National Football League
Wild Card Weekend Top Plays: 49ers, Bucs, Chiefs all advance
National Football League

Wild Card Weekend Top Plays: 49ers, Bucs, Chiefs all advance

Updated Jan. 17, 2022 2:16 p.m. ET

Super Wild Card Weekend rolls on into Sunday.

To kick things off on FOX, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers thrashed the Philadelphia Eagles via another outstanding performance from Tom Brady.

That was followed by a storied rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys, which went down to the wire, ending in a 49ers win.

Lastly, the AFC took center stage as the Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to face the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs were dominant, overpowering the Steelers behind five Patrick Mahomes touchdown passes.


Here are the top plays from Sunday's action.

Kansas City Chiefs 42, Pittsburgh Steelers 21

Early pick

The Steelers made the first major play of the game with a first-quarter interception of Mahomes.

Defense to offense

When the second quarter started, the Steelers defense was up to the challenge to continue making plays.

Defensive end T.J. Watt recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown to give the Steelers a 7-0 lead.

Instant response

Mahomes' early interception caused the Chiefs offense to sputter, so it was only right he be responsible for the touchdown to tie the game.

A second touchdown pass from Mahomes to Byron Pringle put the Chiefs ahead 14-7 late in the second quarter.

Third time's a charm

To put the exclamation point on a dominant second quarter, Mahomes found Travis Kelce for his third touchdown of the quarter to push the Chiefs ahead, 21-7, at halftime.

Fourth different target

By the time the third quarter started, the Chiefs' offense was in full swing, and Mahomes had found his fourth different touchdown pass recipient, this time it was offensive lineman Nick Allegretti.

The route is on

It was only a matter of time before Tyreek Hill got in on the action, scoring a touchdown on a bomb from Mahomes to give the Chiefs a 35-7 lead in the third quarter.

Slowing the momentum

After the Chiefs scored 35 unanswered points, the Steelers finally were able to score and stop the run after a Dionte Johnson touchdown reception.

Deep in the bag

The Chiefs scored touchdowns in every way imaginable offensively against the Steelers, including a touchdown pass from Kelce to Pringle in the fourth quarter.

The Chiefs would ultimately finish the job, winning 42-21 to advance to the AFC Divisional Round where they will host the Buffalo Bills.

San Francisco 49ers 23, Dallas Cowboys 17

Gotta blast!

Fans could hardly wait for the action ahead of this showdown. 

This video showed hoards of standing-room-only ticket-holders rushing into AT&T Stadium to secure their positions.

Matching the energy

The 49ers' offense put points on the board just as fast as fans rushed to their spots at AT&T Stadium.

Elijah Mitchell found the end zone on the 49ers' first drive of the game to give them an early 7-0 lead.

Right on time

After falling behind 13-0, the Cowboys needed to score to stay in the game and within arm's reach of the 49ers.

That's where Amari Cooper came into play, scoring a touchdown in the second quarter to cut the 49ers' lead to 13-7.

Clamping down

The 49ers defense dominated the first half of the game against the Cowboys, and they continued to dominate in the third quarter, intercepting Dak Prescott.

That interception led to a Deebo Samuel rushing touchdown to extend the lead, 23-7.

Turning the tables

The Cowboys led the NFL in takeaways in the regular season, and got a much-needed interception in the fourth quarter to keep their comeback hopes alive.

Prescott made good on that turnover, rushing for a touchdown to bring the Cowboys within one score.

Despite the late push from the Cowboys and a flurry of penalties, the 49ers were able to hold on and secure a 23-17 victory and will face the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional Round.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31, Philadelphia Eagles 15

Wintry winds

Both squads were matched up against not only each other but the wind, as gusts furiously swept through Raymond James Stadium prior to the opening kickoff.

Savvy vet

Eagles' defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon threw a number of different looks at Tom Brady and the Bucs' offense, but the GOAT was surgical in the team's opening drive. 

He went 6-for-8 for 36 yards on a 12-play, 75-yard drive capped by Giovani Bernard's plunge up the middle for the game's first points.

All-around team

While Tampa's offense sizzled, its defense cracked down on Philly, forcing a pair of punts following staunch stops …

… which allowed the offense to cash in again late in the first, this time on the legwork of Ke'Shawn Vaughn.

Not in our red zone!

Philly seemed to find some signs of life with the second quarter winding down and crept into Tampa territory following a string of big passes from Jalen Hurts.

But Hurts gambled on an end zone try to DeVonta Smith, and had his bet pay dividends … for the Bucs. Mike Edwards slid in front of the attempt for the Bucs' first takeaway of the day to close the half.

Gronk spike!

A muffed punt early in the third quarter from Jalen Reagor gave T.B. the ball back in excellent field position, and TB12 capitalized on the mishap with his first TD pass to his longtime go-to guy, Rob Gronkowski.

Pouring it on 

Shaquil Barrett showed off his nimble athleticism with a doozy of a one-handed grab to force another turnover …

… and Mike Evans went vertical as he tumbled into the end zone to add some flair to his first playoff TD grab.


Philly didn't completely go away despite its troubles, and gained ground in the running game early in the fourth, courtesy of a quick-hitter from Boston Scott.

Take flight!

Philly ascended from there. Jalen Hurts began finding gaps in the Bucs' secondary on the Eagles' next drive.

He guided his team 93 yards in 10 plays, connecting with Kenneth Gainwell on the final one, who torpedoed into the end zone to come within two possessions.

The Eagles' late heroics were too little, too late, however, and Tampa earned a 31-15 win to move on to the divisional round.


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