The Best and Worst of the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend

From Marcus Mariota to Pharoh Cooper, the first weekend of the postseason gave us highs and lows.

Marcus Mariota
Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) carries the ball against Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Ron Parker (38) and linebacker Justin Houston (50) during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The Ringer broke down the heroes and villains of the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend in a playoff edition of Winners and Losers. It was a tumultuous weekend for two young AFC quarterbacks who eventually earned their first playoff victories: Marcus Mariota and Blake Bortles. Mariota made the signature play of the weekend, catching his own deflected pass and running it in for a touchdown. Bortles had a horrific passing day, but helped lead the Jaguars to the second round with a shocking 89 rushing yards. Referee Jeff Triplette had a much-maligned time officiating the Chiefs-Titans game, after which he announced his retirement. And the Rams’ Pharoh Cooper, usually electrifying, was involved in two crucial turnovers which helped the Falcons return to the second round.

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