cowboys rallied and ran out of time trying to get a final play off in the 49ers' 23-17 victory Sunday, causing some controversy for how it was handled.

"I'm still trying to figure out where I'm at," Shanahan said after coaching San Francisco's first playoff victory at Dallas in a storied postseason rivalry. "It's pretty emotional out there. Lots of opportunities to win the game. Those guys (Cowboys) just kept fightin'. We made a couple mistakes there at the end. We shouldn't have let it get there."

The 49ers are headed to a divisional playoff Saturday night at Green Bay. The Packers are looking to get back to the NFC Conference Championship for the third-straight year and the Niners are looking to make it back to the Conference Championship for the second time in three years. The Niners defeated the Packers in the 2019 NFC Championship game. But, that was on Niners home turf. This will be a different game in frigid Green Bay.

Prescott was 23 of 43 for 254 yards in the game, taking some key sacks in the second half. Dallas was also penalized 14 times in Sunday's game.

For Dallas, it's their 11th loss in 15 playoff games.