Packers, Steelers Advance in NFL Playoffs
By The Associated Press
Home field advantage meant nothing in the NFL's wild-card playoffs last season as the road team won all four games. It's been a different story this weekend after wins by the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers left the home team 4-0 in the wild-card round.
Aaron Rodgers threw for 362 yards and four touchdowns as the Packers moved into the NFC divisional round by thumping the New York Giants, 38-13 at Green Bay. The Packers led just 7-6 until Rodgers hit Reggie Cobb in the end zone on a Hail Mary with no time left in the first half. Rodgers engineered four straight scoring drives for 24 points in the second half after the Giants pulled within 14-13.
Cobb and Davante Adams each went over 100 receiving yards. Cobb had five receptions for 116 yards and three touchdowns, while Adams scored the Packers' first TD after the afternoon before finishing with eight catches for 125 yards.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning was victimized by several drops as he completed 23 of 44 for 299 yards and one touchdown. Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard combined to drop five passes, two of which would have been touchdowns.
The Giants also managed just 70 yards on 17 carries after showing great improvement in the ground game late in the regular season.
The Steelers deserved to be in a celebratory mood following their 30-12 victory over Miami. But there was some concern in the Steel City after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger showed up at the postgame news conference wearing a walking boot. Roethlisberger didn't have one of his better playoff games, but it didn't matter as Le'Veon Bell rushed for a team playoff-record 167 yards and two touchdowns. Bell's eight-yard scoring run put the Steelers ahead 30-6 late in the third quarter.
Antonio Brown had five receptions for 124 yards, most of it coming on touchdown grabs of 50 and 62 yards in the first quarter. Brown turned short passes into long TDs while the Steelers were scoring 20 points on their first three possessions.
Roethlisberger threw just 18 times the entire afternoon, completing 13 for 197 yards and a pair of interceptions. He tweaked the ankle while throwing an interception on Pittsburgh's penultimate drive. He sprinted off the field afterward and said he will be ready to go against the Chiefs.
The Steelers never allowed Matt Moore to get comfortable in the pocket. The Dolphins quarterback fumbled twice and threw an interception while completing 29 of 36 passes for 289 yards and a score. Moore's fumbles came in Pittsburgh territory with the game still in doubt.
Pittsburgh will travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs next Sunday.