5 Surprises From NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend

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5 Surprises From NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend


This weekend football fans were once again treated to an amazing display of NFL football as the divisional playoff round wrapped up. It set up what sets up to be, and what promises to be some fabulous conference championship games this weekend.

But of course when it comes to the NFL, you must expect the unexpected. Whether it was a rookie quarterback playing the type of game a ten-year veteran would be envious of or a future Hall of Fame player looking like a rookie, there were surprises all over the dial. Some performances stood out as those that will be remembered for years to come. And others will be the kinds that fans of that team cannot forget soon enough.

This was a tough list to narrow down, but once I sorted through all the amazing plays of the weekend and the narrowed it down to the 5 things that surprised me more than anything else over the NFL divisional playoff weekend. I then took my finalists to the Interwebs and sought out the input of the people. Fans are passionate and when it comes to a list like this, sometimes the word of the people screams the loudest.

Not all these surprises were good like finding a $5 bill in the dryer, some were more like dropping your cell phone in the toilet. But these were 5 of the most shocking things to come out of this past weekend of playoff football.

Be sure to come find me on Twitter @nfldraftboard for all my football rants.

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Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is for real.

Daniel Shirley-USA TODAY Sports

Wilson is growing on me. I'll admit I was not an early adopter of Wilson and his game in the NFL. But mark me among the converted. Even in a loss Wilson showed poise and skills that most quarterbacks can't get in a decade in the league. If the Seahawks can shore up that defensive line a little and get him another target, he's going to be incredibly hard to stop.

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The Houston Texans defense needs work.

Thomas Campbell-US Presswire

I didn't think the Texans could beat the Patriots. However, I thought they'd put up a better fight than they did. The Texans front 7 were caught flat-footed time after time, and seemed like they didn't want to tackle any Patriots players. A team with an offense like that deserves a better effort form their defense.

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Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning didn't want the football?

Ron Chenoy-US Presswire

When the Broncos chose to take a knee with just under a minute to play and 2 timeouts left and simply chose to take a knee and play for overtime, my first thought was to vilify head coach John Fox. It's no new discovery that Fox is a conservative coach. But upon further review I'm going to put this one on Manning. Regardless of who Manning's coach has been, he's called the shots, so I am sure that at some point he and Fox got together on the sideline before that drive. But I have to believe if Manning felt like he had the arm to get it down field that quickly, he'd have said he could

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The New England Patriots are crazy deep on offense.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

When running back Danny Woodheadwent down I thought that the Patriots would be able to plug in another player or platoon of players to cover his production. But then when tight end Rob Gronkowski re-injured his forearm and had to leave the game, I started to wonder if this would throw off the Patriots offense. And of course it did not. Any other team loses 2 players that account for that much offense and you have to wonder what would happen, but the depth of the Patriots is unmatched in the league.

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Champ Bailey looked old.

Jake Roth-US Presswire

For a good chunk of the season we all heard about how Bailey was still the man in Denver, and the future Hall of Fame cornerback was still playing like an All-Pro. When I mocked a new cornerback to the Broncos, Denver fans went on the attack to tell me how Bailey is still one of the best in the league. Well against the Baltimore Ravens Champ was more of a chump. He looked lost out there, whether it was missed assignments or simply having lost a step, he was a weak link the Ravens offense realized quickly they could exploit. Looks like a new cornerback might be in order after all.

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