The 2021 NFL Divisional Round featured four former Maryland football players and three of them are heading to a conference championship game.
Stefon Diggs, once again, put on a show for the Buffalo Bills to help lead them to their first AFC championship game since the 1993 season. Diggs went for eight catches, 106 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown catch came on the first drive of the second half, which gave Buffalo the lead and momentum the rest of the way.
Quick throw to @StefonDiggs for the TD!— NFL (@NFL) January 17, 2021
Buffalo takes a 10-3 lead. #NFLPlayoffs
: #BALvsBUF on NBC
: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/apCkRMWr6f pic.twitter.com/HtUb0ufJA6
The Ravens only matched two defensive backs on the three Bills receivers that lined up out wide, which allowed for Diggs to catch a screen pass and enter the end zone for the second time this postseason.
Josh Allen & Stefon Diggs (3-yard TD)— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 17, 2021
Route Type: WR Screen
The Ravens matched only 2 DBs on the 3 Bills WRs aligned out wide. Allen is the only QB with multiple TD passes on WR screen passes this season (including playoffs).#BALvsBUF | Powered by @awscloud pic.twitter.com/Hgh3EcUojI
After his performance Saturday night, Diggs became the first NFL player to record at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown in the first two games of a postseason since Hakeem Nicks (New York Giants) in 2011. In the Wild Card Round against Indianapolis, Diggs had six catches for 128 yards and a touchdown.
His performance against Baltimore helped lead the Bills to a 17-3 win and punched his ticket to the second conference championship game of his six-year career. Diggs fell to the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2018 NFC championship game as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. He will look to advance to his first Super Bowl, but will have to get past the No. 1 seed and defending champion Kansas City Chiefs.
The last time the Bills played in the conference championship (Jan. 23, 1994) was against the Chiefs, and Buffalo came out on top 30-13. Diggs and the Bills will look to continue their success as they are on the doorstep of Super Bowl LV.
- Second-year safety Darnell Savage Jr. and the Green Bay Packers have advanced to their second consecutive NFC championship game. The No. 1 seed in the NFC received a bye in the Wild Card Round and hosted the Los Angeles Rams in the Divisional Round on Saturday. Savage, who had a career-best performance in Week 17 against Chicago, recorded two total tackles against the Rams. Savage played 100% of the defensive snaps on Saturday and his coverage as a safety continued to be among the NFL’s best, which allowed him to record just two tackles. Savage has now played 100% of the Packers’ defensive snaps in eight of the 16 games that he’s played in this season. The Packers defeated the Rams, 32-18, en route to the NFC championship game. Last year, the Packers fell to the San Fransisco 49ers, 37-20, in Santa Clara, California. Green Bay will host the NFC championship game at Lambeau Field for the first time in legendary quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ career. Savage and the Packers will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and with a win would move on to Super Bowl LV.
- Bills defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson played 36 defensive snaps (46%) and three special teams snaps on Saturday, but did not record a statistic in the win. He recorded a season-high three combined tackles in the Wild Card Round against the Colts and will look to bounce back in the AFC championship game. Jefferson, who was a member of the Seattle Seahawks from 2016-2019, has advanced to the first conference championship game of his career.
- Cleveland Browns offensive guard Michael Dunn was placed on the injured reserve on Tuesday, prior to the Divisional Round against the Chiefs. Despite upsetting the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card Round, the Browns’ playoff run fell short with a 22-17 loss to Kansas City. Dunn went undrafted and was cut by Cleveland before earning his spot on the roster about half way through this season. He finished the campaign with six games played and was phenomenal in protecting quarterback Baker Mayfield the Browns’ lone playoff victory.