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Titans, Falcons advance on wild card Saturday

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We’re one day down in the 2018 NFL playoffs, and the Chiefs and Rams are out.

Wild Card Round - Atlanta Falcons v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The first day of the postseason is in the books, with the Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons advancing to the next round of the 2018 NFL playoffs. The Titans beat the Kansas City Chiefs in a very weird game, 22-21. The Falcons made short work of the Los Angeles Rams, 26-13.

The Chiefs really beat themselves, honestly. Alex Smith played an incredible first half and the Chiefs were well ahead, 21-3, but head coach Andy Reid got cute in the first half. Kansas City basically ran a spread offense in the third quarter, and the Titans handled it without an issue.

Smith didn’t play great in the second half, but the play-calling was atrocious. I cannot fathom what Reid was thinking in the third and fourth quarters, but the Titans were more than happy to build some momentum, win some battles for field position and before long, they were on top.

Of course, Marcus Mariota literally completing a touchdown pass to himself helped their case. The Titans ended up victorious in a messy game, one made messier by laughably bad officiating from the laughably bad Jeff Triplette. The bad calls went both ways, so at least there’s that, but it was sad how bad it was at times.

Seriously, they said that this sack was forward progress being stopped, and therefore wasn’t a fumble. What? What? What the heck even is a sack anymore?

The Rams struggled on both sides of the ball, but turnovers are what hurt them the most. They lost a pair of fumbles, and Jared Goff was sacked three times for a loss of 13 yards. He completed just 24 of 45 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown. Todd Gurley had 101 yards rushing, but he also failed to catch six passes thrown his way.

Atlanta didn’t look unbeatable, but Julio Jones sure did. He caught nine of the 10 passes thrown his way for 94 yards and a touchdown. The Falcons scored in every quarter, while the Rams could only get things done in the second.

Wildcard weekend continues with a game between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars at 10:05 a.m. PT and will conclude with the game between the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints at 1:40 p.m.