The wild card weekend is officially a wrap, and it is fitting that it ended on a wild note. The Dallas Cowboys stormed back from a 14-0 deficit to defeat the Detroit Lions 24-20. The Cowboys deserve credit for making some big plays, but they also benefited from some of the usual horrific NFL officiating. The refs missed numerous calls, and there was the biggest controversy of a pass interference call that was picked up. The Lions had a chance to drive for the win with under two minutes remaining, but Matthew Stafford was strip-sacked to close it out.
That followed the Indianapolis Colts easily pulling away from the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half to win 26-10. The Bengals were limited in their options because of injuries to A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham. They hung close in the first half, but there was an air of inevitability and the Colts eventually pulled away.
The end of the wild card round opens the door for various interview possibilities. The Lions departure means Teryl Austin will have plenty of time to get in his first and second interviews for various head coach opportunities. He joins Todd Bowles in that regard. The 49ers have requested permission to interview Austin, but have not yet done so with regard to Bowles, according to Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians.
The NFC's divisional round will feature the Seattle Seahawks hosting the Carolina Panthers, and the Green Bay Packers hosting the Dallas Cowboys. The AFC's divisional round will feature the New England Patriots hosting the Baltimore Ravens, and the Denver Broncos hosting the Indianapolis Colts. Anything is possible each week, but I would not be shocked to see chalk advance next week. I see the biggest upset possibilities being either Baltimore at New England, or Dallas at Green Bay.