2024 NFL Wild-Card Recap: Lions, Packers Advance Behind Jared Goff and Jordan Love

Dallas gets humiliated by Green Bay, becoming the first No. 2 seed to lose to a No. 7 seed since the league expanded to a seven-team postseason format in 2020, while Detroit holds off the Rams for its first playoff win since 1991.

 

The Green Bay Packers destroyed former coach Mike McCarthy and his Dallas Cowboys, snapping their 16-game home-winning streak with a 48–32 victory in the NFC wild-card round.

 

The Packers will now face the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers next weekend in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs.

 

In the nightcap, the Detroit Lions won their first playoff game since 1991, beating the Los Angeles Rams, 24–23. Because of Dallas’ loss earlier in the day, Detroit will host the winner of Monday night’s Eagles-Buccaneers game next weekend.

 

Come Monday, the matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers was postponed due to poor weather conditions. Buffalo will now host Pittsburgh at 4:30 p.m. ET Monday.

 

Finally, coach Nick Sirianni will get an opportunity to quiet the noise regarding his job status, as the Philadelphia Eagles head to Florida to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football.

 

What it means for Lions: Detroit is finally back. After 65 years of complete ineptitude, a span in which the Lions won a grand total of one playoff game, the Lions are a factor in the NFC. After not hosting a postseason game for 30 years, Detroit finally did so and won Sunday night, and will do so again next weekend against either the Eagles or Buccaneers. Detroit isn’t just a feel-good story. The Lions are a really good team that will be favored to reach the NFC championship game, a place they haven’t been since 1991.What it means for Rams: It was a solid season for Los Angeles, which was not expected to make the playoffs during what appeared to be a soft rebuild. However, the Rams now must build up the secondary this offseason if they’re going to take the next step in 2024. Ultimately, Los Angeles has a quartet of fantastic offensive pillars in Matthew Stafford, Puka Nacua, Cooper Kupp and Kyren Williams. They need to find players of a similar caliber to match with Aaron Donald and Kobie Turner.

 

What it means for Cowboys: Could this be the end for Mike McCarthy in Dallas? The Cowboys have reached the playoffs each of the past three years under the former Packers’ coach, and they’ve won a grand total of one postseason game. This year’s showing was the worst, with Dallas getting blown out at AT&T Stadium to become the first No. 2 seed to ever lose in the wild-card round. If owner Jerry Jones decides to make a move, perhaps he considers a record-setting check for Bill Belichick. Additionally, the Cowboys have to consider a litany of offseason questions now, including whether to retain Tony Pollard, Tyron Smith, Stephon Gilmore, Jayron Kearse, Jourdan Lewis and others. The upcoming months won’t be quiet in Dallas.What it means for Packers: For Green Bay, this season has been a wild success based on reaching the playoffs, and the production of Jordan Love. Now, it’s a fever dream. The Packers went into Dallas, where the Cowboys had won 16 consecutive games, and dominated throughout. Love was spectacular with 272 passing yards and three touchdowns, while the defense picked off Dak Prescott twice, including a pick-six from Darnell Savage. The long-term takeaway is Green Bay has a phenomenal pairing of Matt LaFleur and Love for the next decade. The short-term storyline is the Packers are playing without pressure and a team enjoying the moment, leading to terrific results.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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