What we learned from NFL playoffs divisional round, Day 1: From Eagles’ resurgence to Patrick Mahomes’ injury

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The next wave of NFL playoff football is well underway. The divisional round kicked off Saturday with a pair of regular-season rematches, and, boy, do we have a lot of ground to cover just in the wake of that action. The Chiefs are headed back to the AFC Championship, thanks to a 27-20 victory over the upstart Jaguars. And the Eagles will host the NFC Championship for the second time in five years after routing the Giants, 38-7.

Here are some immediate and big-picture takeaways from the opening day of the divisional round:

Hurts and the Eagles are back.

We say “back” because, frankly, it felt a lot like they “left” over the last month. Ever since Jalen Hurts, once a virtual lock to go head to head with Patrick Mahomes for this year’s MVP honors, went down with a shoulder injury, Philly kind of plateaued, if not regressed, on the way into the postseason. But on Saturday night against a Giants team fresh off an impressive upset of Minnesota, they looked back to peak form. Hurts, for one, had seemingly no limitations, excelling early as a passer and, perhaps more notably, on the ground. And the Haason Reddick-led defense got after Daniel Jones and Co. all night, handing New York what Brian Daboll later called a “crash landing.” It’s time to consider the Birds true title contenders once again.

The Giants need more help than we thought.

This year was still a success for New York. The G-Men weren’t even supposed to make the playoffs, considering the torn-down roster Brian Daboll inherited. Daniel Jones certainly registers as a different prospect than he did even months ago. But unlike even Jacksonville, which took Kansas City to the wire under a first-year coach (more on that below), the Giants had hardly any fight or urgency in Philadelphia. That’s not primarily the fault of either Jones or Daboll, but rather a lineup still severely undermanned at premium spots. General manager Joe Schoen badly needs… Source www.cbssports.com

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